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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
Hello, hello, hello and welcome to QI
for a bracing dose of health and safety gone mad.
Tonight's community safety officers are the health conscious David Mitchell.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
The heavily insured Ross Noble.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
The discreetly dangerous Jeremy Clarkson.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
And an accident waiting to happen - Alan Davies.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
So at a signal from me, activate your hazard warning indicators, please, gentlemen.
-'Dive! Dive! Dive!'
'Stand clear of the doors, please.'
'Vehicle reversing, vehicle reversing.'
And Alan goes...
'Don't touch the button!'
Now, to demonstrate our sincere commitment to health and safety,
we've made you all fill in some forms earlier,
which I hope you've all done.
-Why is there a picture of Richard Whiteley?
-You can take your hat off, if you like.
-Thanks. Because my hair would be ruined.
Yes. We can't have that. You all took the...
Fly away hair?
You all took the Whiteley test, which is a test for hypochondriasis,
to test whether or not you are hypochondriacs.
-The test was a stupid test, though.
-Tests are, as a rule.
-What was stupid about it?
-Every question, you had to answer 1 to 5.
1 meant not at all, 2 meant a little bit,
-3 moderately, 4 quite a lot, 5 loads and loads.
And then one of the questions was,
"Do you worry about your health a lot?"
How can you answer, "I moderately worry about my health a lot"?
"I worry about my health a lot a little bit"?
"I worry about my health a lot a lot."
-The answers didn't go with the questions.
-They didn't think it through, did they?
How long did they spend on it? Three minutes?
It was four, they're idiots.
-OK. Here we are. Ross...
-..you scored 20.
-And any score between 14 and 28 is not a hypochondriac.
My tendency with those things
-is to put the thing, basically, all the way through the middle.
"Do you want to kill children?" Moderately.
I don't want to be too much either way.
This test is all about
-how much are you worried about your health...
..but the results are meaningless unless we also have medicals.
It may be that Ross is at death's door,
in which case he's an idiot for being so laid back.
-Or maybe one of us who's obsessed with our health
is also at death's door, in which case that's a very sane response.
Once again, your relentless, urgent and slightly worried logic
is making this a nonsense.
-Ruining the programme again.
-No, it's not, it's spot on.
-I didn't read the questions.
You always put 5. That's the point of those things.
I'm either absolutely terrified of it or not bothered at all.
This explains why Alan is a mild hypochondriac,
Ross is not a hypochondriac, David is a borderline hypochondriac
-and you are dangerously a hypochondriac.
Actually, I am. I didn't know it was about hypochondria because I didn't read the questions.
But I am. I've got every single disease there is, really every one.
-Are you telling me you've got elephantitis?
I've got a twisted testicle, a hideous skin disease, two slipped discs
-a very dodgy elbow...
-# And a partridge in a pear tree. #
I've got every conceivable disease there is.
I went outside for a cigarette before the show
and I thought, "For once, I'm not going to get lung cancer because I'm wearing this."
You know who I feel sorry for the most is construction-working goths.
-Cos they love a black outfit. That's what they have to wear.
But they've got to earn a living and this goes against everything they stand for.
-It's not fair.
-These are reflective. They could have just the reflectors.
Ah. Would you want a reflective goth?
I would. I'd like one in my house.
Bring out the reflective goth.
Emos are quite dark as well, aren't they?
Yeah but they're not the full goth.
I'd love to see an act called Rod Hull and Emo.
"Are you going to attack someone?" "No. I'll just be in my room."
What is hypochondria?
It's people not expecting to have aches and pains
and thinking therefore it's very serious.
A hypochondriac is someone who, if they have a headache, thinks it's a tumour.
It's an aneurysm. I had one about an hour ago.
-A brain tumour?
I could feel the artery going... right in the middle. Agony.
And did it go right down into your testicles?
It's entirely... That's a different... Anyway.
I definitely had one earlier.
Most people have headaches, I have savage pains like lightning bolts.
Most people have headaches but your headaches are in your head.
People moan about their sore knees.
It's not the same as when it's my knee.
And with this test, what does it mean
if you write the answers in your own blood?
-That would mess with their heads, wouldn't it?
-Not as bad as if you write it in somebody else's blood.
Now, how would you use one of these to save someone from drowning?
I've got one here. I'm going to have to put gloves on because I'm not allowed to touch it.
It's from the Wellcome Collection,
one of the best medical collections in the world.
