There was a thing on the radio yesterday where people were phoning in to complain about the dangers of tea lights. Up till now I'd always thought of them as nothing more than little candle things that seem to be needed with almost everything She Who Must buys these days, but how wrong I was: they're evil! And dangerous! And one concerned caller even went so far as to say they should be banned for our own good!!! And why? Because if you don't put them on something like a coaster, or a saucer, or something else that isn't likely to burst into flame (a big square of carpet impregnated with petrol for example -- that would be a bad idea) it might get burnt! You could accidentally set fire to your house! The government must act now!!!
Given that tea lights are a little puddle of hot wax, with a naked flame in the middle, contained in a metal cup so flimsy you could push processed peas through it, I would have though it was bloody obvious it's going to be a fire hazard. The fact the bloody thing's on fire should be a pretty good clue to the fact it's going to get hot.
But, mindful of the need for touchy-feelieness in all aspects of life I have come up with a plan to make the world a safer place: IQ test. Everyone should be forced to undergo an IQ test and carry around proof of the result before they're allowed to buy things. Think how many truly idiotic people could be saved from their own ineptitude?
"I'm sorry, sir, but you've ordered the steak and I see from your IQ Card you're not bright enough to be allowed steak knives. As such you'll have to either saw your way through it with plastic cutlery, or have the soup instead."
BANG! That's one accident prevented. And I'm pretty sure half the bastards out there wouldn't be allowed to buy cars either, so that'll solve the traffic congestion problems in one fell swoop! Swooosh! Social reform.
Not only that, we'd have a central register of all the thickies in the country and we could make their lives infinitely better by going round to their houses and confiscating anything they might accidentally use to injure themselves. Like cardigans (you may laugh, but 964 people are admitted to accident and emergency wards every year from cardigan-and-jumper-related injuries!*) socks and tights result in tens of thousands** of hospital admissions every year. CONFISCATE ALL SOCKS AND TIGHTS! And trousers too -- 9,410 thick people injured themselves in 2002 by not being bright enough to operate their trousers safely. In fact, taken together: Cardigans, Cotton Wool, Nappies, Socks, Trousers and Underwear result in nearly 70,000 people ending up in hospital every year. And they wonder why there isn't a British empire any more?
Anyway, once they've been identified, and all the dangerous things have been taken away, all the truly stupid people could then be given jobs reflecting their minimal skills -- like designing reality TV shows, or being politicians.
Lets stay safe out there people!
* And believe it or not, that's an improvement on 2000, when there were 1,863 serious cardigan accidents.
** well, 13,407 -- which is more than one ten of thousands, so technically speaking I'm right on this one, and you shouldn't complain.