By Bunmi Sofola

Suddenly, health pages have turned to a must-read portion of newspapers and journals. No self-respecting editor dares publish without feeding his readers on what to eat and do to make life worth living, and what items to give the wide berth if you don’t want to swell the coffers of your doctor.

Lately, there’d been a deluge of advice on the merit of staying away from mobile phones. According to these ‘experts,’ mobile phones are dangerous to men because they lower men’s sperm count.

“Nobody’s sperm count could persuade me to give up my mobile and shackle myself to the old wire and dial model,” protest Esther, a writer. “If the men are so worried, instead of thrusting their mobiles deep into their pockets, why don’t they take up handbags instead?

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“My phone nestles in my bag, accompanying me wherever I go, linking me to my friends, family and the world.”

The Vatican once threw its hat in the ring of anti-mobile users. During the Lenten period, it urged believes to give up sending text messages and use the phone! Words fail me at the importance of this message.

Suffice it to say that public indignation had more than shown how unpopular this penance was!

The bra is another item that could be in danger of being banned because there’s a possibility they give women breast cancer! I mean how can your boobs be possibly bad for your health?

“How could a lace sling designed to counteract gravity and give extra bounce have the sinister effect of blocking my lymph glands, so causing cancer? The medics should consider the dangers of banning bras,” says Esther, a cosmetologist in her 30s.

“Millions of female joggers would run the risk of serious black eyes. It would also be a disaster for the retail trade. What would the husbands do at Christmas without the thrill of buying something quite unsuitable in red or shocking pink for their wives? And where would the advertising industry be without a cleavage feature on boardings?”

As for deodorants, they’re supposed to contain carcinogenic chemicals, and to avoid the damaging effects, you’re advised to go natural – a giant leap back to the prehistoric days where you allow hair to grow and perspiration runs free. According to Esther: “That might have been bearable in those olden days, when reliance consisted of a knock on the head with a wooden club, and people lived in caves full of bat droppings.

But imagine rush-hour, or the cinema, or a long haul flight without deodorants. Life might last longer but would it be worth living?” Here are other tongue-in-check comments on other “vice’ you should give up:

Cars: They pollute, they kill people, and roads destroy the countryside. But in return, they give us freedom, independence and somewhere to put the shopping. Actually, no matter how much harm cars do, they’ll never be banned because men are addicted to them. They use their cars the way Medieval Man used his codpiece to inflate his ego.

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Babies: A gynaecologist was once asked what single thing a woman could do to prolong her life and hang on to her youth. He said: “avoid having babies. Childbirth damages a woman’s body as badly as car crash.” Once your baby is born, there’s no let-up. Years of sleeplessness gives you indelible wrinkles. Babies throw up on the shoulder of your expensive dress. They develop a high fever just as you’re about to go out. Then they give you that gummy grin and fall asleep on your chest, breathing out that special fragrance of talcum and baby oil. Irresistible!

The Internet: We’re constantly warned about new dangers. You can be deluged with junk mail, harassed by pornography, conned by fraudsters or lured by paedophiles. But it unites the world and leaps over all barriers or frontiers. With one click, every reference book is open to you, you can trawl through history or literature, indulge your favourite hobby, meet friends or find true love. We’d be isolated and ignorant without it.

Milk chocolate: It’s supposed to be crammed with fat so it’s bad for the heart, it’s almost pure sugar so it rots your teeth; and if it’s made in English, it contains practically no real chocolate. Who cares? In the 18th Century; chocolate was banned because it makes you feel so good. As a mood enhancer; it’s far better than gin.

Stiletto heels: They shorten year tendons, dig holes in wooden floors, get impaled in grass and break when you run. They have no practical use, but they flatter the fattest ankle and lengthen the shortest leg. Beauty queens have always known their power – so no wonder it’s become fashionable to wear with bikinis.

Men: Physically and emotionally, there is no doubt that men are dangerous. We can contract diseases from them and have our hearts broken by them. There are compensations, however. They can open a bottle of champagne better than most women. And if the right man pays you a compliment, it will put a sparkle in your eyes more effectively than cosmetic surgery.


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