Do the rules apply to you?

I was going to bring you a nice happy and positive Straight Talking this week, Smiley Ed for a change!

I was formulating it in my mind while driving to the gym on Monday evening, and things were going well.

I was still on with it as I went into the changing rooms, but then someone turned my blood temperature up several degrees and plans changed in an instant.

There he was, standing over the sink having a nice clean wet shave - with a sign stating “In the interests of health and safety, please refrain from shaving in this area” a foot from his head.

My inquisitive look was returned with one that had it been voiced would have been full of expletives.


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All of a sudden I started noticing other instances of people simply ignoring signs that are there for a reason.

In both gyms I use, despite signs banning the use of mobile phones, people are chatting away on them all the time.

And these conversations are not matters of life or death or any other sort of emergencies, these are more likely to be about arranging a lift home or organising a night out.

I am as glued to my mobile as the next man, but there are places I like to treat as a safe haven from their constant interruptions and the gym is one of them.


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Both gyms tell you not to take bags or coats into them.

These signs are blatantly ignored, clogging the place up and causing other hazards - especially the one where one miscreant hides the only visible fire extinguisher by draping his coat over it.

Clearly this type of behaviour is by no means restricted to gym users.

If you go out looking for it, you can spot it in every section of modern-day life.


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It all makes me wonder if we have another class of citizen as such flagrant abuse of rules, regulations and guidelines don’t appear to count for everyone.

So do we have a “superclass” in society for whom rules just don’t exist?

If we do, they are not any sort of a “superclass” at all, they are an “underclass” of people who are simply unable or unwilling to conform.