The problem with OAP airbags

These airbags for pensioners – I think I've found a flaw.

Invented by the Japanese, of course, the airbags are fitted to elderly people planning to go off-road (in other words out of their chair) and inflate in around 0.1 seconds if they detect the wearer is accelerating towards the ground.

Just before impact, the bags inflate and protect the hips and the head, hopefully preventing the person who has fallen from needing a trip to God's bacteria-laden waiting room at the nearest hospital.

Unless, of course, they fall forwards rather than backwards, because the airbags only work one way (then again, is it too much to ask that old people have the decency to fall the way we want them to? I mean they've had a good innings, haven't they?).

Now I'm not sure about you, but I can count the number of times I've fallen backwards on the fingers of a snake. Falling forwards, on the other hand, I have made into somewhat of an art, although these days I try and take a little more care when I'm out and about on the basis that replacing one chipped tooth veneer would involve the sale of one of my kidneys.

On the minus side, the airbags for oldsters cost a hefty �750 and are only available in Japan. On the plus side, I've already got an airbag to protect me in the eventuality that I fall backwards – it's called my backside (insert your own gag here about 'twin airbags' and falling forwards – I just won't cheapen myself).