The Most Dangerous Five

Driving my son to school today, there was a story on the radio about a couple leading the police on a high speed car chase, and it turning out to be a woman in labor and not a bank robber.

Note: The baby is fine, the parents were not arrested, and the morning news has something other than mayhem to report.

But as I listened to the story my thought was, "Wow, that was really stupid, and really dangerous."

The stupid part is that if they had just pulled over, rolled down the window and yelled "My wife is in labor!" There's a 99% chance they could've gotten a police escort to the hospital and legally blown through some red lights, cause . . . I'll tell you a little secret . . . aside from what you've heard everyhwere else . . . for the most part . . . the police are chomping at the bit to do something cool like that. They spend all day with the dregs of humanity (which in my neighborhood is soccer moms and teenagers) and to have the chance to hero it up a bit is that kind of thing they dream about.

The dangerous part is this: Do you know what a police car does during a highspeed chase? It's actually pretty simple. They tail you, up until there is about a hundred feet of empty space in front of you (no pedestrians, few parked cars) and then they accelerate and lightly tap the rear corner of your bumper.

What this does is throw your vehicle into a complete spin out and you crash. And because they usually tap the driverside corner, you end up crashing passenger side first.

Can you imagine the phone call "Hi, mom, you were supposed to be a grandma this morning, but . . . "

A racecar driver can recover from it. But you're no racecar driver. Trust me. I've seen you on the road.

Then it occured to me that there's a good chance that you didn't watch the same Discovery Channel documentary I did years and years ago and you really have no idea how a high speed pursuit is handled.

Maybe you thought that the police just follow you until you run out of gas.

Maybe you thought that you get surrounded by four patrol officers and they all just slow down at the same pace.

Maybe you didn't even consider it until your wife was in labor and screaming at you to drive faster and you were just simply confused as to which higher authority you should be paying attention to at that particular moment.

Good thing you have me.

Which leads my thoughts this morning to dangerous things. Not just anything dangerous. Cause anything can be dangerous, but The Most Dangerous things.

Safety First.

Top Most Dangerous Thing: The Skateboard.
Now I don't have to tell a single mother this. They already know. But boys, well, boys are stupid and anything on wheels (even if its just a piece of plywood) is awesome. I also don't have to tell my buddy Jeremy this, seeing as how he's paid for the Hawaiian vacations of several Orthodontic Surgeons.

But skateboards are cool. And they're alluring. And they look like they're so much fun. And it looks so easy. Just get on and go baby, go.

But here's the thing: A bicycle is designed to get you places. A car is designed to get you places and to pick up girls. A parachute is designed to keep you from hitting the ground at terminal velocity.

Not a skateboard. A skateboard is specifically designed to move away from your center of gravity and force you to hit the ground. It's deepest hope is that you are moving a a good clip before it throws you off. It's chief allies are gravity and sidewalks with deep grooves.

It's a good thing that skateboards don't have to be registered with insurance companies because the premiums would be too high.

Now my first bit of advice is to never get on one ever. Just don't.

My second bit of advice is not to get on one ever. Just don't.

But because your son will someday reach the age of nine, and is going to want one, the only thing you can do is to instill a healthy paranoia when it comes to wearing helmuts, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.

His friends might tease him.

Only sissies wear helmuts.

To which you need to teach him to respond:

Maybe . . . but only fuck-wits don't.

(The F-Bomb is important here. A kid who can dole out that kind of verbal abuse doesn't need sticks and stones.)

Example: I'm at the skatepark with my son and he is covered head-to-toe in protective gear. The first thing he says to me as he looks at all the other kids is "Dad . . . none of the other kids are even wearing helmuts." to which I resond "Because their mothers are ugly and their daddies don't love them . . . and they're stupid peepee heads."

Number Two Most Dangerous Thing: Chicken.
Now . . . I love me some chicken. The Actual White Meat meets all of my food-stuff criteria. It's lean, it's healthy, it's available everywhere, you can do all kinds of unseemly things to it, and it's cheap.

But it's playing with fire.

See, due to the nature of how chicken is processed, there's a 99.9% chance that every bit of chicken you've ever seen, touched, or heard of, has a small amount of killer bacteria in it, that at the very least could make you regret ever being born.

And don't get all huffy about that process. Yes it's terrible, but after hearing you talk about your day job, I'd rather be a chicken.

Now that small amount of bacteria is just fine. There are more dangerous things on your tongue, but, if given just a little bit of space to grow, chicken bacteria multiplies exponentially and becomes a personalized threat in very little time.

It does die when you cook it. So cook it well. But that's not all.

Nope. There is such a thing as cross-contamination. That means anything that touches raw chicken becomes effected as well. Hands, knives, cutting boards. And then anything that touches those things gets infected too.

So if you are going to cook chicken, here are a few simple rules to avoid premature death.

One, do all your cutting of other things ahead of time. Clean all the areas that the chicken is going to be in and or around before openeing the package. Do what you must in order to get the chicken cooking. Then immediately dissinfect every surface, utensil, and body part with anti-bacterial soap and a few spritzes of clorox bleach. Wash all the dishes.

