Maybe It’s Me

Like most 20 somethings I had a lot of hobbies, but only a few stuck with me into my 30s: dance, theater, The X-Files, my love of chick lit and all things Ben and/or Jerry – and my complete fascination with epidemiology and written accounts of biological and chemical warfare. You know, typical girlie stuff. Obviously, I’m not a scientist. I don’t work for the FBI and not a single living person can prove that I’ve ever been a spy. But the linked story seems awfully strange to me.

Sure, maybe Mulder and Scully would happen upon a tourist carrying some ricin with him, but ordinarily it’s not really on the list of Vegas activities. For instance, you rarely hear “oh, hey, honey, don’t forget to pack our bag-o-ricin for the trip”. I can personally guarantee you that my packing checklist never reads: Toothbrush? Check. Ipod? Check. Vial of Ricin? Got it!

I don’t mean to be a nudge, but can anyone explain to me why it isn’t illegal for random people to have ricin on them? I mean, I can’t buy more than 5 boxes of Sudafed at a time, but someone can carry a substance so lethal that even an amount the size of the head of a pin can kill an adult? Well, sure, I can see why that would be true. And by the way, the reports indicate that a random person happened upon a suspicious substance—which means there was far more than the size of the head of a pin in that room. How excited would you be to know that your room shared a ventilation duct with that one?

As for the terror angle, I’m sure I’m more paranoid than most (Plague Wars is bedstand reading for me), but unless one of the occupants of that room was a castor bean salesperson, or growing castor beans in his hotel room (for medicinal purposes like on the spot bone marrow transplants, or just for fun), I’m missing what the perfectly innocuous reason for having ricin would be. The reports say that it might have been left in the room by the previous occupants. Because if you are going to travel with your baggie of death, it’s perfectly plausible that you’d accidentally leave it behind along with that extra pair of socks.

I’m sure it’s fine. Nothing to worry about. But just in case, I think we should all hope that what happens in Vegas really does stay in Vegas.

Kate, who has an overwhelming urge to yell “Mulder!”

1 comment on “Maybe It’s Me”

  1. Dee Murray

    I’m a more than a little disturbed by this…though the moral I gleaned from the story is to not stay at a hotel that prominently boasts “weekly rates available” in hot pink neon. Or stay home.

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