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Special Health Edition.

by Dear Jon
August 6, 2002

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Sort 161_Dear Jon-Special Health Edition. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

Has anyone ever studied the long term effects of brain-freeze? I drink a lot of Slurpees, and I get brain-freeze often when I do. Are there any health risks to multiple exposures to brain-freeze?

Slurpee King

Dear Slurpee,

Yes. One notable side-effect is that you write anonymous letters to internet advice columnists.


Dear Jon,

If smoking and using other tobacco products is so bad for our health, why doesn't the American government make tobacco illegal?

Tobacco Joe

Dear Joe,

Do you realize that if questions like this were posted to the PO forums, they would still be alive?

Since I am an advice columnist, I will give you some advice. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.

The reason tobacco is not illegal is the same reason that alcohol is not illegal and the same reason that many other substances should not be illegal. The reason is that small doses taken infrequently can provide a measure of enjoyment. I have known many people who smoke a cigar approximately once a year in an annual male-bonding ritual among undergraduates. I have known many people who drink a beer or a glass of wine or mix liquor with coke, once a week, enjoy it, and then move on to non-alcoholic beverages.

I have also known many people who are addicted to alcohol or tobacco and the results are not pretty. Some people argue that the burden to health-care and the risk to families from addicts outweighs the aesthetic liberties that can be afforded by those who stay within their limits.

I have known many people who are addicted to caffeine as well. They get migraines from withdrawal while their stomach is poisoned by ulcers. Personally, I have been going down the road of high-fat foods and an adolescent sweet tooth. I am thirty pounds overweight, a few pounds shy of obesity given my height and frame. Being overweight is the leading killer, contributing to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and clogged arteries. If Americans were at right weight, our annual expenditures on health-care would take a dive.

Look it up. Tell me if I’m wrong.

Now a bunch of fat bozos are suing McDonalds’ and KFC for serving food with high fat content. If the judge does not flush this suit down the toilet, I am going to secede from the Union.

Thin people know how to stay within their limits when they eat. Recreational smokers and social drinkers also know their limits and how to navigate them. Far be it from me to tell responsible people that they do not know how to be responsible. I know how to drink a beer. I don’t know how to roll up the bag of potato chips. I am glad they repealed prohibition. Please don’t make Fritos illegal. I am responsible for my choices, I’m fat, it is not Burger King’s fault, and I should work on my discipline. You need to be responsible for your choices, too.

Speaking of hazardous habits, how about automobiles? Their exhaust is poisonous, and one blow-out or mishandled maneuver can be fatal. A lot more people are killed in cars rather than airplanes. I doubt anyone seriously expects cars to become illegal.

I have to stop writing because my slurpee is melting, and anyway everytime I type I have to first lick the salt off my fingers from the corn chips.

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Dear Jon Letters: Tips for Dating and Mating
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