It’s that time of year again. Snow is falling softly on the rooves of warm houses; cookies are being baked for Santa’s arrival; families are gathering to celebrate, then arguing over a juicy turkey or ham; and people are on their best behavior. Well, that last one isn’t always true. We live in a world of frivolous lawsuits and incessant complaining. But lest you think that the good ‘ole US of A has it the roughest, take a listen to this:
According to the Daily Mail, a grocery store in England is now asking for identification to purchase–get this–pudding. Yes, you read that correctly. According to the report:
“The woman who was monitoring the self-service checkouts came over and asked me for identification showing I was 18. I asked her why and was stunned when she told me: ‘It gets hot when you cook it – and you may burn yourself.’ Surely the same can be said of many of the products they sell in any supermarket? Health and safety has gone crazy if you now have to prove you can be trusted with a chocolate pudding.”
In response to this, a representative for Tesco said: “The self service machines can be temperamental. The pudding should not be an age-restricted product. It’s a mystery why the machine prompted staff to ask for ID.”
Whether or not you believe Tesco that the incident was simply a mistake, the fact that the staff member asked for identification is not surprising. Here in the United States, people have won some insane lawsuits, ranging from a McDonald’s customer burning himself with coffee, to a burglar winning a suit because he was injured while burglarizing a home.
People will sue for anything if they think they can get away with it. That is why hair dryers have warning labels instructing people to avoid usage while sleeping. Companies are desperate to protect themselves from any possible frivolous lawsuit.
There’s no point to this article other than to point out how absurd our society can be. We live in an age of selfishness and over-protection. The selfishness is human nature, and the over-protectiveness is a reaction to that nature. This pudding incident just took it to a whole new level.
Merry Christmas; and if you plan on indulging in a little chocolate pudding this season, make sure you have your ID’s ready…oh, and don’t let Mayor Bloomberg hear about this; he’ll get ideas.