It Won’t Happen to Me

It won’t happen to me.  So thought an American tourist in Africa, foolish enough to leave her window down while visiting and photographing lions.

In direct violation of two of the park’s rules, she 1) left her window down and 2) fed one of the animals.  And, she left her tour guide at risk, as he tried to stop her from feeding said animal.

If there’s a remote possibility that it will happen, you should put protective measures in place or expect it will happen.  Rules (and strong suggestions) are in place to protect you because of either a suspicion that something bad could happen, or it has happened in the past.  So, it’s strongly suggested that to avoid getting pregnant one should wear a condom or abstain.  It’s strongly suggested that to avoid getting burned by coffee, one should exercise caution while pouring or drinking it.  I can’t believe all of the safety labels and warnings that are on things in the modern age.

when i was a kid you didnt have to say dont try this at home because we werent complete morons back then When I Was a Kid, You Didnt Have to Say Dont Try This at Home!, Because We Werent Complete Morons Back Then.
(I found the image here: http://www.political-humor.org/when-i-was-a-kid-you-didnt-have-to-say-dont-try-this-at-home-because-we-werent-complete-morons-back-then.shtml)

We’re reminded not to play with fire.  But then, I pick up the newspaper after every July 4 and read about the “Hey, Y’all, Watch this” yokel burning or blowing off his or his friends hand or other body part with fireworks and a complete lack of common sense.  Or someone burning his house down with a cigarette, at least until they invented chemical treated (here comes cancer) papers that extinguish themselves if left unattended.  Oh, and we’re strongly urged not to smoke because of the cancer risk.  Not like we don’t know the risks are there, it’s just irresistible; we have to do whatever it is.

They tried to warn me about eating.  It causes bad things.  Not my parents or grandparents, but in the modern age, with all of the chemically treated crap, we have lots of kids with disabilities, more than ever before, who can’t cope with their ADD unless they get their medication, who suffer from other syndromes, and no one is taking responsibility for them yet.  My parents and grandparents ate eggs and real butter and bacon and burgers and steaks and fried chicken cooked in lard they stored by the stove, unrefrigerated.  My grandparents smoked like chimneys and since it was before the era of treating the tobacco and paper with toxins and other extra chemicals, died of old age well into their 80s and early 90s.

But they warn me about cholesterol and try to hide the bacon and eggs from you, and introduce new oils that cause you to get sick, all in an effort to keep you from getting sick.  They tried to warn me about diabetes, and introduced chemicals my family is allergic to as substitutes for sugar, but I don’t like sugar in my coffee or tea, thank God.  Where are the reasonably priced maple syrups?  Gone in favor of cheap high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners, and the price of real maple syrup and sugar-based soft drinks has skyrocketed because of a limited supply.  And what we are eating doesn’t satisfy because it isn’t “real,” and isn’t healthy, because it isn’t “real.”  So we eat more because we’re not satisfied, and grow increasingly unhealthy.

So which warnings should you heed and which ones can you ignore?

I don’t know what you’ll choose.  But I’ve got a set I’ll pay attention to.  For a few examples:  I’m not going to start with cream or sugar in my coffee, since I don’t need it to appreciate the taste.  But I’m also not going to start smoking.  Disease from unprotected sex?  I’m faithful to one woman, my wife, and I mean to stay that way.  No plans to jump out of an airplane anytime soon.  I drive so cautiously it makes people mad, while I’m getting mad they’re not cautious to the point of them being rude and selfish against me.  I actually look both ways crossing the railroad tracks, and I stop if the traffic is backed up to where advancing would mean I have to stop on them, and wait until I can get across.   I don’t play with fireworks.  I don’t like those.  When I see my weight creeping up, and my stress symptoms like asthma and blood pressure getting worse, I try to move more and sit less.  Which is now.  I really try to eat things that are real and limit the processed foods, even though they are more expensive, which pisses me off.

I’d just look at your habits and inclinations to see what warnings you are ignoring. There may be a sound reason why that warning is in place.  Because anytime you think “it won’t happen to me,” it might.

Good luck.  It’s a dangerous world out there.  And please, don’t feed (yourself to) the lions, or the sharks, or whatever animal you fancy seeing close up.  If it’s hard enough for a tour guide to just keep a guest safe, it’s even harder for the tour guide to get a good tip if his/her guest is eaten.

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