Usually discussions about Red Hot Chili Peppers are confined to minivans full of teenagers after a concert. But India's military researchers have changed all that. They are planning to use the "ghost chili" to make tear gas style hand grenades.
Usually discussions about Red Hot Chili Peppers are confined to minivans full of teenagers after a concert.
But India's military researchers have changed all that. They are planning to use the "ghost chili" to make tear gas style hand grenades.
This is no jalapeno you put on your nachos.
The Scoville scale is used to measure how "hot" a pepper is. Jalapenos are pretty hot. They come in with a score of about 8,000 Scoville units. India's ghost chili is rated at 1,000,000 Scoville units.
People actually eat it. I think you can also use it to get rust off an old Buick.
But now it will be used to disarm terrorists.
"This is definitely going to be an effective nontoxic weapon because its pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hideouts," R. B. Srivastava, the director of New Delhi headquarters of the Defense Research and Development Organization said.
Is that really what the war on terror has come to? One big food fight?
Beyond the disturbing mental image of a Hindu version of Bluto and the Delta Tau Chi gang in the Calcutta University cafeteria hurling curry chicken at each other like a bunch of P-I-G pigs while Sam Cooke sings "Wonderful World" in the background, other questions arise.
What other foods could be weaponized to battle Al Qaeda?
Honestly, I once believed my wife was trying to develop a weapon when her chicken and dumplings still contained a healthy dose of unincorporated Bisquick powder.
That last hot dog on the convenience store's rolling metal warmers would do real damage if it was consumed or shot out of a frank-flinger.
But the best weaponization of a food source can be traced back to the Thanksgiving episode of WKRP in Cincinnati. As the fictional radio station planned its holiday promotion, someone came up with the idea of a turkey drop.
So as a helicopter hovered over a shopping center parking lot, turkeys began falling like bird bombs on the cars of unsuspecting would-be prize winners.
Newsman Les Nessman reported the event live.
"They're turkeys!" he shouted. "Oh, they're plunging to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, the humanity! The turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Not since the Hindenburg tragedy has there been anything like this!"
That gave rise to one of the best lines in sitcom history when station manager Mr. Carlson told his despondent employees, "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
Kamikaze turkeys could be a great addition to America's arsenal.
They may not scatter terrorists like a ghost chili grenade, but they would make quite a dent in the enemy's plans.
Kent Bush writes for the Augusta Gazette in Augusta, Kan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.