Regarding Safety First

You’re Gonna Lose That Arm

Recorded on July 17th, 2016

AltTextHere Driving on I-64 between downtown Richmond and Short Pump in either direction is always harrowing. Aggression, tailgating, other drivers willing to mow each other down just to keep their place in the passing lane. There is no charity. Today, I noticed more people than usual who were especially bad at merging into traffic from the ramps. Almost without exception, those bad mergers had their left arm hanging out the driver’s side window. Why do people do this? Are they stupid? Ignorant? Arrogant? Drunk? They must be all of the above. Not that Sarah does it, but she’s heard me helplessly chastise people from afar, saying what my parents always warned my brother and me: “You’re gonna lose that arm.” They are very nearly asking to be permanently right-handed.

Mom and Dad’s admonition initially seemed like a tall-tale, but the imagined picture of an arm being chopped off by a too-close oncoming car or a mirror or an unsuspecting cow’s sharp horn left an impression early, as it should. Now we see that that advice is not just hyperbolic: Oregon man loses arm as car sideswipes truck.

Am I right or what? PROOF.

There are two styles of arm-hanging: (1) The protruding bent elbow of the arm resting horizontally on the car door, and (2) the “I’ve-given-up” arm, a motionless pendulum pointing towards the ground. The former is slightly more forgivable, but only because there’s less limb exposed to the elements. The latter sends a message to other drivers that says, “What’s the point? I probably shouldn’t be allowed to drive, I don’t brush my teeth, and I can afford to lose my (always) overly hairy arm since I have a whole ‘nother one on the opposite side.”

If you read this and you’re one of the arm-hangers, change your ways. You look literally ham-fisted with your arm hanging out of the car. Both hands on the wheel! Proper following distance! Pull over to text! Keep those limbs attached!

I’ve Stopped Using Denture Cleanser on My Night Guard

Recorded on June 25th, 2016

photo of Efferdent box

From The Disturbing Ingredient Hidden in Your Denture Cleanser:

Accidental consumption of denture and retainer cleansers can include…

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Burns
  • Bleaching of tissue
  • Blood in the Urine
  • Internal Bleeding
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing Problems
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Seizures
  • Death

Bottom line: If you drank the stuff, it could send you to the Emergency Room. So why let your dental appliance, something that sits in your mouth for 8 hours a day or more, marinate in it?

Needless to say, from here on, I’ll soak mine in water and brush it with a Sonicare and toothpaste.

Public Service Announcement: I’ve Got A Knife

Recorded on March 25th, 2016

I’ve waited long enough to share this. In the kitchen, when I transport a knife from the drying rack to the drawer, I say to Sarah, “I’VE GOT A KNIFE”. I do this because we have a not-huge kitchen, I have one good eye1, and I believe in safety first2. You don’t want your kitchen-mate to turn around quickly or jut an arm out and impale themselves on one of those big-ass Henckels knives. I even say it when she’s not in the kitchen, just in case she decides to run into the kitchen while I’m carrying a knife.

photo of Henckels knife

I also do it because it reminds me of the Black Lips song, “I’ve Got A Knife”. I’ve been a fan ever since I saw them at Sleazefest in Chapel Hill in 2003 and one of them spit up fake vomit all over himself while playing guitar. It was sooooo good. Total chaos and danger. (I’m just now seeing the irony in christening a safety mantra after a song by that band.)

Sarah is not fully on board with saying “I’VE GOT A KNIFE”, which is part of the humor. I am undeterred and will keep saying it until the end of time, or until I lose an eye. It’s a long way between the sink and the drawer. Anything could happen.

Imagine this philosophy extended to proper following distance on the road, alternate merging, and just being aware of who the hell you’re in the way of in the cafeteria. Someday when I’m in charge, everyone will announce it when they’ve got a knife. Thanks, Black Lips.


  1. Cataract, circa 1971. 

  2. See footnote 1.