Early spuds were toxic
Potatoes were developed in South America and were unknown in Europe before colonisation. In fact, when they did get the humble spud, the Europeans weren't keen on eating them and had to be tricked into trying potatoes. Going back further, we learn that the potatoes of the Andes in 8000 BCE were actually toxic. "These early potatoes came in a variety of shapes and sizes and had a bitter taste that no amount of cooking could get rid of. They were also slightly poisonous. To combat this toxicity, wild relatives of the llama would lick clay before eating them. The toxins in the potatoes would stick to the clay particles, allowing the animals to consume them safely. People in the Andes noticed this and started dunking their potatoes in a mixture of clay and water — not the most appetising gravy, perhaps, but an ingenious solution to their potato problem. Even today, when selective breeding has made most potato varieties safe to eat, some poisonous varieties can still be bought in Andean markets, where they're sold alongside digestion-aiding clay dust."
The downside of being a grown up
• Planning dinner every damn night.
• You wish you were as fat as the first time you thought you were fat.
• When something goes wrong or something unexpected happens, there's no one else to deal with it. Plugged toilet? You gotta clear it. Car outta gas? You gotta fill it. Run out of clean undies? You gotta do laundry. From small things to massive things, there's no one to make it go away but you.
• You no longer go to Christmas or have Christmas, you MAKE and PAY for all of Christmas. Sucks the joy out of it, really.
• When all the cliches that used to cause outrage start making sense and meaning something, but you can't explain it to younger people because they haven't lived that life experience yet.
• You can do whatever you want, but most of the time you either have commitments that prevent it or you can't afford it.
• Cleaning up spew is awful.
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Parking like a God ...
Warwick Jones writes: "Took my grandsons to Devonport on Saturday. Had to wear a mask on the ferry and train. But not elsewhere. At Windsor Reserve at one point I saw my black mask on the grass. Must have come out of pocket. When I got home I found two identical masks in my pockets. Oh dear. Whose mask did I wear on the return trip?"