It's summertime and the living - and DYING- is easy! Are easy! Whichever. Yes ma'am and sir, summer season activities - swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, the dirt-bike motocross circuit, the hang-gliding expo, the wild west high noon shootouts, the illegal high speed cross country race involving Dean Martin and Dom Deluise- all these things spell D-A-N-G-E-R. Who will help teach us about water safety and learn us on how to stay healthy? Walter Safety, that's who. Yes, Walter Safety, the Canadian Red Cross swimming program mascot! Designed in 1963 by Alan Fujiwara, Walter Safety is just about the most perfect clean-line space-age cartoony mascot ever created, and at one time was everywhere - Red Cross pamphlets, swimming guidelines, merit badges, and safety posters posted on high school swimming pool walls, as seen in the zany Canadian teen sex comedy "Screwballs", which is where I first saw Walter, shocked no doubt at being dragged into such a low-class affair.

At any rate Walter Safety was on a mission to keep Canadians safe. To that end the Red Cross published this Safety Calendar. Enterprising Canadians could post it up in their cottage, so that when they were on holiday away from the Big City, away from television reception and phones and daily newspapers and other distractions, they could stare at it for hours on end until they simply went mad - for safety!

Here we go with Walter Safety's Safety Tips, Tips Safety for Safety, Walter. And hey, the 1966 calendar will be good in 2022, so keep this handy! Let's take a closer look at some of these tips and see exactly how safe, and how tipped, Walter Safety's Safety Tips are.

Use good manners when investigating water conditions - always greet the water politely, and ask permission *before* jumping in with your buddy. That same buddy can be your look-out man when you use your water-skiing boat as a getaway vehicle during your many lakeside robberies! At least that's what the law says.

Empty JAVEX bottles make great marker buoys! Nothing highlights the beauty of nature like bright plastic yellow jugs floating hither and yon across the lake. Obviously everyone has plenty of empty JAVEX bottles lying around, since JAVEX is such an essential part of our daily lives. Whatever JAVEX is.

Wait, WHAT? We're supposed to keep our inflated toys and inner tubes OUT OF THE WATER? The water is WHY WE BOUGHT THEM, Walter.

Why not plug that empty JAVEX bottle up, tie some rope to it, and pretend your garbage sculpture is now valuable lifesaving apparatus? In fact, why not hang a whole clothesline's worth of JAVEX bottles along the shoreline? Because that's LITTERING, that's why, no matter what it is that JAVEX turns out to be. I'm leaning towards JAVEX being a a brand of soft drink, myself.

Be a good swimmer before you even try to get in that canoe and beat the snotty rich-kid campers from across the lake in the big canoe race, winning the prize money and saving your camp from bankruptcy. If upset in the canoe, hang on to the side of the canoe and have a good cry, you know, really blubber and get that tantrum out before help arrives.

Don't fall into the deadly freezing rapids while fishing, that's good advice. In fact, why not try fishing someplace not quite so deadly? It don't matter where ya go, them fish ain't bitin' nohow.

Shooting from a boat? The sitting or "kneeling" position is best for accuracy, because if you lie down you'll just blow a hole in the gunwale, and if you stand up not only will you just lose your balance and fall into the water, but your victims will see you shooting at them and likely start shooting back, and that's a dangerous trip, man.

MY preferred pond skating safety technique is to make sure there's at least four inches of ice in the drink I'm enjoying back at the bar at the ski lodge.

Wait a minute Walter, now *I* gotta be a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor too? Aren't there already enough of you guys blowing whistles and hollering at me to get out of the pool?

Cross-country skiers! Beware when crossing frozen streams, look out for logs and rocks hidden under the snow, stay alert for the danger signs of hypothermia, and remember, some bears don't hibernate all winter long! In fact maybe cross-country skiing isn't such a great idea after all. Stick to the bunny slopes.

Wow, thanks Walter Safety, for reminding me to keep my children away from ice floes. I was totally gonna let little Jimmy and Janie romp on that ice floe over there, but now I think that might not be such a great idea. Thanks again Walter.

Again with the bright yellow JAVEX bottles staining our pristine wilderness with their ugly plastic faces! What is this obsession with JAVEX, which I believe is Giant Tiger house brand salad dressing, and finding new and garish uses for their bottles? I ask you!

Walter says, if your boat has a big square hole in the bottom, congratulations, you're a boat owner. Remember, BOAT stands for Break Out Another Thousand!

Look Walter, I got a motorboat so I could zoom around and drive crazy and NOT have to obey any of the laws that happened to be the reason they took my driving license away. I'm not on a road so I don't gotta obey no stupid rules of no road. Now outta my way, I gotta put eighteen people onto the tiny boat I just bolted that 150 horsepower Evinrude onto!

As we know there are only 12 months in the year, so Walter was limited in the hazard scenarios he could demonstrate. But there are plenty of other health and safety tips Walter has for us, and here are a few.

There's a lot to cover here but I think we can boil it down to essentials - don't use absorbent cotton or antiseptics, apply alternating heat and cold, encourage slight bleeding, wash with strong soap, keep parts quiet, loosen clothing, give cup of strong coffee or tea, keep fishing tackle out of reach of children, and learn to recognize dangers. In fact, just nail that last one and you're good.

At this point there's only one question on everybody's minds, and of course that question is "what else can we do with empty JAVEX bottles?"

Fill 'em with sand and use 'em for anchors! Tie them to the edge of your dock for bumpers! Cut 'em in half and use 'em for funnels! Fill 'em with water and use them to keep food cold! Scoops, sand pails, flower pots, some of the saddest "games" ever - all can be YOURS if you simply have a lot of JAVEX bottles lying around, as one does. Just write to DOMTAR, Javex Divison, Loading Dock Of The PetSmart Next To The Canadian Tire On Eglinton, Toronto Ontario. And yes we know JAVEX is bleach. Don't drink it, okay? Walter says that DEFINITELY isn't safe!

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