The week of living dangerously

If you value your life, don't read the papers. There are perils around every corner – particularly if the corner shop sells killer kebabs

Drinking too much can kill you. Freak weather conditions can kill you. Too much love can kill you, if you can't make up your mind – torn between the lover and the love you leave behind. For the careless and the uninformed, death lurks around every corner. The end of the world is nigh; global warming may be irrevocable; Boris Johnson is the mayor of London. Now, we discover, a simple kebab can be fatal.

The headlines in last week's papers were unequivocal. "Doner Goner" read the Daily Mirror. "Killer Kebabs", warned the Daily Star. Two kebabs a week, they reported, could be fatal. Did they mean that two inadequately-spaced doners are equivalent to an instant overdose? Or are these two specific deadly kebabs, fed into the market weekly by crazed Turkish separatists? Does extra chilli sauce provide no protection?

Leafing through the papers, though, kebab death seemed just the tip of the iceberg. Elsewhere, The Sun revealed that "working in an office may be slowly killing you". The Daily Mail discovered that "desk work can result in fatal DVT". Too much TV is bad for you, as are high heels, flat shoes, fat tummies and joss sticks (they're as bad as passive smoking). But exercise and the pursuit of health are equally risky. Cycling without a helmet is near-suicide, Boris Johnson's advisers have told him, advising a chauffeur-driven limo instead. But traffic fumes are a serious health risk. Going on holiday is bad for you. Going to hospital could prove fatal. So can pole dancing: "Irish performers are being struck down by ugly, blotchy rashes, scales or even warts," seems to be the problem.

This, then, was the week of living dangerously. I had to find out for myself just what kind of dangers we all face. One kebab, apparently, contains the equivalent of a wine glass full of saturated fat, or 1,000 calories. I had my first on Thursday evening, after first lining my stomach with health-giving white wine. Did I feel my pulse quicken – or was that just the raw chilli?

Cycling without a helmet was scarier. Unlike Boris's advisers, my advisers suspect that drivers give lady cyclists a wider berth if they teeter along with a baguette in their basket and a floppy hat. But that was lost on the man in Greenwich who squashed me into traffic, mobile phone to one ear as he pulled out without indicating. "Chill out," he tutted as I squeaked, "Look where you're going!" Cycling without a helmet was not fatal – telling cyclists you have nearly run over to "chill out" could have been fatal, if I had been able to pedal faster.

It's definitely the chauffeur-driven limo for me in future – but even if I do get driven to work, I am putting my life in danger by being here. Aside from deep vein thrombosis, as I sit here writing this I risk sick building syndrome, electronic smog, computer vision syndrome, laser printer-induced lung damage and E. coli from the bacteria in my keyboard. And that's not all: "Smiling too much at work is bad for you," says a headline in the Daily Mirror. Good job I'm not smiling. Time for another kebab.

Weirdly, the local east London fast food shop was packed at 12:15pm. Don't these people read the papers? "Hmph, if they were true I'd be dead by now," said the owner, Hassan. I tuck into the house special (spicy). I wash down lunch with a Marks & Spencer Vanilla Velvet smoothie. It's lethal, apparently – it contains more calories than a McDonald's double cheeseburger. Somehow, the McDonald's double cheeseburger has become an international unit of measurement for calories.

By this time, though, I am struggling. Not with my dodgy heart or lungs, but in trying to find any more ways to kill myself in E14. It's a bit late for underage sex, and opportunities are limited anyway at Independent House. I would marry my cousin, which is very risky, but it's short notice and she's stuck in the office. I apply some lip gloss (it "attracts the sun's rays", causing cancer, apparently) and am feeling invincible.

But hang on... beneath the "Doner Goner" headline, in the small print, scientists reveal that kebab suicide can only be achieved if you eat two a week "on top of an already unhealthy diet of fry-ups and pies... for 10 years". Sorry, readers. My dedication is real – but I'll already be dead at my desk by then.

Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsSchool leaver's pic YouTube video features staging of a playground gun massacre
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Morrissey pictured in 2013
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Robyn Lawley
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

    Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

    Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

    £50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

    PHP Developer

    £45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: PHP Develope...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star