Put down your carrots, I surrender!

Vegetables can protect you — and not just from diseases. They often protect me from noisy children. IfCarrot missile my kids are disturbing me while I'm trying to write, I just grab some brocolli or spinach from the fridge and they're off running.

A 66-year-old Welsh woman named Patricia Scott recently protected herself with carrots. She used them to scare off Kevin Humphrey Jones, 24, who had tried to rob Scott's store.

Prosecutor Tom Morgan Jones said Jones, of no fixed address, went into the shop at the village of Talwrn, last February, wearing a hooded top. He demanded cash from the till.

At first Miss Scott thought he was a local youth playing a joke and told him not to be silly. “The defendant said ‘you are not taking this seriously’,” explained Mr Morgan Jones.

“At that stage he produced a short-bladed knife and pushed that at arms’ length to within about a foot of her face. She was terrified and her heart pounded.”

Miss Scott handed over £40 in £5 notes but Jones wanted more.

However, the brave shopkeeper pelted him with carrots, a roll of Sellotape, and receipt book. [Link]

The receipt book and sellotape were relatively harmless, but the carrots … well, they're pointy. Don't be surprised if you see these words on the next bag of carrots you buy: "Warning: Carrots can cause serious bodily harm. Please handle with care. Do not throw at innocent people and do not insert in any orifice, except the mouth."

And don't be surprised if you see a bumper sticker that says: "Carrots don't kill people. People kill people."

Jones fled, threatening to get a gun.

He made off at speed in a car driven by a woman but it was followed the short distance to Llangefni by a man who noted the registration.

Defence lawyer Robin Boag said Jones had been involved with drugs since the age of 13. “This case demonstrates the dreadful effects drugs have on lives,” he said. [Link]

Yes, it shows the dreadful effects of drugs, but it also shows the positive effects of vegetables. So on behalf of farmers everywhere, let me say this: Even if you don't like to eat vegetables, make sure you buy them. You never know when you might need them.

Photo by Allert Aalders

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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