Friday, September 27, 2013

Raise Your Glasses

     Like most married couples, my sweetie and I have plenty of inside jokes.  Because I'm a touch twisted, the average observer might be a bit put off... but the two of us are usually on the same page. For example, requesting a tall glass of Hemlock when one of us is having a bad day fits the norm in our house.  Depending on the mood, sometimes we request ice, other times, straight up. Either way, it would get the job done.  
     Surprisingly, it takes very little, (around 100 mg) of Hemlock to kill an adult human.  That breaks down to about 6-8 of the Hemlock's tiny leaves or even less if the roots or seeds are included.  Though indigenous to Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean regions, and a different strain in South Africa, the pretty flowers of the Hemlock plant encouraged transplanting in North America.  This pretty poison is even more deadly considering it can be easily mistaken for non-toxic foods.  The roots are often mistaken for parsnips; while its leaves resemble parsley and the seeds look like anise.  
     Whether straight up or on the rocks, ingesting Hemlock results in numbness and paralysis starting in the lower extremities and spreading up through the entire body.  Finally attacking respiratory functions, the victim will cease to breathe and eventually die from lack of oxygen. Though the ancient Greeks believed ingesting Hemlock was a humane way to dispose of condemned prisoners, Socrates might disagree.  Slow suffocation is not the easiest way to go!       In closing, I'd like to leave you with a fun, 80's movie quote.  "In the immortal words of Socrates...I drank what?" -Chris Knight(Val Kilmer), Real Genius.  So raise a glass, make a toast, and sleep well.  

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