Thursday, March 19, 2015

Who Would You Poison & What Food Would You Use?

This post originally appeared on my defunct food writing blog, The Famished Freelancer, on 11/26/13.

Photo credit: Andrew Kuznetsov
A friend of mine shared this news story with me about a teaching assistant who tried to poison a couple of teachers (on multiple occasions) with sleeping pills in cream puffs. 

My first thought is that's a terrible waste of cream puffs. They're really tasty, and not that easy to make. When Beard Papa, the Japanese cream puff chain came to NYC, they had all these complicated instructions - refrigerate them if you're not going eat them within 30 minutes. And definitely eat them within a day. But really, eat them right away for maximum yumminess.

Defusing a bomb is easier than taking cream puffs anywhere.

Now, if I were the homicidal type, I'd probably go with co-workers. (And that's how you know this is an entirely hypothetical discussion - I've never had a co-worker pass away while we were working together.) But we usually only see co-workers in the context of the office, so it's far too easy to decide that certain people are complete wastes of space, who must be destroyed because God knows they're never going to be fired. 

Every office has them: The one guy who does nothing all day. The guy who gets ahead simply because he has good hair. The senior manager who makes everyone's jobs miserable because they don't actually understand how the department works. The person who is in way over their head because of The Peter Principle, and instead of asking for help, they're just nasty to everyone.

Within the work environment, these people are The Worst, and your friendly neighborhood psychopath could easily decide that their deaths would be for the greater good. 

Of course, outside of work they may be perfectly lovely people who make their families happy, which is why we don't go around murdering our obnoxious co-workers. 

Also, they could totally murder us back, which would take all the fun out of it.

But we're playing a game, so let's pick a food to contain the poison. Because cream puffs? How would that even work? Whip the poison into the cream? It takes long enough to make cream puffs that only a really dedicated murderer wouldn't change their mind by the time the cream puffs were finished. And then you'd be stuck with poison cream puffs. 

If I'm going to go to the effort of making cream puffs, I'm going to want to eat them.

So cream puffs are out.

Maybe cookies. They come together pretty quickly. You could make two batches - one regular, one poison. That way you could take them into the office and the non-victims wouldn't be all, "hey, why don't I get cookie?"

Bagels are popular office food, so maybe poison cream cheese. What could be easier than tossing some cream cheese and poison into the stand mixer? (Besides serving non-poisonous cream cheese, of course.)

OK, now you play. You don't have to be a murderer to know that cream puffs are a stupid way to try to kill someone. So how would you do it? And if you're having trouble getting into it, just imagine that you'd be poisoning Joffrey Baratheon from Game of Thrones. That guy really is The Worst.

Months-old spoiler alert: I haven't read the books, so when I wrote this, I had no idea that Joffrey was going to get poisoned. Poison in the wine glass - what a classic.

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