TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Silly or Savory?
Author  :  Patrick Weiler mailto:%20jpweil00@gte.net
Date  :  12-03-2000 on 12:26 p.m.

Many plausible, but ad hominem, plots present themselves as answers to your questions.

For starters:
1. What kind of rug folks deserve a distasteful death?
What about the winner of the Joseph V. McMullen award whose research on vegetal dyes was all done by his underpaid/overworked and unrecognized assistant rug restorer?

2. He/she is done-in by a lethal plant toxin (from a plant researched by the assistant) powdered on a particularly nice rug that is presented to the nefarious McMullen winner.

3. Madness could be caused by a jealous step-sibling inheriting the most important rug in the family collection and cutting it up into pillows.

4. The result of all of this turmoil in the rug world? Higher prices due to the publicity. Even Rug Novels will sell so well that their authors can retire comfortably.

5. Should the perp be caught? No, because all of the deaths turn out to be conspirators seeking to overthrow the government of an unfriendly country that is restricting the sale of great old rugs to the U.S.
And the lowly research assistant might even be from the CIA!!!

By the way, Jerry, your spell check did not catch antivenin. And you haven't used scurrilous, curmudgeon, dastardly, despicable, gratuitous and all of those other tasty terms yet!
I suspect you will get enough ideas that you can write several novels!
When is the book tour? Are you scheduled to give a reading at the next ICOC?

Scurrilously yours,

Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  Re:Silly or Savory?
Author  :  Jerry Silverman mailto:%20rug_books@silvrmn.com
Date  :  12-03-2000 on 09:16 p.m.
A richly fertile response, Patrick. I especially like the idea of a toxic dye. Does anyone know of a specific dye stuff that would do the job? It wouldn't even have to be a dye that produces a color (although that would be nice): it could just be a vegie-based toxin that could be applied to some suspiciously-colored knots. The victim would want to "test" the knots with a white handkerchief. He spits on the handkerchief, rubs it on the knots, gets just a smidge of color, -licks- the handkerchief to get more moisture on it to repeat the test...and keels over like a sack of doorknobs.

Oh yeah, that works for me.


Subject  :  Re:Silly or Savory?
Author  :  Kenneth Thompson mailto:%20wkthompson@aol.com
Date  :  12-04-2000 on 04:23 p.m.
Jerry, Patrick

After this salon,the rug world will never be safe again. You would be amazed—alarmed may be better word—at the amount of information you can get off the internet in order to do in your despicable, contemptible, (probably dog-hating) Messrs. Hogshead and Quirt. There are all sorts of natural toxins that could be put on a rug. In fact, you might never want to handle, walk barefoot on, or lick another rug again.

The most obvious poison is Ricin, the castor bean extract which the Russians allegedly used to kill the Bulgarian dissident Markov whom they stabbed in the leg with an umbrella. But there are lots of others from common sources.

Here are some quotes:

“Try Ricin, the oil from castor beans. Delivery can be from DMSO left on a car door handle. http://hive.lycaeum.org/messages/chemistry/217.html

“Yes, ricin is a goodie, but to correct Mr. Bach it is NOT the OIL from the castor bean(castor oil), it is in the fleshy pulp left over AFTER the dehulled bean pulp is washed of its oil by lots of acetone. The fleshy, oil-free pulp is extracted with acetic acid and centrifuged to produce fairly pure ricin. Ricin's big allure, besides its potency, is that it is virtually untraceable, produces common, food poisioning-like symptoms, and, best of all , has a 12 to 24 hour delay before onset of said character's demise. OH, there's no known antidote either. Ricin's catalytic method of poisioning is quite interesting. Fester's book Silent Death is a must-have for the study of the craft, it's a most educational read.” http://hive.lycaeum.org/messages/chemistry/235.html

Here is another: “Thallium is great, too. Takes about 2 weeks for it's effects. Hairs will fall out, usual symptoms of heavy metal poisonings, etc. Really difficult to find out who did it, because of the 10 to 15 days latency.“ http://hive.lycaeum.org/messages/chemistry/238.html

