Salmonella in tomatoes?! What horror! Give this episode a listen and let us know what you think!
When I heard about tomatoes being linked to a series of salmonella outbreaks across the nation, I simply couldn’t believe my luck. Not because my favorite restaurants had pulled tomatoes from the menu, and certainly not because people were falling ill, but because, under these circumstances, a Malex Minute episode practically writes itself!*
Despite how it sounds, we did in fact script real, grammatically correct lines for the horrifying manifestation of disease which stars in this episode. You won’t find those lines in the transcript because they’re not particularly relevant to the story. And because wondering is always funnier. Also, I happen to enjoy tormenting people incrementally. (After another few decades of this you’ll all be begging me for mercy, just you wait…)
There’s been talk of me making another trek to the SIGGRAPH conference this year. This time, however, I would likely be bringing Peter with me. The main fascination for me should be the academic value of the conference and the possibility of making connections with industry professionals. Instead, I seem to be primarily fascinated by the prospect of spending a week in a new time zone.
Yes, I’m actually looking forward to the experience of jet lag. You’ll get over it.
“Then it was done. The valve had been turned, and it could never be unturned. Imagining the consequences turned out to be too much for him, and he wept quietly as the world slowly spun down the drain and out of sight.”
* - A lie. Peter wrote the initial draft of this episode, so it only seemed like it wrote itself from my ignorant and childish perspective.
Malex: Hey everybody and welcome to Malex Minute 119! I’m Malex and I’ll be hosting the show for today.
Linus: It’s going to be a terrible day today. I just know it.
Malex: Well of course it will if you’re already complaining about it! Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Linus: No, this time I have a reason.
Linus: Today is Friday the thirteenth!
Malex: Oh Linus, don’t be superstitious.
Linus: Hey, if you’re allowed to believe in prophecies, I’m allowed to believe in superstitions!
Malex: Prophecy– No, the prophecy was your– … (Sighs.)
Linus: I win.
Malex: So anyway, I heard in the news they’ve been finding salmonella in tomatoes.
Snufflefungus: Isn’t that a kind of fishie? What would a fishie want inside a tomato?
Linus: No Snuffy, that’s only the uncooked kind of fishie.
Malex: Salmonella is a bacterial disease.
Snufflefungus: Oh. So, we had a bacterial disease for dinner at the fish place last week?
Malex: No, that was salmon.
Snufflefungus: Right, the bacterial disease!
Malex: No, salmon is a fish, salmonella is a disease. Hear the difference?
Snufflefungus: So, salmonella isn’t the name for a girl fishie?
Malex: No, female salmon are just called salmon.
Linus: But there are correlations between females and parasitic, potentially fatal bacterial infections! Ask Malex, he knows all about it!
Malex: … Are you a lunatic?
Linus: Wouldn’t you like to know!
Malex: Back to the subject at hand, salmonella in tomatoes…
Linus: All the experts agree that Ohioville is particularly vulnerable to this issue!
Snufflefungus: I’m not so sure I wanna eat any more tomatoes.
Malex: Oh it’ll be okay Snufflefungus, the problem will go away eventually. Then you’ll be able to eat tomatoes again.
Linus: I’ll go look for a cage with steel bars to put the tomatoes in that we have now, so that we’ll be safe from salmonella.
Snufflefungus: (Frightened.) What will happen if we don’t put the tomatoes in a cage?
Malex: Nothing. We would have to eat the tomatoes to get sick from them. They aren’t going to do any harm by themselves with nobody around.
Linus: Just look at them. Aren’t they nice-looking tomatoes? Plump and juicy… But they’re sick tomatoes.
Snufflefungus: (Yelp of surprise.) Malex, one of the tomatoes started talking!
Linus: Oh my.
Malex: What is it saying?
Snufflefungus: I can’t understand it!
Linus: The– The illness is manifesting itself in a horrible parody of human speech! (Slightly losing his cool.) It’s … so unnatural!
Malex: Okay, nobody touch it! I’ll get… a bag, or something.
Linus: Maybe you’d better hurry up with that, Malex!
Snufflefungus: I’m scared.
Malex: Okay, here we go.
Snufflefungus: Easy now, easy…
Malex: Got it!
Tomato: (Muffled.) (Nonsense.)
Linus: (Panicked.) Quick, get rid of it!
~~ Malex runs outside.
Snufflefungus: There he goes!
Linus: I wonder what he’s planning to do with it?
~~ Outside with Malex.
Malex: Say, you there!
Man: Who, me?
Malex: Yes sir.
Man: What is it?
Malex: Would you take this bag from me for five dollars?
Man: What for?
Malex: So it won’t be in my possession anymore.
Man: What’ll I do with it?
Malex: Well that’s entirely up to you, isn’t it?
Man: Well, alright…
Malex: Thank you. Here is your five dollars. Goodbye!
Man: Great. Now I have a bag I’m too afraid to open. Again. I’ve gotta start thinking these things through.
Producer and Director: Alex Markley
Writers: Peter Markley and Alex Markley
Voices: Markley Brothers
Post-processing director: Gabriel Markley
Illustration: Peter Markley
Release manager: Peter Markley
Recording assistance: Leela
Thanks to everyone for their help and support.