The year is drawing to a close and many of you will be reflecting on 2018 and wondering what lies in store for 2019.
Some of you will fondly recall your year, by looking back at all the wonderful selfies you took to record highlights of 2018.
Except about a few hundred souls, who unfortunately die each year while taking those selfies.
Worldwide at least a couple of hundred people each year have snapped their last post while taking pictures of themselves.
Either stepping back off the edge of cliffs, being hit by a passing bridge abutment while putting their head out of the train window, or being eaten by a variety of hungry, angry wild animals that were more interested in an easy lunch than receiving fame on social media.
And incredibly, at least one person died taking a selfie, while replicating a previous fatal selfie accident.
Here at RR headquarters, we’d like to see you all back in one piece and in good shape for 2019, so please be careful out there.
A special plea from our family is for you all to avoid using, or going anywhere near, butane canister cookers.
These things are time bombs and their failure rate worldwide is horrendous.
We found this out the hard way, some simple research after my wife was badly burnt when the butane canister exploded in a fireball on a beach a couple of weeks ago. The cooker was correctly set up and running quite normally until the sudden explosion, which resulted in first and second degree burns. We’ve since discovered these cheap, crap death machines are banned in many other countries and have an atrocious accident record.
Ban the bomb
We’re pushing for the Government to act here and stop the sale of these time bombs before more Kiwis are maimed and killed.
We’d like to thank the wonderful assistance given along the way, from daughter Leah whose ambulance training provided instant first aid treatment, St John and staff of Thames Hospital, Sealegs for the rapid and effective medevac, my Coastguard training for instinctive fast responding, Dave for keeping it all together and the district nurses for their caring patch-up and advice.
Meanwhile if you’re in a room with my wife any time soon, please don’t go popping any balloons nearby.
Tip for surviving 2019: Keep away from these things.
Death by gardening
Also beware of the dreaded Legionnaires’ disease, which can be contracted from compost and potting mix, particularly the bagged variety. There have been up to 40 cases reported each year from this source, and several resulting in death.
Legionnaires’ disease is a common cause of pneumonia and is characterised by a dry cough. Gardeners can reduce their exposure to potting mix dust by wetting down the potting mix prior to working with it, wearing gloves and a face mask, and washing hands afterwards.
Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include high fever, chest pains and abdominal pain.
Another way to live longer and healthier is to stop smoking.
And the good news is that the Bay of Plenty leads the quit rate in NZ.
Ministry of Health results shows Bay of Plenty is the top performer across the country with a 75 per cent successful quit smoking rate at four weeks.
(My wife contributed here, she stopped smoking as soon as we put out the fire in her hair).
Are guns safe?
Meanwhile in America, about 10,000 people die each year from guns. The statistics are much lower in other parts of the world: Japan 48; Britain 8; Switzerland 34; Canada 52; Israel 58; Sweden 21 and West Germany 42. Many people claim these numbers show the American gun situation is out of control. I think it simply proves that Americans are better shots.
Some jobs are safer than others.
There will be an investigation into the death of a man at a joinery factory, after a door fell on him. The family are hoping the report will find some closure.
It’s not unusual for clairvoyants to catch fire, more like medium rare.
I wanted a job at a lunch bar, but they’ve filled the roles.
If a magician fails to disappear and is charged with fraud, can a court order him to appear to be ordered to disappear?
And if he fails to appear can he then be charged with failing to appear for failing to disappear?
Finally, if you think your health could be endangered, try a good remedy. One of the most important medical breakthroughs of the last century was when Lily the Pink invented Medicinal Compound.
Remember it saved Jennifer Eccles from terrible freckles, so it could help you.
Feel free to use this fascinating story to impress your friends around the barbecue this summer.
And if you’re wondering why Jennifer Eccles also featured in the 1968 Hollies song of that name, it’s no coincidence. The Hollies involved their wives in the song writing and contrived the name from them (Jennifer Clark and Rose Eccles).
Graham Nash left the Hollies in that year and with the band The Scaffold wrote ‘Lily the Pink’, and the reference is an in-joke.
Nash was married to Rose Eccles for two years. It is not known whether she also had freckles.
Best wishes for the New Year. Be happy and healthy and safe. We’ll be back in January to bring you a healthy dose of nonsense, humour, sarcasm and politically incorrect reality checks.