Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 26th 2013 Contents A43
Monday, August 26, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
"You shouldn t drink that, the burly
policeman at the door of my office building
I felt as if the bottle of diet cola in my
fist had morphed into a bundle of marijuana.
"Er, duh, blah, blah, blah, I stammered.
He ran through the evils of aspatarme,
the demon sugar substitute used in diet
drinks which has been linked with cancer
"I know, I know, I repeated, stupidly.
"Won t happen again, I lied.
After inflicting his random act of kindness
Geez. There goes one of the last few
innocent pleasures in my life. Is nothing
safe any more?
When I was child, the big scares were
polio and cooking in aluminium pots. Now
death lurks in every coffee cup, detergent
bottle, and petrochemical. I am newly afraid
of my shower curtain, having discovered
that the icky chemical in the plastic called
phthalates can wreck hormones, cause
abnormal breast development and destroy
Which is worse---the stinky mildew in
my grout or the foamy poison cleaner I use
to get rid of it? Do I resort to bicarbonate
of soda to brush my teeth or risk finding
out 20 years from now that toothpaste inter-
feres with my chakras and causes deformities
in baby lab rats?
I blame the Internet for all this. Now bad
news is so accessible. Oh, for my fool s par-
adise when the worst thing I knew about
the health traps of the universe was that
too much red meat was bad for you.
My recent hypochon-
dria comes quite by acci-
dent. There I was hap-
pily pursuing Macy s
Sale when I was
diverted to a post
on hidden health
For no more
than the price
of my sanity, I
obtained information I did not know I needed until
I became a quivering, blubbering mass on the floor.
The only reason I was able to uncurl myself from
foetal position and stagger to my knees was the
thought that I had just mopped the floor with dan-
gerous chemicals which could be soaking into my
pores as I lay there wondering how long it would
take to build an eco-safe doomsday tower.
I am living in a death trap. The dryer sheets used
in my laundry contains synthetic fragrances including
benzyl acetate and other carcinogenic toxins. The
oven cleaner that makes the gooey black mess dis-
appear with a wipe of a damp cloth is releasing the
neuro-toxic solvent butane.
Good thing I have never been a fan of carpets (vac-
uuming is for suckers) because all those anti-stain
ingredients and perky new-carpet smell come at a
price---phenylcyclohexene which is linked with visual,
nasal and respiratory destabilisation.
The glue used in the particle-board cupboards is
wreaking havoc with my nervous system, which
might explain why I have been so crabby for the last
30 years or so.
Should I move to a cave on a desert island in the
Pacific? Walk barefoot, brush my teeth with a twig
and crushed leaves, wear a sarong made from woven
hemp, and live to 100?
You know what? The minute I hang up my shingle
outside the cave and settle down to a peaceful night,
free of nightmares of poison silently coursing through
my liver, some helpful soul will send me a message
in a bottle: "The Minister of Health has warned that
clean air contains oxygen, an overdose of which can
damage your lungs. Breathe responsibly."
Something IS going to kill you
NEW YORK---"Lee Daniels The Butler" served
up a second helping at the US box office, topping
the weekend with US$17 million according to studio
That was enough to lead all films on a late August
weekend known as a dumping ground for studios
following their summer blockbusters and before the
start of the fall movie-going season. Daniels historical
drama about a long-serving White House butler,
starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, last
weekend opened with US$24.6 million for the Wein-
Three new releases failed to catch on. The teen
fantasy "Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," adapted
from the popular young adult book series, opened
tepidly in third with US$9.3 million on the weekend
and US$14 million since opening Wednesday. With
franchise hopes, Sony Screen Gems has already started
production on a sequel, again starring Lily Collins
as a New York teenager who discovers she has mystical
Edgar Wright s pub-crawl-gone-wrong comedy
"The World s End" opened with $8.9 million for
Focus Features. That was a better start for "The
World s End," which stars Simon Pegg, than Wright s
last film, 2007 s "Hot Fuzz." It opened with $5.8 mil-
lion. Playing in 1,549 theaters, "The World s End"
did its business in less than half the theatres of "The
Butler" or "Mortal Instruments." (AP)
'The Butler' top box
office with US$17m
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