Until it was washed away by global warming, there existed an island nation in the Southwest Pacific populated exclusively by Crocodile Men. From the neck down they are as normal as you or I. But theirs is no ordinary smile. In place of a mannered, civilized human face, is the horrible, green, cold head of a crocodile. Obnoxious snout, putrid eyes and questionable dental work all present.
Well these Crocodile Men, aside from their taste for human flesh, made the best apple butter anywhere. Hands down. They imported the apples from Washington and passed down the recipe from generation to generation. NASA’s top scientists could never decipher its blend of spices and the Crocodile Men weren’t talking anything beyond a mix of Venezuelan Latin and Islamic Spanish. They weren’t very approachable. One swing of their tail could demolish a Buick. They especially hated human children. Their laughter was like scraping metal to the Crocodile Men’s invisible ears.
This apple butter melted – just melted – right on your tongue. Sweet and creamy with a slowly creeping tart at just the moment before you swallowed, it was incredible. You could put it on anything and it always tasted warm. The Crocodile Men put it in custom-made glass bottles with intricately patterned lids and little bows tied at the top. The jars themselves were works of art and well worth the steep import pricing.
As their island nation sunk, they were initially offered asylum in the Philippines but that fell apart after the Crocodile Man chief brutally attacked and hospitalized the Philippine Ambassador. The United Nations provided use of a decommissioned Oil Rig, even floated it out to them. The Crocodile Men launched huge, earthen fireballs (their only other national handicraft) at the UN helicopters and the effort, and the island, were abandoned by the world.
I took on another credit card and secured three cases of the apple butter which I keep in separate locations throughout the house and break out only on National Holidays or during State visits. I don’t mention its origins and if asked I say it was a gift from a deceased neighbor before changing the subject. No matter how much they beg, I do not share more than a taste.
The Crocodile Men are presumed extinct although from time to time there come outlandish stories from the Vatican Press about obscure priests in far-off missions doing battle with giant demon lizards.