He could save himself by, for example, swimming.
-Rather than going, "Huhhhh!"
Imagine somebody had landed up on a beach, almost dead from drowning,
-and I had one of these.
-Is it a bellows?
It is a bellows. It's a set of bellows.
-You just pump air into his lungs.
-You'd think that but no.
-Are we saving him from drowning...?
-Alan, repeat what you said.
-Up his bum.
-Yes. It's up the bottom but it isn't air.
-There's more to it than that.
-Is it spit?
-You unscrew that and you put tobacco in...
-Are you ordering?
-Tobacco. And you light it. It's smoke.
-Up the bottom?
There's several flaws with your argument.
Chief among which, if you're drowning, you're in water,
which is going to put it out.
Secondly, who's got time to fill that with tobacco and light it?
-And thirdly, it's rubbish.
-Yeah. These are all strong arguments.
It's basically if you're trying to resuscitate someone
and it's not like someone once wrote it might be a good idea,
this was general mainstream medical belief
and these were hung up all along the Thames
on the embankment and on canals and waterways
and people were expected to know, as you might be expected to know where a fire extinguisher is,
where the bellows were.
And you fill that with tobacco and presumably you puff it like a pipe
having washed it from its previous use,
and then, "Fu-cha, fu-cha," like that.
-So it would be next to the life ring thing?
-So you throw the ring and drag them in...
-It seems bonkers.
What happened in the 17th... There's an example.
There you are.
This was before this was invented and you needed someone with a pipe...
"Blow, man, for God's sake!"
"Is it sucking or blowing? I can't remember."
"I think it's blowing." "I don't know."
"Be sure, man, he's drowning." "I'll suck first."
So is it just the shock of the sensation of having smoke blown up your arse
that makes you splutter back into life?
Who knows. Apparently, in the 18th century, in the late 1700s,
a woman was found drowning and almost dead
and people tried the normal things
and someone suggested blowing smoke up her arse.
There was a point where they went, "Kiss of life?" "Just wait a second."
-"Hand me that pipe."
So what it is, clearly, is someone managed to get better from drowning
at a moment coincident with someone having smoke blown up their arse
and then for years, poor other people,
on top the indignity of nearly drowning, have had to face that.
It could have been worse. It could have coincided with having his eyes gouged out by crows.
-"Go on, gouge his eyes out with crows!"
It would be a beautiful sight, though.
We've blown the smoke up there and the person splutters back to life
and takes off with the smoke coming out the back.
Look at the speed they're going at!
-The bloke on left looks like he's going to rob his trousers.
There's always a villain in 18th century London.
He's generating the smoke.
They didn't have an all-in-one device like this,
-so the one on the right has the pipe.
So he has to French-kiss the one...
This has nothing to do with saving a drowning man.
-Perversions of Old London.
-We've got another picture, as well.
We did have... There you are.
He's not drowning. He's just in the pub. He's just in the pub.
It's that scene from Pulp Fiction, with...
This is actually... This is bad
because people can say at almost any point, "I think I might be drowning,"
if they fancy this sort of thing.
As if that isn't bad enough and that doesn't look wrong enough,
the bloke in the background went,
"I think I'll get me donkey in on this."
"Oh, when you said, 'Blow smoke up my ass,' I thought..."
APPLAUSE Maybe. I don't know.
I know. What a strange world we lived in
but that was mainstream medical science.
Oh, God. That's got stuck in me throat, that.
-No, you don't!
Yes, it used to be thought that the best way to revive a drowning man
was by pumping tobacco smoke up his backside.
Speaking of life-saving devices, I have some here
and I'd like you to tell me what you think they're for.
These are the real thing.
And they are there to save lives.
How would that save your life? Can you see?
You've got to look at your neighbour to see what you look like
and see if you can work out how this could be of any use.
-Is it for doing complicated experiments?
It's if you're dealing with some animal that doesn't like being looked at in the eye.
Oh, Alan, you are on sparkling form. You're absolutely right.
-What sort of animal?
-Not a bear, actually, in this case.
-Some dogs don't like it.
-Plenty of animals don't.
-Ants hate it.
Ants? Not so much ants, to be honest, David.
-Bears don't like it.
-It's great that you're trying.
-But not ants.
-A tiger or a lion or a cat?
-It's a big primate.
-It's a bear!
-No, a big primate. It's a gorilla.
-You'll see it has written on the side of it there...
