I’m so excited—I’m going to live forever. Today I declared my body a Disease-Free Zone.
I had thought immortality would be complicated. I’d thought it would require a lot of research and some pretty substantial lifestyle adjustments, not to mention a lot of preventive medical care, and constant vigilance for early signs of disease.
But it turns out all I had to do was make my body a Disease-Free Zone. To make it official, I had my lawyer draw up some documents. And to make sure there wasn’t any doubt about it, I got it tattooed on my forearm.
But I think that pretty much covers it: clearly stated intent not to be the victim of disease, legal documentation of my Disease Free status, and a clearly posted sign.
I have to admit, I feel a little foolish that I didn’t think of this sooner. And now that I’ve put my plan into action, I see more possibilities all around me. So many things I’ve looked on as long-term challenges requiring serious research, planning and careful execution can instead be swiftly swept aside with just a little paperwork.
I used to worry about me or a member of my family being injured in an auto accident, since forty thousand of our countrymen die on the roads every year. I’ve always made sure our cars have the latest safety technology, and that we drive alertly and conservatively and never under the influence. But recently it occurred to me that I’m already protected by laws requiring universal car registration, and that all legal drivers must pass a government approved safety exam.
Those legislative safeguards ensure that no one can possibly drive illegally or unsafely, so there’s really nothing to fear. And, as an added safety measure, I’ve put large ‘Accident Free Zone’ bumper stickers on all our cars.
I’m a father, and I used to worry about the many potential dangers our kids might face. My wife and I used to educate them about potential risks, things to watch out for, and what to do if they encountered this problem or that. But now I’ve realized I can avoid such scary topics altogether and keep them safe much more easily. Why waste time on safety education, when I can simply outlaw all life threatening emergencies and avoid the fear and anxiety of even recognizing them?
Just last week my young son asked what he should do if a stranger offered him candy. The old worry-wart Dad would have taken the time to listen to his question, discuss potential options and then help him come up with a plan that would keep him from harm. But the new Dad scolded him for mentioning the S word and sent him straight to his room. Yesterday my daughter used a banana and a French fry as a make-believe bow and arrow, so she’s grounded for a month. Problems solved!
Recently I’ve been worried about a friend with an alcohol problem, but have not been sure how to help. However, with my new, out-of-the-box thinking, I’ve come up with a simple solution. Instead of encouraging him to address his challenging personal issues, while he was out of his apartment I replaced all his drinking glasses with SMALLER ones. The way I see it, what makes his drinking so dangerous is the size of his drinks.
Limiting the capacity of his drinking glasses will obviously limit the damage and potential deadliness of his drinking. Oh, he could just drink a few more glassfuls, but what really matters is that I’ve done SOMETHING. I confess that I was inspired by Michael Bloomberg’s soda cup size restrictions—that man is full of fantastic public health ideas!
Does all of this sound foolish to you? Do you think I really understand these issues? Does my approach seem irrational and my plans senseless and ineffective?
If so, please keep those opinions to yourself. I don’t want to hear it. I’m going to grab a second bowl of ice cream—I just declared my body an Obesity-Free Zone!
—Tom Vaughan, MD, is a neuroradiologist in private practice in Louisville, KY. He is a shooting enthusiast who believes in individual liberty and personal responsibility.