The humble Bunnings sausage sizzle has suddenly become a highly regulated affair. Picture: Norman Oorloff
The humble Bunnings sausage sizzle has suddenly become a highly regulated affair. Picture: Norman Oorloff

Bunnings, get your hands off my sausage

What's the biggest public health problem in Australia?

If you said smoking or sugar or speeding, you would be wrong.

No, apparently it's sausage sandwiches.

Specifically, the ones you and I and millions of other Australians enjoy every weekend when we go to the local hardware megastore to pick up a few bits and bobs for the day's DIY project.

The longstanding tradition, which helps raise money for local charity groups who sell sausages folded up in bread for a few bucks, is apparently also the cause of untold mayhem.

You see, for years, oblivious volunteers have been placing fried onions on top of the sausage, rather than tucking them underneath. The problem is that on top, they might fall off - and create a slipping hazard.

This sort of dangerous sausage and onion placement won’t pass muster under Bunnings’ new sanga regime. Picture: Instagram
This sort of dangerous sausage and onion placement won’t pass muster under Bunnings’ new sanga regime. Picture: Instagram

"Safety is always our number one priority and we recently introduced a suggestion that onion be placed underneath sausages to help prevent the onion from falling out and creating a slipping hazard," Bunnings chief operating officer Debbie Poole said, announcing the nationwide diktat which will see only regulation underneath-onions sold from here on out.

Well, good on her. It's about time someone did something to end the carnage.

Why, only last Saturday I went down to the local Bunnings to pick up a bag of potting soil, some circular saw blades, a set of paint brushes, nine boxes of nails, two mixer taps and a hammer.

When I pulled in to the shop off Parramatta Road there were so many onion-related casualties from the sausage sizzle the car park looked like an episode of M*A*S*H.

Triage tents had been set up to work out who could be fixed up on the spot, who needed to be choppered out, and who required nothing more than the merciful ministrations of a priest brought in to administer the Last Rites.

It's the same thing every election day, of course, when schoolyards across the land become one part polling place, one part emergency ward, thanks to all the careless consumption of sausage and onion sangas on the day.

Now this is truly careless consumption of a sausage and onion sanga. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
Now this is truly careless consumption of a sausage and onion sanga. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

It was only a matter of time before someone decided that enough was enough.

But while it's easy to joke about this sort of thing - presumably some other busybody will finally settle the ancient over-under debate over how to hang the toilet paper, with fines and potential jail sentences for violators - there's also a bigger point about just how much our lives are micromanaged, and not just by governments.

We may regard China's increasingly totalitarian "social credit" system as something that could only be imposed by a communist government that wants to control the lives of its citizens. But this week news came out of Britain that companies are now looking to microchip their employees in the manner of dogs and cats - all in the name of "improving security" of course.

Yeah, right.

It's easy in a country like Australia where there is so much government regulation about, well, just about every single aspect of our lives to forget that the private sector can do more than its fair share of meddling as well.

Those who (rightly) mistrust interfering state bureaucrats should also spare a thought for what's imposed on us from the lofty heights of the corporate world, whether it's silly (in this case) or sinister.

James Morrow is Opinion Editor of The Daily Telegraph.



‘Don’t sell us out’: Calls for justice centre relocation

premium_icon ‘Don’t sell us out’: Calls for justice centre relocation

Corindi residents believe the soon to be defunct Grafton jail would be a more...

Teen scampers onto rocks to avoid shark attack

premium_icon Teen scampers onto rocks to avoid shark attack

VIDEO: Surfers escape two close calls on same beach this week.