-HE SPEAKS DUTCH
-But just a moment...
And then it says "Bokito kijker",
which means, "Bokito viewer" - kijker is to look.
The trouble with these is is it does look a bit like you're going...
-But gorillas like that.
-They like that. What they don't like is a long, loving look.
In Rotterdam zoo there was a gorilla called Bokito
and a woman thought she was bonding with him
and she would sit and smile and gaze lovingly into his big brown eyes
and that is the worst thing you can do to a silverback, a dominant male.
And one day he just grabbed her. He leapt over. He bit her 100 times
and he broke many of her bones and she was very nearly killed by him.
And she was revived by smoke being blown up her arse.
Fortunately, being Dutch...
I'd like to have a pair in case I get pulled over for speeding.
"Do you know why you're being pulled over?" "I have no idea."
"Where are you? Where have you gone?
"You big gorilla, you."
We went to the zoo and my mate, he's an odd bloke anyway.
We were in the monkey enclosure and he was staring at a monkey
The monkey stared back at him and went like this.
-And what did that mean, do we think?
Well, they're married now, so...
-If you're feeling a bit sad, can you put them on upside down?
-I suppose you could, yes.
So this woman thought she was getting on well with this gorilla
-and the gorilla was thinking, "I hate that."
"I'm going to do something, at some point, I'm going to crack."
But did they check that it wasn't just an incredibly annoying woman?
-They didn't put the gorilla down?
-He was tranquillised.
After attacking her, he went into a cafe and caused a bit of a sensation,
as you can imagine.
"Cappuccino. Don't look at me!"
-To be perfectly honest...
-"Here he comes. What would you like, sir?"
"A cappuccino and a packet of biscuits? We'll bring it over.
"No, it's on the house."
"I'm sorry that the cappuccino isn't actually in the cup
"but I'm not looking properly."
That would be a nightmare. If you had those on
-and the cappuccinos were there...
..or the cappuccinos were there
and the gorilla goes, "Why are you looking at cappuccinos there?"
The gorilla would think you were giving him the shoddy one.
-It's just a nightmare.
-Would dark glasses not do?
To be honest, this was more or less a publicity gimmick
by a health insurance company
but it emphasised the fact, also, and they gave them out at the zoo,
don't look directly into the eyes of Bokito the gorilla.
The other option is, you don't have to wear these,
you could just hide under a picnic table and you'll be fine.
-I would say so.
-Why are they hiding under...?
Because there's a bloody big gorilla.
The fact is, if you don't want to be beaten up by a gorilla,
arm yourself with anti-gorilla spectacles and you should be fine.
Your safety is always our priority.
Now it's time for a round of "You're the health and safety officer."
What equipment do children need to play conkers?
-Don't say it.
-They're not allowed to, are they?
-We haven't heard that noise.
-No? Goggles, are you saying?
ALARMS GO OFF Ah, you see that's...
I'm afraid, much as we may deprecate the health and safety culture
of our country,
that whole thing was absolute nonsense.
-It was a school near Carlisle...
-I was going to say Cumbria.
And the headmaster didn't like health and safety
and to make a joke of it,
he issued his schoolchildren with these goggles
and said, "The way it's going, this is how you have to play."
And all the papers, of course...
Why, if we're dismissing the notion that schools are pro massive injuries,
-did they close when it was a bit snowy and icy?
-I don't know.
I'm not saying there isn't a health and safety culture,
merely that the conkers one was all made up.
The best thing to do and I do this every time I go to the supermarket.
You see these yellow things here, wet floor,
I like to walk along there and then just fall
so your bum hits the top of it and it goes "Bang!" like that.
And you lie there going, "Oh, my God," and people are going, "Are you all right?"
And you go, "Some idiot's left this thing here."
It just freaks them out and they just can't handle it
and they're, "Aaarrghhh!"
There should be a "Warning - wet floor sign" sign, shouldn't there?
Yeah, getting progressively... Starting small and building up
to the actual one itself.
OK, good. All you need to play conkers are conkers and string.
Now, speaking as a health and safety officer,
why would I stick my finger up your bottom...
if you couldn't name seven bald men, apart from Yul Brynner?
That is one of the oddest questions I've ever asked anyone.
-I can name seven bald men, easily.
-Well, then I won't have to put my finger up your bottom.
-Ross Kemp. Kojak.
-You can't mention him, though.
