Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Brain tumors and cell phones

OK, this is it. I always thought I'd die either as a very old lady, or frozen in my car at the the bottom of the lake. Now I learn that's not it. I'm going to die from cell phone cancer. Every media outlet carried some story today that says the World Health Organization found there may be a link between cell phone use and brain cancer. As a person who has had her phone velcroed to her temple for about the past 10 years it's clear my fate is sealed. It's just a matter of time before an ugly glioma starts to grow in my brain, its tentacles stretching from just behind my right ear into every part of my brain then blossoming like a clematis on the brick south wall in August.
In fact, maybe it's started already. Maybe that's why I can never find my sunglasses. Maybe the  sunglasses-finding part of my brain has already been deadened by carcinoma. Maybe that's why I found myself in the grocery store last week totally incapable of remember what I was supposed to buy. Maybe that's why I stared at Suzy's teacher at the parent conference drawing a complete blank on her name. All I could remember was Ms. Crabby Pants.
I knew it. I just knew it. I mean, these are heavy hitters who are saying this, right? The WHO panel  consisted of 31 scientists from 14 countries, and was led by Dr. Jonathan M. Samet, a physician and epidemiologist at the University of Southern California and a member of President Obama’s National Cancer Advisory Board. How can a guy from Southern Cal be wrong? Even the New York Times felt the need to report what these guys said.
But wait. Maybe death by cell phone isn't so bad. Yeah.
Maybe it gives me a reasonable excuse for shouting things that are really crazy. I could say that Minnesota should not limit marriage to couples of different genders. Maybe I could say that marriage is a commitment, and commitment is the strongest thread in the fabric of society. Commitment is good.
Maybe I could say that building a football stadium in the St. Paul suburbs just so people can tailgate is the dumbest idea I've heard since Bush put us to war in Iraq because he wanted to stop weapons of mass destruction and  Bin Laden, neither of which were in Iraq.
Maybe I could say that media outlets should exercise a little judgment when publishing stupid stories about cell phones causing brain cancer. That reporting all the counter arguments just doesn't work. Maybe editors should read the counter claims themselves and decide to just not open the whole can of worms.
Perhaps we should all look a little deeper and see that the WHO panel put cancer-causing-cell phones in Category 2B, along with  240 other possible carcinogens . Including coffee and pickled vegetables.
If drinking coffee while talking on the cell phone leads to brain cancer, I'm a gonner. But that's ok. I've always wanted to look like Medusa.