Wednesday, August 27, 2003


Every so often a news story comes up that's so unlikely, so downright bizarre, that it takes your breath away.

The front page of today's South Wales Echo has one such story -- and a headline that's so good it deserves to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Unfortunately it's not published online so I can't link to it but the splash -- in 80 point type -- reads 'CITY SHIRT BLEW UP BOAT...STATIC FROM BLUEBIRDS TOP IS BLAMED FOR EXPLOSION.'

The copy reads: "The family of a man and his son seriously injured in a boat blast believe a Cardiff City shirt could have sparked the explosion....Their family believe static from the football shirt could have triggered a gas blast."

The evidence to back up this preposterous claim? Er...very little, but don't let that stand in the way of a good story. Please continue..."Steve said: 'There's no way they would have done anything stupid, the shirt could have caused the explosion. The thing was incinerated from Sam's body. Only the collar, cuffs and Cardiff badge remained.'"

On reading this story I was somewhat perturbed. I wear my City shirt with pride -- but now I learn it's a potential death-trap.

But on reflection I realise the metal in my artificial leg will act as an earth lead, sending all the dangerous static to the ground and preventing me from going up in a puff of smoke while filling up with petrol on my way to Ninian Park. I'll never know for sure, but my prosthesis could have already saved my life.


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