It is one of the great unsolved mysteries of 2019: Just what in the hell caused at least 38 people to fall violently ill virtually simultaneously at a ritzy pre-game function at the MCG on ANZAC Day? Though we still don’t have any definitive answers, an exhaustive, three-month investigation has turned up a likely culprit: The relish. The damned relish!
In case you missed it, back on ANZAC Day this year a curious malady swept across a $725-a-plate President’s Club function held within the exclusive facilities of the Melbourne Cricket Club prior to the traditional AFL clash between Essendon and Collingwood.
That incident saw as many as 38 of the 600-odd people in attendance quite sensationally fall ill virtually at the same time, in scenes that can only be described as “absolute.” Collingwood president Eddie McGuire described people “dropping like flies” during the pre-game national anthem and ANZAC ceremony.
“It was an amazing situation because people were literally, during the speeches, dropping like flies around us.”
“In fact at one point you could see people in the minute of silence trying to stand up and then when it got to the national anthem people were going down left, right and centre, so we were wondering what was going on.”
At first the finger was pointed at a rabbit and chicken terrine that was served as an entree. However it quickly became apparent that other people successfully ate the terrine without falling ill. And thus a larger investigation was launched into what exactly poisoned these wealthy buffoons.
Three months later, we have a vague answer.
While a Department of Health and Human Services investigation into the incident failed to identify a definitive culprit, it stated that the “most likely” culprit was a relish that was served with the terrine.
That relish, for those of you playing at home, consisted of quince, fig jam, and barberries, which sounds like the kind of rich person shit that is only edible if prepared one way, and wildly toxic if prepared ten thousand other ways.
The official statement, issued Victorian Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton, reads thusly:
“After three months of investigation, which included extensive testing of implicated foods and ingredients, there were no definitive results as to the specific cause of illness.”
“The evidence gathered during the investigation, however, revealed that the most likely source of illness was the relish which was served with the entree of rabbit, chicken and pork terrine.”
Three months of investigating and it was the bloody relish all along? That’s the kind of twist Hollywood could never dream of.Image: Getty Images / Michael Dodge