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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

CCSI writes:

It is rumored among my military friends that the military has an ongoing project by which the armor plates of our military vehicles may be replaced by slices of rutabaga. One highly placed official told me (off record, of course) that they have two problems with the rutabaga shields: 1) “after a few days of heavy fighting we find that the troops, having grown tired of their MRE’s begin to gnaw on their protective vests, which, of course, reduces troop effectiveness”; and, 2) “after a few more days in the hot sun the sugar content of the rutabaga turns to alcohol further reducing troop effectiveness.”

Of course, he added, “the real problem is production. While the rutabaga industry is poised to take off, right not the three farms in the country producing rutabaga could not possibly keep up with our needs in Iraq and elsewhere. So I guess we’ll just have to stick with that Kevlar stuff.”