‘Oh no it isn’t’.

The Daily Mail had a story recently about how energy drinks (Red Bull etc., although I prefer Lidl’s version at £1.39 for six) caused your heart to go haywire. There was one that left me manic and with chest pains – but it came in 500 ml cans, was on special offer because it was new, so I had three cans and drank the lot in one evening. One and a half litres of the stuff, in one evening, is bad for you. One little 250 ml can is a regular on-the-way-to-work swigging session for me and it does no harm at all. I just happen to like the taste.

There’s no link to the Mail because I can’t be bothered searching through that hack-rag tonight. You can, if you have experienced any Mail ‘reporting’ at all, imagine well enough the overdone shock-horror and the ‘these must be banned for the cheeeldren’ hysteria. Cheeeldren who, incidentally, are not actually allowed to buy them until they are 16.

Instead, here is a link to a rather less hysteria-prone publication who took the time to actually listen to what the scientists in question were saying. They noted an effect on heart contractions but made no statement as to whether this was a good or bad effect, only that it was an effect. One that they found interesting enough to merit further study. That’s proper science. It’s good to see that there is still some going on.

I bet you won’t see that story cut and pasted into the Daily Mail.

While on the subject of things children can’t buy, I recently overheard part of the new-staff training at work. They were being asked about age restricted items and of course, everyone got ‘booze’ and even ‘tobacco’ even though Local Shop doesn’t sell baccy. I waited and waited, as did the manager, but nobody got the one he was looking for.

Knives. Local Shop has a small kitchen-utensil section which of course includes kitchen knives. Those are age-limited.

I did not hang around to see if they got the other item but I bet nobody did. I couldn’t believe it myself when I saw the sign.

Christmas crackers are age-restricted under ‘sale of explosives to minors’ laws. Seriously. You pull them, they go bang, and a cheap plastic bauble, dreadful paper hat and terrible joke drop out of them. They are classed as explosives. A box of ten or twelve isn’t going to provide enough explosive power to blow anything up. Even if you could get the stuff off the cardboard strip.

I’m glad I grew up in the sixties and seventies. Children today get told off for playing computer games so much. We didn’t have computer games.

Kids today soon will have nothing else.

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23 thoughts on “‘Oh no it isn’t’.

  1. One suspects firework sales are age restricted. What about matches, asprin – indeed many other medicines – or doesn’t late shop sell those?

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    • We don’t stock fireworks and I haven’t seen matches (definitelty no lighters). Some medicines, probably aspirin and the like.

      Medicines are restricted for everyone, you can’t buy more than one or two packs at a time for some of them in case you decide to paracetamol yourself to death. There’s nothing to stop you going past the till time and time again, you just can’t buy them in one transaction. The idiocy of the computerised world…

      Fireworks should really have been age-restricted when I was a child. That would have saved several people from being spattered by banger-charged cowpats. However, it would have made my childhood far less amusing.

      As for matches, back then we’d buy a whole pack of boxes of matches and nobody batted an eyelid. We’d spend ages cutting the heads off them, packing the heads into models and setting them off with an air rifle from a safe distance. Kids can’t play the games we used to enjoy.

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      • How about match heads turned into explosive airgun ammo? Put a couple of boxes of Englands Glory in a shallow saucer of water overnight, scrape off the match heads while damp. Pack damp red paste into hollow front part of a .22 airgun pellet. Allow to dry naturally for two days. Dab of plasticine in the neck of the pellet (This will prevent explosion when sealing), carefully seal with solder and you have an airgun pellet that will mostly explode on hard contact with a highly satisfying bang. Used to be great as an anti vermin munition. Happy days…..

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  2. Can we mention on here how to make a proper molotov cocktail – Polystyrene soaked in petrol does light the sky up better on firework night – Just saying.

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    • Ah, polystyrene on the end of a stick and set alight. How to napalm an ant’s nest. The mere mention would give the New Feeble palpitations. So maybe it’s best not to mention it.

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  3. In San Francisco, either local law, or else it’s statewide California law, but it is age restricted for buying spray paint – maybe age 18 or else 21 – and the reasoning is to cut down on graffiti by not selling spray paint to minors. That’s just a tidbit of information that came to mind when you mention age restricted purchases.

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    • And yes, it is under lock and key in some hardware stores. You can’t get to it without asking the clerk who has to unlock the special metal grates in front of the displays and they will ask for proof of age if you appear under the legal age for buying.

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    • Our post office will not transport spray paint because it’s a pressurised container. I don’t know if it’s age restricted here – I’m too old for any restrictions.

      Banksy is over 18 though. He can buy all the spray paint he wants for his graffiti.

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  4. Let’s not forget contact adhesive, also age restricted due to the propensity of some to use the tin as an inhaler (there’s no accounting for taste…). Although I seem to recollect seeing a programme about glue sniffing on TV years ago, and the subjects were all well above the legal age for purchase anyway.

