‘Who is that idiot on that bicycle? He’s not wearing a cycle helmet’.
‘Really? That’s strange, he’s the UK minister for transport, responsible for road safety and cycling.’
‘Oh, right, I hear you. So it’s alright for him to go bare-headed but the rest of us have to wear helmets. Maybe it’s OK to not wear one?’
‘No, no, it’s just he preferrs not to’.
‘What about his kids?
‘Well, they asked him whether he felt his kids should wear cycle-helmets on BBC Radio 4 this morning, since you ask.’
‘Yeah? What did he say?’
‘He won’t talk about his family on radio.’
‘But…but… isn’t that rank hypocrisy?’
‘How can you be so reactionary.? No. It’s because he’s a politician.’
‘Well I don’t need to wear mine then.’
‘Well, yes you do. The chance of a serious head injury is significantly reduced if you wear a helmet.’
‘But he isn’t’
‘Poly means many in Greek. Tics are blood-sucking parasites. Need I say more?’
‘Hah. Poly-tics. Very funny, but give me an example of someone who’s life was saved by wearing a helmet.’
‘My nephew was hit by a car. He was on his bike. He was thrown forwards, parallel to the ground and his head struck the door of a Mercedes. There was a big dent in the door but he survived. He was wearing a helmet.’
‘Was he OK?
‘He got a head injury and a post-concussional syndrome but he got better after a couple of years.’
‘Without the helmet?’
‘Well, Rowbotham, a Newcastle Neurosurgeon in the sixties, described a man on a motorbike, who had a similar accident. He hit a wall and the base of his skull was driven upwards to contact the top of his skull. The brain was squeezed out in the gap.’
‘Maybe I should wear my helmet.’
‘Maybe you should.’
‘What about the minister?’
‘Well nothing would happen. You have to have a brain to get a brain injury.’