Flowers, cakes and cotton buds

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Chris Geiger rails at the latest ‘elf and safety diktats which are turning us into a nation of shrinking violets.Visitors are banned from taking flowers into our hospitals.

We’re told it reduces the chances of patients suffering a slow and painful death, should they contract the highly contagious ‘wilting petal’ disease.

The ban was enforced despite the Department of Health issuing a statement saying “there’s no evidence of flower water causing an infection”. What a surprise, I often thought people often confused a vase containing flowers with a water jug… So it’s only natural to be suspicious if you’re presented with flowers. After all if a patient can die while surrounded by a building full of medical staff, the chances of survival at home must be practically zero. A great excuse if ever I heard one, when your partner moans “you never buy me flowers anymore” – As always, I digress.

Now, some hospitals have banned homemade cakes because of health and safety concerns. Officials claim sponge cakes and tea loaves contravene guidelines, blaming the ban on strict rules over packaging and labeling.

What the department of Health and Safety has failed to notice, due to their obsession to create legislation on our every activity, is they are breeding a new highly contiguous disease. It’s far more dangerous than any ‘wilting petal’ disease.

It’s called moron’s disease. I’m not talking about the city in Argentina, to the west of Buenos Aires, I’m talking about people of subnormal intelligence. That’s politically correct speak for idiot, thick or stupid.

Now when we purchase a hot drink, we need to be told we could burn ourselves. When crossing a road we have to be told which way to look. The funniest warning I read was in a car handbook, it stated “For safety reasons, carry out engine adjustments while the vehicle is stationary”.

Their compulsive preoccupation to make us all healthier and safer is actually creating an unhealthy and unsafe nation of idiots, who are becoming unable to think for themselves.

Over 7,000 people with moron’s disease attended Accident & Emergency last year, to have cotton buds removed from their ears. That’s more than the number of people who had accidents with razor blades. The official explanation is razor blades have a warning on the packet, cotton buds don’t.

Ready meals have instructions on both opening and cooking the contents, because six out of ten people have stabbed themselves when trying to open a ready meal with a knife; and that’s with instructions.

I was in a meeting with the marketing team of ‘Above and Beyond’ this week. A charity that raises and manages funds, for all nine hospitals within University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. I jokingly suggested they put a leaflet under the pillow of all the patients, a little like the flyers we get stuffed under our windscreen wipers when we park our cars. I was told they’d need to be laminated, because, you’ve guessed it ‘Health and Safety’.

However it’s okay for an uninvited stranger to stuff a leaflet through my letter box, advertising a ‘No win no fee’ service, should I be the victim of medical negligence. Yet if they slip on my garden path, they’re entitled to claim damages from me.

Relax, before you get stressed because you weren’t warned this article could increase your blood pressure. I have a solution – I have a vaccine for the 2.7 million people who visit A & E with moron’s disease each year. It’s called common sense.

If people stuff things in their ears perforating their eardrums, or cut their fingers on knives – I say let the deaf moron’s bleed, they’ll soon learn.

Finally, I’d like to congratulate you on your bravery in reading this magazine today. To think, without any words of caution you risked paper cuts, ink coming off on your hands and me waffling on about morons.

Chris Geiger is an ambassador for Cancer Research UK and Above & Beyond. To donate directly visit or follow him on Twitter @Chris_Geiger.