It's a dangerous occupation.
However, Bill Bryson [Notes from a Big Country, Black Swan, 1998] is right when he says there's an awful lot of it about. Maybe it's the dumbing down of education, maybe it's the high-death diet the west eats, maybe it's the water. I think it has something to do with clubbing.
See what you think as I hand over here to Bryson:
Here, for instance, is the actress Brooke Shields, without any help from grown-ups, explaining to an interviewer why you shouldn't smoke: 'Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life.'
Bryson was a little before Denise's time but I'm sure she would have earned an honourable mention.
And here is the singer Mariah Carey getting to the heart of Third World troubles: 'Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff.'
Whatever is the stage beyond the mind boggling is the stage I reach each time I read that quotation.
It takes the form over here of swaggering about, nodding sagely and mocking gutturally whilst gesticulating with flailing arms and highlights the most pressing need for the truly stupid - the need to find someone even more stupid than themselves.
And yet, one can't help but feel that they're happy in their wild animal luxury and one last thing - we are, none of us, getting any younger and intellect … well … well it does sort of drop off, you know.
I think that's what I was trying to say.