A study cited in today’s Chicago Sun-Times suggests that premature death is tied to a dearth of grocery stores.

Thank you, Jewel-Osco, Dominick’s and Aldi’s. Sure, I enjoyed the convenience of living less than five minutes drive away from any of these fine groceries, but little did I know that all that time you were shielding me from a tragic, premature death of unimaginable horror. You have my eternal gratitude, and when I return to Chicago I will join your frequent shopper clubs.

Of course, had I known this life-saving information in advance, I would have moved up to Bloomingdale or Roselle. They have the same groceries up there plus a Butera Market and a Caputo’s on Lake Street. I would have been even safer and eaten even more delectable foods. The lines were usually longer in those stores, though.

Now I have nothing but Publix, Winn-Dixie and Food Lion to keep me out of an early grave. Hopefully they’re up to the challenge.