Here at the Bureau of Medical Alarm, we continue to receive shocking new evidence that being human is an extremely dangerous occupation that probably should be prohibited by law.

For example, consider the alarming article sent in by alert rerader Jessica Bernstein from the Aug. 10, 1984, issue to the Journal of American Medical Association, entitled "Toothpick-Related Injuries in the United States, 1979 Through 1982." This article notes with concern that although toothpicks "are long, slender, hard, sharp and indigestible, they are rarely considered objects of potential injury and death." Yes! Death! The article reports that during the period studied, there have been thousands of toothpick-related injuries and three actual "fatalities."

What gets our goat, here at the Bureau of Medical Alarm, is that these needless tragedies could be avoided if the government would simply require all toothpicks to carry this printed message:


Why hasn't this been done? When will the politicians stop knuckling under to the powerful toothpick lobby, with its easy money, fast boats and loose women? How come powerful lobbies never send loose women down here to the Bureau of Medical Alarm? These are some of the questions that were very much on our minds until we were distracted by an even more alarming article, sent in by alert reader Betsy Powers, from the July 5, 1980 issue of the British Medical Journal. Unfortunately we cannot be too specific about this article, because this is a family newspaper ( it has a wife newspaper and two little baby newspapers at home). All we can say is that the article involves an upsetting development that can occur when a well-known male bodily part get too close to a working vacuum cleaner. This seems to be a fairly common occurrence, at least in Britain.

This situation definately touched a nerve here at the Bureau of Medical Alarm. Clearly males need to be more careful, especially if they get naked anywhere near a Hoover Dustette, which is apparently auditioning for a role as a major appliance in Fatal Attraction II.

What you are no doubt saying to yourself now is ,"Hmmmm, I wonder if there have been any similar incidents involving lobsters." We regret to report that the answer is yes, as we learned from an article alertly sent in by Janice Hill (notice that it is women) who are sending these articles in.

This article concerns a man wno attempted to steal a lobster from a Boston fish market by stuffing it (the lobster) down the front of his pants. The lobster had been wearing those rubber-band handcuffs, but apparently they slipped off, and the lobster, with revenge on its tiny mind, angrily grasped hold of the first thing it found, and we will not go into what happened next except to say that, if you are a guy, it makes a toothpick to the eyeball sound like a day at the Magic Kingdon.

We actually have MORE alarming medical items here, including a really good one about a moth that flew into a noted Denver attorney's ear canal and refused to come out voluntarily. But we're running out of space, so we'll just close with this Health Reminder: Don't smoke or drink. Or eat. Or go outside. Or breathe.