Tue, Aug 27, 2013 - Page 10 News List

‘Fifty Shades effect’ blamed for British handcuff mishaps

Copies of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey on display at a book shop in London on July 19 last year.

Photo: AFP照片:法新社

The London Fire Brigade said last month it was facing a rising number of callouts for people trapped in handcuffs, blaming it on the “Fifty Shades of Grey effect,” named after the best-selling erotic novel of the same name.

In the past three years the fire service has rescued 79 people unable to escape handcuffs, as well as nine men with rings stuck on their penises, one with his penis trapped in a toaster and another in a vacuum cleaner.

“I don’t know whether it’s the Fifty Shades effect, but the number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up,” fire officer Dave Brown said in a statement.

“I’m sure most people will be fifty shades of red by the time our crews arrive to free them.”

British author E.L. James has sold more than 70 million copies of her erotic romance novels, a trilogy starting with the sadomasochistic tale Fifty Shades of Grey.

The fire brigade urged those using handcuffs in the bedroom to “always keep the keys handy.”










1. mishap n.

災禍;不幸事故 (zai1 huo4; bu2 xing4 shi4 gu4)

例: Although there were a few minor mishaps, none of the pancakes stuck to the ceiling.


2. go up v. phr.

上升 (shang4 sheng1)

例: The price of fruit and vegetables has gone up.


3. handy adj.

手邊的 (shou3 bian1 de5)

例: It would be good to have a pencil and paper handy.


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