May 03, 2004
Monday Morning Nightmare

Years ago, I knew a grad student who paid his way through college working at a professional wrestling arena in (I think) North Dakota. He said that he thought the pay was surprisingly generous until he started work and realized just how difficult it was to fulfill one of the requirements of the job: not to laugh out loud at the paying customers who thought wrestling was real. His job was to walk up and down the aisles selling various crunchy snacks, including 'Funions', an onion-flavored snack that did not include onions anywhere in the list of ingredients. Of course, artificial bacon bits that do not include any pork product are popular among vegetarians and (I suppose) Jews and Muslims who want to see what they're missing -- not that they'll get a very clear idea from the imitation.

So much by way of background.

I woke up very early this morning dreaming of Funions and 'Manions'. In the waking world, Manion is the last name of various people, none of whom I know or have had occasion to think of lately. In my dream it was a food product for wannabe cannibals: all the flavor of human flesh, but made entirely of nonhuman ingredients, and therefore entirely legal. I was just trying to figure out how they could test the product to ensure that the reproduction was accurate when I woke up. I probably should have watched what I ate before going to bed. Now that I'm awake, I wonder how many would try Manions, if they existed? Of course, they would need a better name.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at May 03, 2004 11:17 PM

Everyone I know would try them. Everyone.

Posted by: Sigivald on May 4, 2004 01:05 PM

"Cannibals can't tell the difference!"

Posted by: Ed on May 4, 2004 01:06 PM

Tastes like chicken!

Posted by: DaveH on May 4, 2004 01:45 PM

Actually, from various accounts, it would probably taste more like pork. (Apparently, a number of cannibalistic cultures refer to people as "long pig.")

Posted by: Dean on May 4, 2004 06:43 PM

On the other hand, some of those cultures may not have had all that many different domesticated animals to compare.

As I recall, Idi Amin said (or is reported to have said) that human flesh tastes "like leopard meat, only saltier". Which solves the question of how to make mock human jerky: start with leopard meat and add salt. Of course, leopard is likely to be very expensive, if not totally banned in all civilized countries as an endangered species.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil on May 4, 2004 08:05 PM

I've been waiting for someone to post the old "Spam is so popular in the South Pacific because it tastes like human flesh" rumor, but sometimes if you want something done, ya gotta do it yourself.

Cecil Adams gives a nice rundown (and demolition) at

And no one has mentioned Soylent Green either. What are y'all, uncultured or something?

Posted by: Michelle Dulak on May 4, 2004 08:40 PM

But isn't this the opposite of Soylent Green? My nightmare food tastes like human flesh but is not made from it, while Soylent Green is made from human flesh but (presumably) doesn't taste like it. (Unless the people in the movie just didn't know what it would taste like? I thought the stuff was supposed to be some kind of tasteless energy bar substance.) Perhaps that makes my invention (concept?) Soylent Red or Soylent Blue or something. Should I patent it?

Posted by: Dr. Weevil on May 4, 2004 08:56 PM

Oh, of course. I just assume that any Internet discussion involving cannibalism will bring up Soylent Green sooner or later. I'm recovering from a bad bout of publishing & wanted to be first ;-)

As a matter of fact, there were Soylent [other colors] in the movie, but I don't want to find out which badly enough to watch it a second time. Eww.

Posted by: Michelle Dulak on May 4, 2004 09:06 PM

Hey, it's not "Funions", it's "Funyums", so people won't think it has any onion in it, but the sound will suggest onions. I can just see the corporate developers in court saying, "What? It sounds like "fun onions"?? We never thought of that! Honest!" Besides, "Funyums" combines two of the most powerful marketing words in the food advertising world: "fun!" and "yum!" So maybe the man stuff could be "Manyums".

Posted by: Robert Speirs on May 6, 2004 04:04 PM

No, to be PC it's got to be Personions (or Personyums).

Posted by: old maltese on May 7, 2004 05:49 PM

Fish, plankton, sea greens... protein from the sea!

Posted by: Cybrludite on May 10, 2004 01:59 PM

Manions go especially well with Fava beans and a good Chianti.

Posted by: Dave Trowbridge on May 14, 2004 01:57 PM

As I'm sure many of your readers know, the most popular brand of communion wafers are the "I Can't Believe It's Not Jesus" brand. And hey, what do you know, they really do taste like chicken!

Posted by: Karol Wojtyla on May 14, 2004 07:06 PM