I have discovered the nation's worst kept secret: The Daily Mail, that ubiquitous entity that follows your sorrow like a jewel hungry magpie, has a long-standing and ferocious bout of panphobia - the persistent, abnormal and unwarranted fear of each and everything.
This discovery, so non-shocking that the seismic plates quivered just a little, was aided by a game I developed recently, aptly called 'The Daily Mail Game'.
This is how you play:
Find a random noun generator online - generate yourself a random noun - put it into Google along with the words 'Daily Mail' and behold the plethora of horror on or related to that subject.
My time is limited and my patience waned and as such I was unable to experiment with every single noun in the history of the English lexicon - my datum is of course flawed, which is why we also have to use a healthy dose of common sense. None the less, here's what I found:
- Control pants give you heartburn, back problems, varicose veins and KILLER blood clots
- A banana a day can keep strokes at bay but also do sometimes contain KILLER spiders, not just any killer spider but the WORLD'S DEADLIEST spider.
- Marijuana KILLS, like once, maybe, but the most important thing is the woman it killed was a Christian so...
- Chewing gum causes headaches in teenagers
- Teachers are chastising British school kids for going off piste in their packed lunch choices
- Priests strip off at gay bars/have portal to hell in their basement/DISGUST other priests
- A kangaroo was trapped in a hubcap in AUSTRALIA (just about as far away from here as it's possible to be)
- Flood hit homes are targeted by THIEVES who steal fuel
- Vitamin E fuels CANCER in smokers
- British women are FATTER than the French
- British teenagers the WORST in the world at, well, pretty much everything apart from binge drinking - we're ace at that!
So there we have it. Either we are at continuous risk of impending death, doom and dumbing down or the Daily Mail is so well-written it makes what I hope to be a small proportion of the nation actually believe that the one-off atrocities it screams about are a common affair.
Seriously, next time you share a Daily Mail article on Facebook, just know this - no matter whether you do it for the choorts, the witty celeb-bashing retorts or just because you're kind of dumb, you are still a Daily Mail reader.