Eat Me!

Avery Wiseman writes about cannibalism as a cure for cancer. But don't boil your best friend just yet. It's fiction.

NT: You made no attempt to describe the science behind how eating people might cure cancer.

Wiseman: Cancer is said to eat people up, so why shouldn't a sick person eat people up to replace what's been eaten inside them? How it would work, I have no idea. It's all metaphorical. Like where I had them eat the brain to give them character, and the heart to give them courage.

NT: Can you eat different body parts for different kinds of cancer?

Food for thought: Fictional or not, some of Avery Wiseman's ideas are hard to swallow.
Laura London
Food for thought: Fictional or not, some of Avery Wiseman's ideas are hard to swallow.

Wiseman: I suppose if you had skin cancer, you could eat an ear. That's homeopathic; like cures like. I gave Simon cancer of the genitals because that's what he lived by; he was triumphantly sexual. He was admiring his genitals when he discovered the lump.

NT: Yes, he seems especially interested in eating genitals.

Wiseman: Well, that was a reference to Simon's experience with Chester, the homosexual in the book. He was remembering gagging while he, you know, was pleasing Chester. He fantasized about eating genitals because it's a great taboo. There are many rituals and beliefs that are just a few steps removed from eating genitals. Some homosexuals like to be made to "eat" another man's genitals. It's a great metaphor, but not very far removed from biting off a penis.

NT: Okay then! Later in the book, our hero hooks up with a brothel that offers to supply bodies.

Wiseman: If human flesh were a cancer cure, you'd want to eat people who were recently dead. There are people who have intercourse with dead bodies, and they seem to prefer those who are just dead, so that the body is still warm. If you didn't have a brothel connection, I guess you could become a grave robber.

NT: I wouldn't be robbing graves for a snack. Formaldehyde!

Wiseman: Oh, yes. That's true, isn't it? So you'd have to get someone who hadn't been embalmed, and someone who had been healthy when he died. Maybe you could find someone who had died in a car accident. Or, better yet, you could kill someone, like a prostitute that no one cares about, and devour her.

NT: Could this work for other illnesses besides cancer? I mean, if I have an upset stomach, could I just chew on someone's fingernails a little?

Wiseman: What?

NT: Maybe if I had an earache, I could just taste someone? Sort of just lick their arm a little?

Wiseman: I suppose so. Maybe not.

NT: Have you ever eaten anybody?

Wiseman: Heavens, no.

NT: What do you suppose human flesh tastes like?

Wiseman: Well, I don't know what a great number of things taste like. I didn't know what this pizza would taste like when I ordered it. What are these little chewy lumps here?

NT: It's lamb. The other stuff is figs and cheese.

Wiseman: You know, there are some people who drink urine, because they feel it's been purified by another person's kidneys.

NT: People who aren't well, you mean.

Wiseman: Well, no. It's mostly the higher classes in India who drink urine. They drink it like orange juice.

NT: Huh. I didn't know that.

Wiseman: Well, why would you? There are many things that you might find repellent that others get turned on by.

NT: Like Barbra Streisand.

Wiseman: Yes. Wait. Who?

NT: Are you concerned that people who read this book will think you're nuts?

Wiseman: No. Not at all. That never occurred to me. Now, Barbra who?

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