Among the reams of red tape [the theatre group] must cut through is a rule that boiled sweets must not be thrown into the audience in case someone is hit. Bags of crisps have been used as an acceptably soft alternative.When will people ever learn? When will they rise up and demand that their masters back off?
Only people named on an official list are allowed to close the curtain, while the temperature of milk being used with any pantomime cows must now be allowed to fall below a set level.
Meanwhile, all sets and stage material must be checked for sharp edges and splinters and actors are banned from the props room in case of any dangerous accessories.
Graham Smith, the chairman of the theatre group, described the regulations laid down by Dudley Council as "ridiculous" and "microscopic", and said that they added hours to their workload.
He said that in the group's pantomime last year, the actor playing Jack was only allowed to climb four feet up his 30ft beanstalk - and only if he wore a harness. Due to the regulation, the idea was abandoned and he just gazed up it instead.
I'm betting, not hoping but betting, on bloodshed within 40 years. To take a free people and chain them when they've known freedom, is to create a great, hot pressure.
Still, if the public school system and major media outlets continue to do their bang-up job of pacifying all but the occasional Patrick Henry who refuses to submit, the pols may have little to worry about. Instead, the West will just fade passively into barbarism, as did the Romans, and a new Dark Ages will descend to last who knows how long.
I'm fervently hoping we stand up in time.