Not a million years ago, I was planning how to solve the problems of the human race by removing safety warnings.

However, some of the more squeamish among you may have found that a little extreme. Fear not. I have another idea.

As I’ve said, the problem with the world is that there are too many people in it, and that there are certainly too many stupid people out there.

So, I’m proposing a buddy system. There are 6 billion people on earth, and lucky for us that’s an even number, ’cause otherwise one guy would always be left out, which is mean.

Simply enough, my new idea is that everyone is assigned a person at birth to spend their entire life with and look at the things they don’t. Let me give you an example of how this works.

Today (5th September, 2003) is Michael Keaton’s 52nd birthday. First of all, happy birthday Mr. K. But, while I was looking into his filmography out of idle interest I came across a film he had done that was based on real events. His character, and by extension the name of a real person, was Robert Wiener.

Now, I don’t have anything against Bob Wiener. He’s probably an upstanding guy. But clearly, when they were handing out surnames, this fella’s ancestors made a bad choice.

To give you another example, my father knows a man whose wife’s maiden name was DeBank. I shit you not, she has a brother named Robin.

Robin DeBank.

And this is where the buddy system comes in. When young Robin was conceived, or when Mr. Wiener’s [not a euphemism for any part of my anatomy] distant relatives were picking a name, they could have used outside help.

For example, Mr. DeBank’s assigned buddy could have said “Hey, I wouldn’t call your kid Robin if I were you. He’ll be laughed at, and eventually there’ll be an article on the internet about him where he’s made an example of.”

“You’re right, by gum!” Mr. DeBank would reply, “I’ll call him something else!” Problem solved.

I’ll give you another example. Some among you may think I’m superior and preachy. I am, but this is neither here nor there. In the interests of public relations, I’ll tell you about my hat.

A while ago, I bought a cowboy hat. I was not drunk. I was not under the influence of drugs. I was neither at gunpoint, nor was I blackmailed. I just think they’re cool.

Now, wouldn’t it have been far better for me, my loved ones and anyone who associates with me in public if I’d had someone at my side with a helpful “Say, Luke, I don’t think that hat’s such a good idea. You won’t be able to go anywhere without someone shouting ‘YEE-HAA!’ after you, and it frightens the children…”

As it was, I had no such advice, and now I can’t go anywhere crowded without at least one person shouting “Yee-ha!” in my direction.

Granted, the system is flawed. Idiots are, by the looks of things, in a majority, these days, and so it wouldn’t be practical to pair up smart people with the more challenged elements of society. Simillarly, if a smart person had to go around telling their companion to stop buying hats and not name their kids after arrestable offences, it would get a little trying.

And while we’re being candid, it would make sex embarrassing and awkward for all concerned, although perhaps this is worth it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve needed someone other than the girl I was with to give me some friendly pointers.

Still, all great schemes have teething problems, and this will prove no exception. I advise all of you to pick your buddies in advance, to avoid getting stuck with Jade Goody. (But lay off Elisha Cuthbert from “24.” It’s my scheme, and I get dibs!)