Nice outfit. Where do you keep the fire extinguisher?


Are we obsessed with safety in all things, except what can actually kill us? Last Christmas my wife and I attended a carol service in London. Before the service started with a candlelit procession and a lone voice singing out ‘Silent Night’, we got a safety announcement. Yup. All the lights were switched on, organ music stopped and the priest in full air stewardess mode pointed out where the fire exits were in case a candle ignited a choir boy’s cassock or some incense managed to set fire to a pew. This in a building that had survived over 1,000 years and never so much as had a runaway candle singe an altar cloth. However later this year my wife has organised a huge charity bash here in Malta to save the Valletta Skyline starring the world’s best ABBA Tribute Band, Revival. So it’s time for fancy dress… out with blue eyeliner, bellbottom trousers and platform shoes. As I am not quite the snake hipped love god of 40 years ago, my old clothes are a tad snug, so I need to hire an outfit. There is a smorgasbord of ABBA costumes available to buy on the web... most of which have a small warning saying stay away from a naked flame or the wearer will turn into a Roman Candle. So there you have it. Come to a church made predominantly out of stone and be subjected to a fire drill, but buy some clothes that can toast you like a marshmallow and tough luck.  Yo-yo (You are on Your own).

...and another thing

We get our safety priorities all arse-about-face. Families quite happily trudge around the countryside, each with an emergency water bottle and all carrying backpacks. Ask any back doctor for just about the worst thing you can do to you to your spine, and apart from wearing flip-flops, it’s lugging a back pack!

On the other hand, woe betide if your kids want to have a conker fight or climb a tree in which case they have to put on enough protective gear and padding to look like the Michelin Man.

...and another thing

As in the wild as at home, it’s not the obvious that kills you. Sure if you choose to wander across the veld with a steak hanging out of your pocket Simba and the rest of the pack might have you as a canapé. But the truth is the mosquito kills far more people in Africa than lions (and as for big animals well, Henry the Hippo kills far more tourists than any pride of lions).

And at home? Well if you live in a country where strapping on a gun is as basic as getting dressed and slipping on a pair of y fronts, there is a high chance that you will get drilled.

However as a percentage, women who go for huge breast implants are very likely to suffer severe neck and back injury, many actual fatalities. Sadly the report I got that from did not confirm or deny men who have oversize penile implants often suffer from a black eye. In any event, danger comes from where you least expect it.

Time to get back to my ABBA costume.  Maybe I’ll get my wife to come as a fireman!

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  1. Bill Cameron says:

    You are one funny bloke!
    Willy with love……

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