Halloween is just around the corner so I wanted to talk about bad decisions that could cost you your life. Just like the characters in horror movies we all are faced with decisions that help decide if we are still around when the credits start to roll. I'm going to try and list some poor choices both in the movies and in life that upon reflection maybe weren't the smartest. These are by no means in any order. First the movie choices.
1) Upstairs or the basement
: As a child I always wondered why Shaggy, Scooby and Thelma always got the basement, because sure enough that's where the monster/caretaker in a mask was hiding. It never made since until years later I realized that Fred and Daphne were always alone upstairs...but I digress. Most basements are dark, cold, windowless, cobwebby places that make you feel as if someone is watching you from the dark corners and really should not be a first choice to investigate or hide when being chased by a villain. When given the choice always choose upstairs or better yet out the front door.
2) Ignoring warning signs
: In the movie Signs
there were a series of, you guessed it, signs. But not all warnings are so obvious. For instance in The Sixth Sense
it is not until the last few minutes of the movie that we realize the importance of the color red. Or in some movies there is a child who for the first time in their life have an imaginary friend, after moving into a new home where the previous tenants had died under mysterious circumstances. In The Orphanage
the child in question also happens to draw a picture of his new friend wearing a creepy burlap mask worthy of a refrigerator magnet For most parents this would be considered a warning sign.
3) Stopping in a remote area and asking for directions:
If you're ever lost and are surrounded by cornfields, woods, or slaughter houses do yourself a favor and don't stop at the abandoned farmhouse to ask for directions. Keep driving until you see a waffle house or similar fine establishment where there are a group of people before you stop, and practice a little situational awareness. In the movie Simon Says
the teen characters get lost (no gps in horror movies), stop at a cemetery and then ask for directions (against the advice of locals) for the nearest town. This is wrong on so many levels. Needless to say dismemberment soon follows. Another fine example is Children Of The Corn.
Can you say Malachi?
4) Filming ongoing attacks:
In todays world everybody loves to film things and post them on facebook for all their "friends" to see. Do yourself a favor, if you are witnessing a monster attack, zombie attack, levitating furniture or anything else of that nature...put down the camera and practice a little common sense. In the movie Cloverfield
the character stubbornly films the entire horrific episode as it unfolds in front of him always positioning himself for a better view, only to be eaten at the end. Or in the Paranormal
movies the people actually goad the spirits to "bring it on" just to film it and maybe later talk about their experience in 140 characters or less with their "followers". One guess as to what happened to them. On occasion in the movies, like in life, you will see people who throw caution into the wind and make bad decisions galore. In the Blair Witch Project
you have a group of college kids, lost in the woods (because they threw away their only map), ignoring warning signs, filming the entire time as they are being harassed by a evil presence and at the end they even go into the basement of a dilapidated house in the middle of nowhere. Tell me...what do you think happens?
Now that we know some of the poor decisions made in horror movies, let's move on to the real world bad choices.
1) Ordering lunch from a clown:
I'm talking about McDonalds but obviously all fast foods are pretty much equal. (Quality not taste so no offense to the White Castle crowd.) Occasionally eating this type of food is ok but please don't make a habit of it. I know, I know you're screaming "But they have salads!", but be honest with yourself about what you usually end up ordering. Do yourself a favor and take a few extra minutes in the morning to pack a healthy lunch.
2) Not finding time to exercise:
Life is hectic, life is busy, there are not enough hours in the day or days in the week for that matter but you have to start sometime. Setting aside 20-30 minutes three times a week to take care of yourself should be a priority. The benefits of exercise are nothing new so I won't bore you with studies or statistics (although studies have shown that people who have more birthdays live the longest :-).
Bottom line is you know you should be exercising.
Much like yelling "Is there anyone there?" when you hear a strange noise coming from downstairs or playing with an Ouija board by the light of a full moon, smoking is simply a bad decision. For information on quitting visit http://smokefree.gov/
4) Not getting regular blood work:
Knowing your baseline numbers for fasting glucose, cholesterol, Vitamin D levels, thyroid function are just some of the reasons you should have annual labs drawn. Just like in the movies there are subtle signs that you could be missing, and by having blood work done regularly you are able to stay on top of your health. And if you suddenly start seeing small children running around in burlap masks you might want to think about a drug test as well. Unless of course you happen to have small children who like to do that sort of thing in which case... I can relate.
You could be one of those people who throw caution into the wind and frequently eat fast food, don't exercise, smoke and never get blood work but if you decide to do that please...DON'T GO IN THE BASEMENT! But in all seriousness by being proactive, making small changes in your diet/habits you are guaranteed to become healthier and happier overtime. And who knows you just might still be around when the credits roll. Have a safe and happy Halloween.