We found out it's dangerous to have a yearly mammogram, dangerous to fry with monounsaturated oils, since they go rancid or oxidize in high temperature, but not dangerous to fry with saturated fats such as butter. Yes, you read right! We learned that Tamiflu is necessary to harness the Swine Flu, but the wrong dosage would cause our tongue and lips to swell, constrict our throat, and make it difficult to breathe. Did we know that one glass of wine is good, but if, God forbid, we rewarded ourselves with a second glass we raise our chances of cancer? Our young president forced us to acknowledge, albeit shamefacedly, since this has been an ongoing problem, that 15.4% of our population lacked medical insurance in 2008, rarely visited a doctor, and was at the mercy of all types of diseases. With the state of our economy deteriorating, the numbers must, no doubt, be more depressing now. We knew that cancer causing chemicals lurk in everything, our environment, food, paint, but horror of horrors, I for one, did not know that these toxins lace our drinking water, too. Our guilt grew exponentially every time we gave in to temptation and enjoyed a shower that lasted longer than three-and-a-half-minutes, left light on outside to deter an economy-stricken thief, forgot our reusable grocery bags back home and demanded plastic or paper, or drove our brood in one of those gasoline-guzzling four wheel drives. We have become a population dangerously dependent on gasoline imported from countries that want us dead.
Do we have no sense of shame or responsibility? Don't we know that our planet is becoming dangerously hot and polluted? That while we selfish people go about living our day-to-day life, breathing oxygen in and letting out carbon dioxide, we contribute to all types of environmental pollutants? That the cows we stuff with hormones, pamper and fatten for tender meat and creamy milk, expel tremendous bursts of noxious gases into the atmosphere and in so doing contribute to the melting of our ice caps, destruction of our precious rain forests and the natural habitat of all types of wild animals, a climate change that continues to wreak universal havoc -- tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, and all types of scary blizzards?
Are you still with me?
Oh! I forgot to mention the most dangerous activity of all. Flying on an airplane. It was reported today that "A Christmas Day attempt by a Nigerian man who claimed he was acting on orders from al Qaeda to ignite an incendiary device on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it approached Detroit from Amsterdam has caused airport security to be ramped up during peak holiday travel." What would constitute a ramping up of security, I wonder. The man, you see, had tried to ignite an incendiary powder mixture taped to his leg. Since Christmas 2001, when Richard Reid tried to ignite an explosive hidden in his shoe, we've been forced to remove our shoes when passing security in airports. Will we have to remove our pants now? Women, I guess, can make a point to wear a skirt and hold it up to reveal fat, thin, long, or short, bare innocent legs as they pass the metal detector. Would men select to wear skirts as well? I've a confession to make! Every time I remove my shoes, my laptop, my overcoat and jacket, toss a full bottle of water in a trashcan in the airport, I curse the terrorists who managed to change our world in a way inconceivable before 9/11. I wish all types of unimaginable evils on their heads -- boils and puss and runny bowels as their putrid, terrorist souls rot in the fires of hell. I mumble these curses with a clear conscience because they deserve all that and worse, these evil, good-for-nothing scoundrels!
But speaking of a clear conscience, I can't say the same when it comes to conducting my day to day life. I have been guilty of breathing, of running the shower slightly longer than three minutes, forgetting to turn off the lights, driving a gasoline-thirsty-four-wheel-drive, and enjoying a second glass of wine now and then. In a selfish attempt to protect my sanity, I try not to read or listen to the news at night. For years, I've believed that it was best to fry with monounsaturated oils and keep away from saturated fats. What have I done to my family? So, I write this article with heavy conscience and a light pocket because in a selfish attempt to enjoy a vacation with my family I've been wining and dining like the world is all fine and well and there's nothing to worry about.