Saturday, December 02, 2006
C.B. asks: Can an uncooked rutabaga serve as a heavy, blunt instrument?
The simple answer is: Yes. The use of rutabagas as "projectiles" or for "the Diffusion of Asphyxiating or Deleterious Gases" was specifically prohibited by the Hague Convention of 1899. I'd certainly be careful in handling uncooked rutabagas, and keep them away from children unless they're thoroughly mashed.
Under Oregon law, at least, an uncooked rutabaga could be certainly be defined as a "dangerous weapon," which means "any weapon, device, instrument, material or substance which under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury" [ORS 161.015(2)].
The only real danger from rutabagas, however, arises during the process of preparation. Chopping the rutabaga for boiling is a special challenge that requires a sturdy helmet, thick goggles and (if available) body armor. ARSI recommends securing the peeled rutabaga in a firm vise and carefully applying a sharpened industrial-grade chainsaw. Pile drivers and pneumatic drills have been also used with some success, though the cost may be prohibitive. The key to success is: exercise great caution at all times!