Beware the perils of what begins with ‘B’

Photo: Christine O'Connor.
Photo: Christine O'Connor.
Christmas is a time of heightened emotions and increased health and safety concerns. David Loughrey considers Christmas hazards anyone can face, but limits himself to those starting with the letter "B".


The hazard of being mean about Bananas.

There seems to be a vicious, malevolent international cartel determined to besmirch the fabulous, nutritious, golden blond banana.

Bananas have always been the fruit that has connected Dunedin to the outside world, when even before the internet we could communicate, gastronomically at least, with countries like Ecuador.

But lately, the internet, perhaps jealous of the banana’s international reach, has become a home to banana haters.

Bananas feature regularly on lists of "five foods you should never eat", where a small sketch of a bunch of bananas pops up uninvited on your Facebook page.

Fat-loss websites claim bananas will spike your blood sugar and leave you craving snacks when you crash later in the day.

Some claim bees are more likely to sting people near bananas, while others suggest banana skins are dangerous because they are slippery.

This is all outrageously and dangerously wrong.

In fact bananas are cheap, nutritionally dense, and not at all fattening.

Banana slip injuries are almost unknown in New Zealand.

Bananas are everything banana haters are not: reliable, decent, yet strangely lewd.

Leave them be.

Merry Christmas.


The hazard of Birth.

Try exceptionally hard not to give birth at Christmas, or during the week or so on either side of Christmas day.

There are some fairly obvious reasons for this.

Traditional Christmas-time activities like eating and drinking will be badly impaired by the birth-giving process, as will present-opening and uncomfortable interactions with family members.

Worse, nobody wants a baby as a present, and nobody — but nobody — wants to be a present.


Most people born on Christmas Day are of a dull sort, including Byzantine Emperor John IV Laskaris, born in 1250, Christina of Saxony, queen of Denmark and Norway, born in 1461,  English composer Orlando Gibbons, born in 1583, and Margarita of Austria, queen of Philip III of Spain, born in 1587.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding is an exception.

Merry Christmas.


The hazard of eating Baubles.

Christmas baubles, particularly the little red balls that hang like shiny attractive enchantments under Christmas tree branches, are strangely appealing visually, and, in the hazy lemon dawn of a Dunedin Christmas Day can seem oddly appetising.

Yet their lustrous surface is easily shattered by descending teeth, their smooth veneer splintered and the razor slivers of their violent demise can only too easily become a Christmas hazard.

Once crunched, the shards of bauble will travel in a southerly direction as the mandible depresses and the lips abduct to allow food or liquid to enter the oral cavity.

Upon entering the oral cavity, they may cleave the soft interior skin as the mandible elevates and the lips adduct to assist in oral containment of the food and liquid.

This is bad.

Don’t eat Christmas baubles.

Merry Christmas


The hazard of Bickering.

Generally, bickering is a result of the unresolved rage of one or several participants in any bicker situation.

Depressed people in particular harbour significant anger in the unconscious which can result in rage and crippling depression, and an ego that gets overwhelmed by this unconscious burden.

Freud had thoughts on this matter.In Dunedin abnormal behaviour is often understood in terms of causation in ... oh this is just silly.

Hi Dunedin.

his is David Loughrey, and I’d like to bring you a more serious Christmas message.

The world in general has been appallingly awful for at least 12 months, what with the genuinely terrifying things that are happening, mostly overseas, where people are not from Dunedin, or even New Zealand.

I don’t really need to list these, but clearly idiots are now in charge of some of the world’s largest countries, and goodness and decency are under the most severe attack.

It is now more obvious than ever that Dunedin people are the most reasonable, educated and culturally sensitive people in the world, which is why the vile political movements popular with the ignorant and angry seldom raise their vicious little heads here.

This Christmas, remember that, and consider, as a New Year’s resolution, making world a better place by just being quietly decent.

I know I will be.

Oh yeah, and keep reading your local newspaper.It helps, somehow.

● Other Christmas hazards to be extremely wary of: brawling; boasting; bears; backchat; bloomers; blunderbusses; bowling and brassieres. Merry Christmas.


Doctor Frud.

I think what David should have concluded is that depression is a self absorbed response to a pluralist zeitgeist. That's what I think. As well, the Nicklaos of Holland is a stupid old guy wearing a hooded dressing gown.

€200 please