Thursday, October 19, 2006

You Could Get Hit By a Bus Tomorrow

England, like many of its European neighbors, is such a sensible country. There's a big organic food movement. People are loyal cross walk users and wait their turn in orderly queues. They drive smaller cars and preserve buildings and historic sites. They're really into community gardens and gun control. They recycle everything, including textiles. And my local Borough Council just launched a community improvement campaign asking the public to pledge to do things like let 1 car in on every journey, eat 5 fruits and veggies a day, and spend time with someone from a different generation.

It's like living in California, only people are less outgoing.

Another very sensible thing they do is put really huge, scary warnings on cigarette packages (although British kids can still buy candy cigarettes). For now they say things like "Smoking can cause a slow and painful death" and "Smoking may reduce the blood flow and cause impotence" but starting next year the warnings will also show scary pictures.

But don't be fooled into thinking that this is a country of the goody-two-shoed. To counteract the wet blanket health advisories, you can purchase cheeky stickers to cover the government's labels. They're made to look just like the official warnings but instead egg smokers on, including my personal favorite, "You could get hit by a bus tomorrow."

That's the spirit!

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