JN145: Multivitamins and other scary things

October 16, 2011

Every Halloween Jameelah tries to drag me to do something scary. Last year, it was a haunted maze, where actors dressed as serial killers ran at us with chainsaws while strobe lights flashed in the background. It was really frightening—that we paid $25 each and waited for an hour in line. “You’re no fun,” she complained. “Don’t you ever like being scared once in a while?”

Like being scared? Why would anyone like that? Has society reached a point where we must manufacture fear in order to entertain ourselves? I say, if you’re not scared about what’s out there, then you’re not paying attention:

Office mugs: One in five of them contain fecal bacteria and/or E. Coli. That’s right, fecal bacteria! Apparently, about 60% of men and 40% of women don’t wash their hands after using the toilet. Luckily, most of the germs are probably scalded to death by hot coffee. Still, fecal bacteria!

Desks and keyboards: Computer keyboards have over 60 times more bacteria than most toilets, while desks contain 400 times more bacteria than toilets. Your desk has 21,000 germs per square inch. A toilet, about 49.

Multivitamins: Some studies say they’re good for your health. Others say they may shorten your lifespan. If you don’t take them, you may lack nutrients you need. But if you take them, you might get cancer. However, chances are very low that they’ll harm you. But they could kill you.

Ball-point pens: On average, 100 people choke to death on them each year.

Brain cells: We lose on average 85,000 brain cells a day, while regenerating only 50 or so.

Red coloring: If you see “cochineal extract” or “carmine” as an ingredient on a bottle of your favorite juice, then you’re drinking powdered insect shells. What kind of a scary, sick world do we live in where we use insects to color fruit juices?

Michele Bachmann: Sure, she’s running behind right now, but politics is so unpredictable. She may just vault ahead of “The Black Walnut” Herman Cain and assume the presidency, and the ground will open, unleashing the Four Horsemen and ushering in an age of darkness and despair.

Literally: So many idiots are using it incorrectly that it might lead to a changing of its definition, because English is a living language, meaning it changes all the time! Eeek! If this happens, it will literally make my head explode.

Greece: If it fails to address its fiscal problems, it could destabilize the Euro, setting off another global economic crisis, worsening the current economic conditions, leading to a complete collapse of everything, increasing the likelihood of famines, wars, and pestilences. And terrible hummus, falafel, and dolmades.

Dust mites: Your bed mattress has 100,000 to ten million tiny insects that live on the dead skin cells you shed every day. Females lay about 80 eggs in their lifetime. In other words, while you’re feeling all comfy and snuggly, millions of six-legged bugs are feeding, going to the bathroom, mating, and hatching out of eggs and entering your lungs. You’re probably inhaling hundreds of them right now!

That’s just the short list. Other things that should keep you up at night are global warming, our failing education system, sponges, obesity, unemployment, North Korea, solipsism, the expanding universe, the unraveling of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity thanks to the discovery of neutrinos that could travel faster than the speed of light, Google+ not catching on, bunnies, bird flu, plastic bottles, Saturday Night Live continuing to run for years despite being painfully unfunny, salmonella, and paper cuts.

So skip paying the $25 and just stay home and surf the internet if you need an adrenaline rush. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to work on my dust mite costume.


JN143: Signs you’re dealing with a psychopath

September 19, 2011

Today, I read an article in the Huffington Post about psychopaths and how to recognize them. This is very important information to know. The world is full of psychos, and if we can’t recognize them, then whom are we going to invite to Tea Party rallies?

Psychopaths are kind of like werewolves. Sure, they look like the rest of us, but eventually, when it’s too late, they’ll reveal their true selves and do all sorts of bad things, like fight against HPV vaccines and global warming and stuff. Now, you could go to Huffingtonpost.com and read the article. Or, more conveniently, I’ve summarized the main points below. Use this as a guide to identify the psychos in your life. And also, use it as a self-diagnostic tool.

First, psychos have no sense of empathy. Yesterday, for example, I was telling someone about my dishwasher. It broke, and for the last several months, we have been washing dishes by hands like animals. I told a colleague this, and I thought he would empathize with my chapped hands, which have been bent into claws by repeated lathering and rinsing, the hands of a peasant spent in endless toil. But he just mentioned something about poverty and war blah blah, completely ignoring my problem, clear sign of a psycho.

Second, psychos do not have normal displays of human emotions. They have no affect, or weird ones. Try this simple test. Tell them a story about how your neighbor got a new puppy, and last week, the puppy got really sick. A normal person might say “aw, that’s terrible” or “I hope the puppy gets better soon” or “Oh, God, why, why do you punish an innocent puppy, why?!” Any other response indicates an abnormal reaction, typical of the average psychopath.

Third, in general psychos hate puppies, bunnies, woodland creatures, and other adorable animals. I always carry a small Care Bear doll around just to test for potential psychopaths. If they are overly violent to the bear, I try to avoid them. One guy tried to strangle Funshine Bear; we are no longer BFF’s.   

Fifth, psychos have an unsettling disregard for others’ needs. They don’t care if you’re tired, or have plans, or that your favorite tv show is on. They’ll still make you take out the garbage and complain about how you never empty your pant pockets when you throw your clothing in the hamper, even though you ask them to only talk to you during commercial breaks.

Sixth, they have no sense of humor.

Seventh, psychos have terrible grammar and oftentimes use “literally” wrong. They’ll say stupid stuff like, “I have, like, literally a billion emails in my inbox.” It makes you want to stab them (which, by the way, is a normal human response to people who use “literally” wrong and does not make you a psycho). Some of them have asymmetrical hair, wear skinny jeans and wacky scarves, have poor hygiene, drink Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and ride fixed-gear bikes. However, I might be thinking of hipsters.

In all seriousness, the prevalence of psychopaths in our society has reached pandemic level. Unfortunately, like the flu virus, they quickly mutate and adapt, rising through the ranks, eventually using their power to stonewall negotiations on the debt ceiling, shaft teachers, reduce much-needed social services, and produce horrible movies starring Sarah Jessica Parker. We, the non-psychopaths, must not only learn to recognize these people, but also stop them before they literally screw the world.


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