This prophetic little piece is from my high school newspaper, the Chinook. I wrote it shortly before or after turning 18. (The date scribbled on the page is May 2, which is after my birthday, but I think it was published as part of the paper's April Fool's Edition, before my birthday.) It not only anticipates later trends in government-sanctioned paranoia; it also anticipates the role nutritionists now recognize oxidizing agents actually DO play in causing cancer. "Buckley" is a small town in Washington, which hosts an institution for the mentally disabled; it's similarity to the name of a town in California with intellectual pretensions is not coincidental, and perhaps marks the author of this piece as developing his present immaturity at an unusually early age.
Why am I running this? Aside from the fact that I haven't outrun that bad sense of humor yet, and a fit of nostalgia, I may also be stalling for time. I don't want to think anymore, today, and the subject I want to blog on next may require some fresh thoughts. -- DM
Buckley, WA -- Scientists have discovered a substance in the atmosphere which they have linked to cancer. This substance, known as oxygen, is labeled extremely hazardous by the Food and Drug Administration.
The FDA has decided on a law requiring oxygen to be screened in all populated areas, except Los Angeles and West Seattle High School, neither of which have atmosopheres containing significant amounts of oxygen.
"In the beginning, I see some difficulty in enforcing the law," said a police spokesman. "Some people have the habit of breathing deeply engrained in them."
"However, once people realize how dangerous oxygen is, they will accept and obey the new law, just as they have the 55-mile speed limit."
The five-year government-funded study by Buckley scientists yielded an astonishing fact. Researchers discovered that everyone inhaling oxygen in the ancient civilization of Rome died.
One test with female aardvarks showed that 0.00000000013% of all 'varks injested with three megatons of oxygen every ten minutes for 53 years developed some signs of malignancy in the left pinky toenail. In the group of aardvarks not allowed oxygen, very, very, very few died of cancer.
Other Buckley research icludes a study financed by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare on the question, "Where do baby storks come from?"
Another test is on the feasibility of screening tap water of the impurity H20, which when combined with a long life can cause cancer. Scientists hope that by 1984 tap water will be at least 89% chlorine and only 11% H20.