Many modern conveniences make our lives easier, but they can also kill us: For example cars, antibiotics and robot maids. Now you can add cell phones to that list, not because they give you brain cancer (who knows if that is even true? SCIENTISTS??) but because they can make your elbow hurt a lot -- and elbow pain is the closest most Americans will come to experiencing the pain of death before they actually die.
Witness the horror:
When cell phone users hold the phone to their ears, they stretch a nerve that extends underneath the funny bone and controls the smallest fingers. When talkers chat for a long time in that position, it "chokes the blood supply to the nerves. It makes the nerves short-circuit. The next thing you know, there's tingling in the ring and small finger," said Dr. Peter J. Evans, the director of the Hand and Upper Extremity Center at the Cleveland Clinic.
So what can you, as a citizen, do to combat this awful scourge of "cell phone elbow"? Number one, throw away your cell phone and never speak on any mobile device again. Number two, if you must use a telephone, hold it as far away from your body as possible and shout into the receiver from an arm's length while enlisting a friend sit by the earpiece and tell you what the person on the other end is saying. It's easy, it's fun, and best of all your friend will get brain tumors instead of you.
Life is a precious gift and we must not waste it on silly activities such as talking on phones, or abusing our thumbs with the BlackBerry, or walking around on our hands like vulgar clowns. Until we have evolved past the point of needing arms (five to ten years, tops) we will have to muddle through, faulty elbows and all, so best to give them the pampering they deserve.
Mobile telecommunications evangelist Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.