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5 Things We Used To Think Were Good For Us (Tobacco Enema, Anyone?)

Shock news – diet sodas are bad for you! Yeah, we know, you’ve heard it all before – diet sodas cause cancer, blah blah blah. But wait, there’s more: According to a recent study conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, diet sodas may actually be making you fatter. Apparently, that sugar-free pop can eventually stymie your body’s ability to efficiently metabolize sugar, which basically means that a) you’re going to get fat (or fatter), and b) you’re going to run the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (crap!). If you haven’t seen your penis since 2003, you’re probably asking, “When will the bad news ever end?” (Also: “What does my penis look like?”) Well, if you take a look at all the dumb stuff we thought was good for us through history, we’re guessing the bad news ain’t ending any time soon…

 

Human Sacrifice 

In pre-Colombian America, many Mesoamerican civilizations believed that the ritual of human sacrifice was necessary to prevent catastrophes such as famine, plague, and even the apocalypse. Unfortunately, the tens of thousands of people who had their hearts forcibly extracted from their chests by dagger-wielding priests were not enough to prevent the Aztec, Maya, and Inca civilizations from eventually being vanquished by Spanish conquistadors, which kinda makes you wonder if the priests were even doing it right. Come on, it’s ripping a dude’s still-beating heart out. How hard can it be?    

 

Killing Cats 

In the middle of the 14th century, Europeans decided to start killing cats in droves, believing that doing so would help put an end to the Black Death (also, there was shit all better to do back then). Ironically, this only encouraged the spread of the pustulous plague, since it was largely spread by fleas that lived on rats – rats that now had far less chance of getting mangled by a hungry puddy-tat. Good work, 14th Century Europeans!

 

Bloodletting 

Bloodletting was the most common medical practice performed by physicians until the late 19th century (at which point, it was replaced by overcharging people). While in very rare circumstances it can actually be beneficial, bloodletting is, in the vast majority of cases, harmful to the patient because it weakens the body and increases the risk of infection. The only time you’ll see bloodletting practiced by professionals these days is when treating a rare hereditary condition called hemochromatosis, or possibly when giving an in-depth review of Huey Lewis And The News.

 

Tobacco Smoke Enemas

Up until the mid-19th century, Western medical practitioners prescribed tobacco smoke enemas (literally blowing smoke up someone’s ass) to their patients to treat a wide range of ailments, including headaches, gout, and the greatest ailment of all: Death. In addition to having no real medical value at all, smoke enemas provided physicians with a great opportunity to humiliate a man after he died. Flat-line on the surgeon’s table? Not a problem! We’ll just use this hose to pump your rectum full of tobacco smoke. Then we’ll wait for your bloated corpse to fart it back out so everyone can have a big laugh at your expense. Voilà!

 

Chumbawamba 

In 1997, this band released “Tubthumping,” and in the months following its release, it could be heard any place where two or more white people were congregated. Of everything on this list, dancing to this song is probably the one we’ll be most harshly punished for when our alien overlords come back to judge us.

 

Want more funny stuff? Try 4 Things Every Man Should Learn (From A Hippopotamus) or 30 Fake Names For Anthony Weiner To Use In His Next Scandal.