Thursday, June 18, 2009

Have a Safe Summer -- Hide Until Autumn

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!


  1. You forgot to mention shark attacks. Those fuckers are everywhere - the ocean, rivers, trees - and they're hungry as hell.

  2. Discovery channel has ruined the ocean for me.

  3. It only took one horror story (which a friend likes to tell me REPEATEDLY) to have me terrified of mosquitoes. And with all this torrential rain we've been getting for the past week, I'm sure they'll set up a dissemination station right in my backyard.

    Too bad we'll all die inside from The Plague that we picked up at Target.

  4. I hear mithral is extremely breathable, yet sturdy enough to ward off TwoBusy's meddlesome sharks . . .

    As Gandalf says, "Mithril! All folk desired it. It could be beaten like copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make of it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel. Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty of mithril did not tarnish or grow dim."

    It is doesn't chafe! Go with mithral . . .

  5. Damn! I wonder if it'll help my TYPE better . . .

  6. Another example of the oprahification of this country, where the tiniest issues are blown out of proportion by the media and the likes of windbags on TV, to scare us into believing that every little ailment or predator is waiting around the corner to lurk and prey on our innocent selfs.

    The only way to avoid anything is to embrace xenophobia and lock ourselves inside, listen to our respective blowhards and come to believe that everyone else is wrong and we are right.

    Chaos now, anarchy now. Seems like the way we are going, but hey maybe it is just me.

  7. After reading the other comments, I forgot what I was going to say.....

  8. After reading the other comments, I'm not sure this is even my blog any more. Keep 'em coming!

  9. Uncool, west Nile is not so bad as long as you are not elderly, prone to super swelling and death and it actually gives you life-long immunity once you have it! Lyme is bad enough, but now you get to worry about the old Scofieldtown dump and stuff other than sharks in the water (Okay, not in Stamford, cause we close them if there is a problem, but maybe not in Darien). And then there is lightening, you forgot all about lightening, how could you?. The number one cause of freak deaths under trees! And i thought you were really warning us....

  10. And I forgot all about bats as well, darn! Little rabies carriers!

  11. Sun is evil. Very evil. I'm on the track every day and I can feel the sun piercing my skin through my hat and shirt.

    Mosquitoes are evil. They are the devil. They serve no purpose other than providing dragonflies with food. Kill them.

  12. I'm staying in bed until school recommences. Sing "See you in September" by the Happenings.....

  13. What a hoot you are are! Just too funny! Wow, it's amazing that I have survived 62 summers in blissful ignorance of the dangers that are out there - I must be incredibly lucky, except for the lottery! And I'll stay away from the media - they and them have doomed us all. (Don't watch TV when you're in the basement!)

  14. I may be wrong about this, because I don't think they (the real big theys, by the way) have released findings yet, but I tend to think whiny kids are also another huge summertime hazard. Worse than sharks. Just barely.

    We're like in a Slip and Slide death gang now. We totally need a secret handshake.

  15. See, my husband said I was adventurous enough... now I'm going to show him this blog post and let him realize how I am cheating DEATH everyday of my SUMMER FILLED, and where I live Fall and Spring filled, life!!!

    You may just have saved my marriage! Okay I kid...

    But hopefully this will create a BAD A reputation for me in my husbands eyes! :)

  16. and I just told my kids the hot tub at the public pool was akin to skin stew...I was right, see?

  17. I'm going to ignore all that you said and continue to revel in an unhealthy level of fear over swine flu.

  18. Suddenly my adventuresome afternoon with horses seems horrifying. If all this can go wrong with such simple things imagine the harm that could come from a real animal...

    Happy almost Father's Day to you :)

  19. This post is awesome. I like to change the things up that I'm neurotically afraid of, just to keep it spicy.

  20. summer? It's my deep breath before the battle....

  21. Yep. Thanks for giving me even MORE reasons to hate Summer in the South. Now let me go try to explain all this to my kids. ;-)

  22. I might spontaneously combust if the sun ever comes out around here I am so pasty white, also for me the biggest summer hazard are the death swarms of tourists, like terrorists only they speak english...or something like it, oh and MIL's they try to to kill me everysummer.


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