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Everything Gives You Cancer

My dog likes popsicles. Specifically, my dog likes grape popsicles, but she only really likes them if you hold them for her while she licks them. If you put the popsicle down even for a second, she gets bored and she stops licking.

My point is this; my dogs’ obsession with popsicles is a lot like the American public’s obsession with the media. We all suck it up as long as someone is spoon feeding us the information, but the second we’re expected to do anything for ourselves, we lose all interest.

Case in point; everything gives you cancer.

In the ten years I’ve been online, I’ve been sent about 7000 messages indicating some innocuous thing like number two pencils or pork barbeque was going to give me cancer. This mass panic works. People share the message. They comment on the message.

They all get together and lick the giant purple popsicle.


Warning: This photo will probably give you cancer.

Here’s the truth people. EVERYTHING gives you cancer. When I was in the Germany, I joined a debate class mainly out of boredom, but also to get out of work details. I was only auditing, but I was still given the opportunity to make a speech when Spring finals came.

My speech was entitled ‘the benefits of smoking’ and I pissed a lot of people off.   I pointed out the decline of obesity rates in smokers and I pointed out the positive economic impact of smoking. When people argued cancer statistics, I came up with some statistics of my own.

Specifically, in a free thought poetry format I named about 400 chemicals, that you will find everyday in products in your house, that will give you cancer. Not making this up. Email me if you want the list.

After that, everybody shut up, not just because of my mad, mad lyrical skills, but also because everyone knows the Germans can’t rap.

The truth is that cancer isn’t that complicated. It is nothing more than cells multiplying at maximum pace. Once they multiple fast enough, they go from ‘calcifications’ to tumors. How do you get those cells to multiple? Constant friction.

You ever rub your hands together real fast and little rolly balls of skin start to come off? That’s pretty much the explanation of cancer, only it’s happening inside your body where you can’t control it. Much like constant friction on the inside of an oyster will create a pearl, constant friction on the inside of a human body will give you cancer.

So yes, everything will give you cancer. Hell, if I rubbed a strawberry under my left armpit long enough I’m sure I would eventually get cancer. Because the formula for cancer is surprisingly simple. Constant friction results in frequent cell turnover, but when that friction tells cells they need to turn over faster, they start creating new cells.

And abracadabra…cancer.

But cancer, no matter how simple, is still sexy. It’s still news. Those news stations want you to tune in so you can see how your air fresheners, your carpet clearer and your box of California raisins are all toxic. After all, imminent death is news worthy. The results of friction aren’t.

Everything gives you cancer. If it hasn’t yet, it will soon. But I don’t panic and I don’t argue. Instead, I start rubbing another strawberry under my armpit and I say “I’ll see you in hell bitches.”

Because if everything can give you cancer, then there’s really nothing left to avoid, now is there?