Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Just a tainted bird hurting their twisted nerve

Readers of the Doctor Thorndyke stories will recall that pigeons and rabbits can be used as a vehicle for administering poison, by arranging for them to eat belladonna before they arrive on the table (for they are not sensitive to the toxins therein and will happily accumulate atropine in their flesh).

DO NOT EAT the African Spur-winged goose.¹ It has been eating Blister Beetles under the impression that they are an aphrodisiac, for like all the Anatidae it is a randy little bugger. Now its meat is lethally perfused with cantharidin. Unaccountably, no-one has written a detective novel in which the murder weapon is one of Mrs Miggins' African-Spur-winged-Goose "Party Pies".

We further learn that quails can sometimes be toxic for a similar reason, if they have been eating hemlock in the course of their migration and soaking up the coniine [or possibly some other seeds; there is some dispute].³ Though coturnism is a rare diagnosis these days.

Riddled
"Trends" Column

This season's fashionable diagnosis is Coturnism. It sounds exotic, and has a celebrity cachet because, you know, QUAIL. We know that many readers come to Riddled seeking fashion advice because of all the Google searches for "sloth poop".

¹ Described by Darren Naish as "One of the most dangerous birds in the world - I'm not kidding here".²

² Actually a sheldrake, so more closely related to the Paradise Duck.

³ In an hommage to the golden age of detection novels, in Full Dark House,
a dancer is poisoned with a quail sandwich, though
**** SPOILER ALERT ****
**** MIXED-METAPHOR ALERT ****
the quail is a red herring and the coniine is actually contained in the hemlock garnishing the sandwich.

9 comments:

fish said...

However, I do highly recommend the duck that has been freebasing and taking hits of dragon blotter acid.

ckc (not kc) said...

haff disease, vill travel

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

DO NOT EAT the African Spur-winged goose.¹ It has been eating Blister Beetles under the impression that they are an aphrodisiac, for like all the Anatidae it is a randy little bugger

There go my plans for a Spanish fly pie!

Smut Clyde said...

Morning-glory seeds and Syrian rue + migratory birds = migration FAIL.

mikey said...

Ok, look. There's no excuse here. The red flags are legion, and they are all screaming "This woman is crazier than a sack of squirrels".

First, if you meet someone who has bonsai growing out of her HEAD, you have to assume, at a minimum, an unusual lifestyle. Further, when the table doesn't have a coke mirror on it, the table IS a coke mirror, you can assume there are substances in the offing. The mortar and pestle indicates the volumes of substance are, well, extreme.

The fact that she is clearly furiously angry with an invisible interloper should give one pause. And that she's wearing some of the local foliage is indicative of a rather serious disconnect with reality.

But all of that pales before the observation that she's surrounded by dead and dying fauna. This by itself should send you running. Put all these little warning signs together and face it, you're just in the wrong place at the wrong time, pal.

Sorry. Shit happens...

Another Kiwi said...

That's someone's mother you're talking about there, Sir!

ckc (not kc) said...

certainly someone's daughter (or possibly son) - not sure I can discern stretch marks, though the mortar and pestle COULD be for pureed carrots.

Smut Clyde said...

But all of that pales before the observation that she's surrounded by dead and dying fauna.

I would dearly like to know the nature of the animal puking in the background behind Socrates Bunny.

tigris said...

But all of that pales before the observation that she's surrounded by dead and dying fauna.

Also: PET DRESSER. I bet she even paints their nails.