Big Spender by John McCabe

Big Spender

John McCabe

Before I read this book I didn't believe the world of Health and Safety could be so entertaining. Jake, his paranoid colleague, Roger, and his stingy (deceased) uncle, Norbert, are all great characters who underpin a funny and original plot. Laugh out loud funny with some great one-liners.


In his office, Jake stared at the poster he had faced every day for eight years. Safety Is No Accident, it proclaimed. Next to it, this week's Hazard Prevention slogan advised Make Danger a Stranger. Each slogan came with a statistic attached, as a grim reminder of society's evils. Jake read the frightening piece of information again. Last year, 91 bread bin-related incidents required hospital treatment. He walked to the window which overlooked the car park. The door opened, and Roger, his colleague, sidled in and headed for his desk. Roger was a six-foot-two streak of unadulterated caution. Even his clothes looked worried, with their paranoid creases and maniacally furrowed folds. His eyes swam wildly around behind fish-tank lenses, darting back and forth, searching out danger, and his nostrils flared as if could smell oncoming disaster. Jake enjoyed sharing an office with him because next to Roger he felt calm. He was able to measure his own mildly racing pulse against Roger's obvious panic, and usually came off best. While it is undoubtedly noble to be judged alongside the great and the good, it's far more rewarding to be compared with those who are obviously lacking.

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