There are a plethora, a myriad, a lot of different things in your home which can do you harm. Your iron may scald you, your oven may burn you, you may plunge from your ladder while trying to rescue the cat from the roof – your cat may scratch you on the way down, your wife may chastise you as you lie, broken, in your hospital bed.
And then there are the soft, safe things in your house: your bed, your newly declawed cat, your sofa.
But you’ll soon scrub that idea, as you read of the terrifying reality of the woman ‘made ill by toxic sofa’.
A woman from Oxfordshire has spoken of the injuries she says she sustained from a toxic chemical left in a leather sofa.
Wendy Preston, 67, from Chipping Norton, is still recovering from the burns and rashes she says she received after buying a new sofa from an Argos store in July 2007.
Can this be for real? Well, yes it can.
Mrs Preston said she noticed the itching a few months after buying the furniture.
She said: “It was very intense and burning. Then it spread up my back, down to my toes and into my hair.”
Hairy toes are considered very attractive in some parts of the world, I’m told.
Mrs Preston was prescribed antibiotics by a doctor – but the itching did not go away.
“My doctor asked me if I had started using a new detergent,” she explained.
“That’s when I remembered hearing something about toxic sofas.”
Ah yes. Of course – the old “toxic sofas” thing. I often recall it (usually after a couple of beers, to be fair) when I’ve just bought a new sofa and then I start itching up my back and on my hairy toes.
Yes, it’s at those times, when I’m really struggling to work out what it is that’s making my hirsute podial digits so very uncomfortable that it comes to me, like a flash of light in a less light place: it’s probably “something about toxic sofas”. Trouble is, you can never work out where you heard that sort of thing though, even though it should be pretty obvious. I can’t remember every conversation I’ve had about football – there have been millions of them. Or microbiology stuff – cos I do a lot of that, too. But I can’t imagine that I’ve ever really spoken at length with anyone about poisonous lounge furniture.
But somehow, like Wendy Preston, I do remember hearing something about toxic sofas. And I always bring it up when someone asks me if I’m using a new detergent.
I’m sure you can see the link there, too: New detergent/Toxic sofas. Clear as day.
We’ll leave the last word to Mrs Preston though, bless her blotched and scaly skin:
“It was very frightening. When you buy a new sofa you don’t expect this kind of trouble.”
Well, no. Of course not. I mean, you may expect a little rowdiness from some of the three-seaters, obviously. And some whining and moulting from some of the corner-units, perhaps. But certainly not frightening toxicity.
That’s way out of line.