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A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison

New Kosher

Even amongst Orthodox Jews, rules of Kosher had been considered important in religious observance, but not for health and safety. This changed with the destruction of the Rising Sun Public House.

In Old Testament times, Jews had been influenced by diverse cultures such as the Greeks, Egyptians, Babylonians and Persians. This influence included diet. Matters were similar in cosmopolitan, twenty-first century London where restaurants and take-aways abounded, purveying foods from India, China, Italy, The West Indies, South America, Thailand, Vietnam and many other countries.

Inevitably, styles of cuisine borrowed from each other to produce eclectic combinations. Inadvertently, this was also dangerous, experimental chemistry. New combinations of ingredients generated new compounds. Cooking unpredictably modified these. Finally, biochemical processes within the human digestive system further transmuted these substances, leading to unforeseeable consequences - as was demonstrated by George Saunders.

George was a well-paid bachelor working in the City. As a result, he ate mostly at restaurants and from take-aways, taking full advantage of the diversity. He was unaware, however, that sampling most available cuisine within one week had caused the secretion of a chemical in his urine very similar to nitro-glycerine.

He had called at The Rising Sun for a drink on his way home and there visited the gentleman’s lavatory. The blast demolished the pub and blew-out windows within a half-mile radius.

Also, the solid human waste of the local population now often contained a substance chemically similar to semtex. This was stable when produced, but accumulated at the local sewage treatment works. Nothing unusual was noted until an electrical short-circuit at the works acted as a detonator. The crater was a mile wide.

Emergency ‘New Kosher’ rules were implemented. Ethnic restaurants were segregated to different areas of the country, and ingredients were carefully regulated and monitored. It now became clear how Moses had parted the Red Sea, and the manner in which Joshua had breached the walls of Jerico. TV Cookery programmes were banned, and many acclaimed chefs joined top-secret military projects. Delia Smith’s ‘How to Cook for World War Three’ was quickly withdrawn from sale.

Serious problems confronted the United Nations in enforcing the ‘Ethnic Cuisine Proliferation Treaty’. International intelligence led to interception of weapons-grade paprika and enriched soy sauce en route to rogue states.

These were as nothing, however, compared to the outcome of Russian spice production. Spices from the former Soviet Union sold prodigiously throughout the world, and were hailed as a major factor in the recovery of the Russian economy. The conversion of obsolete plutonium reprocessing plants into spice factories, however, led to traces of weapons-grade plutonium in the products. Eclectic culinary innovation had, over several years, concentrated this to critical levels in some individuals.

We now estimate that each bowel movement equated to around one hundred megatons.

Those few of us who survived here in the Middle Eastern desert must therefore ensure that the rules of ‘New Kosher’ are stressed in our religious writings for future generations, and that their true significance is never forgotten.