For readers under sixty, allow me to introduce you to a delight to come your way. Shortly after your 60th birthday you will receive a bowel cancer screening kit in the post. This will involve you taking three samples from three separate stools on three separate days (going through the motions?) using a small cardboard stick and smearing some of the result on a small slide. You will then seal this (pretty damn carefully) and post to the screening service agency.
Roughly 20% of the UK's population of 65 million is over 60. 13 million. Assuming an equal distribution of birthdays, and noting that this test is repeated at two year intervals, that makes, again roughly, 20,000 kits a day with six smears of delight in the post.
I have recently received my second kit. I followed the instructions as previously but received a letter back in the post 'insufficient sample'. I had smeared it too thin. Damn. Go again. I went again (and again, and again) and resmeared. (That a word?)
I received a reassuring letter back in the post saying that although it was probably piles or cracked lips (anal lips, my dear arse) there was a trace of blood in my sample and would I go again three times.
We may have a problem with junk mail, but there is far more crap in the post than we think.