Deborah Ross: First year university students, here's a game for you

If you ask me...

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If you ask me, I would like to introduce all first-year university students who have recently left home to a game which, I hope, will be taken up with some zeal and this game is called: "PHONE YOUR MOTHER EVERY NOW AND THEN, IT WON'T KILL YOU."

This game, which is an excellent game, basically involves phoning your mother every now and then, as it will not kill you. Indeed, having personally studied the research, I can find absolutely no evidence that phoning your mother every now and then would be detrimental to your health in any way and as the General Medical Council has said: "Phoning your mother every now and then has yet to even be linked with shortness of breath or weight gain or any of the common skin disorders, like eczema, so it certainly will not kill you."

And as the British Medical Journal recently reported: "Your mother recognises you are now independent and busy with your own life but, still, you could phone her every now and then. It's not as if she's ceased to exist, plus she now only has your father for company, and we all know how boring he is.

"Also, it does not cause tendonitis, gout, tennis elbow, shingles or even one of those vague aches you can't quite put your finger on."

This is not a hard game to play, and the instructions in full are as follows:

1. Reach out your hand and grasp your phone. (As phoning your mother every now and then has yet to be linked to dizziness, you don't even have to be sitting down; you can do it standing up or on the move).

2. Call your home number, probably listed as "Home" in your contacts, and which you may remember as the place where your mother busted her gut to give you a happy childhood and endlessly played Robin to your Batman and once stayed up all night to make you a football birthday cake, not that any of it seems to have registered.

3. Say: "Hi mum, how's it going?"

Afterwards, all your normal functions (respiration, digestion etc) will continue as usual, plus you will have made the silly old fool who misses you very happy.

I hope, students, you will embrace this game but, if not, would ask you to look out for the next two games in the series, which are "ANSWER THE PHONE WHEN YOUR MOTHER CALLS, IT WON'T KILL YOU" and "RETURN YOUR MOTHER'S CALLS ONCE IN A WHILE, AS THIS ALSO WON'T KILL YOU".

Both are excellent and do not lead to lupus, or any of the other auto-immune diseases.

d.ross@independent.co.uk

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