At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Apparently I have been smoking rat poison. No, I am nowhere near squeaking my last, but I am just a little disconcerted.

If I were a rat, I would be suffering internal bleeding by now. And probably croaking "take the boat, Cletus, I fear I cannot go with you".
Or something like that.

The substance in question stimulates macrophages to degrade extracellular albumen, which permits quicker resorption of edematous fluids. It is toxic to liver and kidneys, though only moderately so.

Unless you are a rat.

"Stay away from the flake, Ruby, they've spiked it!"
The way rats metabolize it, it causes internal haemorrhage. The little buggers bleed to death inside.

"Alas, my multitudinous furry grandchildren, I will never see them gnawing through electrical wires again! Woe!"


Coumarin is often found in tobacco products and artificial vanilla substitutes, despite having been banned as a food additive in numerous countries since the mid-20th century. Coumarin was banned as a food additive in the United States in 1978. OSHA considers this compound to be only a lung-specific carcinogen, and "not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans". Coumarin was banned as an adulterant in cigarettes by tobacco companies in 1997, but due to the lack of reporting requirements to the US Department of Health and Human Services it was still being used as a flavoring additive in pipe tobacco. [WIKIPEDIA]

Man, this stuff tastes good! I can thoroughly understand why rats smoke it, it's ultra fine!
I am ... slightly dizzy.

"Although coumarin has no anticoagulant activity, it is transformed to the natural anticoagulant dicoumarol by a number of species of fungi. This proceeds through production of 4-hydroxycoumarin, then further (in the presence of naturally occurring formaldehyde) into the actual anticoagulant dicoumarol, a fermentation product and mycotoxin."


Coumarin is an extractive from the Tonka Bean used as a flavouring. It is what gives Samuel Gawith's 1792 Flake its famous and peculiar perfume.
The tobacco itself is also very fine. This a very old-fashioned product with considerable charm.

This is what the tree and the beans look like:

Tonka Beans are discussed in terms easily understood by food mavens on this webpage:

It is reminiscent of vanilla, freshly mown hay, rootbeer, and perhaps also cinnamon, bitter almond, and cloves. An old fashioned fragrance, not particularly sweet.

1792 Flake renders down to a soft and fine ash, and can be smoked without fear of tongue bite. Because of the relatively high nicotine content the smoker may be woozy afterwards, and if too much is smoked the effects can be quite like a wallop to the head. So sit down.
I highly recommend it - but you may have difficulty finding it in the United States since tobacco was placed under the authority of the Food and Drug Administration.

You should probably just smuggle it in - got any relatives going overseas?


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