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Being young and carefree whippersnappers, we at the Reg had never given much thought to our own mortality. Not until, that is, a humble pen reminded us of our own appointment with the grim reaper.

The implement in question is a Microsoft freebie which flashes every time your mobile rings. We decided to take it down London's bustling Oxford Street to see how it responded. Bad idea.

The bloody thing didn't stop blinking until we sealed it in a lead-lined box and threw it in the river. The facts are clear: the air is full of microwave radiation and we're all going to fry.

Unless that is, some other biblical pestilence gets there first.

If you want to die right now, it's simple. Eat a beef sandwich while talking on a mobile phone, smoking a fag and having sex with just about anyone in the world. Preferably in a picturesque cottage on the banks of some British river.

If you don't get AIDS, CJD, lung cancer or a brain tumour, you'll probably drown. If that's too much effort, wait thirty years and an asteroid will hit you.

According to our very own necromancer, Dr Spinoladamus, the only safe place to be is lying on the railway tracks. Sic transit gloria mundi. ®

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