Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Bigger, Stronger, Fatter

Don't look up Ethel!
Interesting stories today. Apparently rugby players are much bigger than they used to be, so their injuries are proportionately bigger too. We're considering American-style padding, although that won't help much when someone is twisting the family jewels through 180o in the scrum.

At the same time, child obesity is levelling off, which is a nice way of saying virtually all of us are now lardy. Hardly a surprise, is it? We don't buy Kit-Kats any more; we buy Kit-Kat Chunky! And we don't eat crisps; we eat Walkers Max Cheeseburger Crisps! Move over Dandelion and Burdock (what is Burdock?), here comes Pepsi Max Big Gulp!

It's not just people getting bigger. When we were at Yoony we used to watch Coronation Street twice a week on our b&w portable. Today we watch EastEnders on our forty-two inch plasma, four times a week, repeated on BBC3 with an omnibus edition and a web-site. Or rather we don't, as a) we can't afford one b) it's drivel.

Even already-big stuff has got bigger. The UK government is 866,000 people bigger today than in 1997. (Yes, really)1. Our banks are so bloated they need to be split up, so they can re-bloat. Is everything growing?

No, not everything. When I was a kid a Curly-Wurly was three feet long. Now it's so short it ought to be called a Straighty-Waity. Also, the notes and coins with which we buy our Straighty-Waities are pathetic little things. I miss half-crowns like dinner plates and fivers the size of parachutes. With one half-crown you could buy a Party 82 and an economy bag of Monster Munch, and it was party time! Nostalgia, eh?

But our living space seems to be shrinking the fastest. In Winchester, Chilbolton Avenue is a road full of old sprawling Edwardian houses, with some wasteful open space called 'gardens'. They're being demolished at a furious rate. Same story all over the city, except for three very bland fields, where neighbouring nimbies are holding out. 'Save Barton Farm!' they cry from their old sprawling Edwardian houses. Regardless, a house a day is replaced by about fifty very efficient flats, with just enough room for a bed and a loo, and a forty-two inch plasma.

Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that the M3 is a car park from Basingstoke to London every morning. For most of these poor sods, it's the only place they can find somewhere to spread out. Perhaps we should build another lane. Sigh.

1 - Admittedly that includes over 200,000 merchant bankers.
2 - That's 'insipid beer in an oil drum' to the under-40s.


  1. Straighty-waity? I wish

  2. Go to Wikipedia for some fascinating information about Burdock. Apparently, it invented Velcro! And it's leaves are large, coarse and round, which brings us back to Rugby players.

  3. Stronger ? Bigger ? Can't win them all !

  4. we really need to build a lot more little houses for the "staff" to live in. One can't get a gardener, window cleaner, postman nor a man to change the clock on the expensive Britsh car (see Oct 27) due to the fact that they can't get up the M3 from Southampton. And Chilbolton Av. is no loss - not with all the cars (full of gardeners on their way to work in nice places with gardens) screaming up there avoiding the jams on the M3. So build on boys and we might become self-sufficient.

  5. Tesco - Cheap Jokes Division9 November 2009 at 21:13

    In my experience most building boys are self sufficient...ooer§

  6. First Jane Austen and now the curly wurly - is nothing sacred grumpy one?