Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

A bright spark

It's a while since we've had a Darwin Award hopeful here, but this week brings us news of a man from Blackburn who shows promising talent in that direction:
Mechanic Stephen Parsonage was getting ready for a night out on Sunday when his hair caught fire.
Sounds interesting...
He said: “I had just finished hairspraying my hair and decided to have a quick cigarette. As I lit the fag there was a whoosh and the next thing I knew my head was on fire."
It is not really a fit subject for amusement, of course; the man is clearly in pain - although not that much pain, apparently:
“I went to A&E and everyone in the waiting room was laughing at me, so I discharged myself. I am really embarrassed."
You would have thought a man who uses hairspray on a short-back-and-sides would be immune to embarrassment, wouldn't you? Anyway, it's not as if it's never happened before.

But the 26-year-old father-of-4 (yes, it looks as if those priceless genes have already been passed on) is clear about where the blame lies:
“I had no idea that could even happen. Surely, retailers shouldn’t be able to sell hairspray if this can happen."
Expect calls for a mass public awareness campaign any day now.


  1. " Surely, retailers shouldn’t be able to sell hairspray if this can happen."


    Perhaps they should be allowed to sell it, but you have to prove you aren't a cretin first?

  2. Don't the tins have such warnings on them anyway; "May be used as flame thrower for lots of amusement at juvenille partys." or something?

  3. "I am really embarrassed."

    But not enough to plaster yourself across the national press and make an ever bigger spectacle of yourself.

  4. Julia, that would probably deprive the manufacturers of a good percentage of their market.

    FT, what puzzles me is that these idiots must surely have at least once seen the standard Hollywood blockbuster moment when the hero turns an aerosol and a lighter into a makeshift flamethrower to incinerate the attacking zombies/aliens/gangsters.

    The only aerosol I have in the house is WD40, and sure enough, that has a clear warning on the can - I've just checked.

    Still, I don't suppose a bloke who likes to 'style' his hair twice a day and is 'getting ready for an evening out' at 11pm is the sort to read such things carefully.

    SBML, funny how that never seems to count. I suppose in some circles, being in the news outweighs any personal embarrassment.

    I wonder if he went to the Mail himself, or whether they employ a stable of 'reporters' to trawl the local press for such stories.

  5. Perhaps we should have golds, silvers and bronzes in it.