Nobody Gets Out Alive

We live in a dangerous country. Would it surprise you to learn that the United States has a whopping 100% mortality rate? And it’s projected to remain the same for the foreseeable future. Sad!

According to anecdotes relayed by the President of the United States on national television this week, the scariest source of our countrymen’s fate is undocumented immigrants. From what I can glean from memes posted by racist senior citizens on “the Facebook,” more Americans are killed by immigrants than by every other cause of death combined.

Okay, that seems unlikely, I’ll admit it. But when has your Aunt Gertrude, an angry 80-year-old woman who hasn’t worked outside the home nor left her Midwestern hometown in the last 20 years, ever steered us wrong? Remember 9/11? Well, Gertie said on 9/12 that she’d “always been suspicious of the Moslems,” and I’ll be damned if she didn’t hit the mark with that shotgun spray of post-hoc accusation.

This just in: Aunt Gertrude never said anything about it at the time, but she never liked that guy you just broke up with, either.

Given our President’s inference that we should fear people from other countries, I decided to investigate all of the ways that people in our country find themselves taking long naps on the underside of the terrain. Imagine my confusion when I discovered that, at best guess, only 456 people per year die at the hands of undocumented immigrants!

Now before you go saying, “any murder is a tragedy, and the murderers shouldn’t have even been here!” keep in mind that the overall number of homicides in the US is about 18,624 per year. In other words, if you’re going to get whacked, you’re 40 times more likely to get whacked by a fellow American. That’s why I avoid each of you at all costs, just to be safe. USA! USA!

I was also shocked to learn how many ways to die are more common than “gittin’ kilt by a got-dang furriner whilst on mah way down to the Piggleh Wiggleh.”

And because I cherry picked the hell out of this list for maximum shock value, you should prepare to be shocked, too!

1. Diabetes.

Approximately 68,000 people per year die from complications of diabetes. That works out to around 150 times more Americans are dying because their own pancreases don’t work correctly than are murdered by foreign brown people. Stupid pancreases. *shakes fist in air, fist continues shaking from insane amount of sugar I’ve eaten today.

Unless the undocumented immigrants on the southern border are smuggling in high-carbohydrate snacks and then force-feeding them to us, our national desire to “build a wall” seems badly misplaced. Especially when compared to the relative threat at hand.

Now, if we’re thinking of building a wall around all of the McDonalds in the nation, that’s different. That’s a proportionate use of outrage and tax dollars. Save thousands of American lives and build that wall!

FACT: Did you know that liberally applying self-tanning cream to your face counteracts the devastating effects of an all-McDonalds diet? It’s true!

2. Suicide.

If you’re going to be afraid of Honduran refugees, I recommend you muster up about 97 times more fear for someone much, much scarier: yourself.

Each year, around 45,000 people die from intentional, self-inflicted harm.

Our country sucks at dealing with mental health issues. Maybe that’s why we spend our time projecting and scapegoating instead of addressing our own shortcomings.

If we were really concerned with our national public health, we’d be wise to invest $5 billion dollars in access to mental health services. Or we can build a series of steel slats on land we seized from private owners via eminent domain. Whichever works for you.

You know, I was feeling pretty negatively about my future when I started writing this. But the thought of shitting on people far worse off than me has brightened my outlook a lot!

Well, that and the three gallons of self-tanner I just applied to my face.

3. Colorectal Cancers.

Around 1 in 20 people will develop colorectal cancers in their lifetimes. About 50,000 people die every year from cancers of the digestive system. For every person that is murdered by an undocumented immigrant, 110 people are killed by their own guts’ cells turning against them.

It’s estimated that 60% of the deaths by colorectal cancers could be prevented with timely screening. You’d think that with the number of people with their heads up their asses, we’d catch some of these cases early. Apparently, very few people are doing biopsies while participating in our national pastime of craniorectal insertion.

Biopsies and colonoscopies, of course, cost money. Man, if only we had a theoretically available extra $5 billion to do something about it. Hmm….oh well. Guess we’ll just die of ass cancer, but at least we’ll keep fentanyl out of our country. Unless the bad guys figure out how to send it through airports, post offices, and right past monitored checkpoints on the border.

