Playing It Safe
News, Spring 2016
BY JILL BRUCKNER
I’m a big proponent of precaution. As in, “Don’t wear a pie tin on your head in a lightning storm” and, “Blow torches shouldn’t be party favors.” But c’mon, there is a limit to safety-consciousness, right? There’s a point where a line is crossed, and safety becomes silly.
Take my snazzy hand lotion for example, which bears the warning, “This is not a food. Do not eat.” Most of the meals I prepare are pretty lame, and should carry a “do-not-eat” warning, but I never cook with hand lotion. In fact, if you were planning on popping in for a lotion and lettuce salad, I’m sorry to disappoint you. That just won’t be happening at my place. You’ll have to hit up some other girl for that edgy cuisine.
I’m also baffled by silica gel—which is tucked in with new shoes, purses and clothing. Every silica gel packet carries the “do-not-eat” warning. Who eats this stuff? The same people who eat nails, or building caulk? If I were in a restaurant, and silica gel were on the menu, would I order it?
So, champion researcher that I am, and having always accepted the universal explanation of silica gel (a substance that will expand in your stomach and EXPLODE), I did a little research—with the emphasis on little, because, hey, this is comedy.
The truth is, most silica gel won’t kill you (so grab your fork!) unless it’s been mixed with harmful compounds (like poison). You should never eat poison, by the way.
Apparently, silica is already used in many foods, and is a major component of sand. Who doesn’t want a fried sand patty?
At any rate, I’m still not going to eat silica gel. You should be like me, and keep silica-gel ingestion off your bucket list.
Instead, I am going to develop some new safety standards that better suit my personal lifestyle.
First (and last), no running. Period. Running is bad, especially for recreation or exercise, which is not safe.
In order to put safety first, just move slowly, like a sloth or slow loris. In fact, you should keep your big, buggy nighttime eyes open like a sloth, as well. That way, you’ll be able to see danger (such as hand lotion that is NOT food) swiftly.
Once you have danger sited, back away slowly, and wave your arms menacingly. This is necessary if the danger is a bear, which is pretty unlikely, but, hey, anything is possible.
Also improbable, but not impossible: If you’re at work and a bear appears, wave one arm in a slightly terrifying way, and use your free hand to snap a photo for Instagram—unless the bear is oh-so-gently squeezing your arm in his bear jaws. If this is the case, forget Instagram and crack that bear in the snoot with the corner of your iPhone.
Bears at work may not be your biggest safety hazard. You might be one of those danger-loving office workers who sits for extended periods, causing your legs to fall asleep. Not safe! You can prevent this by simply lying down. Just relax, sloth-style, and maybe insert some earplugs for maximum quiet. But remember: Earplugs are a choking hazard, especially if eaten with silica gel. W