High street stores are tightening up on their sale of that most dangerous of items at Christmas - the Cracker.
All crackers sold in the UK are to carry a health warning indicating that these heinous devices are a dangerous explosive, and should not be handled by anybody who does not have an explosives licence, or has a weak heart.
All retailers of the decorated decorations are now forced by law to request to see the purchaser's explosives licence, and deny the sale if said purchaser cannot produce one. It had been originally intended to merely enforce the Explosives Act of 1862, that states that explosives can only be bought by men over the age of thirty-five wearing spectacles, who can show proof of ownership of thick leather gloves.
However, when a twelve year old boy in Surrey, who cannot be named for legal reasons, hurt his finger when pulling the 'snapper' (the small stick that makes crackers crack when pulled), the government knew they needed to act fast.
"It's a nanny state gone mad," said one Sunday Express reader. "What next? Stop people from own sink plungers? It's mad I tell you. Mad."
Keith Clumsy, of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, had this to say: "People do not realise that their is a high explosive in crackers. It only takes somebody buying fifty-five thousand of them to get enough gunpowder to detonate a bomb powerful enough to knock a decorative vase off a shelf. And that just cannot be allowed to happen! And the jokes inside are not very good either."