Overture, curtains, lights! Prepare to be mesmerized by Anna Van Valin’s and Lia Ballentine’s portrayals of the moving characters in this highly-lauded short play written by the world’s most creative storytellers — at the FDA. That’s right, in this bonus episode, we’re performing our much anticipated (and requested) dramatic reading of “Carlos’ Tragic and Mysterious Illness: How Carlos Almost Died from Eating Contaminated Raw Oysters.” In our episode, “Aphrodisiacs: Foods That Put us in The Mood,” our Foodlosopher Anna told us all about the FDA’s campaign to warn people about the dangers of eating raw oysters , which included this incredible one-act play/brochure/short story. And if you recall from our episode, “Arsenic & Eggnog: Poisonous Foods with Danny Murphy,” our Chef-Creator Lia filled us in on an annual celebration that happens every third full week of March: National Poison Prevention Week. So, in honor of National Poison Prevention Week and as a final attempt to warn you about/ruin raw oysters, we’re thrilled to bring you our dramatic reading of this remarkable play. Take your seats, everyone. And enjoy the show!
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0:00:04.5 Anna Van Valin: Hello. Hello listeners.
0:00:06.7 Lia Ballentine: Hi listeners.
0:00:07.9 LB: We have something very exciting for you today.
0:00:10.7 AV: Very special.
0:00:11.4 LB: It is very special because you know what, the third full week of March is national poison prevention week. Yay!
0:00:18.5 AV: That's right.
0:00:20.7 LB: We've all been waiting for this week to happen.
0:00:23.8 AV: Did you guys book your trips?
0:00:25.1 LB: Get ready.
0:00:25.9 AV: Did you take the time off?
0:00:28.6 LB: Well, I know we're so excited to talk about national poison prevention week because we actually mentioned this in our very first episode of season three, All About Aphrodisiac Foods. And you're probably wondering... Wait, what was that? Aphrodisiac foods and poison. Well, one of the foods Anna discussed and ruined for me is oysters.
0:00:45.2 AV: Sorry!
0:00:46.7 LB: Thanks, Anna.
0:00:49.5 AV: What happens when poisons meet at the crossroads with aphrodisiacs? You get oysters people. In that episode, I mentioned that I had discovered a really, truly incredible... What did we call it? A brochure/short play, short story...
0:01:06.0 LB: Short play.
0:01:06.4 AV: Like a one-act play.
0:01:07.5 LB: Yeah.
0:01:08.1 AV: Created by the FDA called Carlos' tragic and mysterious illness: How Carlos almost died by eating contaminated raw oysters, and I jokingly said that Lia and I should do like a dramatic reading of this brochure one-act play, short story. But then we were like, why not?
0:01:30.8 LB: We're doing it.
0:01:31.7 AV: We're doing it. We got several messages and DMs being like, when's the dramatic reading happening of the FDA pamphlet, so...
0:01:42.9 LB: Right. I mean, we couldn't just tease it and talk about it and not actually share the beautiful dialog.
0:01:48.3 AV: Oh, man.
0:01:50.0 LB: The setting in this play... So...
0:01:51.1 AV: It's an emotional roller coaster in the lives of Carlos, his wife Rosa, the doctors, his friends.
0:02:00.7 LB: Yeah.
0:02:00.8 AV: It's about tradition, it's about family.
0:02:01.7 LB: And poison.
0:02:01.7 S3: And poison.
0:02:04.4 LB: It's a cautionary tale, and also why you should just listen to women...
0:02:07.5 AV: Yes. There are several very crucial roles I'm gonna reveal to you the dramatis persona.
0:02:14.1 LB: Anna has an MFA remember guys.
0:02:18.0 AV: Yes, that's what I learned, getting my MFA dramatis persona cost $100,000. So we have our hero or anti-hero, Carlos, we have his friend Juan, his wife Rosa, there is Dr. Sanchez, and then there's some narration.
0:02:39.6 LB: Yes.
0:02:39.9 AV: So I'm going to read the role of Carlos and the narrator, and Lia's going to embody Juan, Rosa, and Dr. Sanchez.
0:02:50.4 LB: That's right. I'm gonna try to remember all the things I learned in high school drama club and bring it to the...
0:02:57.8 AV: Should we do the mirror exercise?
0:03:00.5 LB: Oh my god. That was so weird and creepy.
0:03:03.1 AV: I just wanna know what happened that that is the one thing that you learn in every high school drama. It's that and Zip Zap Zop.
0:03:10.7 LB: Yeah, I don't know. Why is that?
0:03:13.4 AV: I don't know, I don't know what the line is between Zip Zap Zop, Shakespeare, Stanislavski and me. But it is eternal. Well, are you ready to do this.
0:03:25.3 LB: I'm so freaking excited.
0:03:26.8 AV: Lia set us up. Give us the title one more time.
0:03:29.5 LB: Okay. "Carlos' tragic and mysterious illness: How Carlos almost died by eating contaminated raw oysters."
0:03:48.1 AV: (as Carlos) I'm looking forward to relaxing this evening. I've been working hard all week.
0:03:53.7 LB: (as Juan) Me too. Let's have some beers.
0:03:54.6 AV: (as Carlos) Okay. Let's go to my house and we can pick up some raw oysters for dinner. We can stop by the local seafood market on the way home.
