Neighbor kids, ergot, and zombies.

My better half was clearing plates from the kitchen table as I was cooking something.

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Hey, I thought our kids like zucchini bread.

Dr. Free-Ride: They do. That piece was [the kid across the street's] -- always gladly accepts a snack, never has more than a few bites.

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Huh.

Dr. Free-Ride: I think that's why when our kids are over there, there are so many snacks. If you have a kid who only eats a little at a time, you have to feed continuously.

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Why don't our kids eat like birds?

Dr. Free-Ride: I'm going to guess that genetics have something to do with it. But their metabolic reserves will carry them through when zombies have disrupted Trader Joe's supply chain.

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Yeah, with zombies the selection pressures change. Eat or be eaten.

Dr. Free-Ride: I'll share my soybeans with you when the time comes.

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Mmmmmm.

Dr. Free-Ride: I have a feeling you're going to want to research food safety measures so you can eat zombies safely. We'll get a second Weber grill for you, so you won't zombie-up my veggie grill.

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: GRAAAAAAAINS!

Dr. Free-Ride: Har!

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: We could replant the lawn with wheat.

Dr. Free-Ride: Or rye. Although then we'd have to worry about ergot.

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: I'd just as soon pass on that. I bet it was pretty terrifying to have whole villages go crazy with the ergot. I can't remember, was that "St. Cuthbert's dance"?

Dr. Free-Ride: What do you want to bet that it looks a lot like that dance Beavis and Butt-head would do in front of their TV?

We took a few moments to dance like Beavis and Butt-head in the kitchen

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Hey, this week at school is Red Ribbon Week.

Dr. Free-Ride: As usual, just in time for Hallowe'en. I hope this year they look at the caffeine content in chocolate bars.

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: I'm guessing not.

Dr. Free-Ride: Sugar as a mind-altering chemical?

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Mmmmmm, no.

Dr. Free-Ride: Hey, this week is also National Chemistry Week.

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: No way!

Dr. Free-Ride: I wonder if the Red Ribbon Week people knew that was going to happen.

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Maybe they'll talk about zombie cucumber -- not a big recreational drug, but dangerous.

Dr. Free-Ride: What really worries me is that we're talking about ergot outbreaks and zombie cucumber less than a month before a general election.

Dr. Free-Ride's better half: Now that's spooky!

More like this

At school, the Free-Ride offspring have been celebrating Red Ribbon Week. For the lower grades, this mostly amounts to wearing sunglasses or crazy socks or whatever that day's Red Ribbon "theme" calls for. But there is also a wee bit of discussion in the classroom about drugs. The Free-Ride…
On the eve of the elder Free-Ride offspring's birthday, we ate at a restaurant where the kids' entrees were served with Dino Tots. Hilarity ensued. Elder offspring: Please pass the ketchup. I'm going to make a tar-pit on my plate. Younger offspring: The stegosaurus is really yummy. Elder…
Last night as we sat down to eat, a spider scuttled out from under Dr. Free-Ride's better half's napkin. Younger offspring: Spider! Where'd it go? Where'd it go? Dr. Free-Ride: I think it's hiding under that serving plate. Younger offspring: I don't want a spider in our food! Elder offspring: The…
Elder offspring: [Dr. Free-Ride's better half] said we're going to do some experiments this weekend. Dr. Free-Ride: Oh really? Do you know what the experiments will be, or are you going to make them up as you go? Younger offspring: One of them will be making milk curdle. Elder offspring: With…

BH: That would be St. Vitus' Dance, a condition caused by ingesting ergot infested grains. As a matter of fact, the active ingredient in ergot is chemically similar to LSD25, which was developed as part of a study of ergot and its effects on the brain.

Ergot causes zombification?