I was beginning to worry that stupidity was on the wane, since I hadn't found a good nominee for a while. But have no fear!
This week, it's our friends across the sea, in Merrie Olde England. Here's a link to the incomparable Mark Steyn.
It seems there is a clown over there, Tony Turner, aka Barney Baloney. (I'll let you guess which is his real name). And Barney was booked to appear at a Tesco supermarket in Leeds. And then, in the interest of public health, he was told that making balloon animals was strictly off limits.
It's all about the children, you see. You can't have balloons anywhere near children because of the risk that one of the little imps might be allergic to latex.
I'll have a bit more to say on this point later.
Sadly, it seems that poor Barney is having a hard time of it. He can no longer use a bubble machine to make bubbles for the tots. Why? Well a child might slip and fall, and we all know that plays havoc with Clown Insurance. (Remember the big crash of the clown insurance industry? Millions of clowns were put out of work, and the damage to stock markets almost caused a world-wide depression)
Of course, if you do have balloons (this being before the health risks of latex were discovered by the crack scientists at the Grocery Institute), well there are additional issues. Not everything made of balloons is good. Some things are evil.
All together now: "We can't allow clowns to make balloon guns because that encourages children to commit violence".
When balloon guns are outlawed, only clown-outlaws will carry balloon guns. Or something.
But in news that will surely warm the hearts of the Immortals, balloon swords are allowed. In case you ever run into a balloon Kurgan. Of course, kids with balloon swords are forced to fight until they're all dead, except a single child. There can be only one, you know.
So now, after that brief visit to Clown Hell, we come back to the latex allergy point. Steyn has a link in his article on poor Barney to another pundit, Rush Limbaugh, who points out the irony of forbidding an entertainer to expose children to latex. Why? Well here's Rush:
Have you heard anything more ridiculous than this? The children -- the little children -- might be allergic to latex? Meanwhile, in every damn school in the country we're urging them to wear condoms, for crying out loud! Well, what the hell is a condom made of? Give 'em condoms for every damn thing in the world that's wrong with them, and then they can't go to a circus and be around a clown with a bunch of balloons?
Nicely put. Teach kids "condoms, condoms, and more condoms" from the time that they're 5 years old, and then later tell them that latex is dangerous. Makes perfect sense to me.
So to Tesco and their idiotic attempts to protect the children from anything and everything, including fun, I hereby nominate you for this week's "WTF were they thinking?" award.
And if we're lucky, I'll find a way to get hold of Barney, who is no doubt on the verge of being transported to Australia for his crimes, and he can make a cool trophy for the winner. From forbidden balloons of course.