An even more fitting punishment for a pompous know-it-all who relies on a sharp tongue to make you feel like a potted plant comes from plants of the Aroid family. This group includes the ubiquituous potted plant Dieffenbachia or DUMBCANE. To quote selectively from http://vet.purdue.edu/depts/addl/toxic/plant03.htm
“The plant cells contain needle-like crystals of insoluble calcium oxalate which penetrate the skin and mouth causing discomfort. In addition, the plants contain proteolytic enzymes which release histamine and kinins, causing swelling and an itching or burning sensation….. Some of these plants have been used with humans to prevent individuals from talking by causing excessive tongue swelling, hence the name "dumbcane".

And they said rug collecting was a harmless pastime.

Best regards, Ken Thompson

Subject  :  Re:Silly or Savory?
Author  :  Jerry Silverman mailto:%20rug_books@silvrmn.com
Date  :  12-04-2000 on 07:00 p.m.
Great information, Ken. I had a curare-like poison in mind for Hogshead, but the DMSO-through-the-skin approach for ricin is even nicer. No penetration necessary. Maybe I'll save it for another baddy.

Ain't the Internet great?



Subject  :  Re:Silly or Savory?
Author  :  Marvin Amstey mailto:%20mamstey1@rochester.rr.com
Date  :  12-05-2000 on 08:07 a.m.
Dear Jerry,
The toxin idea - from a dye (ink) - was used by Umberto Eco in "The Name of the Rose". It was also a favorite of Agatha Christie. Back to the drawing boards.
Best regards,

Subject  :  Re:Silly or Savory?
Author  :  R. John Howe mailto:%20rjhowe@erols.com
Date  :  12-05-2000 on 09:01 a.m.
Dear folks -

When I first entered the rug world, I said to my wife that those in it seemed to be a somewhat better set of folks than were those we saw during her years as a serious dog exhibitor and breeder. At least, I said, they wouldn't poison your dog to win.

It is painful, now, to have to reconsider that estimate.

Marvin, I can't agree that an idea used before is disqualified. Some have argued that most writers have only one story and just find different ways of telling it. There will be echoes. Some of them can be beautiful (although we are in no danger that that here, yet). And it certainly didn't stop the Bach and Handel crowd, who frequently stole not just from others but from their own works.


R. John Howe

Subject  :  Re:Silly or Savory?
Author  :  Jerry Silverman mailto:%20rug_books@silvrmn.com
Date  :  12-05-2000 on 03:48 p.m.
Moi stoop to plagiarism? Never. As Tom Lehrer told us about 40 years ago, we should call it "research".

Besides, there's no similarity between poisoned ink and poisoned dye. None whatsoever. I especially like the possible ways it might be ingested...while sniffing to detect mildew, etc. Or maybe when the victim rubs his eyes after handling the rug. Or better still, when he picks his nose post rug-handling.

One problem with this delivery system is that it lingers and may accidentally kill others: the investigators, for instance. Although they may be safe because they handle evidence with rubber gloves. What's nice about poison is that it can do its work at long range and over a longer period of time, insulating the villain. But that might not be suitable for the villain of this story who wants his revenge served up hot and juicy.


Subject  :  Re:Silly or Savory?
Author  :  Spence Maschno mailto:%20spencer_maschino@hotmail.com
Date  :  12-05-2000 on 06:54 p.m.
Two mordants that I can think of have toxic properties - chrome and oxalic acid (from rhubarb leaves). Death at a natural dying demo?

Other rug-related demises that spring to mind are: loom tension (not necessarily fatal, but a fate with which the villain can threaten our hero) and skewering with wool combs (definitely lethal objects).

By the way, Jerry, your villain should not be caught. When the police raid his lair, they should find nothing but a few old copies of ORR and a hardcopy of the call for papers for the 2001 ICOC.


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