Summer's almost here and we all know what that means: Long, warm sunny days spent hiding in the basement curled up in a fetal position.
You may chuckle, my semi-health conscious reader and please do. For the moment, medical science still endorses laughter as good for you. That is until a researcher chokes on his morning bagel while guffawing at his colleague's latest joke about the two microbes, the rabbi and the pole dancer. Then it'll all be Dr. Oz pushing "Be Dour and Sour and Live Forever!" -- next on Oprah!
Anyway, my personal experience and a few minutes on Google have convinced me that the scenario I first outlined is the safest way to survive summer. After all, this season was once known as the time to venture forth into The Great Outdoors, a venue the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now commonly refers to as Place Where Certain Death Lurks.
The Big Daddy of summertime killers, obviously, is the sun. For years, "they" (and they know who "they" are) have beaten into our beach-fried hides that sun exposure causes cancer and we should avoid it, especially when the ultraviolet death rays are strongest between 7:28 a.m. to 6:57 p.m. If we had to be outside, they advised, lather in sunscreen.
Of course, they never mention that many common sunscreens are filled with what some suspect are potentially deadly, DNA-altering chemicals. In addition, sunscreen is an excellent lubricant that vastly reduces belly to Slip 'n Slide friction, which in recent years has caused an unprecedented number of deaths by human projectile in backyards worldwide.
The alternative to sunscreen, of course, is wearing an oversize floppy hat, sunglasses and a full suit of plate mail. This works quite well, but in extreme heat it can lead to dehydration, exhaustion and some wicked chaffing down under. Nonetheless, it keeps the bugs away.
Bugs (insecticus ickyus) are frickin' everywhere outside. Scorpions, spiders and hedge fund managers -- oh, my! However, it's often the smallest ones that are the most deadly.
First, you got your mosquitoes. In the old days, they spread malaria, yellow fever and encephalitis, which sounds similar to another disease that makes a man's underlings swell to the size of small dogs but it's actually a fancy way of saying "disease that swells your brain" … which, for some of us guys, is one and the same.
In response, some very clever chemists developed a pesticide called DDT and doused everything in sight with it. This killed all the mosquitoes, which made DDT very bored just hanging around in our ground water with nothing to do, so it started killing songbirds and cute fluffy animals instead.
This surprising development caused them (note "they" and "them" are bowling buddies, so watch out) to stop using DDT. The mosquitoes then came back -- pretty peeved -- and brought with them something called West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus is akin to an Egyptian version of Montezuma's Revenge except it skips the digestive tract and instead just rips apart the rest of your innards. However, depending on your current health, this may be less harmful than Lyme disease, which is carried by deer ticks that actually live on mice not deer, which makes one wonder why they aren't called "mouse ticks." I suspect Disney.
Lyme disease can give you some serious joint pain, making it impossible to actually squeeze a lime into your malaria-preventing gin and tonic (grain of truth alert -- you can look it up), thus causing you to be what is known in medicine as "screwed six ways to Sunday."
But you know what might cure all these ailments? Vitamin D. Vitamin D has everyone all abuzz and not just because of the rampant mosquitoes swarming about their heads. All sorts of recent studies suggest (but never prove) an association (but never a direct link) between having a deficiency of vitamin D and pretty much any nasty condition you can think of: Alzheimer's disease, bacterial vaginosis, 73 flavors of cancer, bad cases of the Mondays, etc.
Whoo-hoo! So let's get some extra vitamin D!
Since vitamin D does not occur naturally in most foods, the best, most natural and organic source of it is … exposure to the sun.
Well, back to the basement until October.
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This post, which is 98.7 percent fact-free, was brought to you by Aetheria Relaxation Spa, the best place to be massaged, facialed and touchy-feelied in New Canaan, Conn., and possibly the universe. If you're in that area, you should check them out in person (tell Beth I sent you); if you're not, you can get tips on relaxing, eating right and how not to harm yourself at any time on its Aetherial Living blog. Cheers!
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