Thursday 24 January 2008

Criminal negligence all round

15st 1lb (knackers); 3.0 alcohol units; 1,472; Biscay.

I swore to myself that I would never, ever allow my weight to go above 15 stone again, except by putting on heavy shoes and clothing, and carrying a baseball bat when visiting that takeaway on Alnwick’s roughest council estate. And what happens?

I blame Sir Stuart Rose. If it’s good enough for Paxo and his dodgy gusset, it’ll do for me and yesterday’s questionably calorie-counted ready meals. I mean, would I have gained 2lbs overnight if there were really only 275 calories in Marks & Spencer’s “melting middle” fishcakes (presumably developed as a piscine “me too”, riding on the back of their successful – indeed “iconic” – melting middle chocolate pudding)?

Of course, it was wrong of me to eat two of them rather than just the one, but that’s always the temptation when you’re on your own (sigh) and everything comes packaged up for couples (food, holidays, you name it). Even so, I’ve just done the maths and there were only a total of 1,061 calories in everything I ate yesterday.

Apart from all the things I ate that weren’t calorie counted, like the slice of thickly buttered toast with marmalade at breakfast, and the generous hunk of Auntie’s Christmas cake for tea. Oh, and half a bottle of white wine with the fishcakes.

Must try harder.

As a first gesture in that direction, I drove to Newcastle and had lunch with my rival in the Great Weight Loss Challenge: the fourth time I have met him for lunch in the last month. This must equal the total number of times I saw him for any reason whatsoever in the preceding half century. At least they were all arranged for a purpose, and before the Great Weight Loss Challenge actually started. This one came about because I accidentally discovered that my solicitor used to work for my rival’s parents, 35 years ago. It was a rather touching reunion, marred for them only by having some fat Bloke at the table eating too much and cracking jokes.

Two things amused me during my visit to the big city. First, the fact that a suspiciously unbranded cash dispenser has been installed in the outer wall of my solicitor’s offices, which they are presumably using to boost their meagre fee income by cloning credit cards. And secondly a fine leaflet on display in their reception which just bore the words “Criminal Negligence” and the practice name. Not much of an advert, it seemed to me. Actually, in truth it also bore a picture of three broadly grinning solicitors, two of whom were rather attractive blondes who could come round and be criminally negligent with me any time they liked.

What’s the betting that if I limped into their offices on crutches and said I wanted to pursue a negligence action, I’d find that the picture was posed by models and that my legal representative bore an uncanny resemblance to the late comedy actress Rita Webb?

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