Dangerous Things People Should Probably Avoid
My husband is a smart guy. He knows a lot about a lot of things. I would consider him to be one of those people who is both life smart AND book smart AND good at fixing washing machines. (Ours keeps breaking and breaking and breaking – I’m about to go all “I’m sending a really snarky email to Bosch” any day now.) Yes, I’m lucky to have him, otherwise I’d probably be dead, or in the very least, dressed in extremely stinky clothing.
Admittedly, I’m not as “I know useful things” smart as Dr. Know-It-All. I’m more like “Cosmo magazine” smart, which means I can tell you which celebrity couples have the best sex – I’d say Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel – stuff like that. I’m also pretty good at starting up conversation with complete strangers in line at the grocery store. Sadly, neither of these things really helps a person when it comes to actually “surviving”. Ask me to make my way from New York City to Miami (by car – I could do it by plane) on my own, or last a day in the Sahara, and I’d be doomed.
Speaking of knowing how to survive, there is this fish that my husband says is so small, it can swim up your urethra and suck all the blood out of your body, or something crazy like that.
I imagine myself out frolicking in the Amazon River – cooling off because it’s bloody hot in that area of the world – when out of nowhere, some little bugger would flutter his way into my body, and then eat me alive from the inside out. It could happen. My question: how would a person even know it was there? Like if the fish is that small, how would I feel it? I wouldn’t. At some point later in the day, when I started to seize and blood started pouring out of my eyeballs, I might clue in that something was wrong. By then, it would be too late.
My point is, it would be nice to know some things, like it would be nice if someone made a handbook for people like me – those of us who don’t spend all of their time reading encyclopedias on the internet for fun, like my husband. Nothing like that exists, so I made one, or a partial one. Yes, I had to look things up, but I feel much safer already.
1. Quicksand. Watch for it if you go for a walk in the forest, though once you see it, chances are, your foot will be stuck, and you will slowly get sucked into the earth. Breathing underground isn’t very fun. It’s kind of impossible.
2. Flavoured yogurt. This stuff has WAY too much sugar, you just don’t know it. Danone doesn’t tell you this kind of information. You think you’re getting healthy and the next minute, you’re a diabetic and your feet are rotting off.
3. Hidden cliffs. Sometimes, they just come out of nowhere, especially when you are traveling in the Scottish countryside.
4. Smoking. Yup, bad for you – really bad – but who knew? They sell cigarettes like they sell candy – in stores. Anybody can slap on a mustache and look nineteen.
5. Drinking too much water. Proof that too much of anything is bad. But water? Seriously. What if I’m REALLY thirsty?
6. Potassium cyanide. It looks like sugar. Don’t get the two mixed up though, unless you are into asphyxiation.
7. Clostridium botulinum. It is the genome – or something – of the world’s deadliest toxin. Less than 2kg of this stuff (or part of this stuff or something having to do with this stuff) could kill every person on the planet. All I know – it’s found in soil. Yeah, have a good day. (Note: this information may or may not be accurate. Hey, I’m not a freakin’ biologist.)
8. Western water hemlock. It looks like an innocent little flowering plant, but if you eat it, you basically turn into a zombie – you can’t walk properly and you froth at the mouth – and then you die. My thought: if you get lost in the forest and you are starving to death, drink your own pee or eat a grasshopper. It’s much safer.
9. The song “Cherry Pie” by Warrant from the album of the same awesome name. I know, it seems innocuous enough, but listening to it for any longer than thirty seconds can cause irreversible brain damage. And the video? Don’t even get me started on that.
10. Swimming in the Amazon. You may not think so – it seems as if it would be safe enough, like going on the ride “Toy Story Mania” at Disneyland – but it CAN cause problems. Can you say piranhas?
Enough with the sarcasm, you say to yourself. Who in their right mind would swim in the Amazon? Well, I know of a few people – my parents, for two. Actually, after what happened to my mother, I would rather fork myself in the foot than splash about in that South American liquid death trap.
Here’s the story…
Since they retired, my parents have been traveling the world. They’ve been everywhere – Europe, Africa, India, New Brunswick, etc. etc. They even went on a trip that took them four hours by boat through the rainforest where they stayed in a hut filled with spiders and other deadly animals for two weeks. No doubt, my parents are adventurous. Even though I look exactly like my mother, I have a sneaky feeling I could be adopted.
While they were there, they did lots of sightseeing – mostly looking at animals, exploring the jungle, talking with the locals. And what kind of trip would it be without a swim in the Amazon River? It wasn’t scary, they said. Just sort of murky, like alligators could be in there. “Fun” as my dad put it. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. No one got ravenously dismembered. It was a once in a lifetime experience, and they took it.
Unfortunately, soon thereafter, my mother developed an itchy and oozing rash all over her body. When she got back to Canada, she went to the doctor. He didn’t know what it was, so he sent her to the Centre for Infectious Diseases. As impressive as that sounds, they didn’t know what it was either. Nobody really knew, but in the end, someone came up with the diagnosis “chiggers”.
Unlike regular chiggers that supposedly last a few weeks, these chiggers lasted a whopping six months. These were super strong Amazon River chiggers. Chiggers from hell. Chiggers of the new millennium. Not sure my mother would swim in the Amazon River again.
But hey, you don’t have to travel deep into the South American rainforest to get chiggers. You can get them in Africa, Asia, North America, and quite possibly in the bushes outside of McDonald’s – almost anywhere really.
Also, did you know that hot yoga can kill you? Yes, it can. And some guy died from watching too much television – the only activity I figured was guaranteed safe. He saw that episode of Honey Boo Boo where Mama June and Sugar Bear got married, and his brain imploded.
Moral: Live your life, and if a fish swims up your pee hole and eats you alive, then so be it. It was meant to happen. A person can’t know everything.
Swimming The Amazon: 3,274 Miles On The World’s Deadliest River Very interesting read!
Travel In Tropical Forests: A Micro Guide For Beginners I like the author’s suggestion of getting sex when you can – that you shouldn’t be lazy. You should just go for it. Good advice, I’d say LOL.