A Slight Tummy Ache At Worst

I like taking things with a stupid premise and making them self-destruct by taking them seriously. I also like to make overly long facebook posts that I’m now resolving to actually publish in some form rather than letting them get buried in comments. Okay, so…Bowl of skittles. Poisoned skittles represent the dangerous ISIS fighters posing as refugees, safe skittles represent the good refugees. Let’s look at the metaphor.

So considering the average skittle weighs 1.062 grams, popular poisons such as arsenic and cyanide actually cannot be fatal in single-skittle form. You’d have to go to high-grade poisons like mercury or ricin in order to conceal them in a single skittle, and these are difficult to obtain or safely manufacture as many dead or arrested would-be terrorists can attest. ISIS does not have the resources, knowledge, or manpower to use ricin, batrachotoxin, or any of the others so they’d have to go by the good ol’ standard of cyanide. Unfortunately for them, fortunately for us, cyanide is a liquid at room temperature, so you can’t just coat pure cyanide in candy and call it a skittle. Cyanide smells like almonds, a strange scent for skittles, and tastes highly acrid, like eating ants. Skittles would help disguise the acridity a little, but not too much. I’d be willing to bet that even a cursory examination of a tainted skittle would detect more than .1 gram of cyanide, and I’m being generous here.

So to kill the average person it would take 13 tainted skittles. I’ll round that down to 10, because I’m being generous.

There are over 13.5 million Syrian refugees. Most of them are displaced internally, but over 4.8 million are seeking asylum in other countries. It’s believed ISIS has 31,500 fighters in Syria right now. If every single one of them were to leave and join the refugees…well, obviously there wouldn’t be as much of a humanitarian crisis anymore, but let’s say…5% of their total force decided to leave and join the humanitarian crisis as sleeper agents. That’d be only 1,600 total ISIS fighters posing as refugees in western nations.

Going back to the metaphor, this means you would need 300,000 skittles to have the 10 tainted skittles needed to make a lethal dose, and for the comparison to be “fair.” Now, there is no world record for skittles eaten, but the record for marshmallow peeps is only 200 at once. Pure sugar is harder to eat in that quantity due to the fact the body starts rejecting it without fats or other carbs (IE, you puke), so I’m gonna do some math here and equate that 200 peeps to about 11,000 skittles. So a world record holder at eating pure sugar could theoretically only eat just over 10,000 skittles — the contents of approximately 54 single serving bags of skittles — without vomiting. The odds of him eating enough skittles to kill him are less than 1/30, and less than fatal in this case is probably indistinguishable from the stomach ache he’s going to have anyway.

Now, given the intense vetting process that the actual refugees go through (John Oliver gives an excellent breakdown of it step by step), this would be akin to eating a single skittle at a time and letting it carefully dissolve in your mouth. If it seems slightly off, you’re going to spit that skittle out, right? So by saying even a .1 gram per tainted skittle, I’m being very generous. By saying 5% of ISIS is just going to pack up bags and join the refugees rather than, you know, focus on their actual stated objective, I’m being even more generous. By having a competitive eater gorge himself into a pythonic torpor and still have only a 1/30 chance of dying instead of merely wishing he were dead from eating so many goddamn skittles, I’m being utterly ridiculous in my generosity to the premise.

And let us not forget, this premise is treating people — human beings — like a consumable food product rather than individuals with hopes for a better future that they may not get because of people like Donald Trump Jr, who would treat them like the very people who took their old lives away. And they’d do so with a dumbass metaphor that was literally cribbed from the Nazi playbook and falls apart like a skittle held in your mouth too long when looked at logically.

Do you really think America is so weak as to get more than a slight metaphorical tummy ache from taking in refugees?