A few days from now, my girlfriend and I will climb aboard some painfully lengthy flights, and ideally end up in the African country of Zambia.
Over the past few weeks though, Nora and I have been plagued by encounters with people of the unfortunate misconception that Africa is a tremendously deadly place. They eagerly inform us that we will most certainly be killed immediately, repeatedly and with great brutality by every single thing we see or touch. I tell them that I have been there before, but that doesn’t slow them down. I tell them that I lived there for twenty years, emphasis on the word lived, and still they go on. So I decided to write an essay, about America.
America is a tremendously deadly and dangerous place. It is absolutely teeming with some of the most harmful and terrifying creatures on the planet. If you survive those, earthquakes, tornadoes and other freak weather events sit around literally every corner, waiting for their chance to rip your body to shreds.
Snow, for instance, is a ridiculous and unfriendly white substance that falls menacingly from the sky like the pieces of a shattered summer’s day. In the words of my step cousin’s friend, “When I arrived in Colorado this January, it covered the earth and trees in a thin blanket, making for a scene that was as cold in heart as it was in temperature. I thought to myself, ‘How on earth does anything live here?’ Now it’s May and the snow covers the ground in a thick blanket, and I can’t help but wonder, ‘How on earth does anything live here?’”
Direct contact with snow will result in immediate frostbite and hypothermia, and is a common cause of death in America. My step cousin’s friend told me this himself. He’s a reliable source.
From Texas to Minnesota, California to DC, Prairie Dogs are everywhere. Don’t be fooled by their innocent demeanor, they’ve evolved that way to draw you in. Once you’re within reach they can deploy their lethal claws of death, up to half an inch in length, and teeth capable of cutting through leather. That’s not what kills you though – every one of them carries the Bubonic Plague. In 2012, hospitals around America were literally inundated with a case of the plague.
Then there are the Bears. These are not the cute, cuddly little toys that you fill your children’s bedrooms with, these are something completely different. Adult male Grizzly Bears can weigh up to 750 pounds, much of which is muscle. That muscle powers razor-edged claws and teeth, which when combined with their aggression, make it clear they’ve evolved for the sole purpose of killing humans. Since 2010, American hospitals have fought to deal with a staggering eight cases of people being attacked by bears. I could go on. Rattle snakes, alligators, mountain lions, raccoons, chicken McNuggets. Even the trees there are deadly - my cousin’s friend met a guy once who knew a guy whose mother’s uncle’s landlord was crushed by a falling pine.
And then there’s the food; don’t eat anything. I read once on Facebook that a company called McDonalds puts chemicals in their burgers, making them addictive. One bite and you’re doomed, the cravings will hit and before you know it, you can’t fly home because you don’t fit in the airplane seats any more. Best take a pack of sandwiches, the food in America is just not safe. Nor is the water. Apparently much of it has to go through special treatment plants before its drinkable. Who knows what they’re doing to it there. Best take your own water.
Like I said, this is a factual essay, and my step-cousin's friend is a really reliable source. So be ware.
May the fourth be with you.