Monday 4 February 2008

The dreadful spectre of the Fat Kid

14st 9lb; 4.5 units of alcohol; 1,461; Fair Isle.

I went to see my doctor this morning, to have it out with him on the whole cholesterol issue; but he said there was no need for me to have it out in order to discuss that. Foiled again.

Still, at least having a spot of man flu enabled me to respond in kind when the hideously stained old baggage sitting next to me in the waiting room started coughing her guts up all over me, as tradition demands.

There was also a cardboard nurse in the waiting room, trying to deliver some public information story about washing your hands when you go to hospital, I think. But I’m not entirely sure as her intended message was rather obscured by the notice stuck on it by the practice, pointing out that the Area Health Trust was spending £5 million on these cardboard nurses, at the same time as they were trying to hack back their expenditure on real nurses and doctors.

But that can’t be right, surely? Even allowing for the ludicrous mark-ups charged by PR advisers and printers, surely you can’t possibly spend £5 million on a few cardboard cut-out? For that sort of money, you should be able to equip every surgery in the county with a top-of-the-range Ann Summers inflatable Naughty Nurse, who could deliver a “Hi, I’m Barbie” message about washing your hands as well as providing a bit of light relief for male patients while they waited.

After I left the surgery, I saw the Fat Kid again. He’s in his very early teens, I guess, and looks like the apple-cheeked youth who used to feature on packets of Rowntree’s Fruit Gums. Only much, much fatter. He was riding an absolutely pristine mountain bike very, very slowly up the middle of the pavement, puffing with the exertion. It’s got a bottle of water attached to the cross-bar in case he gets dehydrated, and it’s a penny to a tenner that there’s a 2lb bag of sugar diluted in it to keep his strength up. The urge to kick him off his bike into the gutter was almost irresistible, until I spotted his equally fat mother and hideous extended family wobbling along the pavement behind him. I expect they’d kept him off school specially today so that he could help to carry home all the flour, eggs and Lyle’s Golden Syrup they will need to make pancakes for all the family on Shrove Tuesday tomorrow.

I think the Area Health Trust should make him into a cardboard cut-out, to encourage everyone to diet. God knows it’s strengthened my resolve no end. But where on earth would they ever find all that cardboard?

Perhaps a hologram is the answer.

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