A Driving Instructor's Blog

Sometime, you just couldn’t make it up!

In one news story today, two young girls were treated in hospital for burns they sustained to their bare feet after walking on to freshly-laid tarmac.

Fair enough: it’s obviously not something you want to happen – but it happens. It’s what they call ‘an accident’. Well, they used to. But not nowadays. You see, the girls’ parents are going to sue the backsides off whoever they can.

Their parents Robert and Hazel Woodley are now planning to sue for damages, claiming there were no proper signs or barriers to warn holidaymakers of the newly laid surface.

There were cones. And if memory serves me correctly, the rising (and often visible) fumes tend to be a bit of a giveaway. And just what kind of parent allows kids to walk barefoot on what is obviously new (and therefore sticky) tarmac? Burns or not, you just don’t walk barefoot on something which is sticky and dirty.

The father, Robert Woodley, laid it on thick – no doubt in preparation for the millions he is going to try and claim:

“The girls were just screaming in pain. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone in such pain. It was awful for us to see the kids in such agony.”

Mr Woodley said one side of the path was lined with a few traffic cones but there was nothing to stop people walking across the hot surface.

Of course, seeing as a local council is involved, Mr Woodley can probably expect to receive at least a six-figure settlement:

Clive Smith, head of Poole council’s leisure services, said they planned to carry out a full investigation into the incident.

He added: “Leisure services staff were on site immediately after this incident occurred.

“We are taking this incident very seriously.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the same coin, another story details the sorts of things being banned in schools because they are dangerous.

  • pupils have to wear goggles when using Blu-tack
  • spray foam banned in case pupils ‘drown in it’
  • 3-legged race on Sports Day banned for being ‘too dangerous’
  • Pritt Stick covered by a 5-page warning guide
  • No sending bad kids into the corridor, because it’s a ‘fire hazard’
  • Climbing frame removed (bark chippings underneath not of ‘required depth’)
  • Wet grass causes PE lessons to be cancelled
  • Sweets banned because of choking risk
  • Egg cartons banned because of salmonella fears
  • Empty roilet roll tubes banned (presumably for similar reasons)
  • Footballs banned in playground
  • Children only allowed outside if wearing a hat and sunscreen

Those last ones are from the Daily Mail’s version of the story.

It’s no wonder evolution throws up people like Mr Woodley, when society readily provides such an environment for his kind to grow up in.

When I was a kid, we had egg-and-spoon races, three-legged races, played football with anything even remotely spherical, ran, chased, laughed… rain or shine. We climbed trees, fell out of trees, rode bikes to places more than 100 metres away from home, played with hot tar (and got into trouble for ruining our clothes with it)… And we survived.

You fear for the bunch of dependent weaklings being bred today, don’t you?

And one more thing. ‘Back when I were a lad’ if you stood on something hot (or sharp, or wet and clammy) you danced around a bit and got off it… QUICKLY! From the way the tarmac story is worded these two girls must have been standing on it for several minutes… what great parents they must have, eh?

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