Holiday Haz

It's that time of year again. Fright time. The season to hide in your room. Preferably under the bed. Whatever you do, stay away from those festive fools who insist on celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other holiday that comes under the heading of Advent or the arrival of the winter solstice. Time of "good cheer"? Forget about it. Make that "time of hideous danger." Get out of town, dude. Take a vacation in Iraq.

Tailpipe sees the signs everywhere.

Did you know that a turkey could be turned, just like that, into an improvised explosive device? Tragically true. The week before Thanksgiving, the Broward Sheriff's Office put out a press release announcing "Deep-Fried Turkey Delicious, But Can Be Dangerous." They can blow up, especially when you dump your still-frozen bird in boiling hot grease. Worst-case scenario? Hot grease spraying your kitchen like napalm. Best? Having your guests lick stuffing off the ceiling fan.

Then the Palm Beach Post reported that frustrating, hard-to-cut, plastic clamshell packaging on gifts can induce "wrap rage" (Tailpipe has been there, and he has the scars to prove it). And the Sun-Sentinel warned: "If you're tempted to share your Thanksgiving meal with your dog or cat, think again." Turns out turkey spices will inflame your pet's pancreas.

Miami-Dade's Consumer Services Department only stressed Tailpipe out more. Never use lighted candles on an evergreen, the agency warned, and never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The 'Pipe wouldn't be able to sleep without passing these warnings along.

While you're obsessing about turkey bombs, beware of these other holiday hazards:

• Rogue carolers: Turn the lights off and pretend not to be home. Just like Halloween!

• Sour eggnog: No, you don't have to throw it away. Turn lemons into lemonade and offer it to your father-in-law.

• Animal-wrapping conundrums: Giving the gift of a pet? Be sure to poke a few discrete air holes in the wrapped box. Nothing ruins the holidays quicker than a dead kitten. (It's best to punch the holes before placing the pet into the box.)

Did Tailpipe mention that you should keep your fingers out of the wall socket?

Happy holidays.

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Edmund Newton