Sunday, April 26, 2009

Miracles Without Helmets

I'm feeling somewhat vindicated. Granted, it's at the extreme misfortune of others, but the misfortunes could have been worse, so technically it's not that bad. And since it sort of aids in my self perceived vindication, there's definitely some good that has come out of all of it. What am I rambling about? My dislike of the helmeted child.

Look, I'm all for preventing head injuries. That's a good thing. You need a fully working melon in order to make things a little bit easier. But somewhere along the line, it was decided that children riding bikes (or doing any physical activity, really) needed helmets. I, on the other hand, thought the people that wanted a world in which all children were helmeted were the ones who needed the helmets. If for no other reason than to just let others know what a softhead they were.

Children will fall off their bikes. They will fall when rollerblading. They will fall when skateboarding. They will fall when going down the stairs. They will fall after being pushed down the stairs. That's because they're kids. Kids fall. So do adults, but not as much as kids (so I've heard). And kids have been falling for many, many years and civilization still manages to move forward. I didn't wear a helmet when I rode my bike when I was a kid and I turned out all right. Not great, but I'm functional!

See, it starts with the helmet. Then it progresses to the helmet and the knee pads. After that, you have to wait for the kid to put on the helmet, the knee pads, the shin guards, the elbow pads, the wrist pads, the wrist guards. When the kid is around 5 or 6, with all of that protective gear on, they look somewhat like a mutant ninja turtle. On a bike. And now I have anecdotal evidence to back up my cynical theory that the helmet is unnecessary and needs to go the way of the...um....the...other protective gear that was overprotective. Yeah, that's it!

For instance, let's take a one Barry Hart of Te Horo (that's on the Kapiti Coast of New Zealand's North Island). According to the NZ Herald, Barry was using an angle grinder when a slight mishap occurred. Said mishap resulted in the 22cm blade wedging itself in his forehead after it "cut his face from above his top lip and slashed through his nose and an eye." Sweet mother of God.
If you're not familiar with an angle grinder, it's like a small, handheld power saw. It usually has a steel blade with some sort of diamond powder encrusted on the blades so that it can cut things like tile and stone. Angle grinders can go through stone like butt-ah. Thus, imagine what it's going to do to your head....especially if you weren't wearing the all mighty helmet!

Think again! According to the rescue helicopter pilot, a one Waine Dick , Barry "was in extreme pain and a lot of shock, but was more concerned about his wife Gyllian." Um, what? What was that? "He was coherent and able to make sure his wife was all right, which was very touching. He was in an extremely bad way but asked her not to look." Yeah, you wouldn't have had to "ask" me not to look. Believe me, I would not be looking at my husband with an angle grinder blade lodged in his head. No, I would absolutely NOT be looking at him and instead would be concentrating on how to contain any and all bodily functions that would be wanting to fail me at just such a moment.
They fly him to the hospital with the blade still in his head! They did a little surgery at the hospital and he's in "serious, but stable condition." (Oh, you think?!?) He is expected to recover. Holy crap, how is that possible without a helmet?!

Meanwhile, over in Mississippi in dem dar United States, a one 47-year old Tammy Sexton was shot in the head by her husband. According to The Telegraph, the "bullet from a .38-calibre handgun struck her squarely in the forehead, passed through her skull and exited through the back of her head. " She is expected to make a full recovery. Wait! WHAT?!
Full recovery? People don't make "full recoveries" from being shot in the dome. No, people die from being shot in the dome. Dying is quite the opposite of full recovery. Dying is also quite the opposite of offering to make some tea for the police officers who responded to the shooting. Making tea? She's been shot in the head and she's making tea?!

Yep. Making tea. Tea is very popular in the south. They love it. They drink it all the time. With meals. At sporting events. And even after getting shot in the head, southerners will reach for a glass of tea. (Lipton or Nestea really need to hurry up and jump on this one. It's an advertising gold mine! "After being shot in the head, I like to reach for a glass of my favorite tea!") According to one Sheriff Mike Byrd: "When the officer got there, she was holding a rag on her head and talking. She asked the officer what was going on. She was conscious, but she was confused about what had happened." Yeah, I'd be a little confused as well. In fact, I am confused and I wasn't the one being shot in the head. How does that work?

Well, according to a one Dr Patrick Pritchard, "There is a space in the brain where a missile could pass without doing any major damage." Huh. Good to know. You know what else is good to know? That you don't always need a helmet!
See? Two extreme cases of helmetless-ness and those folks are just fine. Both very polite, both concerned about others in the midst of their injury, both expected to make a full recovery and all of that without a helmet. I'm not saying that people shouldn't be careful and take appropriate precautions with things, I'm just saying that the human body is pretty amazing and can take care of itself a lot better than people give it credit for. And it's not that children shouldn't be wearing protective headgear if they're engaged in an activity that has a high probability of cracking open their noggin. Just spare the non-helmeted child and their parents from the ostracizing looks and comments is all I'm saying. And that sentiment I say to all of the softheads out there as well. Take off your helmet and live a little. You'd be amazed at how much quicker you react when you have to protect yourself from whatever comes your way instead of relying on the over-rated helmet.

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1 comment:

grannyann said...

You know I wasn't totally into making my grandson wear a helmet when riding his bike until "whats her name" died after falling in the snow and hitting her head. Now I try a little harder. He wears it a few minutes and then can't stand it anymore.