Every few years I read something that convinces me I am about to die.
Like how the front page of the New York Times' Science section is always nonchalantly announcing that a meteor is probably going to collide with earth in ten years—it’s not even the lead story, it’s a helpless little sigh below the fold that basically says, Hey Justin Bieber, I hope you don’t mind if your testicles never distend because GUESS WHAT? They’re never going to. Deep Impact was a documentary, son!
Or how CNN reminds me daily that I will probably get shot any second, if not by a gang member or Osama bin Laden then probably by some pissed-off girl with chronic hiccups.
Or how women’s magazines are constantly finding some new food that causes cancer, usually something delicious like Twinkies or hot dogs, and devote entire articles to making me aware that every second I am not washing down a tray of kale chips with fermented yeast tea I am essentially injecting moonshine directly into my ovaries.
Food I can deal with, though -- I mean, it’s easy enough to avoid Cheez Whiz (unless, obviously, there is a special on happy hour nachos). But what if what’s giving you cancer is something you have to use every single day? Like deodorant... or your phone?
I was reading Women's Health yesterday, flipping past recipes I'll never use (Greek yogurt is many things--hell, it's thick enough that you could probably use it to spackle your living room--but it is not a substitute for oil in brownies) when I happened upon a frightening article informing me that by using my cell phone as a bedside alarm clock I am microwaving both Jeff's and my brains as we sleep. "ALWAYS KEEP YOUR CELL PHONE AT LEAST SIX INCHES FROM YOUR BODY!!!" the author warned as I felt the vibrations signaling a new text message course through my hip bone. I know there's some truth to these warnings, but I don't know how frightened to be. Are smartphones the cigarettes of the 21st century? Will we someday laugh and tell our kids, "Oh, honey, I was texting constantly when I was pregnant with you, and you turned out just fine."
Or will this scare pass like the meteor that never quite manages to make an honest woman out of the Science Times?