Well friends, now that we have government run banks, government run car makers, and are dangling on the brink of government run health care, the next logical step for the United States Senate is to determine if cell phones cause cancer. Wait… Maybe this is one of the Sesame Street tests where one of the things is not like the others. But seriously, the venerable Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is promising to “probe deeply” at the bottom of the issue. Are you serious Senator Harkin? The nation is in the midst of two wars, the economy is a shadow of its former self, the treasury is beyond bankrupt, and you want to turn loose the investigative weight of the United States Senate to find out of my iPhone is going to give me a tumor?
Here’s the list of things now “known” to cause cancer: cetaldehyde, acrylamide, acrylonitril, abortion, agent orange, alar, alcohol, air pollution, aldrin, alfatoxin, arsenic, arsine, asbestos, asphalt fumes, atrazine, AZT, baby food, barbequed meat, benzene, benzidine, benzopyrene, beryllium, beta-carotene, betel nuts, birth control pills, bottled water, bracken, bread, breasts, brooms, bus stations, calcium channel blockers, cadmium, candles, captan, carbon black, carbon tetrachloride, careers for women, casual sex, car fumes, celery, charred foods, cooked foods, chewing gum, Chinese food, Chinese herbal supplements, chips, chloramphenicol, chlordane, chlorinated camphene, chlorinated water, chlorodiphenyl, chloroform, cholesterol, low cholesterol, chromium, coal tar, coffee, coke ovens, crackers, creosote, cyclamates, dairy products, deodorants, depleted uranium, depression, dichloryacetylene, DDT, dieldrin, diesel exhaust, diet soda, dimethyl sulphate, dinitrotouluene, dioxin, dioxane, epichlorhydrin, ethyle acrilate, ethylene, ethilene dibromide, ethnic beliefs,ethylene dichloride, Ex-Lax, fat, fluoridation, flying, formaldehyde, free radicals, french fries, fruit, gasoline, genes, gingerbread, global warming, gluteraldehyde, granite, grilled meat, Gulf war, hair dyes, hamburgers, heliobacter pylori, hepatitis B virus, hexachlorbutadiene, hexachlorethane, high bone mass, hot tea, HPMA, HRT, hydrazine, hydrogen peroxide, incense, infertility, jewellery, Kepone, kissing, lack of exercise, laxatives, lead, left handedness, Lindane, Listerine, low fibre diet, magnetic fields, malonaldehyde, mammograms, manganese, marijuana, methyl bromide, methylene chloride, menopause, microwave ovens, milk hormones, mixed spices, mobile phones, MTBE, nickel, night lighting, night shifts, nitrates, not breast feeding, not having a twin, nuclear power plants, Nutrasweet, obesity, oestrogen, olestra, olive oil, orange juice, oxygenated gasoline, oyster sauce, ozone, ozone depletion, passive smoking, PCBs, peanuts, pesticides, pet birds, plastic IV bags, polio vaccine, potato crisps (chips), power lines, proteins, Prozac, PVC, radio masts, radon, railway sleepers, red meat, Roundup, saccharin, salt, sausage, selenium, semiconductor plants, shellfish, sick buildings, soy sauce, stress, strontium, styrene, sulphuric acid, sun beds, sunlight, sunscreen, talc, tetrachloroethylene, testosterone, tight bras, toast, toasters, tobacco, tooth fillings, toothpaste (with fluoride or bleach), train stations, trichloroethylene, under-arm shaving, unvented stoves, uranium, UV radiation, vegetables, vinyl bromide, vinyl chloride, vinyl fluoride, vinyl toys, vitamins, vitreous fibres, wallpaper, weedkiller (2-4 D), welding fumes, well water, weight gain, winter, wood dust, work, x-rays (thank you, http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/cancer%20list.htm).
I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, Senator, but the fact is that from the time sperm meets egg, our bodies are already conspiring against us. Cells divide, mistakes are made, and those mistakes themselves are replicated. One of the only common threads among all people throughout time is that we all die. The endgame is the same for all of us; rich, poor, healthy, or unhealthy. It’s not that I’m taking cancer lightly or trying to make a joke at the suffering the disease causes. I am, however, making a joke at the expense of the Senate. Surely with these steady hands upon the rudder of the ship of state, what could possibly go wrong?
God help us.