-Does Kojak and Telly Savalas count as two?
-That's three and I'm struggling to name any more.
-I may have to put my finger up your bottom.
-Matt Lucas is pretty bald.
We're terrified! We've got to get to seven.
-I'm not going to put my finger up any of your bottoms.
-And don't blow smoke up my arse.
-That guy over there.
-You haven't named him, have you?
You know you're supposed to put your finger up a dog's bum if it's biting you?
I didn't know that. I didn't know that.
Yeah, bull terriers, dogs like that, because their jaws lock
and the only way you can make them release it, finger up the bum.
-Oh, no. You can use a stick or other implement.
The dog doesn't go, "Is that a pen? I'm not releasing him."
APPLAUSE Thank you, Ross.
I think it would show considerable sang-froid
to take out a pen while a dog is clamped to your arm.
"I will... No, no, not the fountain pen, just a Bic."
But to be fair, to be fair,
the dog in my scenario is also a talking dog,
so you can go, "Have you been on your holidays?"
"Well, the thing is... Oh! I let go!"
Tell it a joke. It'll go, "Ha, ha, ha!"
OK, good, that's nice but...
-coming back to...
-Coming back to your question.
I supposing you had this problem that I wanted to cure,
one of the ways to cure it might be to get you name seven bald men.
Another way might be to drink water while a friend plugs your ears.
There are many supposed cures for hiccups.
Thinking of bald people does something to your brain that apparently can help you.
But there is only one absolutely sure-fire medical way
of stopping hiccups and that is...
-..digital rectal massage,
-putting a finger up a bottom and having a wiggle.
I never knew that the bottom was a passage to so many cures.
It's what I'm here to tell you, Jeremy.
I thought it was just a means of expelling excrement but no.
When you say digital rectal massage,
was there a point where it changed from analogue rectal massage?
I think I remember because...
I think there was a big campaign on the TV at the time
-and they would go...
-People were going, "Oh, no, it's not a very good signal."
"I'll go up on the roof and adjust the aerial."
-I tell you what...
I tell you what, I can't wait till 2012.
It's somehow colder, the digital. It's not as warm as the analogue.
-But it's a lot more vivid.
-Why is it pronounced...?
-Oh! ALARM GOES OFF
It's considered an error. It's considered an error.
-It's always written like that in the paper.
-It shouldn't be.
-Every newspaper has a house style.
A lot of people do spell it like that
but it's an erroneous back formation
because it was considered something to do with a cough but it's not.
The Old English was always hiccup spelt in different ways
with Ys and CKs and "hiccop" and various things.
Anyway, digital rectal massage is the only proven cure for chronic hiccups,
although there are plenty of folk remedies if you don't have any rubber gloves handy.
Now, what about the Working At Height Directive?
What should somebody having an out of body experience look out for
as they near the ceiling?
Spinning fans. Ceiling fans, is it?
Well, yes, but presumably their spirit can go through the fan.
They should look out for a couple of undertakers coming in
-and taking their body away.
-That's the kind of thing.
-Is this something to do with health and safety?
It's to do with the nature of the out of body experience.
A doctor at the University of Southampton has undertaken a three-year test in 25 hospitals
to see if it really is possible.
And the way he's done it is on top of cupboards and shelves
he's put randomly generated pictures,
so that if someone genuinely had risen up above that level
and looked down and then survived,
they're asked to fill in a form and say what they'd seen.
I think they'd be more focused on their own chances of life and death than something on top of a cupboard.
But that isn't the history of what people say.
The anecdotal evidence is that they look down and describe what they've seen.
It's a long shot, let's be honest, but it's a genuine experiment.
They should put like a £20 note up here
and then when they go, "Oh, thank God I'm alive,"
and they're just looking slyly.
"I'll just wait till the doctors leave. I'll be cashing in."
It may be better psychology. You can suggest it to him.
-What are the results of this survey?
-Dr Sam Parnia did it.
It's due to be announced in 2011 and we called him up
and he refused to give us the scoop, so we just don't know.
How annoyed would you be if you did all that research
and it turned out that the top of thing was so dusty
you couldn't see the picture?
-You'd be like, "Oh!"
-That would be annoying.
OBEs, they're called. Out of body experiences.
I reckon it will turn out
that they can't see the things on the top of the cupboards.
That's what I think.
If you're having an out of body experience, check what's on top of the cupboards.
And now it's time to proceed with extreme caution
as we approach the hazardous environment of General Ignorance.
