We keep hearing about the things that will surely kill us, and the list is  getting longer. Here’s a guide to some other potentially fatal occurrences…


It’s like we’re the less attractive sidekick in a disaster movie and we’ve just heard a rattle at the window. We are going to die. Thank you, the media, for the warning. It’s 11.30am, and we are going to die. This week we’re dying from being “couch potatoes”. The gentle-bellied two-thirds of us who don’t get enough exercise each week are dying at the rate of chain smokers. Sitting still and watching The Killing, it turns out, is killing us. But that’s not all – this month, we’re dying at a rate of knots. We are dying from spending “too much time online”. We are dying from sleeping more than seven hours a night. We’re dying from eating both too much salt and, interestingly, too little salt. We are dying (according to the Daily Mail, in a piece about Sylvester Stallone‘s late son) from having famous fathers. Death is on its way. It’ll be 20, 25 mins, depending on traffic. But the more I read about the things damaging our health, the more I think about the things that, though evidence is yet to be gathered, will sneak up and slay us. For instance…


The hand-sanitiser effect A little pump in the office as you pass the tea bar. A little pump visiting your granddad in hospital. Little squirt on the train when someone sneezes on your neck. Our poor knuckles, now the consistency of stale bread, tell the story of terrible things happening under the skin. Our blood turning to bleach. A slow trail of hygiene making its way to our heart.

Perfume shield In the wild, we would smell just of humans. Just of sweat, and grease, and perhaps a splash of Impulse if we were celebrating after a hunt. We would’ve been able to smell for danger. I’ve thought about this – bear with me. We would’ve smelled smoke or attackers approaching. Boars. But today I washed with Molton Brown shower gel and a grapefruit shampoo. My hair smells amazing. Which leads to the concern: what if there’s a gas leak? What if my appropriated scents lull me into a false sense of smell-curity and I suffocate? And, because I’m so fragrant, my body is only found months later, streaming with maggots? What then?
Double-dip insomnia The things that keep me awake vary from dawn worries about cash, mortality and awkward stuff I’ve said drunk at parties all the way down to: “Have I cut my toenails too short?” Those long clammy nights when the rain batters against the window and the local sex workers are moved on by Olympics police, they’re not great for the sleep. And there I lie, worrying about worrying, and then it’s morning and my eyes feel like they’re made of salad and I know that death is near.
Nostalgia suffocation The  amount of crap we own. Seriously. The sale items, found photos, once-worn shoes, novelty cups. The birthday cards and comedy alcohol and tote bags. The Viz annuals, the half-used moisturisers, that chair that breaks if sat on by a stranger. These are the things that will, if not literally then certainly metaphorically, crush us flat.
Fart attack This can occur anywhere. When you’re walking up the stairs behind an anxious commuter, for instance, and he “releases”, right at nose level. When you’re in a crowded gallery, stuck in the middle of a group of audio-guide enjoyers immune to their own effervescence. When you’re in a relationship and are woken in the night to find you have fallen into “big spoon” position and your partner is performing flatus upon your unpyjama-ed thigh. And yeah, you die.
Unread anxiety I haven’t read the new Martin Amis, or Hilary Mantel, or Irvine Welsh, or EL James. I have no opinion on the new JK Rowling or Katie Price, and I don’t yet know what I think of Kindles. “Soo-rrry.”
Password failure There. Are. Not. Enough. MB. In. My. Brain.To. Keep. Eight. Different. Passwords. Besides, internet guy, you want to steal my identity? Be my guest. It comes with free commitment baggage and a cool “bit”  about what not to say in the wrong moment.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s