1. Avoid Skiing
The popularity of this pastime is something of a mystery to me but, how many members of the rich and famous club have to be sacrificed at the altar of common sense, before the rest of us shun all that hideously unflattering ski wear. I give you Sonny Bono, Natasha Richardson and umpteen Kennedys. And don’t even get me started on avalanches and hyperthermia. My advice to you is stay away from snow covered mountains of any kind if you want to enjoy a long healthy life.
2. Avoid Light Aircrafts
Why oh why do people insist on climbing aboard these almost certain death traps? We’ve lost more celebrities than I can count on two hands and it doesn’t seem any safer a way to travel now than it was when Buddy Holly and his pals went down in 1959. If I’m being honest, I’m not entirely convinced about the safety of any planes but, while I’m willing to take my chances on a full sized one, nothing on earth would induce me to risk one that looks like it’s been put together from an Airfix kit. I’m not even going to bother with helicopters because frankly, if you are foolish enough to travel by one, then on your head be it. But just bear in mind – Vic Morrow and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
3. Avoid Travelling To No-Go Areas
Call me hard hearted but nothing winds me up more than those idiots who travel to places which are clearly dangerous, ignoring all advice to the contrary. They are almost begging to be kidnapped and yet everyone is then aghast when they are. I love travelling just as much as the next woman but there are places where any sane person would not want to venture. I’ll give you a clue – if they have pirates, civil war or are referred to as the murder capital of the world then you might want to give them a miss.
4. Avoid Eating From Dodgy Burger Vans
Now, we’ve all done it – you stagger out of a club with a raging drunken hunger and, frankly, you’d eat anything. However, unless you want to have your stomach pumped or die from listeria then think again. I’m willing to bet that hygiene is not high on the list of priorities of someone who is being paid minimum wage whilst freezing to death in a pokey little van and being abused by starving drunkards. Let’s face it; it would be enough to drive Mother Teresa to spit in the chips.
5. Avoid Running Up And Down Stairs
I’ll bet there are some of you out there who don’t know that the biggest cause of death is domestic accidents and, I’m willing to bet my favourite pair of shoes, that the majority of these accidents involve stairs. I speak from a position of vast experience, given that my house has two flights of extremely steep stairs and I have fallen down them more times that I care to count. I even ended up in A and E once with a concussion and I’m pretty certain that, just like Oscar Wilde, I once broke my ear. You might be forgiven for suspecting alcohol to be at fault, after all William Holden died during a drunken episode when he supposedly fell down some stairs and bashed his own head in on the coffee table. But I can categorically state that almost all of my tumbles have been early morning spills caused by a combination of speed and not looking where I’m going. My advice to you therefore would be to either buy a bungalow or a stair lift or resist the foolhardy temptation of running anywhere in the proximity of stairs.
6. Avoid Using Dodgy Electrical Products
I know, sometimes an electric shock can seem like a small price to pay when swishy, sleek hair is at stake but, remember, electricity can kill. My slovenliness and failure to put things away often results in a heap of tangled wires which then split and become exposed. Sound familiar? I’ve had near misses with hairdryers, straighteners and irons. I once blew out a fuse box, plunging an entire block of flats into darkness, when my hairdryer exploded. I wasn’t very popular with my neighbours after that and I firmly believe only my rubber soled shoes saved me from being electrocuted to death.
7. Avoid Anything Sea Related After Consuming Alcohol
We all know that, after a couple of gin and tonics, the most idiotic ideas can seem perfectly feasible. I’ve lived on the coast and there’s something about the sea that almost compels stupidity. I’ve seen people head off for drunken late night swims, a la Natalie Wood, or hop into boats for a quick spin, neither of which is to be recommended. I’ve almost fallen to my death from Brighton Pier many a time, dizzy and nauseous from drunken fairground rides. Luckily for me, I now live in a landlocked city where the chance of drowning is significantly reduced. However, if you live on the coast, please remember that the sea and alcohol are not natural bedfellows.
8. Avoid Antagonising Psychopaths
Again, I’m sure we’ve all done it – taken offence at something an obvious psycho may have uttered. It usually involves something unspeakably racist, sexist or homophobic that you feel you can’t possibly let go unchallenged. Your sense of outrage can often blind you to the fact that the person who has committed the transgression is a bigger lunatic than Charles Manson. It’s usually only when your life is in imminent danger that you are struck by the realisation that sometimes, in the name of self preservation, you just have to turn a deaf ear. Being stabbed to death or having a bottle smashed over your head is really not worth a principle, no matter how noble.
Well there you have it. Follow these handy hints and I’m sure your life expectancy will be extended by at least twenty five years. Any readers, who have their own top tips for staying alive, please feel free to share.