I was all set to do a piece on Gothenburg’s archipelago today. But Dutch Marco photographs me, chats a bit, and sets me thinking along other lines. ‘I saw a security girl in a deckchair,’ he says. ‘But I didn’t see the chair any more.’ Obesity, it seems, has even reached Sweden.
So, I’m abandoning the nearby islands and concentrating on a pertinent world issue: porkers. Yes, I’m for the high jump from the politically correct – yet again – but you know I never mean any offence.
We’re not talking about figures like Namibian, by the way – on the cusp of letting himself go; I mean real bloaters. His tummy is simply middle-aged spread, the merest hint of a paunch. David’s second driver, on the other hand, needs to cut down a bit.
The “pic ‘n’ mix king”, as this chap is now dubbed, is unable to walk and talk simultaneously. Deplorably breathless, he has either to stop, or let another party hog the dialogue. This is a good place to reintroduce Gentleman Steve, actually; we haven’t had any of his quotes for a while. Loquacious as ever, he throws in his tuppence worth on the subject.
‘Over-active thyroid?’ he snorts. ‘More like an over-active knife and fork.’ Bear with me; we shall return to safer, family topics – sex and drugs, for example – in the fullness of time.
Steve then puts the final nail in the coffin, quoting his Aunt Elspeth. ‘There weren’t any fat people in Auschwitz, you know.’ Ouch! Blimey Steve, are you allowed to say things like that?
Erm, where am I going with this? Advocating a balanced diet and a spot of exercise, that’s where. It’s not always that cut and dried, though, is it?
Sedentary jobs – long-distance lorry driving, for example, will never be the key to longevity – and crap food are partly to blame, I suppose. But you know when you overeat at Christmas?
Yes, that last kilogram of Quality Street on Boxing Day that overloads the pancreas. Well, when all the relatives finally bugger off, and your trouser button flies off, you diet, don’t you? Or if it’s a particularly harsh winter, perhaps you wait until spring. Either way, Plan “Weightwatchers” is in operation by May – to look yummy for the mating season.
I wonder what goes wrong, then, in some cases?