Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Government Health Warning

I'm considering suing the United Fruit Company. There should be a printed warning on every banana peel. Those things can be hazardous to your health. - Walter Mattthau in "The Fortune Cookie".
The world is a dangerous place. There are more and more health warnings everywhere, and yet there's still a long way to go before we completely erradicate danger. Take the common potato, for example. Millions of these are sold each day, with no warning whatsoever about their potential to kill and maim. Only the other day, a man was knocked unconcious when, during a row, his wife lobbed a spud at him. Afterwards, it was mashed, which is a very sensible safety precaution, but unfortunately too late.

In Britain in 2001, 800 people were injured in incidents involving sponges and loofahs. And no fewer than 6,000 people tripped over their trousers, or fell down the stairs whilst pulling them up. Simple instructions could be life-saving, and yet 6 years on the clothes industry appears not to have got the message.

On Sunday I posted a picture of my clothes basket. I regret that I did not include a warning, and have since examined this potential death-trap (wearing protective clothing, and taking full precautionary measures), but there are no danger notices anywhere. And yet 3,421 Brits were injured in accidents involving such a basket.

The more warnings and instructions we have, the more we assume that when there aren't any, something is "safe". We can't afford to take any chances with our health. Our governments must act. After all, why should we actually have to use our brains, or rely on common sense? And why should we be brought up with an understanding that the world can be a dangerous place, and that risk-taking is a fact of life? Or that people who pull their trousers up whilst walking up the stairs, or who lob potatoes around deserve everything they get?

There is some hope, though. For example, the jar of pistachios that I've just been eating has the note: "Allergy advice: Contains nuts". I don't know where I'd be without such helpful and educational information.

No doubt our regulatory bodies will continue to sterilse our existence. In the meantime, please watch what you're doing with that loofah...

11 comments:

Bee said...

I'm glad you up brought all these health hazards! We were raised to walk and dress at the same time so it's not uncommon for us to have many- face hit floor due to trousers around ankles -falls!

Pistachios are the yummiest of nuts.

I just have an innocent naive question, what the hell do people do with loofahs???

Bee said...

Have you heard of the potato gun? Weirdly enough they are made by pre-teens.

Ingrid said...

Thanks for a good laugh. Your potato comment (incriminating weapon cooked and eaten) reminded me of the story "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl. Have you ever read it?

Ingrid said...

In case you have not, you can read it here: http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/lamb.html

Jean Knee said...

I shot a corn gun in October while we were at a pumpkin farm. I wasn't a very good shot but Drew could hit all the targets. they didn't give us any safety advice at all. I wonder if it's too late to sue for possible health risks that could possibly have occured? This is America, if a lady can spill hot coffee on her and get millions I think I have a shot.

Jean Knee said...

Ingrid--I know that story well, we read it in high school and I loved it but I didn't know it was by Roald Dahl- I love that guys creepy humor

Brian o Vretanos said...

Bee:

I'm not sure what they're doing with loofahs that's likely to injure them...

Potato Guns - Everything's bigger and better in America - We only had pea-shooters when I was young ;-)

Brian o Vretanos said...

Ingrid:

I hadn't read it, so thankyou. It's brilliant!

Brian o Vretanos said...

Jean Knee:

America is also the only country in the world where guns don't hurt people, so I don't expect you've got a hope ;-)

Brian o Vretanos said...

Maybe people should come with a health warning...

Bee said...

Nope! Yours is fine. Hey, I just realized you haven't done the Dead Friday thing.