Tag Archives: poison

1683. Seventieth birthday toast

“Well,” said Ferdinand, “a toast to my dear wife on her seventieth birthday. She has always faithfully stood by my side. When I went into politics nearly forty years ago she bore the brunt of raising a large family on her own. Such were the calls of politics.”

“We were indeed saved by the fabulous commission we received when she published her first collection of poetry. Normally poetry books don’t sell particularly well, but in this case I was able to buy a largish property in Mount Hollydell and a yacht.”

“These days we are both retired and lead quiet and peaceful lives. To be honest, I can’t remember when we last argued. Rowena has always been compliant, considerate, and the epitome of what a spouse should be.”

“A toast therefore to Rowena on her seventieth birthday.”

Ferdinand raised his glass, finishing off in one glug half of the glass’s contents.

“Yuk!” said Ferdinand. “This wine tastes awful.”

Rowena smiled coyly. This, over the years, was her sixteenth and final attempt.

1667. The worst of rats

The thing that irked Iris wasn’t so much Harvey’s little eccentricities, but the fact that the poison hadn’t worked. They had been married for thirty-two years and for the last twenty-seven Harvey had driven Iris nuts. He’d squeeze the toothpaste tube, for example, at the top. It should be squeezed at the bottom. That way the paste would work its way up to the top. If you squeezed it at the top all you’re doing is driving half of the toothpaste downwards.

Then there was the way he’d spin the teapot before pouring. He’d turn the teapot three times to the left, then three times to the right, then once to the left; to aid the tea drawing process. Iris had been brought up the proper way, and she turned the teapot first to the right, then to the left, then to the right. Harvey was not going to compromise. He was stuck in the mud. He was what Iris called “a social embarrassment”.

Iris didn’t know how many times she told him, on a daily basis, when putting things into the dishwasher he should RINSE THEM FIRST. The dishes should be rinsed first; that’s what the instruction booklet said. RINSE THE DISHES FIRST. But no! In they went; straight into the dishwasher.

These were just a few of the things that riled Iris every day, all day, for twenty-seven out of the thirty-two years of wedded bliss. The solution to the problem lay in rat poison. If ever there was a rat, it was Harvey. Iris no longer cared about the consequences. Iris loved the irony of the possibility: rat poison for a rat. She put it in his food, in his coffee, even in the snuff he grotesquely sniffed about four times a day before sneezing loudly into a snuff-stained handkerchief.

It was all for nothing. Harvey seemed to have developed an immunity to rat poison. The worst rats sometimes do that.

Things came to an end when Iris, not Harvey, took ill and died. It was a slow, drawn out, painful death, in which she convulsed and writhed on the bedroom floor for a good half hour while Harvey meticulously filled the dishwasher in the kitchen, and poured himself a single cup of tea.

1648. Spray

Norman was a very tidy man. The lawn and garden around his house was a picture. He would spray quite a lot under the trees and under the fence railing. Always with Roundup.

“Nothing beats Roundup,” Norm would say. “The weeds see me coming with my back spray pack and they start running.”

That’s why he would spray very often, like once a week. Every Wednesday. It worked. As was said, his lawn and garden was a picture.

Anyway although at first he thought he was getting the flu he’s recently been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. That means that these days his wife, Pearl, has to do the spraying.

1592. How best to murder a spouse

To poison someone by putting poison in their lemon curd or lacing a black currant pie with arsenic is highly uncreative. It’s very run-of-the-mill. Likewise to get a gun and shoot someone point blank is crass. Such gross behaviour is equally uncreative. Let it be made clear: to murder someone by shooting them with a pistol is the height of boring unsophistication. Only a yob would do something so dull and unrefined. Martin Werherall believed that if he was going to kill someone it was best to do it creatively. After all, he was a pharmacist and had all sorts of resources at his fingertips.

As a teenager Martin had developed wonderful, dexterous skills. His parents had sworn black and blue that no child of theirs should put sugar in their tea or coffee. Sugar was the scourge of the contemporary diet. One simply did not need to add sugar to a beverage. Drinking sweetened things was a matter of sugar addiction. But Martin knew a magician who taught him, with practice, how to conceal a sugar cube in the back of his hand and the palm of his hand and goodness knows where else. Then with a modest wave Martin could drop the sugar cube into his mug and his parents were none the wiser.

Now that he was all grown up with his own pharmacy and married and struggling to find happiness he decided to rid himself of all matrimonial encumbrances. The easiest way was to combine his pharmaceutical and magician abilities and drop a pill into his wife’s cup. It should be made clear, in the interests of creativity, that this pill was not a pill of poison; it was a pill that was intended to prolong life and happiness in the pill-taker. Martin frequently dispensed such pills to patients in this pharmacy. But it was for sick people. Healthy people would possibly discover that their heart would begin racing irregularly and they would drop dead, basically from too much health! Such was the brilliance of Martin’s plan.

