Sunday, 11 July 2010
Flu, Food, Fat & Footie
For the past three weeks I've been afflicted by what can only be described as the adult version of Whooping cough, so very little sleep and a throat so sore I've needed painkillers to brush my teeth! It's proved resiliant to all attempts to treat it though it seems to be finally passing now, along with accompanying eye infections which also make it hard to sleep or concentrate. The good news is that a diet of fruit and ice cream at midnight (when I wake myself coughing) has led to shedding a welcome half a stone!
Which brings me to the subject of supermarkets. I seem to have been visiting mine more than usual lately in search of cool and soothing things to tempt my non-existent appetite and have more than once felt like the last thin person walking around, aside from a few obvious anorexics and students who haven't lived long enough to pile much on. I've even seen some body shapes in my local Tesco which appear to defy physics. Worse still the body-hugging vests and leggings many obese individuals choose to wear are even crueller and more unforgiving than this blog post. They're also starting younger - a growing number of youngsters seem to have no waistline at all these days and look podgy from the age of about 6, much though I wouldn't want us to go back to some of the freakily small waistlines of the 1950s. Then there's the strange rolls of fat many seem to develop in the place they might once have expected to find a waist, even if they still have flat stomachs. Is evolution really bowling along at such an alarming rate, or is some kind of foodstuff responsible for this?
Is this a legacy from GM food? Of course food and booze are impossible to escape these days - every second retail outlet is a cafe or cafe/bar in Oxford and the trend is spreading across every town and city. TV food porn programmes are rife and so are ads. None of us dare leave the house without a bottle of water and a chocolate bar at the very least. Food is literally being shoved down our throats wherever we look and sedentary lifestyles in front of PCs and Playstations are rife.
This has all happened in the last 10-15 years. There was no such emphasis on food when I was growing up in the 80s and food certainly wasn't 'sexed' up in any way. Nor were painfully slow and basic steam-driven computers much of a temptation from a healthier lifestyle. As for drunkenness, that was a shameful thing which only students and alcoholics indulged in. For the rest of the populace a couple of 'jars' or an occassional glass of wine (a much smaller glass than today) was more the norm.
I've now formulated a theory that the reason there are such a disproportionate number of disproportionate people in supermarkets is that for some, the trip to their 'dealer' for their next fix is their only outing of the week and they are more or less housebound the rest of the time, either through self-imposed exile or simply not being physically fit enough to go out much (and did any of us ever expect to see a TV advert for a cream to prevent 'chafing' as you walk?). You can apparently actually claim benefits too for being 'too obese to work'. More time to devote one's life to looking for BOGOF's then, though one wonders in what perverse way it suits the government to have such a policy rather than regard it as an individual's own responsibility not to get into such a state.
It is certainly ironic that being fat was historically a sign of wealth as only the rich could afford to gorge themselves, but in this day and age it has become a sign of poverty and reliance on cheap filler foods of low vitamin content (hence the body's continual hunger until it reaches its minimum nutrient quota, many portions later). Either that or there's one heck of a lot of undiagnosed thyroid conditions around.
Anyway, never mind all this, when is she going to mention the football? I hear you cry! Doesn't she know there's a world cup on? (bloody TV repeats!) Well what can I say? Overpaid, overlaid, they're minted whether they win or lose, so why would they care? They don't even care enough to learn the words of their own national anthem for goodness' sake. But since my fellow countrymen are even more obnoxious winners than they are losers, I for one am delighted there wasn't a cat in hell's chance of 1966 happening all over again. That'll teach John Prescott for selling off all the school sports fields (did I really read that the A-hole was going to be honoured with a knighthood the other week?) Though doubtless England's devastated (never merely 'disappointed') fans went out and drank just as much to lament as they would have done to celebrate.