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Quiet Desperation

If you consider taking a chance, consider not taking a chance


I have a suggestion: Do not eat laundry pods.However, if you use noodle soup to clean the tub, I may be wasting my time

In 2017, there were more than 12,000 calls to U.S. Poison Control because of exposure to laundry pods.

They come in colorful wrappers and may look like delicious, fruity candy. However, most of the items sold on the very same aisle, things like disinfectants and grout cleaners, are not intended for consumption.

Someone said we eat with our eyes first. I know what it means, but it still sounds absurd. There are words of warning on every box of pods. There are words of warning on dry cleaning bags too.

“Don’t put this bag over your head, and then sit down and read a book.”

Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.

Half the fun of life is learning things the hard way.

Don’t run around with scissors. You’ve heard that expression. I have never met anyone who ran around with scissors. However, I have met someone who has gone swimming almost immediately after eating a full meal.


Some people are exceptionally cautious, and some people throw caution out the window. The Wallendas, for example. I am very thankful I was not born into that family.

I am thankful my father did not do a lot of things that I might have been trained or tempted to do. He could have been a wing walker. I don’t even like to be inside an airplane.

Wing walking was popular in the 1920s. Walkers would walk on airplanes that were right side up and upside down.

No one is going to say that I lived a life of gusto and verve. I don’t drive fast, or admire anyone who does.

I have never walked on the wild side. However, I once tried a Burrito Supreme.

I also spent a few tense minutes on The 10 in southern California, driving a Volkswagen that was on fire. It wasn’t intentional.

The circus is — or was — full of daredevils, as they are called. I don’t even want to walk down an icy driveway.

Men have been shot out of cannons.

I have shot out of meetings with motivational speakers.

In 1974, Philippe Petit walked between the Twin Towers on a high wire. There’s a documentary about it, “Man on Wire,” that gets a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I recommend it. Unless you have vertigo.

I also recommend “Vertigo,” a 1958 Alfred Hitchcock movie that features the longest kiss in film history. It was also the first film ever to use computer graphics. Now you can’t trust films to tell the truth, because special effects can make anything look possible.

There was a time when stunts were actually performed without tricks and safety nets.

Buster Keaton did his own stunts. In “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” a six-ton house almost falls on him. His crew begged him not go through with it. (It can be seen on YouTube.)

If it were filmed today, the house would be an illusion created on a computer.

Parents: There is something called the “Tide Pod Challenge.” You might want to look into it if you have teenagers in the house.

The possible side effects of biting into a laundry pod include death, so wash out your clothes with soap, not your mouth.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net


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