I’m currently sat in the British Library sifting my way though various tomes concerned with adverse drug reactions, and have come across the following interesting poem about causation by W.R. Espy, buried within a discussion about detection of adverse events:
A mouse of my acquaintance in seven days was fed
Twice twenty thousand swordfish, and now that mouse is dead.
The mercury in swordfish is an enemy to dread.
He ate twice twenty thousand, and that mouse is dead.
His sister gnawed through pizzas (I’m told one million four).
There’s talk of botulism, and that sister is no more.
Their brother downed ten thousand turkeys lined with pesticide.
It took a week to kill him, but that poor mouse died.
So stay away from hormones, and from salmonella too,
Be impolite to cyclamates, and DDT eschew,
For additives and chemicals can kill you just like that,
Though (confidentially) those mice were done in by the cat.