“THE MAN WITH ONE DEAD SHOE”
Thursday 13 November, 2003, 04:34 GMT, The Lunch Times of Fiji posted this headline:
“A 136 year apology becomes just another ‘roast’ for the descendants of Thomas Baker”
The local inhabitant’s of Nabutautau have been suffering more than indigestion after eating Thomas —the English muffin — Baker over 136 years ago. So a tribal ceremony included a Baker’s Dozen — I meant to say — a dozen of the reverend Baker’s descendants.
Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase and 600 people, attended the tribal ceremony.
The Prime-cut minister said: “The Reverend was good and good for you and we’re honored that his great-great-grandson Geoffrey could attend. And though Geoffrey’s a Baker by name, he appears to be a roaster.” (He paused for laughs.) None came. The audience was getting restless. Bibs were being tied.
The local inhabitants believe their village has been suffering bad luck ever since the cannibalism incident in 1867, and hope that saying sorry will help their fortunes.“We believe we must have been cursed. When we have made the apology we will be clean again.”
Back In 1867, The Dinner Times Published this article: July 21, Nabutautau, Fiji
The Reverend Thomas Baker, from Playden in East Sussex has passed away. Baker was killed on Monday, in Nabutautau.
The Reverend spent many years in the interior highlands of Viti Levu trying to convert the Natives who were reluctant to give up their God, Bau, who is said to be ‘really cool.’ It is possible that the Reverend Baker may have offended some villagers with his holier than Swiss cheese attitude.
Only Reverend Baker’s right shoe remains today. The Hotat tribe ate the rest, including his hat, the left shoe and his spectacles.
The reverend’s cause of death is unknown, though it may have had something to with him getting his brains bashed out by chief Mbunji’s men.
One report says that the revered and untouchable chief, Mbunji, ‘borrowed’ the reverend’s comb while the missionary was out savoring…er, uh, saving the nearby Huk Huks.
When Baker returned that evening to his adopted village during that evening, he recognized his beloved comb still stuck in Chief Mbunji’s fancy hairdo. The reverends last words were, ”I hope that you don’t have cooties, “ when he pulled the comb from Chief’s sacred ‘do. ‘
The villagers, enjoying their Bloody Mary and Venous Victor cocktails were astounded when they saw the Reverend touching Chief Mbunji. The chief’s should never be touched by a commoner. When a Fijian chief uses a cannibal fork, he will not let the ‘meat’ of his lowly prey touch his esteemed lips.
Then one of the local’s lowered his cup of Kava and spoke to Reverend Baker: “O.K. Baker, pick your favorite sauce.”
“We ate everything,” one environmentally conscious 10 year old boy said. “If it weren’t for his horrible stink foot we would have eaten both shoes!“
Services will be held at 5 p.m. on July 29, at the Jesus Shall Tender-Rise Chapel. In honor of the Reverend, guests are requested to wear only one shoe. The celebratory dance afterward will be a hopping good time.
There will be an open casket, a size-10 tissue lined box.
It was a ‘repentant consumer’ that lead a mission teacher to the tree limb where Baker’s shoe was perched.
The Reverend’s one leftover shoe is now on exhibit in Fiji’s Culinary Arts Exhibition through January.
A final ‘Foot’ note:
In 1926, Andrew Merrit, a young Mormon from Utah became the last known ‘missionary’ victim of Fijian cannibals. Only his Sunday-go-to-meetin’ suit remained after the attack.
The wealthy Merrit family tried to sue the British Government who controlled Fiji during the 1920s. A justice of the Supreme Court spurned the litigation by proclaiming:
“This suit holds no Merrit.”
The Reverend’s humerus bone, attached to his leftover shodden foot was recovered twenty years later from fork of large shaddock tree.
No. The humerus bone is NOT the funny bone. Nor is it even attached to the foot. The humerus is connected to the shoulder bones on top. The lower humerus is connected to the wrist bones. The wrist bones are connected to the hand bones, which in modern man is connected to the iPhone.
They were given the traditional drink of kava, and attended ceremonies on Thursday, at which they were to take part in a “symbolic cutting of the chain of curse and bondage over the village.” The chain happened to be adorning the neck of a church elder.
A Methodist pastor, Iumeleki Susu, a descendant of the only surviving member of Thomas Baker’s doomed group, was also present.