One day, with a wave of the hand, he surreptitiously dropped a pill into his wife’s cup of Camomile and Spiced Apple Tea infusion. That should finish her off.

“I know what you’re trying to do,” said his wife of seven years, pulling out a pistol concealed in her breast. She shot Martin dead.

God! No wonder Martin wanted to be rid of her. That woman was so crass.

1548. Peanut butter jar

(The closing sentence for this story was suggested by Yvonne of Hello World. If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future closing sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

Marica Peeperkoorn’s lover was an industrial chemist. He had most things her husband didn’t. Marica and her lover shared a common problem: how to get rid of Marica’s husband. The love-struck chemist came up with a syringe of poisonous concoctions.

“Somehow get your husband to swallow this stuff. He will die slowly and in agony, but he will die. And the perfect thing is, the stuff can never be detected.”

Marica knew exactly what she would do with it. She would mix it with the peanut butter. Her husband was the only one in the house who ate peanut butter. He loved it. Marica detested it.

Have you ever tried mixing peanut butter with poisonous fluid? The poison runs to the top and sticks out a mile. Marica had to go to a lot of trouble to mix the two properly. Even when she stirred both together the consistency wasn’t right. It was too runny. She ended up heating the mixture so that things evaporated a little. Next she put it in the blender. Then she returned everything to the peanut butter jar and placed it in the cupboard. What a lot of work! All she need do now was wait.

Just before her husband was due home from work, Marica got a phone call. Tragically her lover had had a heart attack. He had not survived. Marica didn’t know what to do. All her future security had disappeared in one medical event. She took the peanut butter jar and emptied its contents into the waste bin. Then she washed the jar and placed it back in the cupboard. Her husband was now safe and earning a salary and Marica’s short-term security at least was secured.

When Marica’s husband came home he had one thing to say: “I’ve been trying to say this for a long time so I’ll just tell it like it is. I want a divorce.”

Marica could’ve killed him. The problem was, the peanut butter jar was empty.

1540: Things go better with Coke

(Today’s opening sentence has been contributed by Maddie, for which I am grateful).

The problem was Gertrude didn’t know which glass contained the arsenic. She had filled each glass with Coca-Cola (because it contained less added sugar than most natural fruit drinks on sale) but had carelessly not noted which was the one with the poison. In fact, she had noted which glass contained the arsenic, but while pouring the Coca-Cola she had moved each glass to be closer and more convenient while pouring from the large plastic bottle.

To be honest, Gertrude was more than a little odd; some might describe her as a few nuts short of a fruit cake. She had thirteen cats, six foster children, no husband (not ever), and a goldfish. In fact, Gertrude used to have seven foster children, but one of them had died – of arsenic poisoning exactly twelve months ago.

And yes! Today was Gertrude’s birthday, and she liked to celebrate it in a specific way. She would fill glasses with Coca-Cola, one containing arsenic, and give one to each child. She would muddle up the glasses while pouring. That way, the child poisoned would come as a surprise. A birthday surprise! Last year it was Ferdinand. This year it could be… oh! How exciting!

“Children!” called Gertrude kindly, “come and get your refreshing drink of Coca-Cola!” The six children swarmed into the room. She had made little pastry nibbles filled with cream to go with the celebration drinks. Gertrude took one of the little pastries and nibbled on it. It was after all HER birthday.

Suddenly, a piece of pastry stuck in Gertrude’s throat. She had trouble breathing. “Water! Water!” she gasped. Bruno offered his glass for her to knock back.

1512: Two blocks of cheese

For almost two years Eileen Harrison had poisoned the cheese in her refrigerator. She herself only occasionally ate cheese but her husband, Archie, adored it: Edam, mild and creamy with 28% less fat. Archie would eat no other. He always had a big hunk of it at lunch time between two slices of bread.

It was almost a conjugal duty for Eileen to make sure there was fresh cheese (and a block to spare) in the refrigerator. It was part of the reason she was attempting to poison her husband – apart from the fact she had a secret lover who was excessively rich and she pined for that long-promised vacation in Bali. Archie was obsessed with everything, not just cheese. It was driving Eileen nuts. And yet, no matter how much poison she injected into the block of cheese, it had not the slightest effect on Archie.

Archie’s obsessive, meticulous behaviour was the reason the poison had failed to work; it was the reason why Eileen’s dalliance with her lover had failed thus far to produce a trip to a Balinese resort. The two smallish blocks of cheese sat in the refrigerator on top of one another. Archie figured that Eileen would place the more recent purchased cheese on top; but she didn’t put it on top, she always put it on the bottom because the top one was the poisoned bit. But Archie would take the bottom block because that was the oldest. He was neurotic about that. That is why the top block was sodden with poison and the bottom block was mild and creamy with 28% less fat and fresh and delightful.

So the poisoned cheese sat on the top untouched for almost two years; untouched that is until the lover paid a visit one lunch time.