If chicken needs to be defrosted, do it in the microwave for quick results, or a closed tupperwear container in the fridge if you can wait a day. Bad idea to just set it out on the counter (Though I have been super guilty of that one) the reason is that once the temperature of the chicken hops above 40 degrees fahrenheit, the bacteria starts to grow. Two hours later and you might as well try to clean the barrel of a loaded shot gun.

Cook it until it bleeds clear liquid when you poke it with a fork and then cook it for another twenty minutes, just cause.

Eat Safe.

Most Dangerous Thing Part Three: ISPs (Internet Service Providers)
I don't remember not having connectivity. I do remember dial-up, so I am old in some respects, but I don't remember what I used to do with my time before I had access to virtually all of the world's information.

So a life without the internet seems as impossible to me now as a car without cup holders.

And my ISP knows it.

In fact . . . they know eveything about me now.

If they wanted to, they could figure out the time and length at which I get up to go shower ever day, simply by looking at the fifteen to twenty minute gaps in my connectivity between 9:00am and Noon.

I hope the rest of you are like me in that if you haven't showered by noon, you're not gonna for the day.

Your ISP would know the answer to that question.

Anyway, information is one thing. Let's just say that they have all of it. But they can also control how you get to the web, and what you see when you're finally there. And if there is something that they don't like, they have the legal power to slow it down or shut it off.

Example: My ISP is being sued right now for slowing the rate at which Netflix can be streamed. Seriously. They actually made it so that Netflix streamed slower than their own competeing On-Demand content.

And they do that for two reasons: One they can, and two you ain't got no choice.

The ISP I pay for right now is 50 (somethingsomethings per second). The next fastest thing I could run to would be a similar price for 8 (somethingsomethings per second).

That's really not enough to upload football stats in real time. And on any given Sunday, I've got five to eight different perferals all begging for access to my wifi, depending on when the neighbor is home.

(Just so you know, I can see everyone who is accessing my Guest Network, and I'm not gonna be all high and mighty about him using my wifi from time to time considering that I'm stealing HBOGo from my mother.)

So that's why ISPs make my list. They have all the power and you have very little choice.

Which is dangerous.

The Fourth Most Dangerous Thing: Steam Wands
You may not actually know what that is, but every coffee maker in the land is nodding their heads right now. See . . . the steam wand is a small metal tube connected (through a valve) to a high pressure water tank. The barista places the milk for your latte directly below the nozzle of the steam wand, opens the valve and heats up your milk.

It sounds innocuous, but the metal tube is movable and constantly in the wrong place and is at a sitting temperature of 212 degrees.

One distracted move by the barista and they will end up with a nasty two inch burn on the inside of their forearms. We call this The Leche Tattoo. 

(Actually . . . I just made that up. We would just look at the mark and ask "Steam Wand burn." and the barista would nod yes. But The Leche Tattoo has a certain ring to it, so feel free to adopt it)

Every barista has had one. I've had like ten to twenty.

And think about it, you might not think it's dangerous, but when I say every barista has had one, it's like saying every carpenter is missing a finger. I've made more trips to the emergency room for burned baristas then I have for my skateboard riding son (so far, cross fingers, god bless)

And for all you Low Fat Decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte sipping soccer moms, I just wanna say this:

There is a good chance that your coffee beverage contains a trace amount of burnt human flesh.

My advice is to drink real coffee, and drink it black.

The Last Most Dangerous Thing on My List: Advice.
I will admit that my blogs have been sort of in the anti-Dear Abby vein. I offer a lot of perspective, I offer a lot of thoughts, I offer a lot of advice.

I would read your letters if anyone sent me any.

And I'm always willing to take your calls.

Unless I'm napping.

Or doing anything else.

But, I'm guilty when it comes to offering advice, and lots of it. And the reason advice is dangerous is because there are only four possible out comes:

First, my advice was good and you took it and everyone is happy.

Second, my advice was good and you didn't take it and now have erased me from the contacts on your phone because the last thing you need is some ass hat saying "I told you so."

Third, my advice was bad and you took it and now you think I owe you something, which I don't because you're an adult and you make your own decisions.

Fourth, my advice was bad and you didn't take it and now I have to erase you from the contacts on my phone because the last thing I need is some ass hat saying "I told you so."

This means advice, even in it's purest form, can only have a postive outcome 25% of the time.

Shutting the hell up has a positive outcome 100% of the time, provided that you continue to shut up when all you want to say is "I could've told you that."

Now teaching, is a whole different thing. Like . . . I can teach you how to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but I'm never going to suggest you drink it.

Advice destroys relationships.

That's all there is to it.

So take my advice . . . 

. . . and don't take my advice.

Except when it comes to skateboards, chicken, ISPs, and highspeed chases. Cause those things are stupid and dangerous.

1 comment:

  1. I would take your advice if you weren't taking all the fun out of everything. The best way to avoid trips to emergency is to learn how to fall, put a sign on the back of your car" Woman in Labor!" And anyone drinking a pumpkin spiced latte gets what they deserve