So legions of people across the land are being medicated for high blood pressure unnecessarily because of a phenomenon called White Coat Hypertension.
Apparently the sight of a traditional doctor's coat creates a physiological panic in patients, which distorts the results of their blood pressure reading.
The effect is increased significantly when said white coat is brandishing a needle, no doubt. Personally, I find the stress induced by having to 'fess up on exercise and alcohol intake just ahead of a reading a sure-fire way to encourage a spike. The presence of medical students doesn't help. No offence guys, I know you have to learn, but all that scribbling and staring puts me on edge.
Outwith a medical environment, a variety of seemingly mundane situations can induce a spike in blood pressure.
:: Queues: Waiting in any queue is tedious but specifically those in sandwich shops without ready-made sarnies, where a long line of fussy folk ahead of you are having them custom-made to mama's special recipe. Good God man, I've got three minutes of my lunchbreak left, quit with the extra dressings and get a wriggle on.
:: Loyalty cards: Is there a shop in the land where it is now possible to select a product and attempt to pay for it without being invited to form a lasting relationship with the company. No, I don't have a loyalty card. No, thank you, I do not want one. Nor do I want to pay for a copy of your in-house catalogue masquerading as a magazine. Yes, I'm sure, I will forgo the huge saving that this would afford me. Yes, I am a fool.
:: Barbecues: Is there a social occasion where there is such a gaping chasm between expectation and reality?
:: Driving: The world of motoring has too many to mention. Perhaps, I'll restrict myself to being caught behind parked cars in the inside lane when every driver in the moving lane next to you develops peripheral blindness. Oh, and people not waving a thank you when I halt my own progress to let them out. Hello, manners!
:: Jargon: When did finishing a sentence with "going forward" become acceptable?
:: Enforced intimacy on public transport: When a stranger offers you a crisp at the start of a long train journey you know you are in for a long trip.
I'm sorry, but even compiling this list is starting to stress me out. I think I feel a palpitation coming on. Please excuse me.