Please place your fingers carefully on the appropriate location.
Which of these birds would you trust to take home with you?
I'm sorry, I should put that better.
Which of these birds would you trust to take you home?
You've been confusing me with your dirty talk.
So the question is, is a blind pigeon better than a one-eyed robin?
Yeah, or a particular one-eyed robin, because one is...
-It's the pigeon.
-It follows magnetic lines. It doesn't need eyes for that.
You're right. The pigeon could take you home
but so could the robin on the right, the one whose left eye is covered.
The one of the left whose right eye is covered
couldn't navigate at all.
-Cos he's pissed.
Because his right eye is covered. That's the weird thing.
-So the left eye is just ornamental, is it?
-It really is peculiar.
We know, now, that they use magnetism to navigate in their long journeys.
We know this because you can disorient them, pigeons and robins,
by placing magnets near them and they suddenly no longer know where to go.
But they also need to see,
that's to say, they're not just sensing it.
They obviously see some magnetic flux
in the way that we see light and colour or whatever.
But the weird thing they discovered, gosh knows why they tried it,
that a robin, it's only its right eye that sees the magnetism.
With its left eye covered, it can find its way using magnetism
but with its right eye covered, it can't.
So like an Apache helicopter pilot. They have to have binocular rivalry, they call it.
So you're saying it would be physically impossible
for a pigeon, a homing pigeon, to deliver a fridge magnet?
-It's a shocker.
-No wonder my business failed.
-You're right. It is a shocker.
What do they think, if the robin's right eye can see magnetism...
They think it's controlled in the left brain.
-What's the left eye's special power?
-It's just an ordinary seeing eye.
-Or maybe it can see smells.
-Maybe it can.
Like a sort of Bisto brown thing, you know?
It can see deliciousness.
There's clearly more work to be done.
It seems that robins detect magnetic fields with their right eye
but that pigeons can do it blindfold.
Why shouldn't you drink on antibiotics?
Because that's what doctors say.
All the time. And operate machinery, as well.
Oh, and just heavy machinery. Any sort of machinery, that's fine.
A sewing machine, you can do that.
You can operate a sewing machine off your tits.
But not the space shuttle.
You sort of... You can, really, can't you?
They just don't want you to have too much fun.
It's like you can use a mobile phone in a petrol station.
When antibiotics arrived, it was mostly in the 1940s
and one of the first things that antibiotics was brilliant at
and so they gave men with syphilis antibiotics
and the trouble is, they'd still be infectious for the first week of taking the antibiotics
and so they would say to them, "Don't get drunk, don't drink,"
because, basically... Keep your trousers on.
-So it's tradition. It's tradition.
I'm told when they give me antibiotics for my endless array of diseases,
they say don't drink.
They're just doing that for traditional...
There are some antibiotics, there's one, I think it's called Flagyl,
which is like Antabuse, which will make you vomit, it's really horrific.
It doesn't stop the antibiotic working but you feel awful.
I hate being in the pub with someone going, "I'm on antibiotics. I better not."
I'll go, "Whoa!"
It's great that you say it's tradition, actually.
That's made me so much less likely to drink on antibiotics now.
-If it's traditional, I'll go, "Well, that's fine.
"I respect traditions. I like these traditions.
"If we stop observing them, they'll disappear."
Surely by that logic, you'd be dressed as morris dancer?
-That's not a good thing.
-We do all sorts of...
Christmas lunch, I wear a stupid paper hat
-that makes my scalp itch.
-Yes, that's true.
And I wouldn't want to stop doing that just for a reduction in scalp discomfort.
Well spoken. Very true.
So, yes, with a few specific exceptions -
please ask your doctor -
there is no general pharmacological reason not to mix antibiotics and alcohol.
Which brings us to the scores.
Oh, and how interesting they are.
Safe as houses tonight with a very healthy lead of plus 6 points
is our winner, David Mitchell!
Followed... Followed at a reasonably safe distance with plus 2
by Ross Noble!
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
In third place with minus 4 is Jeremy Clarkson.
-APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
-I thought I'd come last.
But I think I'm safe in saying
that tonight's loser with minus 6 is Alan Davies.
-APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
-How did I get minus 6?
Well, it's thanks from David, Jeremy, Ross, Alan and me
and I leave you with this thought from Mark Twain.
"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."
Take care and good night. APPLAUSE
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
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