Sunday, February 04, 2007
Swelled cans... it's more than just the highly anticipated effect of a bust enhancement cream.*
It could be a life-threatening bacterial invasion of your earthly flesh.
It could be... BOTULISM!!
Why am I providing this public service messsage?
You see, kids, in high school, I was in Honors Biology. I had a teacher (possibly even a lesbian now that I think back on her button down men's oxford shirts, utter lack of makeup or a purse, cords, and short 'n fringy haircut even in the Big Dallas Hair era of the '80s). She went by the name of Ms. McFarland (names have been changed to protect the scientific). She had one class rule: respect.
So anyway, she taught us that we should always be on the lookout for swelled or dented cans, because they could be harboring seething hordes of BOTulism!!! We needed to worry about this because botulism causes a horrible death, you see, paralyzing bits of you until you die of death. A fatal dose of this powerful nerve toxin is ONE MICROGRAM, easily contained within a germ-ridden green bean or a single orange carrot disc. This, of course, became a standard high school catch phrase as my geek friends and I roamed the halls of our high school shouting, "BOTulism!!" in Python-esque fashion.
Little did we know that these japes would soon turn deadly for one unlucky freshman....
(Wait. That never happened. So I'll just go on.)
While one would not likely eat the contents from an obviously swollen and distended can of veg, the more hidden danger lay in DENTED cans. Dented cans could hide tiny perforations, she lectured, into which botulism would creep and wreak its deathly havoc within your spaghettios. By the time you'd had lunch, it would be too late, and for the privilege of getting 7 cents off at the Dented Can Clearance, you'd pay dearly -- with your LIFE.
Nowadays, of course, we actually USE botulism bacteria for such vain pursuits as poisoning and puffing wrinkles away via Botox, and, if we're of the unscrupulous warmongering ilk, for germ warfare.
Yet do I still check every blessed can, on every grocery store trip???
I do, good people. I do.
* -- Feel like I'm channeling LBB for some reason...