Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Give Me Bluetooth or Give Me Death

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?


  1. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger... or leaves us walking with a permanent limp!

  2. Seriously Una, meteors creep me out.

    This was a morbid piece to swallow before my coffee.


    Okay let me get on my cell phone now, order a pizza, smoke a cigarette, and eat some Cheese Whiz, just in case.

  3. The line about texting while pregnant cracked me up.

    If twinkies cause cancer, then I don't want to live anymore.

  4. Meteors freak me out too. I seriously lie awake at night thinking about them sometimes. Why doesn't it make the front page?!

  5. The other day on facebook, one of my friends posted a news story about the top ten most dangerous ingredients in food. They listed gluten, which is in like EVERYTHING. Also, aspartame, which, I am sorry, but I'm not giving up. The fact that I have a toddler who relies on me not to poison him just compounds the fear and guilt.

    HOWEVER, I am not going to stop feeding my family bread and pasta, because that would be too hard. Giving up your cell phone is too hard too. Sometimes you've just gotta ignore scary stuff and just live your life hoping that cellphone cancer is a quick death.

  6. These days, everything will eventually kill you. Unless you're going to move to a remote mountain top, grow your own food, fertilized with the poop from your sheep, which coincidentally, you keep to shear and weave the wool into yarn to knit your own clothes. Ocassionally though you'd have to kill the sheep and use the fat to make candles and stuff, and I just don't think I could do that. And you're only communication with the outside world would be the letters you write, with juice from berries or something, on the sheets of papyrus you pounded from the reeds which ... you got out of the contaminated river water because hell, there's nothing you can do about the rest of the world contaminating your freaking water. Crap. There goes that dream. Guess I'll just sit her and eat my cheeseburger, fries and cherry coke, sitting mere inches from the blinking box of DEATH, which is giving my a brain tumor as I type...

  7. When in doubt, or faced with scientific articles about the end of the world, I blame the Republicans.

    This may seem illogical, but wherever there is mass hysteria, there is a Republican involved.

  8. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Al Gore and Micheal Moore are Republican?!

    Sorry...couldnt resist

  9. that explains the lump... oh wait nevermind just lint in my pocket

    you can't worry about these things too much, it'll make you paranoid, everything gives you cancer these days, hell you can get cancer for no reason

  10. Don't worry, the economy will probably collapse irreversibly before we're able to let cell phones screw us up too badly.

  11. "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."

    Nicely said.


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