June 15, 2001
Nature has it's ways to warn about dangers.
Snakes hiss, dogs bark and bears growl.
Even though we are surrounded by danger,
sometimes perils in the human world are harder to recognize.
No one needs help with the easy ones - like
people wearing-tee shirts that proclaim they are the world's
greatest sex machine or 'I'm with stupid' when they're traveling
alone. Or anyone wearing a hat made out of a tinfoil roasting pan
'to keep them from stealing my thoughts'. These are the obvious
warning signs that tell you to steer clear.
Here are some more subtle warning signs you
might have missed.
Movie ads that quote glowing reviews -
except all of the reviews are from the Podunk Daily Shopper and
other small-town newspapers you've never heard of. A couple of movie
studio executives were recently disciplined for taking this practice
to its logical conclusion and simply making up movie reviews. They
might have got away with it too, except people became suspicious
when they went too far and described the teen gross-out comedy 'The
Animal' as the most inspiring film since Ben Hur.
Also be wary of any movie described as
'zany', a 'laff-fest', a 'black comedy', 'poignant', or rated by a
number of handkerchiefs.
Something else that should flash a warning
sign of impending danger is coming home after 'a few drinks with the
boys' to find your family gathered around the dining room table with
your seat empty.
If there is a cake on the table covered in
melted candles, don't even stop to think about what precious family
event you missed - just run.
An eatery boasting 'home cooking' is a
universal warning sign. If I wanted home cooking I'd stay home. I go
out for dinner because I don't want to eat at home. Even so, after
tasting the food, you have to wonder what kind of sadistic home they
came from. It doesn't help that these places also usually have cooks
with more hair on their backs than a German shepherd.
Beware evangelists with ridiculous
hairpieces. A bad rug isn't exactly a great advertisement of
someone's faith-healing powers. Don't get me wrong - I have nothing
against either evangelists or bald guys. But it's hard to believe
that God would give someone the power to cure cancer but not grow
hair. Or at least come to him in a vision and mention that his
comb-over looks ridiculous.
Recently I knew I was in real trouble myself
when I called my phone company. I wasn't particularly surprised when
I immediately went into voice mail after being assured that my call
was important and they were suffering from the same unusually high
volume of calls they seem to get every single day.
It was when I was asked to select what kind
of music I wanted to listen to while on hold that my red lights
started flashing. That lets you know you're going to settle in for a
long wait - especially if one of the music choices is an entire
opera by Wagner.
So until it's practical to wrap problem
people in yellow police tape or erect hazard barriers at family
barbeques, we're on our own to keep a sharp lookout for those human