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Nshima & Curry
Nshima & Curry
LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN IN THE DUST
I used to think that scientific researchers had one main
goal in life: spoiling our fun. If they found us eating
meat, they'd show us we're at risk for heart disease. If
they found us smoking, they'd show us we're at risk for lung
cancer. If they found us wrestling, they'd show us we're at
risk for brain atrophy.
Scientist: "My research shows that your wrestling career,
with so little brain activity, may result in atrophy."
Professional wrestler: "Wow! That's great news! I've always
wanted a trophy."
My skepticism about researchers is fading though, thanks
partly to a new study that promises to make my life easier.
The study suggests that a dusty home may be healthier for
No, that's not a misprint. Dust is good for kids, according
to the surprising study, which wasn't sponsored by the
Hoover Vacuum Co.
Apparently, early exposure to germs in household dust helps
children build strong immune systems, protecting them from
developing allergies or asthma. Excuse me for a moment while
I slide my four-month-old daughter across the back of my
television set. Nothing like solving two problems at once!
Next time my wife complains about dust in our home, I'm
going to shake my head and say, "Please try to think about
the baby! She needs all the dust she can get. Why else do
you think I've been emptying the dustpan in her crib?
Instead of complaining, you should be nominating me for
Father of the Year."
Some of my friends, I'm sorry to report, have spotless,
immaculate homes. Their children can't even find dirt on
their television sets, except by watching Howard Stern.
Someone ought to call the health department. Their homes may
need to be quarantined. Perhaps they should be required to
take a course in hygiene.
Allergies are a growing problem in industrialized countries,
what with everyone relying on antibiotics and antibacterial
cleaners to keep germs away. If there's one word that
captures the obsessive cleanliness of today's generations,
My wife has long warned me about household cleaners,
concerned that they do more harm than good. Indeed, some of
the chemicals I've used in our bathroom are so powerful,
there's a law against exporting them to Iraq. We wouldn't
want Mr. Hussein to get his hands on Mr. Clean.
In case you're wondering, the study was conducted in
Switzerland, Austria and Germany, where farm children are
exposed to many germs. (Now you know why it's called
Germany.) Though their bedding contains a lot of dust,
farm children have fewer problems with allergies. And
unlike children in urban areas, they aren't even allergic to
Given these findings, it may be a good idea to let your
children sleep in a sandbox. But here's a caveat: Too much
dust can be harmful. Consult your doctor on the right amount
for your child.
Coming soon to a store near you: Johnson & Johnson's
Baby Dust. Not just for the baby's bottom. If your child
gets into the bottle, you can just smile and say, "Bye-bye
allergies! Another one bites the dust."
Remember: In the modern world, it's not survival of the
fittest. It's survival of the filthiest.