Saturday, April 7, 2007

Forget Next Week's Office – Get Your Safety Training Here!

Next week’s episode of The Office is called “Safety Training,” so I decided to do a little Safety Training of my own. There are many tenets of staying alive to be found on our favorite TV shows, and I figured I should share what I’ve learned. Sharing is really what we’re all about here at Chaos in General, and you’ll really be better off in the long run if you know how to take care of yourself. It’s a scary world out there, and Sydney Bristow can’t always have your back.

1. “You should have your keys already out. You never know who might be lurking.” These words, uttered by Dr. Carter in ER’s ninth season, have been a lesson to me. Just last night, I walked home from a friend’s house with my keys in my hand. Not only does it prevent unnecessary lingering on your front porch, your keys could also be a good weapon if you got attacked, God forbid. Use your resources!

2. Never EVER go in parking garages alone. Or at all. Bad stuff happens in parking garages. Sydney Bristow’s first fight was in the SD-6 parking garage in the Pilot, and many more altercations, interrogations, and general mischief-making took place in parking garages throughout that series. Let’s see, there was the time Dixon and Renee tied the guy to the hood of the car and then whipped him around the parking garage. Oh, and then the time that Lauren Reed dry-humped that Convenant skeez and then slit his throat. Umm, Sloane snuck up on Sydney and Isabelle in the finale.... On The X-Files, the ultimate showdown between Team Mulder and Billy Miles in part took place in the FBI parking garage in "Essence." It ended in a huge explosion that killed Alex Krycek and which Team Mulder barely escaped. Danger lies in these concrete structures of death.

3. For God’s sake, lock your doors. And if someone knocks while you have been drinking and they are shouting at you, it’s probably not a good idea to “see what they want.” They want to beat you up, Abby Lockhart.

4. Be wary of electrical appliances. Yes, operating, say, a toaster oven, might be an everyday part of your life, but beware. Objects like toasters, microwaves, and George Foreman grills are dangerous and deadly. Michael Scott burned his foot pretty bad on his George Foreman grill. Jack and Irina experienced a toaster oven disaster when they got drunk and forgot about their toast. Which leads me to point number five...

5. Don’t drink and do anything. Drinking on television is not going to go well for anybody. TV drunks are more stupid than real-life drunks, and nobody on TV either knows how to drink in moderation or has an alcohol tolerance above that of my seventeen-year-old sister who threw up the last time she visited me at college. They inadvertently kiss people (Pam Beesly), crash their bicycles (Jim Halpert), or set kitchen appliances ablaze. It’s a bad idea, kids.

6. Run. I can’t explain how irritated I was with Alias’s first season finale. Vaughn, who’s admittedly not the brightest crayon in the box, found himself trapped between a rapidly-closing door and a huge wall of water. Sydney made it to the other side, while Vaughn just stood there and WATCHED it. The man literally watched as a hallway tsunami came full-force at his face. And then he was upset when he didn’t make it through the door on time. That was stupid.

7. When all else fails, scream. The worst thing is not falling off a pier, Meredith Grey. The worst thing is not getting found. If you had taken that plunge in season two, you’d have been screwed. A few good screams of “Help!” could have saved you the trouble of hanging out in surgatory with Denny and your mom. Nobody should be too proud to ask for help, especially if they are bleeding, drowning, or otherwise impaired.

You can learn what not to do from your favorite TV characters. They make safety mistakes every day, and these screw-ups often cost them big time. These guidelines can keep you out of trouble in everyday situations requiring some safety judgments. Just don’t ask us what to do if you encounter a supersoldier. I’ve got no clue.

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