My Two Cents: Besides smoking, many other ways not to live longer

Last week I wrote about a Los Angeles Superior Court jury’s decision to award a a woman – a former smoker – $28 billion against tobacco giant Philip Morris.

In my humble opinion, I would describe that decision as – and I’m searching for just the right legal term here – moronic.

Only in America (national motto: Land O’ Litigation), could a longtime smoker be rewarded with Bill Gates-caliber money for engaging in a bad habit that she knew was, well, bad for her.

Of course, there are many activities and habits that are bad for you, making the litigious possibilities endless.

So, doing my small part to prevent such frivolous lawsuits in the future, I modestly present this list of other activities that could be hazardous to your health, and perhaps even kill you – some faster than others:

– Eating bacon for every meal.

– Standing by a tall tree holding an umbrella during an electrical storm.

– Checking for gas leaks with a lit match.

– In your vehicle, hitting the cruise control button – believing it’s some sort of device that allows the vehicle to steer itself – and crawling into the back seat to take a nap.

– Refusing to allow U.N. inspectors into your country to look for weapons of mass destruction. (Saddam Hussein only.)

– Testing the veracity of one of those “Thin Ice” signs by vigorously jumping up and down on the surface of a frozen lake.

– Bypassing balls in your decision to learn how to juggle, and instead going straight to live hand grenades and running chainsaws.

– Drinking milk the day after the expiration date printed on the carton. (Okay, that probably won’t kill you, assuming the milk has been refrigerated.)

– Swimming in shark-infested waters with a profusely bleeding wound.

– Being so desperately hungry that you eat that “hairy” fruit in your refrigerator.

In spite of this tongue-in-cheek list, I would not be surprised to read or hear about somebody suing based upon one of the items on the list.

I’ll be scanning the newspapers and watching the news.

I’ll let you know.

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author – who has been known to drink milk past the expiration date printed on the carton – gets in his two cents worth in spite of the saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.