On Your Mark, Get Set, Honk!

Oh United Kingdom, you can be so, so sad.

It’s the traditional sound which has greeted the start of children’s sack races, sprints and egg and spoon challenges for generations.

And when Gartocharn Primary School in Dunbartonshire secured the services of the London Olympics chief starter for their own sports day, the school must have thought it would be an extra special occasion.

But the school had not reckoned with the administrative power of health and safety council officials, who banned Alan Bell from firing a pistol at the event in case the sound frightened the school’s children.

The safety folks suggested that the school use a recording of a starting gun played on an iPod so that there wouldn’t have to be an actual starting gun fired on the grounds, but eventually it was decided that a bicycle horn could be used instead.

Question: If the issue is a big scary noise, what’s the difference between a recording of a big scary noise and a live and in person one?

There I go, thinking again.

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