March 14th, 2010

‘kin nanny state

Posted in Other Stuff by 200

I went into a supermarket today. Mrs weeks isn’t very well & she has used up her supply of paracetamol, in fact she used up the last of my supply of cheap ‘Anadin’ ripoffs. She prefers paracetomol but I find that those ones made of exactly the same constituents as Anadin Extra but costing a tenth of the price do me really well.

So I popped in to get a Sunday paper, a bottle of wine for tea & some headache tablets.

I got Mrs Weeks a box of 16 paracetamol & I picked up a similar-sized pack of the supermarket’s own brand pain releif tabs. Then I remembered that I had used the last in the box I have in my work bag only a few days ago. I like to keep headache tablets with me at work since sometimes it is one big bloody headache.

So I had 3 packs of tablets.

Whenever I go with one of my kids, they love doing that self-service thing where you swipe your own purchases, put them in your bag & pay. I hate it & avoid them when I can. I just feel so guilty using them. I can’t help thinking that the girl who stands at the end monitoring the computer displays is just waiting for me to nick something. And what the bloody hell do you do with stuff like grapes which hasn’t got a barcode on them?

Anyway, the girl swiped all my bits & when it came to putting the pain relief tablets through she swiped two boxes & put the other one aside, “You can only buy two of these at a time.”


“You can only buy two packs.”

“Is that in case I top myself?”

She smiled  nervously but didn’t answer. I didn’t make a fuss though I felt like demanding to see the manager to get him to explain why I couldn’t be trusted not to rip open the boxes & shove the contents down my neck there & then. I expect my family could sue them for providing me the means to cure a really bad headache. If I paid for my goods, walked back into the shop & bought another 2 packs who’d have stopped me? Do they have undercover headache detectives just watching for anyone who looks like they may buy more than 32 headache pills? What if I wanted to restock my cutlery drawer & bought half a dozen 10- inch kitchen knives? I bet nobody would stop me buying 3 bottles of whisky & drinking myself to death.

All this went through my mind as I packed my bits & pieces. By the time I walked out the store I was so depressed I felt like doing something really stupid, but I only had 32 paracetamol, so well done Sainsbury’s, another life saved.

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  1. Baz says:

    Its not to do with topping yourself, we have similar laws here in oz, i don’t know all the ins and outs, but paracetamol is used as an ingrediant for making drugs, can’t remember which one, but obviously its not cannabis, not heroin or cocain, i think it may be speed or something similar. Anyway, drugs dealers go into the shops and try and buy large amounts, as a result of which they now have a limit, and over here you need to produce valid ID.

    March 14th, 2010 at 23:54

  2. Stonehead says:

    The UK restriction on paracetamol was brought in to reduce the likelihood and severity of overdoses. Various studies claim to show that it has worked, but the downside is that it means everyone who wants to buy more than 16 is treated as if they were a suicide risk.

    What I find curious is that the supermarkets also apply the same restrictions to aspirin, ibuprofen and other over the counter medications. Why?

    And some supermarket staff do sell more than 16 at a time. They just put them through as multiple, single transactions.

    March 15th, 2010 at 06:44

  3. MPS Probie says:

    In all fairness to the supermarkets, many of those wailing ‘Nanny state!’ would be the first to scream ‘why weren’t they stopped?!’ if the restrictions were lifted and Tesco’s sold 72 pills to someone who subsequently topped themselves with ‘em.

    March 15th, 2010 at 07:23

  4. Pc A Hunn says:

    I’ve had this trouble before yet I noticed in my local cash and carry I can bulk buy hugh amounts of tablets. Absolute fucking madness. The same supermarkets would not stop you buying 6 litres of whiteshite cider which no doubt be the cause of more harm due to domestic related drunken violence.

    March 15th, 2010 at 08:38

  5. 200 says:

    The problem is, that the measures put in place are so easily circumvented as to make them a pathetic attempt. All you have to do is pay for them, walk straight back to the display & purchase more.

    It’s like so much else in modern life, people feel they can abrogate any responsibility for anything by putting in a measure however pitiful.

    March 15th, 2010 at 11:01

  6. Ex-RUC says:

    Having seen a paracetamol overdose, a terrible slow and painful way to go, I quite agree with the law. However, my GP quite happily has 200 tablets on repeat prescription for me; perhaps he’s tired of me?

    March 15th, 2010 at 13:58

  7. Tony F says:

    Had the same problem too. I used to have ‘strategically’ placed boxes in the van and in the car. Of course, these could get used all at once if the whole family went down with a lurgy. So now, we fight over the last two in the box….

    Anyway, the best thing for a headache is very cheap cider…..

    March 15th, 2010 at 14:23

  8. Shijuro says:

    When I dropped in the poo at work the fed INSISTED in driving me home… In case I topped myself by throwing myself under a train ;-) lol an ruin a perfectly good folding bike?

    I said, “who is staying with me in case I shoot myself?” the rep looked deadly serious – “you haven’t got a gun? Have you?”


    March 15th, 2010 at 17:46

  9. Reactively Proactive says:

    I’m guessing they would happilly let you buy 2 packs of 96 tablets but not 3 packs of 16? You’ve got to love the thinking!

    March 15th, 2010 at 22:47

  10. exasperated says:

    I’ve had the same “problem” as you 200, we were all stricken with the lurgy one weekend and I had toothache to boot – do you think I could include Lemsip, Calpol and Anadin Extra in my weekly tesco shop, all in one go??

    No, I had to turn around and pay for the Anadin Extra at the adjacent till… while the first checkout was still scanning the rest of my shopping.

    March 16th, 2010 at 17:55

  11. Civ_In_The_City says:

    What about when they stop people buying wine gums, even when they have no alcoholic content….

    True story.

    I think I read something similar and the problem was that there was a picture of a bottle of beer (or wine) on a packet, and that was enough for the Supermarket Gestapo to leap out from behind the fruit and veg.

    F*cking ludicrous, nanny state, it`s for your own good in the long run, Sainsburys knows best, broken f*cking Britain.


    March 17th, 2010 at 19:01

  12. Dan the ambulance man says:

    It’s to reduce the harm caused by parasuicides – where an individual takes an overdose with no real suicidal intent. This happens thousands of times a day through the UK.

    People with genuine suicidal intent plan things carefully, but rarely choose paracetamol due to the prolonged action a substantial overdose has.

    March 20th, 2010 at 14:02

  13. 200 says:


    do you know of any research which concludes that not being able to buy more than 32 paracetamol at a time does in fact work have the intended consequences?

    March 20th, 2010 at 16:40

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