Witch Doctors Make Suburban House Calls

You just never know what's going on in your neighbor's home. For instance, consider the situation surrounding Edward Bachner IV of Lake of the Hills, Illinois.

A mild-mannered financial planner and co-owner of a small technology company in a Chicago suburb, Bachner was swooped down on yesterday morning by the FBI. They'd been alerted that Bachner recently purchased a mega amount of tetrodotoxin, the deadly poison derived from pufferfish.

Bachner is alleged to have had enough tetrodotoxin in his home to kill 100 people.

A substance inside pufferfish is one of the most powerful neurotoxins known to man.
This is another one of those news stories that specially grabs my imagination. I'm intrigued by this because I once did some lightweight research on tetrodotoxin, or TTX. My exploration into tetrodoxin revolved around a suspense novel I was writing, which had elements of Haitian vodou or voodoo in it.

Many believe that tetrodotoxin is among the secret ingredients that's used to turn people into zombies. Although people who make zombies would never admit it... We're to believe it's their mystical will and access to the Gods alone that cause sudden paralysis and then often death.

It was Harvard doctoral candidate Wade Davis who stumbled upon the secret use of TTX by sorcerers in Haiti. Wade Davis then wrote a famously trippy book-turned-movie about it, both titled The Serpent and the Rainbow.

TTX does its damage by blocking the sodium channels in the muscle and nerve cells. (Yes, it's true: The body must have some sodium or it will perish, which I recently learned through an aunt's illness.) This is probably why voodoo practitioners believe that administering salt will cure a zombie.

So to all those who were within reach of Edward Bachner, this might be a good time to stock up on top-of-the-line salt. Not that cheap, brand X salt, either. Buy the most expensive salt you can find. Morton's or die.

And if you come anywhere close to a zombie this summer, I hope it's only one like this:

Zombie cocktail

Have a zombie, courtesy South Side Star 1 oz. Apricot Brandy
1 oz. light or puerto-rican rum
1 oz. dark or jamaican rum
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. lime juice
dashes of grenadine and orange juice
1 oz. dark Rum

In a cocktail shaker, mix light & dark rums and brandy. Add lemon and lime juice and dashes grenadine. Shake well and strain into a higball glass filled with ice. Fill glass with orange juice leaving room to float 1 oz of 151. Garnish with cherry, orange slice, pinapple wedge.

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Anonymous said...

Totally wild!! lol

Viqi French said...

yes ;-)

Viqi French said...

A story update: It appears his wife was the target, as he'd taken out a whopping insurance policy on her... sinful!

jOolian said...

dammmmm...and all along i thought i was a dead-beat-zombie... now, i KNOW: tetrodotoxin.
we'z'z hates the pufferfish'z, had'em pop up near me in my more adventurous surfin' daze... throw'em at each other,.. some kook nab a wave, yah chunk a puffer at'em and it sticks!!
(too bad we all got wak'd from it later in life...gahaha hahaha...maybe the saltwater helped?.. but then,...i'm not right by any means)
...Serpent and the Rainbow was a most wicked bodacious lil'flick ...nice throw-back!

Anonymous said...

Bachner will not forget your blog.

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