I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it seems every day we hear about something new that is slowly but surely killing us. Do you know that according to medical experts, microwave popcorn can cause severe respiratory distress, resulting in the possibility of death? When I was a kid we made popcorn on the stove, in a big pie plate covered in aluminum foil. We would shake it vigorously over a stove burner until it expanded into a huge mountain of popcorn. The only dangers we faced, where cracking our teeth on rock hard kernels, or losing an eye, when an exploding piece of popcorn flew out of the bag at the speed of a streaking meteorite. Now, we cook a bag in the microwave, and five minutes later the grim reaper shows up at our front door saying,
“I was just passing by, smelled butter, and figured I’d stop in just in case that darn popcorn kills you.”
Things used to be so much simpler. You had a limited list of things that would kill you, and you did your best to avoid them, or limit their intake. You didn’t smoke, drank alcohol in moderation, smoked weed only at Grateful Dead concerts, or when your mother-in-law was coming for a two-week visit, eliminated salt from your diet, and tried not to forget the date of your wedding anniversary. If you could do those things, you had a good chance of living a fairly long life.
These days, there are so many more things that can kill you. Do you know you can die from second-hand smoke? It’s true. Recent scientific studies have also shown that one billion Chinese factory workers, furiously puffing cigarettes on their five-minute lunch break is killing people on the other side of the world. You may not know this, but soda and snack vending machines can kill you. Since 1978, thirty-seven people have died from incidents involving these devices. Pretty terrible way to go, don’t you think? Imagine some, poor, starving, overworked guy with low blood sugar, who is forced to work through lunch by a demanding boss. Putting his last quarters into a snack machine, and then furiously shaking the darn thing to dislodge the last, stuck bag of Doritos, he is subsequently crushed when the machine topples over. Even worse; big Al from receiving, walks over, reaches down, and dislodges the bag from the hand protruding from under the vending machine.
I do have one bit of good news. Many states are starting to legalize the use of marijuana. I guess they’ve determined it doesn’t destroy brain cells, slow reaction time, damage your lungs, make you act stupid, and probably won’t kill you. Just don’t let that hundred and twenty-pound bale of dried weed you’re unloading into your basement for medicinal, and recreational uses, fall on top of you. I’m pretty sure it can kill you.
I just wish all those scientists with brains so big, they carry their heads around in wheelbarrows, would make up their minds about what will kill us. I went on a diet recently, lost a lot of weight in a short time, and had my doctor tell me to slow down. He said that losing too much weight, too fast, will kill you. I also heard that not eating breakfast will kill you, but if you eat eggs, bacon, and white bread toast for breakfast, it will kill you. Even sleeping can shorten your lifespan. Studies have shown that too much sleep will kill you, but too little sleep will also lead to any early death. And, if you somehow survive sleeping, you may be one of the 450 Americans who die every year from falling out of bed – while sleeping!
How many of you love delicious hamburgers, mouth-watering hot dogs, tender barbequed ribs, or big juicy steaks, cooked to perfection on a grill? Well, you have to be careful. I just learned that the grilling of food can kill you. My first thoughts were possibly expiring in a massive propane explosion, or meeting your maker, as you accidently catch fire, and become a running, human torch, as fellow picnicker’s look on in horror. To my dismay I was told that over-cooking meat on a grill produces chemicals which are harmful to our DNA, may increase the risk of cancer, and thus can kill us.
Here is a partial list of some of the things we do, or encounter every day, which may kill us. They include: exercising too little, or too much, using a cell phone, texting while walking, Tylenol, stress, loneliness, margarine, fast food, potato chips, sitting too much, salt, getting angry, cold cuts, toothpaste, whole milk, microwave ovens, and having your spouse just take out a million-dollar life insurance policy on you. To be fair; that last one may not kill you, but it does increase your chances of having an unfortunate accident, or mistakenly ingesting something you wouldn’t necessary eat or drink, like rat poison, arsenic, or antifreeze.
Here’s one I hadn’t thought about. Your kids can kill you. Studies have shown that the stress incurred while raising a child to adulthood can shorten lifespans. I believe this is absolutely true. What parent hasn’t been up late at night, worrying about the safety and health of their children, or how to pay for new braces, ballet lessons, or for escalating college costs. I really don’t think my kids realize what a burden it is to raise a child. The other night I said to my son.
“Adam, do you know you’re killing me?” He replied, “Yeah, yeah, yeah – whatever. Hey dad; can I borrow the car, and do you have a few bucks to spare? There’s a big party at Jakes house tonight.”
At least some recent studies have shown that some things aren’t as bad for us as previously thought. I can now eat dark chocolate, partake of wine in moderation, drink huge cups of Dunkin Donuts coffee, and load up on sugar, without having waiting ambulances parked in my driveway. I know sugars not the greatest thing to eat, but those artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrups will really kill you.
I do have some good news. Statistics show, I only have a 1 in 500,000 chance of meeting my demise by being hit by a rogue asteroid on a collision course with earth, a 1 in 84,000 chance of being struck by lightning, and a 1 in 250 chance of being shot and killed. If I forget my wife’s birthday or some other important date, those odds drop dramatically to 1 in 125, but that’s still, not too bad. I guess the only thing I’m sure will kill me, is old age. I have a 1 in 1 chance of this. While I’m waiting for it, could you please hand me that Bong. I just got some great weed from California. Just be careful. It’s very heavy. If you drop it on your foot, it may just kill you.