Saturday, 5 September 2009


This DNA business continues to alarm.

I have been reading the startling story of our first single-cell ancestor. A merry little chap who lived in boiling springs and ate nothing except sulphur.

Not my idea of a good time. The boiling springs I could live with. Could? I have. I've been in hot water for the best part of eighty years now. But I cannot help wondering what dieters would have made of the sulphur diet. About twenty column inches of superficial rubbish in the national dailies, I suspect. No doubt bringing the conversation round to an attack on the defenceless and harmless chip buttie.

Harmless, do I hear you cry? Harmless, I answer firmly. Because I've noticed one thing about these diet nuts. Anything that they start by saying is bad for you always ends up being good for you within ten years at most. And anyone who doubts me should think about the potato. It's not all that long since we were being led to believe that a mouthful of potato would produce an instant heart attack at Force 12 on the Beaufort Scale. Now we are being encouraged to shovel the stuff down.

I can't think why dieticians have such a down on chips. They have had more publicity out of them than the entire Association of Fish Friers. But I don't worry. Any day now a group of doctors who are in need of a bit of free advertising are going to discover the nutritional value of the chip and it will be lettuce that sends you blind. Can't stand the stuff myself. Just makes me sorry for cows who are doomed to a lifetime of uncooked greenery. But I'm a carnivore. I think heaven will be a vast, eternal agricultural show where the elite meat will meet, the pork does everything but talk, sheep dog your every step and collies flower.

Vegetables I am fond of. Straight from the garden, of course. And when I've dug them out of the ground I always run with them to the kitchen. Because the reason they taste better fresh is that the moment a pea or a bean dies all the sugar in its cuddly little body starts turning into starch.

Which is why, if you looked out of my back door, you would see beans practically within hand's reach of the chair I'm sitting in writing this. Because when you are stepping in the ring at my weight, well, the shorter the short dash, the better.

Though I cannot claim the fine tuning of this man I met in the South of France who was heavily into wild boar. He was in the right place for catching them, of course. But, like me, he was the wrong shape. His problem was as follows: He lived as far up a Pyrenee as you could decently reach by public transport. But the boars very perversely chose even higher slopes as desirable residences. It was the Mohammed and the Mountain syndrome and, as he couldn't reach them without a fork-lift truck, he had to think of a way of bringing the boar to him. It was at this point he learned that, fond as he was of wild boar, it was as nothing to the mania wild boar have for sweet corn. From then on, he said, it was easy. He planted two rows of sweet corn against his garden fence and sat in the bedroom window with his shot gun. Word soon got around among the wild boar, as it does about new places to eat, and before you could say “Pass the marinade” it was wild boar for all.

And talking of France, why do we write menus in French? You go Chinese or Indian, you don't expect to know what you are eating and it wouldn't make much sense even if you did. Who has ever seen a water chestnut? You just hope when you order from the menu it isn't anyone you know. But 'poisson' in a pub? Boeuf Wellington? Who beat who, for goodness sake? And crepes Suzette? Pancakes. Crepe is what dresses used to be made from in the happy days before denim.

Consoling Consultation (Chinese style)

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: Your heart only good for so many beats, and that it – don't waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiency. What does cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So steak is nothing more than efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And pork chop can give you 100% of recommended daily allowance of vegetable product.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two bodies, your ration two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise programme?

A: Can't think of single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No pain – good !

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food are fried these day in vegetable oil. In fact, they permeated by it. How could getting more vegetable be bad for you???

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.