0:04:06.1 LB: (as Rosa) I don't know why you like raw oysters so much, they don't appeal to me.
0:04:11.0 AV: (as Carlos) Oh, woman. We've grown up eating raw oysters with our fathers and friends, it's our tradition.
0:04:19.8 AV: (as narrator) The next morning, Carlos starts to feel stomach cramps and suffers from diarrhea. He tells his wife about his symptoms. She gives him an over-the-counter medication for an upset stomach.
0:04:31.8 AV: (as Carlos) Rosa, I'm starting to feel very warm and my muscles are aching. What could be wrong with me?
0:04:39.0 LB: (as Rosa) You have a high fever. We better take you to the hospital.
0:04:42.7 AV: (as narrator) Rosa tells a nurse about Carlos a symptoms, Carlos feels worse. And the nurse calls the doctor.
0:04:52.8 LB: (as Dr. Sanchez) "Carlos, I reviewed the results from your blood test and I found a bacteria in your blood. Have you eaten raw oysters recently?"
0:05:04.3 AV: (as Carlos) Yes, I ate some raw oysters two nights ago.
0:05:06.0 LB: (as Dr. Sanchez) Well, Carlos, let me tell you about the dangers of eating raw oysters contaminated with Vibrio vulnificus. Vibrio bacteria live in the water where some oysters come from. You cannot tell from sight or smell if an oyster is contaminated. If you're healthy and eat contaminated oysters, your body can fight off the bacteria, but if you are a person who has a weak immune system, you can die. Carlos, because you're so sick, I'd like to run some more tests to see if you have any other health conditions you don't know about.
0:05:41.8 AV: (as narrator) A few hours later.
0:05:45.2 LB: (as Dr. Sanchez) Carlos, our tests have found that you have liver disease. It's not uncommon for your liver to be weakened long before you experience any symptoms. Your liver is making your body's immune system week and making it difficult for you to fight the effects of the bacteria from the oysters you ate. People with underlying health conditions should never eat raw oysters. I'll need to give you antibiotics to fight the bacteria.
0:06:09.6 AV: (as narrator) The next day, Carlos' condition gradually improves.
0:06:12.1 LB: (as Dr. Sanchez) Carlos is very lucky. Many people die from eating raw oysters contaminated with this bacteria. From now on, if Carlos really wants to eat oysters, they should be cooked, never raw.
0:06:26.6 AV: (as narrator) After a few more days in the hospital, Carlos is well enough to go home with his family.
0:06:33.4 AV: (as Carlos) Rosa, I feel so lucky that my life was saved, I will never eat raw oysters again, and I'll share what happened to me with all my friends. People should know that if you have an illness and eat raw oysters, that you are putting your life at risk.
0:06:50.0 LB: (as Rosa) Yes. I'm going to tell all of my friends about this so they can be watchful and try to get the guys to eat their oysters cooked.
0:06:58.7 AV: (as narrator) Family and friends gather to celebrate Carlos return to health.
0:07:03.8 AV: (as Carlos) Friends, I know we have all grown up enjoying raw oysters, but you need to be aware of the risks. I ate raw oysters and almost died because of bacteria in the oysters, combined with the fact that I did not know that I had liver disease. I invite you to join me in eating some wonderfully cooked oysters that Rosa has prepared. I'm sure you'll enjoy them just the same.
0:07:31.6 LB: (as Rosa) We've tried some of these new recipes and Carlos loves them.
0:07:34.8 AV: (as Carlos) See? We can continue our tradition and enjoy each other's company along with it. To cooked oysters and better health.
0:07:45.9 AV: (as narrator) If you or someone you know experience any of the following symptoms when eating raw oysters, immediately go to the nearest emergency room, waste no time, it could be fatal, make sure to tell the nurses and the doctors on staff that you have been eating raw oysters and let them know of any other medical conditions that you may have, symptoms include diarrhea, high fever, skin rash, nausea, vomiting.
0:08:06.4 AV: The end.
0:08:06.5 LB: The end.
0:08:10.8 AV: That was from the FDA, all rights reserved. There's also some really, really moving, haunting images that go along with this. There's some sort of pencil sketches of the action that we will share with you on the Instagram at food day bod.
0:08:25.8 LB: Lot of beautiful illustrations.
0:08:28.2 AV: Beautiful. It really takes you there and then you can judge if our voices matched the images of the characters that you had in your head.
0:08:35.0 LB: Yeah, I mean... From what I've seen, Anna totally got Carlos, like spot on.
0:08:40.1 AV: It's my calling, Lia, to be an actor and tell stories. Tell stories to the world.
0:08:47.2 LB: Well, I'm glad we could tell this story, and I hope everyone enjoyed...
0:08:51.2 AV: I hope you all enjoyed it. Be sure to subscribe and get all of our episodes, go back and listen to the poisons episode, if you haven't heard it or listen to it again. Lia's telling the tale of Poison Prevention Awareness Week, it's absolutely delightful. If you actually wanna know more about oysters than what we just told you, you can listen to our aphrodisiacs episode. Thanks for listening guys. Be sure to follow us on social media. And we will see you soon.
0:09:15.5 LB: See you next time.
0:09:16.3 AV: Don't eat oysters.