Wired.com runs an occasional series titled The Most Dangerous Thing In The Office, so I decided to do something along the same lines. The Kitchen is a dangerous spot at the best of times. The potential for bodily harm lurks everywhere. Cooking naked might have dire consequences on your ability to have children should the knife slip. And we have all felt the sting of hot oil being grumpy. But sharp knives and boiling oil have nothing on the Mandolin. This is something right out of the Inquisition.

When my wife asked me if I would like one for Christmas, I said yes, but could not figure out why she wanted to buy me a musical instrument , I love music but what would I do with one of these?

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I had misunderstood, the name is the same, but the evil one has an E at the end, Mandoline. Christmas day arrived, and none of the presents under the tree looked like musical insruments, I breathed a sigh of relief. I had skillfully avoided learning to play any instrument for five decades and was not about to start learning.

Honey, this is for you, my wife said, and handed me a package. In it was a Mandoline!

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Without doubt this is the scariest piece of kitchen equipment ever designed. One false move and your next trip will be the hospital (remember to bring the bits with you, they may be able to stitch them back on).

It looks so harmless, but even getting it out of the box is a potential health hazard. The one I have comes with half a dozen seriously dangerous cutting blades designed for different applications. I have only used one so far, the fear factor of bodily damage in the changing of the blades is too great for me to even contemplate.

Even the thick plastic bag that whole device lives in gives you pause for thought. It comes with the warning The plastic bag is not a toy and should be kept away from children. It is mocking me! It is not the bag that is dangerous, its the lethal weapon inside!

To prevent accidental exposure to the WMD I keep it on top of the refrigerator, boxed and away from the casual visitor. But I know it is there. It is laughing at me every time I walk into the kitchen. One glance at the box and it sings to me. It always sings the same song,

One day I’m going to getcha, getcha, getcha!

Hollywood has Chucky, I have the Mandoline. This is by far and away the scariest kitchen tool in the known world. The whole problem with the Taliban could be resolved by air dropping a bunch of Mandolines into their stongholds. Iran’s nuclear ambitions could also be curbed by Mandoline. The possibilities for world peace through the culinary arts is endless.

Simon Barrett

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