Work drinks and parties used to be fun before countless rules were brought in. Picture: iStock
Work drinks and parties used to be fun before countless rules were brought in. Picture: iStock

Onions are small fry on the scale of great danger

A sign went up in our work kitchen this week.

"Don't wash dishes with boiling water," it reads.

Thank God! I guess that will put an end to the third degree burns I have had for years now.

If only someone had told me sooner I could have avoided all of these pesky skin grafts. All I need now is a sign that says "don't stick knife into toaster" so I can stop getting an electric shock each week.

But if you think this is crazy, it is nothing on what the health and safety boffins at Bunnings dreamt up.

If you are anything like me the only reason someone can get you to accompany them to Bunnings to buy potting mix is the promise of a sausage.

The soft white bread, smothered in tomato sauce and trans fats, acting as a fluffy pillow for a sausage, usually of dubious origin, heaped with greasy, grilled onions.

Nothing beats it.

Except maybe a Chiko Roll that has sat in a bain-marie at a rural roadhouse for six hours, but even that's a close call.

There is no better weekend snack than a Bunnings sausage sandwich. Picture: Instagram
There is no better weekend snack than a Bunnings sausage sandwich. Picture: Instagram

Now some absolute hero has decided to mess with the humble sausage in a blanket.

Put the onions underneath, not on top, because one might fall off and someone might slip, they say.

It's not clear whether anyone has slipped on an errant onion at Bunnings, but these health and safety people have to justify their existence, I guess.

I once slipped on a piece of lemon that had fallen out of someone's drink at Irish Murphy's.

I was dancing my heart out when my heel caught the slippery little sucker and before I could sing "I wanna dance with somebodyyyy" I'd smashed my head on the dance floor.

I got up, dusted myself off, waited for the entire venue to stop laughing and carried on with my life.

Irish Murphy's didn't ban lemons because that would be unreasonable; a drunk slipping is a fact of life.

How far are we going to let this madness go?

First they took exception to how we lift boxes.

"Bend your knees, don't lift more than 200g at a time, watch this stupid video about bending your knees and not lifting more than 200g at a time."

Work Christmas parties used to be fun. But even those have been safeguarded for us. Picture: iStock
Work Christmas parties used to be fun. But even those have been safeguarded for us. Picture: iStock

Then they came for our Christmas parties.

Limiting the amount of drinks allowed per person, sending out "handy hints" on not making a boob of yourself.

If work Christmas parties aren't about making an utter twit of oneself then why the hell do I go?

Maccas won't let you walk through the drive through.

So if you have a hankering for a sausage and egg McMuffin at 2am and the restaurant (and I use that term loosely) is closed and you don't have a car then bad luck buster. No dice.

Why can't you walk through the drive through?

It's dangerous, of course.

So is stuffing your face with sausage and egg McMuffins and I've got a far greater chance of dying from heart disease than I do of being rolled over by a Toyota Prado in a drive through.

If you want to try a pair of swimmers on at the shop you have to leave your underwear on. Hang on a minute, that's actually a very good rule. Scrap that gripe.

When was the last time you saw a good old fashioned set of monkey bars?

They became public enemy number one years ago after one too many kids fell and scraped their knees.

Bunnings is now putting its onion under the sausage lest a rogue sliver cause a potential safety hazard. Picture: supplied
Bunnings is now putting its onion under the sausage lest a rogue sliver cause a potential safety hazard. Picture: supplied

When I was growing up if you didn't break your arm falling off the monkey bars or get your head stuck between some bars on the playground you were nothing.

Our Year 2 teacher had a bottle of Crisco on her desk; that is how often she needed to grease a little head to release it from something.

There would be a full-scale parliamentary inquiry if that occurred in a playground now.

It is getting to the point where our whole lives are being wrapped in cotton wool, everyone afraid that we are going to be hurt.

But that is what life is about.

Sure, it's not entirely about getting hurt, but scraped knees and broken hearts are usually looked back on fondly in the grand scheme of things.

Laughing about slipping on a lemon with your friends, smashing the Bunnings sausage and the falling in love before the heart gets broken - it's the stuff of life.

If we cancel out all of the potential dangers, what's left?

Laminated signs about boiling water and one mid-strength beer at your Christmas party, that's what.

Give me a bruised noggin and a broken heart any day.

Jill Poulsen is a Courier-Mail senior journalist and columnist.