On Cancer

On Cancer
Written by Rick Turck, Illustrated by Jessie Archambault



I hate how everything causes cancer these days. It’s making everyone into paranoid freaks, especially me. I can’t go anywhere or do anything without having the eerie feeling that cancer is waiting, watching. Whenever I walk down the street, go to the park, or drive downtown I find myself nervously looking over my shoulder. Don’t even ask me to go out at night. Forget it. Cancer is an efficient killing machine and probably nocturnal too. Every time I walk down the sidewalk in the dark I think I hear the heavy breathing of something behind me. “Cancer?” I say quietly.

Don’t even get me started on grocery shopping. Cancer is lurking in every aisle, inside of every box and carton. When I creep into the cereal aisle and look at all the brands, all I can see are Frosted Cancers, Shredded Mini Cancers, and Cancer Crisp. I know food is its favorite hideout so I have to be extra careful.

If you look at the ingredients of any product, it’s no wonder it causes cancer. When the list of ingredients on a bottle of water is 9 miles long, you know there’s a problem. Under the allergy information it might as well just say, “This product probably definitely causes cancer.”

And there’s another thing with today’s products; everything contains corn. I mean, I can see certain cereals being made with corn, but when corn was the first ingredient on a bag of apples, I knew something wasn’t right. Corn probably causes cancer. Is it a coincidence that they both start with the letter ‘C’? Of course it is. But it still probably causes it. That’s what I’m saying.

Sometimes I feel like I should just build a box and get inside but I’ve heard right angles cause cancer. There is just no escape. It’s everywhere. I’m probably getting cancer just by thinking about it. Even the sun, who was supposed to be our friend causes it.

With my luck, when I do get a mole and go to the doctor to have it checked out, I’ll get that 1 in 10 doctor that never agrees with anyone anyway. He’ll take one look at my mole and tell me it’s just an m&m or something. I’ll say we should run some tests to make sure, but of course he’ll just disagree.

After awhile, as the mole grows, I’ll finally find a doctor willing to treat it. And sure, this may sound great, but that’s when I remember that there is no cure. Instead, I’ll be pumped with so much radiation that I’ll wonder if the doctor’s really trying to help or simply trying to kill me before the cancer does. As all of my hair falls out he’ll probably be thinking to himself, “Your move, Cancer.”

Anyway, the way I look at it, I’m doomed. Cancer is out there silently stalking and can take any size, shape, and form. It can strike at any time and even if it doesn’t kill me, the doctor will. The world’s a dangerous place, people. Just keep your head up and stay away from those Shredded Mini Cancers.

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