with

Mike Bellah

Warning: This Column Could Hurt

Recently I've been thinking about warnings and disclaimers. In a society where the quickest road to wealth seems to be the lawsuit, every product and service has an ever increasing list.

You've read them: Don't take this drug if you're currently taking Ibuprofen, Penicillin, or Campbell's Chicken Soup. Don't operate this grass trimmer if you're under the influence of alcohol or Zen Buddhism. The characters and events in this sit com are completely made up and any resemblance to actual events and people is wholly coincidental ("The bum just looks like you, Uncle Charlie").

So I've decided that to be in line with the times I need my own warnings and disclaimers for this column. Since the emotionally unstable or intellectually gullible might place too much faith in these words--might even act on things I have to say here--I've devised a test to weed them out.

Some warnings

Please don't read this column if . . .

  • You think newspaper columnists can tell you something you don't know already.
  • You write Ann Landers more than once each week.
  • You spend more than $500 per month on calls to the psychic hotline.
  • You've seen Elvis recently.
  • You've talked to Elvis recently.
  • You think you are Elvis.
  • You're eating 10 bowls of Shredded Wheat each morning to get the vitamins in one bowl of Total.
  • You wore a miniskirt to your 30th high school reunion.
  • You took a woman who did.
  • You're over 50 and have pierced body parts other than your ears.
  • You've had recurring daydreams about leaving the kids and hubby to tour remote tropical islands in a small sailboat with someone named Pierre.
  • You secretly remove the Do Not Remove labels from bed mattresses.
  • You hold regular conversations with extraterrestrials who are planning to overthrow the U.S. from their headquarters near Muleshoe, Texas.
  • You get your daily news from Hard Copy, your psychological advice from Jenny Jones, and your moral inspiration from Jerry Springer.

A disclaimer

Finally, I include a brief disclaimer, just in case any of you try to get your money back for this newspaper (if you're reading this on the web, you've paid no money, but here's the disclaimer anyway). Warning: This column might not help--might even hurt-- the following:

  • people with high blood pressure,
  • people with low blood pressure,
  • people with blood pressure.

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