Monday, 29 March 2010

4 Rules of Health and Safety

One of my favourite things in the whole world is scaring the shit out of people.  You know when someone isn't expecting you to be there and you let out a blood-curdling scream and then they react really weirdly, swearing, lashing out and looking angry.  Hilarious.

My all time favourite was when I called my ex from just outside our front door and asked her to pick me up from the pub as I was too drunk to get home.  She reluctantly agreed and then when she stepped outside the door I leapt from the shadows shouting DIEEEEE; starting off really gruffly and ending in an eerie high pitched wail.  She ran up the stairs screaming her little lungs out and it took her about an hour to fully calm down.  

Now there's all sorts of stupid rules about when I'm allowed to frighten someone.  It's no longer just when someone has a heart condition, the world's gone Health and Safety crazy!

I'm not allowed to scare my girlfriend at the following times:
  1. When she's pouring something.  Sugar, salt, milk, boiling water.  The list is endless.  
  2. When she's cooking.  No problem there then.
  3. When she's holding a knife or other sharp object.    
  4. When she's applying eye make-up.
I'm sure there'll be other restrictions on my scaring activities in the future, it's like living in a police state.  

Years back, many jobs ago, I wanted to put up a pretty sweet poster that someone had lovingly drawn, of a wolf, with long hair, smoking a cigarette.  This was to demonstrate that our section was brilliant and everyone else in the office was gay.  

One of the HR busybodies said to me that I wasn't to erect this poster because smoking's a Health and Safety risk and not allowed in the office.  I said 'so wolves are allowed in the office?', and received a blank stare in return. 

It occurred to me that there are people who take Health and Safety directives seriously.  People who would never run with scissors.  Who wouldn't climb on a computer chair to change a light-bulb.  People who lift with their legs and wear goggles when they trim their toe-nails.  

Does being super careful in case we get hurt really enhance our quality of life? Probably not.  'Smoking takes 20 years off your life, but it's the shit 20 years.'   No idea who first said that, smoking's disgusting and smelly and makes you impotent, but embracing the spirit behind living for the moment would probably make us all happier and a little more carefree.

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