    Still, it provided a good excuse for yet more useless regulation, something doubtless much appreciated by the Neo-Puritans in their eternal search for self-justification. They excelled themselves with the Christmas cracker restrictions, though. I wonder how they got that one through? I don’t remember any Daily Mail headlines about chiiildren self-immolating or blowing the roof off the family home due to pulling a cracker. Maybe I missed it.

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    • I haven’t seen one for a long time either. Nor have I seen those ‘bang’ things kids used to throw on the ground. Perhaps the kids are no longer allowed to buy them, and few adults would buy them more than once, so they have died out?

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      • It is so ironic – but in San Francisco, the shitty that bans everything, including outdoor smoking – that is the one thing you still see quite a lot of, especially in Chinatown – are those things you throw to the ground and they explode and make a loud banging sound. If you walk through Chinatown along Grant Street, which is more the tacky tourist street where they sell souvenirs to tourists, you will almost always hear loud popping and banging which are tourists or else little kids whose parents just bought a big cheap package of explosive throw-down things and they’ll be having fun, blowing them up, all up and down the street. But one block further up the hill along the more authentic Stockton Street, which is where to go in San Francisco’s Chinatown to see the reality of open air markets, fruit and veggie on every corner, fish and meat mongers, authentic non-touristy restaurants, etc., and maybe because Stockton Street is the more local resident crowded with barely room to move past one another for blocks on end, then you don’t hear quite as much of the loud cracking and banging like you do down on Grant Street. However, if you go to Chinatown around Chinese New Year’s, then there are lots of firecrackers galore and along Stockton Street, I’m not sure why, but maybe because it’s for good luck, to ring in the new year perhaps – but you will find merchants come out in front of their authentic old world style fruit and veggies, fish mongeries, etc. and then the male owner, he will sit or stand out in front in the very crowded sidewalk – then typically, while smoking a cigarette and having a very good new year’s time, he will take a big long batch of explosive firecrackers, sometimes hundreds of them, all strung and tied together – light them all on fire and then stand back while these huge explosions echo up and down the street – and everyone on the sidewalks come to a complete standing halt and just stare and enjoy the big display of explosions going on, literally feet and inches in front of them, as it dances across the sidewalk to everyone’s glee and delight.

        Of course, at the lower end of Chinatown as it approaches the Financial District along Kearny Street, is historical Portsmouth Square and the walkway over to the Chinese Cultural Center museum, a public plaza where hundreds gather to play cards, chess, strum instruments, sing, talk – and yet they have a big huge ugly sign posted at all entrances and throughout Portsmouth Square, to warn the 80 and 90 year old smokers in particular, that outdoor smoking is illegal and will be punished with a $500 fine if caught doing the “crime”. And, some smoke anyhow – bugger the police and “health” department entirely – but they do so cautiously nowadays, because “crackdowns” do occur, unexpectedly – the same way the jolly coppers used to raid the speakeasies during prohibition times.

        That brought tears to my eyes though, the first Chinese New Year’s, when I went down Stockton Street and observed all the merchants burning up huge wadded together stacks of explosive fire-crackers, smoking, laughing, everyone having fun, the police minding their own damn business for once and sticking their noses out of it.

        Just an old man blathering, nothing here nor there, just telling about those explosive things you throw down, in Chinatown, I still see them in daily use, so I guess that’s one thing the San Francisco Progressive Fascists haven’t cracked down on yet – but may, now that I opened my big mouth and revealed it online. I sure hope not at least.

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        • Good post! Like it.

          As far as Fireworks go, I find it questionable that I must have a “licence”, complete with “training course” every two to five years. EACH costing between 100 and 500 Euro (Perhaps THAT is the reason??), to have a kilo of black powder for my canon and various muskets and flintlock pistols. (A cannon CAN take a kilo in one shot! WITHOUT BALL! (24 pounder))

          YET, at new year (Silvester) every arse can carry around more explosive power in their pocket than I am allowed for my cannon in a whole YEAR! NO LICENCE INVOLVED!!!

          WHERE is the logic in this?

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      • Once had an idea…. na it was NOT the only, or the last one, but, with my pocket money I bought a whole load of these rolls of caps.

        Put them into a joghurt carton and put a “fuses” through the lid.

        Took it down the jigger, and set fire to the fuse.

        VERY dissapointing!

        AYE! they did go “pop”, put not the explosion I had expected.

        ONE weeks pocket money WASTED!

        That is why, later, I converted to black powder to blow up my railway buildings, and later Nitro powder to blow up my Teddy bear…. LOOOOOONG story.

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  5. Can’t take crackers on planes either. Found out the expensive way at Stansted a few years ago. The security guy was firm but did give the impression it was a little stupid. Apparently you can’t even put them in checked luggage.

    ‘watch out stewardess, I’m gonna cracker you to death!!!’

    ‘Oooh, you little devil, that doesn’t ‘arf tickle’

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