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'Avocado Hand' is a real, recognised injury and it's incredibly middle class

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There’s a new epidemic in our country, and it’s causing an alarming number of hospital visits – but are you at risk?

Well, yes, if you eat avocados, which is probably more than 50% of you? I’m basing this entirely on guesswork here, but it sounds about right – everyone loves avocados these days don’t they? I’ve only ever bought one and it went off before I had time to do anything with it so I never got one ever again. Although I did buy a multi-pack of Tex-Mex dips at the weekend that included a pot of guacamole – don’t know if that counts though.

ANYWAY, people that buy avocados have been carelessly cutting their flesh with big knives as a direct result of purchasing one of those big, green, damn dirty pears. What’s been happening is: salad-eating, floppy-fringed superfood-fans have been turning their green fingers into RED FINGERS because they’ve slid a sharp blade over their soft skin whilst attempting to cut into an avo that isn’t ripe enough yet.

Now, we all know the well-worn way of de-stoning an avocado: lay it on its side, cut through to the stone all the way around, twist the two halves off, then bang your knife into the stone and twist that out, too. Here, look:

After that, do whatever you want with it: scoop it out and eat it with a spoon, slice it and have it on a salad, mash it into guacamole or draw a face on a pea, put it inside and turn it into a cool, vegan Mighty Max toy.

The thing is, people are getting way too excited about brunch and not waiting until the fruit is ripe enough to easily slice, so they’re attacking it like Jason Voorhees and ending up with claret-spouting digits.

Simon Eccles, secretary of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons says: “People do not anticipate that the avocados they buy can be very ripe and there is minimal understanding of how to handle them. We don’t want to put people off the fruit but I think warning labels are an effective way of dealing with this. It needs to be recognisable.

“Perhaps we could have a cartoon picture of an avocado with a knife, and a big red cross going through it?”

Great shout, Simon – or maybe you could go the cigarette packet route and use a photo of a severed thumb on a bed of blood-soaked quinoa.

Fear tactics are needed though – The Times mentioned that up to four patients per week come into St Thomas’ Hospital in London with chopped up paws, and it’s become so common that it’s been given its Avocado Hand moniker.

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