what can I say?

September 14th, 2007

Ah, New Zealand politicians, obviously a fine bunch, best of the best….. And yet:

Otago MP Jacqui Dean got caught. She was sent a letter calling for a ban on dihydrogen monoxide and she then sent a letter to Jim Anderton, the Associate Health Minister, asking “if the Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs had a view on banning the “drug””.

How could anybody be so dumb as to fall for such an obvious and really old joke? Surely even New Zealand’s politicians must be reasonably educated, informed, intelligent individuals, right? The kind who saw this joke circulating ten years ago and had a good laugh, right? Well, Jim Anderton got it, and had a good laugh at Jacqui Dean’s expense, but:

It is not the first time MPs have had a brush with the hoax.

In 2001, a staff member in Green MP Sue Kedgley’s office responded to a request for support saying she would be “absolutely supportive of the campaign to ban this toxic substance”.

Oh dear.

So just in case somebody gets all worried about this dangerous chemical dihydrogen monoxide, gets on google, and winds up here, allow me to explain in terms a two year old could understand how this joke works:

Dihydrogen monoxide clearly means two (di-) hydrogens and one (mono-) oxygen. H2O, in other words. Water. Got it? Yes, it is a bad joke. It was a bad joke ten years ago, it has not improved with age. It doesn’t seem to have lost its power to fool the gullible or easily-led astray, though.

4 Responses to “what can I say?”

  1. stuart Says:

    Ha ha – I only just heard about this joke the other day. I thought it was hilarious, but I’m easily amused… :)

  2. wangbo Says:

    Sorry- the reference to hearing this joke ten years ago was because it was circulating around Otago University at about that time. I guess it took longer than I realised to spread to the rest of the country. Actually, the form I first saw this joke in was actually pretty good- a huge long screed written in very serious language about the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide. Still, it’s disturbing that at least two of NZ’s politicians would fall for it.

  3. MikeE Says:

    As one of the people involved with the “Great Dyhidrogen Monoxide Hoax of 2007” I’d like to direct you to the full coverage :-)


    Now, she also wants to ban BZP… coincidence much?

  4. wangbo Says:

    MikeE: Thanks for the link, and excellent work. Well done.