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Posted at 8:23 AM ET, 10/23/2009

BritNews RoundUp: Boyle'ing Over

By John Kelly

Remember Susan Boyle, the frumpy Scottish spinster who took YouTube by storm with her moving performance on one of Britain's talent contest shows? She's dropped from the radar here in the States but she still attracts coverage in the U.K., where the Mirror newspaper was on hand to catch a "wardrobe malfunction" when she attended a soccer game. Frankly, it wasn't much of a wardrobe malfunction, as these things go. And for that I suppose we should be grateful.

Remember earlier in the year ago when a Silver Spring man was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment for shining a laser pointer at a traffic helicopter that was hovering over his house early one morning? I thought it was overkill. Now I see something similar has happened in Britain. Sixty-three-year-old Torben Merriott was woken at 1 a.m. by what felt and sounded like an "earthquake" outside his bedroom window. It was a pair of Apache attack helicopters on maneuvers 10 feet above his farmyard. He used a flashlight to identify the craft. When he complained to authorities he was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft by dazzling the pilot. Said Merriott to the Daily Mail: "Don’t tell the Taliban that all they need is an eight-quid torch to bring down multi-million-pound high-tech gunships."

The British love their biscuits which, of course, aren't biscuits at all. They're more like cookies, but even that doesn't do the foodstuffs justice. They're round and crumbly, but not too crumbly, since you have to be able to dunk them in your tea. The biscuit must hold its tensile strength just long enough to absorb some of the liquid. Pull it out at the right time and you'll have a warm, lovely, soft biscuit. Leave it in the tea too long and the biscuit will disintegrate, leaving you to stare in sorrow at your mug then raise your arms and look heavenward while shouting, "Noooooooooo!"

This is all a long set-up for this story about the how hundreds of government workers in Britain filled out a health and safety questionnaire about biscuit-related injuries, only to discover it was a hoax. The whole thing was a marketing campaign for a biscuit manufacturer.

A spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said people shouldn't be too frightened of biscuits. "In the general scheme of things the numbers of biscuit accidents are quite small," Jo Stagg told the Daily Mail. "There are plenty of things you encounter everyday which can cause you to get hurt but we do not want to cause alarm. Many more people enjoy biscuits without suffering adverse effects - you have very little to fear from biscuits as a general rule."

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By John Kelly  | October 23, 2009; 8:23 AM ET
Categories:  BritNews RoundUp  
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