After days of radioactive scares in London, an embarrassed John Reid, the home secretary, admitted today, "Bad sushi killed Mr. Litvinenko. We should have seen the obvious. Man eats sushi...man dies. But he was a former KGB agent, so investigators concocted bizarre assassination plots."
Red-faced officials from Scotland Yard, MI5, and MI6 squirmed behind John Reid as he praised the restaurant inspectors from the London Board of Health for solving the mysterious death of Alexander Litvinenko, a famous Russian spy.
For days the James Bond-types scrambled abroad to Moscow, Rome, Vienna, Vladivostok, and Magnitogorsk on the theory that an assassin used radioactive polonium 210 to poison Mr. Litvinenko as he ate at a sushi bar in London.
In contrast, Reggie Cornwall, Piccadilly restaurant inspector, revealed, "Them top-secret blokes kept me and me bosses from inspecting the raw fish what he ate. Wouldn't even let us step in the sushi bar. The men-in-moonsuits scraped and vacuumed up every bit of raw fish, every morsel of sashimi. Flying Squad motorcycles raced off every 10 minutes taking fishy evidence to every toxicological, pharmacological, microbiological, bacteriological, and radiological lab in her Majesty's kingdom. But not a piece of spit for yours truly...the restaurant inspector from the London Board of Health."
After several days of hearing one cockamamie spy-vs-spy theory after another, the London Board of Health got fed up and launched its own James Bond operation. While inspecting the cafeteria at the government's vast Toxicological and Radiological Laboratory in Piccadilly, Reggie Cornwall declared a food health emergency. He ordered everyone to leave the building immediately and run to the emergency room at Central London hospital. Reggie then found the lab with the Litvinenko evidence and took a bit of sushi back to the Reginald Farquahr at the food-testing lab of London Board of Health.
Reginald Farquahr, chief cook and bottle washer and toxicologist, analyzed the sushi and determined it was from a blowfish, the source of the world's most deadly neurotoxin. The blowfish (a.k.a. puffer fish) produces a toxin 10,000 more deadly than polonium 210. Reginald also solved the mystery of the radioactivity in various London locations. The blowfish as well as less lethal fish served at London sushi bars were harvested from Pacific Ocean areas where British, American, and French had conducted nuclear tests over 50 years ago. Radioactive contamination in the seawater led to radioactive contamination of the fish.
Solving the culinary mystery, unfortunately, has led to more pain. Mario Scaramella, the Italian professor who ate with Litvinenko at the sushi bar, now blames himself for the tragic event. Mario sobs, "What were we thinking...a Russian and an Italian...we know good food...mange, mange...we would not eat in a sushi bar. We went in for a drink...let's see what sake tastes like...nice...another sake...another sake, please...then...sayonara. I am a professor. I should have known better."