I know that some of you will be planning your halloween parties, so here is a selection of food that might go down a "trick or treat" on that special night. There's an added bonus that most of it is deadly.
This is a Japanese delicacy, which has the slight drawback that the fish contain poison that is 1,200 times as lethal as cyanide. Each fish has enough poison to kill 30 people. It paralyses your nervous system, so that you can't move or speak, but are conscious as you die. Even if they get you to a hospital, there's no antidote.
Chefs train for years to prepare this, and then have to go through a test which involves preparing and eating it. Only a third of them pass, though not many of the failures actually die.
Once they pass the test, they are licensed not to kill. Although some famous Japanese actor is supposed to have walked into a restaurant and insisted on being served four portions of the poisonous bits. He died, and the chef lost his license.
Apparently they often leave a little of the poison in the food so that your mouth goes a bit numb. At least you hope that's all that goes numb. This, added to the fact that it's expensive, is why I'll stick to Fish Fingers.
Another Japanese delicacy is raw horse meat. I know this doesn't count as a deadly food (it's probably more dangerous alive), but it is rather gross. Apparently freshness is very important when it comes to horse, so I suppose cooking it would spoil that. If I'm ever dying of starvation in the middle of nowhere, and the only place for miles around is a sushi bar with an old chef who's hands shake, and it's a choice between fugu and horse, I think I'll go for the fugu.
I'm thinking here of the ones that are bright green round the edges. Do you ever eat those ones? The green contains a deadly poison. Only a little bit of it, though, which is good news for blind people...
These are deadly if you have a nut allergy, or if you choke on them, or you get hit on the head by some falling off a tree. Or if you stand on one and fall over onto a busy road or a railway track. Eating some varieties involves the use of nutcrackers, and you may slip, cut yourself and die of gangarene.
Anyway, when I eat pistachios I always get very dirty nails. Perhaps you're supposed to wash them (the nuts) first. They also create a lot of rubbish. Even though the shells are likely to be more biodegradable than your average carrier bag, I did wonder whether or not there were any uses for them. Then I found this web page and realised that the answer was "no".
Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, apparently took nitroglycerine (which his factory made), and was dependent on it. Or maybe he just liked the taste. He lived into his 60s, so presumably he wasn't a smoker. It turns out that they really do use it to treat chest pains and heart problems. Though they call it something slightly less explosive sounding. It's the bottle in your medicine cabinet that doesn't say "Shake well before use."
There you go. Everything you need to make your party go off with a bang...