A team of Kentucky scientists today announced they have isolated a previously unknown organic compound, isolated from the anaerobically fermented run-off of corn mash. As a common name, they are calling it "whiskey," from "where is my key?"
It was produced by treating the corn by-product as if to make vinegar, but not allowing contact with the atmosphere and our friend the fruit fly as is normally done to inoculate the mixture.
They have discovered that when ingested in small quantities (typically 10 - 25 ml), it produces a mild euphoria for thirty to ninety minutes, wearing off slowly over that time. Slightly larger amounts result in mild disorientation ("tipsyness," in the scientist's jargon) and lapses in judgement - which often lead to further ingestion, at which point their notes cease to be consistently legible.
The F.B.I.'s department of Drugs, Dynamite and Tobacco (D.D.T.) has issued a preliminary ruling declaring the new substance to be a class III controlled substance until further investigation is completed, making it available only to "legitimate" scientists - and, of course, government officials.
The corn mash was treated in much the same way we make vinegar (a very useful industrial chemical and condiment), except the fruit flies usually used to inoculate the batch were excluded. Apparently some other biological or chemical process then occurred, producing this dangerous new substance, albeit in a fairly low concentration of approximately 3 to 5 percent by volume.
Then special distillation techniques were utilized to isolate this lighter-than-water compound, which, since it is water soluble, could be added to almost any beverage in order to mildly disorient or even poison an unsuspecting victim.
"What is really scary," said one of the lead scientists, "is how simple this stuff is to make. Any innocent amateur making grape or malt vinegar could accidentally end up with a batch of this instead." He also said this could result in "the illegibility of his (or her) entire family upon consumption."
Full analysis of the compound still awaits, but for now it is being tentatively referred to as "anaerobic acetic acid," or "AAA." Some argue that since it has no discernable acidic qualities, this should simply be shortened to "AA."
(Note: Certain rival Scottish scientists complained that they had earlier discovered a similar process and result, but due to further engagement in the results of higher dosage experiments, had been repeatedly delayed in getting their notes into the post.)
© Huw Powell