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Beloved of gimps, rubber fetishists and those under attack from CBRN agents, a respirator is quite simply the must have item in the gas chamb... erm... Respirator Testing Facility. The 'ressie' smells of rubber, is made of rubber, makes you sweat like rubber and breathe like an asthmatic telephone stalker.

Current model on general distribution is the S10, which is also a district of Sheffield. It replaced the S6, co-incidentally the district of Sheffield where the mighty Sheffield Wednesday play. The respirator is sometimes referred to as a 'gas mask', but not when a CBRN ninja or pointy-head is about, or expect a lecture on the difference between the two.

When I was in Prague 2005, a small supermarket (near the Charles Bridge) was selling surplus military respirators for about £10 a pop. Admittedly if you read the small print, the filters were 5 years past their use by date but its not like thats important now is it?

Not a toy

A story appeared in the quality press some while back about a bloke who suffocated whilst wearing a respirator. He had a plastic tube connected instead of a filter and the other end was shoved up his arrse. It was not sure what he was up to, although when he was discovered he was wearing a basque, suspenders and stockings! Getting ready to go to a The Rocky Horror Picture Show perhaps? Or more likely a Conservative Party backbencher. (Funnily I think he was!)