I’ve found out how I will die | Column | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | August 19, 2017 5:00 pm
Last Updated: August 16, 2017 at 12:27 pm
God bless the Internet. Everything you never wanted to know is at your fingertips.
Just last week I stumbled upon www.healthandlovepage.com, and found out how I will die. Everything in my house is going to kill me.
Here’s an excerpt from the deadly list, by folks who churn out copy for three cents per word. (Don’t look at me: I’m neither a chemist nor a doctor.)
• Tartar control toothpaste contains FDC Blue #1 and saccharin, both believed to be carcinogenic. I suspect you’d have to eat 47,623 tubes before lunch to feel any ill effects, but you’ve been warned.
• Flea collars. Really? We don’t know this? Don’t let the baby gnaw on one—or better yet, give Foofy a monthly flea-control pill and you’re done.
• Ajax Cleanser: One ingredient, crystalline silica, has been listed as carcinogenic for more than 20 years. My advice: Use vinegar and baking soda. It won’t clean squat, but you can feel good about it.
• Whole milk: That tall glass contains everything from antibiotics to excess estrogen, plus a “neurotoxic carcinogenic reproductive toxin,” which doesn’t sound friendly at all.
• Alberto VO5 Conditioner. Includes formaldehyde and red dye # 4, both associated with cancer. I’ve used this stuff off and on for 40 years, so I’ll probably be patient zero.
• Talcum powder: It’s been linked to ovarian cancer and lung irritation. Know what works just as well? Cornstarch. Plain old cheap cornstarch.
• Ortho Weed Killer: Raise your hand if you didn’t know WEED KILLER IS POISON. Use common sense: Wear a mask and gloves, or do what we do and let the weeds win.
• Hair dye contains propylene glycol and quartenium 15, two ingredients that can cause a rash. You know what gives me a rash? Shellfish. Don’t drink your hair dye, folks.
• Hot dogs: You’re eating “feminizing and carcinogenic hormones,” antibiotics and DDT. Also nitrites, which are linked to cancer. I haven’t eaten a hot dog in 25 years, so you’re on your own here.
Once upon a time I thought chemicals would kill my 70-year-old mom. One Saturday, I pulled up to the house and almost ran her over. She seemed fine, except for lying flat on her face in the front yard. And gasping for air.
I approached gingerly, in case she was in a bad mood.
“Hard day, Mom?” I asked.
“No, no, I’m fine,” she wheezed. “Guuuuurrgghh!”
She was perilously close to a fire ant mound, so I seized her shirt collar and one arm and sort of log-rolled her towards the house.
“No!” she gasped, so we changed directions and rolled towards the road.
“What happened, Mom?” I asked.
She feebly waved her arm. “Just got a little winded…. cleaning.”
“I can smell the Clorox out here,” I said. “Did you spill some?”
She coughed. “Stupid…. not paying attention…. I mixed Comet and Clorox.”
I almost swooned beside her. All my life she had lectured me on the dangers of mixing ammonia and bleach, and now she’d basically gassed herself.
“I wanted the house to be clean for the reception,” she muttered, referring to my brother’s wedding that weekend.
“Clean? It’s sterile. You could operate in there,” I said.
I opened all the doors and windows and turned on every fan in the house. She stayed propped up under the dogwood, wouldn’t let me call 9-1-1, and felt fine after an hour.
We hired a maid service for Mom soon afterwards. I’m not saying that was her end-goal — but she never saw another bottle of Clorox.
(Julie R. Smith, who wears gloves and a mask to dust, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)