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Phillip Black

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In A Health Conscious World, You Gotta Worry About Santa
12/22/2015 4:58:51 AM
Hi Friends,

Santa and Mrs. Claus got a letter from a Concerned Citizen the other day
that went something like this... 
Dear Santa,
We're worried about you. From your rosy red cheeks to your
legendary girth to your all-night sleigh ride around the
world, you may be at risk for diseases, maladies, mishaps,
and lawsuits that send chills through our Santa-loving
The latest warning comes from the National Rosacea Society
in Barrington, Illinois. Dermatologist Dr. Jerome Litt says
you have "a clear-cut case of rosacea," a skin condition
that also affects millions of Americans, particularly at
middle age. Unable to examine you personally, the good
doctor based his finding on a well-circulated report that
your "cheeks were like roses, (your) nose like a cherry."
Sadly, many observers conclude that red-skin condition comes
from hitting the Christmas-punch bowl a little too hard.
Sadder still, rosacea can be aggravated by holiday stress,
hot chocolate and overexertion ... all things you may
encounter this time of year.
The one bright note in Dr. Litt's message is that certain
antibiotics can help, and he advises you to see a North Pole
dermatologist. But the news about your facial tint is only
our latest source of concern. A careful examination of what
we know about you and your lifestyle raises a host of other
trouble signs.
OBESITY: Frankly, Santa, this may be your biggest area of
concern. Studies show overweight men have more than double
the normal risk of heart attacks and increased chances of
many other diseases. We've seen the pictures; we've noticed
you in the malls. And we've heard that your tummy shakes
"like a bowlful of jelly" when you chuckle. On this, we'll
take part of the blame. All these years, we've set out milk
and cookies on Christmas Eve. With 102 million homes in the
U.S. alone, even if 1 in 100 homes put out two cookies and a
cup of milk, that would make an overnight snack of 2,000,000
cookies and 63,750 gallons of milk. Maybe it's time for Mrs.
Claus to get you a NordicTrack or a Thighmaster. But be sure
to consult a physician before beginning any exercise
PIPE SMOKING: You've been pictured with a pipe, and even
though an apologist in The New York Times once claimed it's
only a prop, a witness who encountered you in his home said
"the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath." According
to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, pipe and
cigar smokers have twice a nonsmoker's risk for lung cancer,
four times the risk for larynx cancer, and two to three
times the risk for cancers of the mouth and esophagus. Even
if the pipe's just a prop, it might be a good idea to lose
it. Remember, you're not just a saint; you're a role model.
STRESS: Dealing with Christmas wishes from millions of
kiddies could certainly put one on the emotional hot seat.
And anxiety can surpass even smoking as a risk for certain
heart problems. On this point, though, we have some good
news: A medical news service says laughter -- as evidenced
by your trademark "Ho, ho, ho" -- is one of the best
stress-busters going.
SOOT: We admire your ability to slip up and down the average
chimney, an opening about 12 inches by 16 inches. But
creosote flakes on the chimney walls are toxic and can lead
to respiratory problems. Brent Rigby of Emerald City Chimney
Sweeps in Kirkland (WA) said his people never actually go
into a chimney, and they wear protective masks when they
reach up through the fireplace to vacuum the soot.
RSI (REPETITIVE STRAIN INJURY): Cards and letters by the
bagful arrive on your doorstep through regular mail, but
this year we've noticed you're also receiving, and
answering, e-mail on at least four Internet addresses. We
applaud your move on to the information superhighway, with
this caution: Too much keyboard work can result in painful
injuries to the hands, wrists and arms.
DEER MITES: Close, continuous contact with your trusty
reindeer means if they get mites, so might you, says Dr.
David DuClos, a veterinary dermatologist in Lynnwood (WA).
Watch out for itchy rashes, and keep the deer out of your
FROSTBITE, HYPOTHERMIA: You usually bundle up, and that's
good. A Weather Service satellite recently showed the
temperature at the North Pole was 13 below zero, and high
winds are common. Exposure to such conditions can cause
frostbite in minutes.
MALL THUGS: You spend a lot of time in shopping malls, so
you already know things are getting a little tough out
there. Try not to walk back to your sleigh at night alone.
MEMORY TROUBLE: It's been said that you make a list, then
check it twice. Just being careful, or are you developing a
little memory problem?
SAD (SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER): This time of year, there
is virtually no daylight at the North Pole, and a lack of
sunlight can trigger depression in some people. Maybe a
full-spectrum light would help keep you jolly.
VIRAL INFECTIONS: A young witness saw you kissing Mommy
underneath the mistletoe last night. You know this is cold
and flu season, don't you?
JET LAG: Fatigue, dizziness, and insomnia are all dangers
that travelers face when they cross through several times
zones. And few travelers cross all 24 of them in one night,
like you do.
SLEIGH ACCIDENTS: We've seen plenty of pictures of you in
that sleigh, but never with a seat belt, and we'd sure hate
to see you get hurt. By the way, when you cruise through
metropolitan areas, be sure to cover the load. You wouldn't
want to have an accident that would boost your insurance
rates, would you?
Which reminds us: You DO have insurance, don't you?
Jack Brown
Seattle, Washington

Have A Very Merry Christmas Friends,

“There may be trouble all around, but I am calling you to a place of peace. Be still and know that I am God. Come to Me, and I will give you wisdom, strength, and grace for everything you face." Psalm 46:10

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