Wednesday, June 29, 2016

An expert lists summer dangers you should avoid

As an expert in outdoor summer dangers, and a recognized fellow of the Overlooked Outdoor Perils Society (OOPS), I offer you this free list of things to avoid this summer:

10. Snails. These innocuous-looking slime-trailers seem harmless enough, but every summer they cause a significant number of people to meet their doom. In summer people go barefoot, maybe to grab the morning paper, and accidentally crush a snail under their heels. Every human's hard-wired "ick" factor causes many to recoil backwards, lose their balance, and impale themselves on a yard gnome. Slippers, people. Slippers.

9. Beach cottages. The depressive funk which sets in once you realize that the cottage in paradise you have rented is not where you will get to live the rest of your life is enough to cause 9 out of 10 visitors to end themselves. Nine out of ten. Look it up.

8. Beach cottages (haunted.) This is self-explanatory.

7. Beach cottage cheese. Even with an insulated cooler and those hard blue plastic frozen thingys, you cannot keep it from going bad and killing you. Here's something that won't, though: going curdless for a week. Yes, I know, it's perfect chilled on summer salads. But, much like going on a blind date to a Captain & Tennille tribute band concert, it's just not worth it.

6. Bicycles built for two
. Deathtraps! Funded and built by large corporate mortuaries. Avoid.

5. Bikini waxing / manscaping. If you strip away your body's natural defenses, it's like ringing a dinner bell for nature. "Here, microbes!" you might as well scream. "Here's a million hitherto-protected pores laid out for lunch!" Ewww is right. Have you made out your will?

4. Tying flies. Tying those delicate, feathery fake flies onto your fishing line takes dexterity and total focus for long periods, as you sit creekside, during which time, hey look over your shoulder, a bear! No, don't bother. Gotta get that fly just right. And CHOMP.

3. Sunblock. Here's a subtle tipoff about the chemical stew of ingredients in sunblock: they are able to BLOCK THE SUN. You don't need that absorbed through your skin into your liver. If I know you, your liver's plenty busy already.

2. Sharks. They live in water. You CAN avoid water, can't you?

1. Politics. There is nothing more toxic than the summer before an election. Save your life. Turn off your TV until Thanksgiving. And, seriously, wear some slippers.