WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the wake of Michael Richards' infamous "N-word" incident, the United States Food and Drug Administration has issued a new warning: salty crackers may be hazardous to your health.
The advisory notes that this warning is an expansion of the FDA's long-standing caution regarding salty foods and hypertension. "Exposure to chemical salt has long been known to raise blood pressure. Recent events have led the FDA to extend this advisory to language-borne as well as food-borne salt."
"We have long realized that salty crackers were dangerous; we just never realized that salty crackers were dangerous to themselves as well as others," said the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition research scientist Bernard Fechler
This advisory is unusual in that generally FDA warnings are targeted at consumers, while this one is aimed at producers as well. "While exposure to salty language is a known hazard -- the civil lawsuit of the 'N-word' hecklers is clear evidence of that -- it is now clear that Michael Richards' blood pressure rose considerably during and after the "N-word" incident," said Heritage Foundation legal analyst Marian Spangler.
Figurative saltiness, such as the language used by some comedians, may be even more dangerous than previously thought, says Fechler. Ordinarily harmless, sodium chloride -- a compound made itself of two deadly elements -- can kill when taken in sufficient quantities by susceptible individuals, Fechler noted.
Despite their common element of danger, Fechler clearly distinguishes between chemical and linguistic salts.
"In contrast to sodium chloride," said Dr. Fechler, "with linguistic salt, harmless components create a deadly compound. Certain innocent letters, when put together in the wrong sequence, can produce career killing words which themselves can set loose lethal vitriols and toxic gasses."
"At this point," said Heritage's Spangler, "no one has been killed during this 'N-word' incident, but fatalities involving salty language are estimated to be 38% of all homicides and 53% of all road-rage deaths in the United States. And while Michael Richards' anti-hypertensive medication may extend his physical life, his career is already dead as doornail."
Copyright 2006 Douglas Salguod