Prizes For All

Since no one person correctly identified all the fake stories and both the real ones I put in yesterday’s PC puzzle, and in the spirit of these PC times in which no one must lose and therefore nobody can win, I declare it a draw. However, in that same spirit I’m also withdrawing the prize of a photo of some cigarette packs for you to enjoy in the not too distant future when the nannies won’t let you see them anymore in case it makes you run over and buy some. Instead, and (dis)courtesy of the Victorian Department of Health’s tobacco retailers FAQ page, a taste of what Britain can expect very soon.


The answers, for those of you not busy banging your heads ’til they bleed, are as follows:

1 – Completely made up, though it was inspired by radio and PC-ism. Some ridiculous bit of PC nonsense – I forget what, there are so many – I heard of that wasn’t quite as daft as this made me remark to Mrs Exile that if things keep up the ABC would be afraid to play Stairway to Heaven because there’s no mention of lift access in the lyrics.

2 – Utter nonsense that I’ve been joking about for a long time, though again slightly inspired the reality that the US were originally going to call Operation Enduring Freedom, which I’d say has turned out to be neither, Operation Infinite Justice instead. But of course only one thing is capital I infinite, and you don’t need to guess what.

3 – As Nemesis said in the comments yesterday, this did indeed happen.

PEABODY, Mass. — A woman who just flew back home from Las Vegas says an airport security officer confiscated her frosted cupcake because he thought the icing on it could be a security risk.

Rebecca Hains said the Transportation Security Administration agent at McCarran International Airport took her cupcake Wednesday, telling her its frosting was enough like a gel to violate TSA restrictions on allowing liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives.


Hains, who lives in Peabody, just north of Boston, said the agent didn’t seem concerned that the cupcake could actually be explosive, just that it fit some bureaucratic definition about what was prohibited. She said he even offered to let her eat it away from the airport security area.

Hains, a 35-year-old communications professor at Salem State University, said she told the agent she had passed through security at Boston’s Logan International Airport earlier in the week with two cupcakes packaged in jars, gifts from a student. But she said the agent told her that just meant TSA in Boston didn’t do its job.

4 – Another made up one, but again inspired by real life examples of galloping stupidity and nannying. I don’t just mean supermarkets selling alcohol asking for proof of age for under 25s, and sometimes people clearly much older than that, despite the legal prohibition being under 18s, or even refusing to sell altogether if someone is with them who looks under 18 (or possibly 25 ), or putting spoons in the same category as knives meaning they become age restricted. It’s more things like the restrictions on how many packs of paracetamol you can buy in one go in case you’re planning to overdose, or how many packs of anything with pseudoephedrine you can buy in case you want it to make crystal meth. In particular there was one time I had to get my driving licence out for the pharmacist because a particular ‘flu medicine she’d recommended, a kind of rocket fuelled version of Night Nurse Cold & Flu, was only allowed to be sold if they recorded address and proof of address for the police despite it nominally being an over the counter product. The reason, she told me, is that if you knew enough chemistry you could make Ecstasy out of it, albeit a tiny tiny amount from the single pack she was allowed to sell me. I told her a decent night’s kip despite my bunged head would feel like ecstasy, shook my head (very gently) and thought up the nonsense about bongs on the way home. Of all my made up stories for yesterday’s post, any of which might well become reality one day, I think anti-DIY bong regulations stopping you from buying Evian at the same time as a biro and tinfoil is probably the most likely to happen.

5 – This example of a Olympic standard offence seeking and very practical use of police time is also true, and thanks to a contributor at mine who shall remain nameless (H/T to You Know Who You Are).

6 – More nonsense, I’m afraid. Not unlike #1 this was sparked off by real news a few weeks back about people overspending online after having a few scoops. I can’t remember if it was me or Mrs Exile who came up with the idea that the nannies would want everyone to have a USB breathalyser that would prevent your card details from going through if you weren’t as sober as teetotal judge hearing a case about drink driving.

7 – Again, made up. Not sure what made me think of it but it might be that every other car ad these days seems to be mention the reversing camera that’s now the new models. I’ve never driven a car with one but I wondered how often they needed to be cleaned, especially in a country where a nice long drive in the country can sometimes get your car pretty dusty. And then I wondered how the greenie doom-mongers would take it if said dusty countries were also, either currently or recently, hit by droughts. I don’t think you need to be a genius to guess.