Every year, my volunteer firefighter colleagues and I take part in the local santa parade. This isn’t your big city affair, just a 20 minute cruise down our local main street. Fire engine lights and sirens, a wave to the kiddies, hand out a few sweets and go home. Everyone loves it, the guys get a bit of recognition and the kids get tooth decay. Been that way for years.
Of course, we all knew that throwing sweets is frowned upon. Mainly of course because there are some stupid kids who are greedy and therefore unable to stop their own little legs propelling them under the fire truck in an effort to retrieve a sweet worth 0.001 cents. So we don’t do that. We walk up to the them and place the sweeties in their hands. You should see the excitement and joy in their faces to get a sweet personally presented by a big tall scruffy bloke in fire gear. Hazard identified, acceptable risk achieved, kids puffed up with happiness. Job done.
Not this year
This year, the inept “organising committee”, which, as we all know, consists of people whose personalities were removed at birth, decided that absolutely no distribution of sweets was to be permitted.
They arrived at this conclusion babbling that most despised of all mantras “the only acceptable risk is no risk”, or was it “the end justifies the means”? Anyway, they handed down the missive from on high to the wannabee committee members. They can be identified on event day as the ones with large white coats and clipboards. Maybe high vis vests and hard hats. Maybe both.
Take my advice. When approached by a Whitecoat on event day, ignore them. If they try to issue you with any instructions, do completely the opposite of what they ask. Break their clipboards and snap their pencils. These people have no life whatsoever and wish to have a disproportionately large influence on yours. They have a dangerously low level of understanding about the reason they are there, or the limits of their brief. And they have highly inflated perception of their own self importance, righteousness and authority. In short, they are completely irrelevant.
I am so tired of happiness and joy being squeezed out of life in the name of health and safety by stupid people who do not even begin to understand what they are doing. Could all church committees and whitecoats please read this? “Safety is about reaching an acceptable level of risk for the circumstances”. So think about this: What’s more likely: A kid being injured by a float while people place sweeties in their hands, or one of the drivers missing the brakes and driving his/her float into the kids? I would suggest the second option. And it will happen one day. Probably has already somewhere in the world, maybe many times over.
I bet lightning has also struck parades and killed kids. How many people keel over with heart attacks in the heat while they stand in the crowd? And how many people attending the parade have had their house burgled while they were absent? We should therefore ban parades, because it can be proved that people die or suffer as a result of them. In fact living is ultimately hazardous to your health, so let’s cancel the human race, it’s all too distressing.
We politely told Ms Whitecoat that we were going to hand out the lollies anyway and we did. To her credit, she kind of agreed. It must have felt good for her and I’m proud to have subverted that particular committee and freed the poor woman from the shackles of her infernal white coat.