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When you run a business that has any sort of public profile you get all sorts of emails, some insightful, some interesting but most are by nutbags. Generally these mental cases confine themselves to gibbering on about the end of the world, the coming great depression or some other conspiracy. However rarely do we get a health and safety style email.

As an example of the quality of emails we get consider the following example.

Anyway, my real reason for writing to you is what I saw on your video in the background, what appears to be a playground in front of the swimming pool. Specifically, that plant you have with all the green leaves sticking up. I don’t know what its name is (though my wife probably would), but, I want to warn you that it can give you a nasty & painful jab. Some years ago, we had four of those plants next to our pool, along our back fence. Then one day I was doing something close to them, and one of the leaves somehow pricked me in my ear. I can tell you that was one of the most painful experiences I have had in my life. I would suggest that you take care with any children coming anywhere near them (I’m an adult, not a child).

If you feel the leaves, you will see that they are pretty firm, and that the ends are pretty sharp (ours were a lot taller, but I am sure yours would feel the same). If they get into someone’s ear, or, worse still, their eye, they could give that person a very painful experience. What I did after it happened (and after I explained it to my disbelieving wife) was to cut all the sharp ends off each leaf.

In case you are wandering, NO, I am not some crackpot, (really thats not what the evidence suggests) just a person who has had a very painful experience with one leaf off one of our four plants, and I feel it is my duty to warn anybody with the same plants, hence my email to you.

There is no need to respond to this email, I know that you must be a very busy lady, just take care with that plant, that is all I can say. Oh, and keep up the good work with your great books.

For those not a horticultural bent or not sufficiently obsessed by what is in the blurred out background of a video the plant in question is a Yukka.  It is not a Triffid nor is it Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors – its a friggen mildly spiky plant. I have one by my front door and at no stage has it ever looked like it might lurch forward and decapitate me.

I can only surmise that our somewhat over cautious author is a sort of health and safety type who works in the public service. You know the sort who before you can use a step ladder insists that you do a course and get a certificate in step laddering.



  1. Ah, I love it when you share these gems…it makes my day.

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