Tryptophan in the Turkey: A whodunit

The place:  A large home in an undisclosed location.

The time: around 7pm on the fourth Thursday in November.

The story:

The guests, clad in their holiday finest are crowded around in merriment – glasses clinking, voices laughing, music playing. The host surveys his large dining table and notices that one chair is empty. Nevertheless, he raises another glass of wine and offers his toast, “Today, I give thanks to all of you, my dear friends and family, who bring happiness to my life.”  And with that, he signals the maid (who has been toiling all day over this Thanksgiving meal), to serve the food. The guests “ooh” and “aaahh” as the centerpiece, a large golden-brown turkey, is placed in front of their eyes. Adorned with roasted parsnips and carrots and accompanied by various delectable dishes – such as hearty wild rice stuffing,  creamy mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts bathed in butter – the turkey does not go to waste.

The guests fill their stomachs and begin to slouch slightly in their seats.  “Where is dear Doctor Higgins? He always arrives late, but this is quite unusual,” one young woman said with her eyes appearing quite heavy. “No matter,” she says. “We must dance and continue our festivities.” And with that, her heavy head suddenly drops, her brown curls arranged like a fan on the table. The maid rushes in breathlessly, hearing the sound of the water glass crashing to the floor, and stops in shock at the sight. The gentleman to the young woman’s left also becomes unconscious. In a matter of seconds, the whole table falls into a deep coma. The maid screams in fright, then promptly falls to the floor with quite a loud thud.

            At that moment, the main door opens and a blustery wind forces itself in, along with the long-awaited Dr. Higgins. “I do apologize,” he mutters, as he pushes his brimmed hat off of his face, completely unaware that the room is silent but for the music playing in the background. When he finally looks up, he drops his worn, black doctor’s bag as he witnesses the strange sight.  “Oh, dear!” He said. “There appears to have been some foul play! But who is responsible here?”

What do you think is the answer?

A. The wine

B. The mashed potatoes

C. The turkey

D. The maid

E. The butler that was never mentioned

F. The doctor (gasp!)

G. A, B, and C

H. Not enough information to determine

(to be continued….)

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