I’m always on the prowl for examples of what I call “Logically Illogical” thinking. Well, courtesy of a reader in Scary Ol’ England– here’s one fresh from the Ministry of Idiotic Solutions…
After an exhausting 2-year study, costing £250,000.00 (just north of $400,000.00 US) the Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded that 10-pin bowling alleys are hotbeds for disaster.
HSE officials are apparently losing sleep over the possibility that it might be far too easy for people to get trapped in the machinery at the end of the alley that sets up the pins.
Bare in mind– at no time in British bowling’s recorded history has this ever happened. But why let a little fact like that dissuade the public health and safety folks from doing their appointed (and taxpayer funded) duty? Solve something they must. Even if it’s not a real problem.
To paraphrase Mark Twain: Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a government bureaucrat. But I repeat myself.
At first, the study’s authors considered ordering every bowling alley to erect barriers across lanes to prevent bowlers from arbitrarily running down the 60-foot alleys and jumping, head first, into the pin-resetting mechanism.
They were forced to abandon the otherwise clever idea after realizing that the barriers would not only stop people from entering the pin area, but they would also keep the bowling balls out. (No, seriously. You can’t make shit like this up)
But with the typical tenacity of a bureaucrat holding a clipboard and a taxpayer funded study grant, the committee settled on requiring bowling alley operators to install photoelectric eyes on all lanes so that pin-setting machines will cut off automatically if anyone tries, ya know… to jump in.
Oh, and whilst they were at it… “you careless operators better make your staff wear these here earmuffs to muffle the noise of the balls hitting the pins, or we’re gonna fine ya.” Apparently England has had a running problem with deaf pinsetters.
What I found even scarier than just another needless solution to a non-existent problem (which we’ve come to expect from governments oversite of a Nanny State) was how many average folks supported the actions. There were more than just a handful of comments on the dailymail.co.uk website, lauding the HSE study… like the one from Chris, from Burgess Hill, who said: “seems pretty sensible to me.”