Fire department links '50 Shades' to handcuff help calls

The London fire departments can't say for sure, but it believes it's been getting called by lovers inspired by the book "Fifty Shades of Grey."

The calls aren't because the erotic thriller is too hot; it's because people have been getting stuck in handcuffs in record numbers.

"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 department spokesman Dave Brown told the British publication the Week. Calls to London's fire department from people needing to be freed from handcuffs and other household restraints have gone up by 10% since 2010.

In "Fifty Shades of Grey," innocent college student Anastasia Steele is seduced by Christian Grey, a millionaire with a taste for bondage. This is what she sees when he takes her to a locked room on his second floor: "what dominates the room is a bed. It's bigger than king sized, an ornately carved rococo four-poster with a flat top. It looks late nineteenth century. Under the canopy, I can see more gleaming chains and cuffs. There is no bedding ... just a mattress covered in red leather and red satin cushions piled at one end."

Officials didn't reveal whether or not there were red leather beds involved; other details from the announcement revealed that some of the incidents went beyond the sexual exploits of E.L. James' kinky love story. One man needed help loosing his private parts from a toaster; another man was stuck in a vacuum cleaner.

As for the people who needed firemen to get release from their handcuffs, the department had some advice. "If you use handcuffs, always keep the keys handy."


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