Thursday, October 13, 2011

This Week in the Decline of the British Empire: Blowing Up Balloons Is An Adult Activity

Under new rules debated and agreed upon by the British government (in concert with the European Union' toy safety directive) have identified a menace to children everywhere: blowing up balloons
Official guidance notes: "For latex balloons there must be a warning that children under eight years must be supervised and broken balloons should be discarded."
A government official, perhaps realizing that he is wasting his life, admitted, "You might say that small children have been blowing up balloons for generations, but not anymore and they will be safer for it". Right. Everyone knows that more children die each year from choking on balloons than the next three causes combined: coloring outside the lines; wearing shoes on the wrong feet; and removing itchy tags from the back of shirts.

At least some people can point out the absurdity, even if they have no power to change it:
Paul Nuttall, a member of the European Parliament's consumer safety committee, said the "kill joy" world of EU officialdom was being ill-equipped to understand the concept of children having fun.

"I would say that this is crackers but I sure children are banned from using them too. EU party poopers should not be telling families how to blow up balloons," said the Ukip MEP.
In other rules, party favors like whistles are to be banned, those things that unroll and make a little noise when you blow on them are to be labelled as unsafe for anyone under 14 years of age, and teddy bears for kids under three must be fully washable.

I'm not making that last paragraph up. They're actually doing this.

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