Nah, I’m sure they’ll march through hundreds of miles of barren desert before they do something silly like that!

By the way, my ass hurts. Anyone got any insanely powerful, Chinese-made synthetic opiates I could borrow?

4. Falling.

People, listen up (or down, if you’re already up on a ladder): if you’re going to climb a ladder to get over the border wall, be very careful. The CDC estimates that around 35,000 people die from injuries sustained in falls each year. And according to a statistic I just made up, 98% of those falls occur from ladders propped up against steel slat barriers.

Of course, whether or not you make it into the statistics depends on which side of the barrier on which you fall. If you fall to your death into the United States, you’re what we call an “anchor fall victim,” and we have to count you. If you fall before you make it to the top of the wall, you will likely get your emergency care for free, as Mexico has had universal healthcare since 2009. Felicidades en tu suerte, amigo!

I hope this guy with a backpack full of fentanyl doesn’t fall.

5. Drug overdoses.

In 2017, around 72,000 people died from overdosing on illegal or prescription drugs. That represents an approximate doubling of the number in just one decade. To be fair, it’s hard to blame immigrants for that. Well, it’s hard to blame them unless a dude named Juan is physically injecting you with fentanyl.

Chances are, there are a few decision points in between “drugs entering the country” and “drugs entering and then killing you.” And if there is a dude named Juan physically injecting you with fentanyl, channel your inner Nancy Reagan and just say “no.” It’s conveniently the same word in English and Spanish, so he’ll understand. It’s worth a try, anyway, and a lot cheaper than $5 billion.

If we want to impact the number of drug overdose deaths in our country, one way to do it would be to construct a giant wall across our border with Mexico. That one way would be wholly ineffective, but it is indeed “one way.”

According to the US Drug Enforcement Agency, the vast majority of illegal drugs enter the US via air and sea. The drugs that come across the southern border mostly arrive stashed in cars, trucks, and trailers at patrolled entry points. In other words, slapping up a $5 billion wall is like closing down one CVS in North Dakota and declaring victory in the War on Drugs.

Incidentally, I fully expect Donald Trump to declare victory in the War on Drugs any day now. Parade route to be determined.

In unrelated news, I have been getting a lot of viruses on my computer lately, so I built a ten-foot concrete wall around my house. Checkmate, viruses!

To quote my late grandfather (who was not killed by immigrants, despite what the President tells you), “People are dying today who have never died before.” It’s true. And as much as we want to stop it from happening, the odds of surviving your own death remain low.

Still, we have every right to invest our collective tax dollars in mitigating particularly egregious and untimely forms of death. Understandably, no one wants to get killed in the street by a stranger. We prefer to get killed the old fashioned, American way: by people we know.

Unfortunately, spending $5 billion on a border wall is disproportionately expensive and ineffective in that endeavor.

If you want to reduce your chances of dying from preventable causes, spend that money on eliminating preventable causes. Address the diabetes epidemic with increased funding for preventative healthcare. Increase mental health access for everyone. Give everyone free colon cancer screenings. Make drug addiction counseling and rehabilitation free. Construct safety nets at the base of all tall objects.

But remember, no matter what you do, sooner or later, Destiny catches up with us all. Fortunately, the President paid Destiny $130k to keep her quiet about everything, so we’re safe for now.

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10 thoughts on “Nobody Gets Out Alive

    • Haha, my granddad used to also respond to my grandma, anytime she’d say, “did you hear _______ died?” with, “well I sure hope she did, because they buried her.”

  1. Three things that are sad (1) that people who need to read this won’t (2) and even if they did they wouldn’t get it, and (3) that I can’t write like you!

    • Thank you so much, Toni! Very nice of you to say. And yeah, I realize I’m a certified choir-preacher, but oh well. At least the choir enjoys it 🙂

  2. Okay, so I like everything you write (disclaimer, I think I just made that up?) but this has more quotable quotes (are there any other kind of quotes) than the “shiplap” post (source: I haven’t checked but sounds about right).

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