Friday, 26 April 2013

Options for Change

Staying Alive: So I was going through a phase of drinking full cream milk. For some reason, a random magazine article read in the barbers perhaps, I thought that it would increase my sperm count. Of course there was no need to do that, my little swimmers had long since retired to the beach and were lounging about waiting on some happy hour and watching the Mediterranean sun go down. I'm sure I expected the milk to do other things for me, build bones, repair brain cells, that sort of thing. The fringe benefit is that if you do eat healthy things (?) and do a little exercise then you do feel a bit better and less susceptible to the unplanned attacks of some passing grim reaper.

Exercise: It was about this time I discovered that my only semi-smart phone contained a pedometer. I was called the Walk Mate Eco and it required of me, without me setting it up or entering into any formal agreement, to walk 10 kilometres a day, whatever the weather. I took this as something of a challenge, man v phone as it were. If I did this then a direct benefit would be, according to the App that I'd save 1000g of CO2. Now that sounds impressive until you think about it, then it quickly becomes meaningless. So I decided not to think about it. Unless you get the bus 10k from home, get off and walk back it turns out that 10k is a lot of daily walking, unless you are a postman or a professional walker of some sort. I did try valiantly and I got close but other things, seats, couches and cars got in the way. I did find that by sitting down and in a non exercising way bouncing the phone on my lap I could fool it into thinking I was walking. That was cheap and cheating so I just lowered my expectations for myself a little and let it all be.

Food: Back to food then, oily fish in particular (usually in another kind of oil) and a few olives as well and leaves and olive bread and that super anti-cancer fruit/vegetable the tomato. It's hard to get a good tomato these days, most are like red golf balls if they are the normal size. The smaller ones are like gob stoppers and they are too small to cut up and too big to stuff in your mouth but you do. Then you get that unpleasant kangaroo testicle sensation when you bite into the tomato and it explodes like a burst abscess inside your mouth. It's worse if, as is the custom with modern food, it's been trapped in a refrigerator for week. The tomato then becomes an icy hand grenade going pop against your inner cheek. Not good but good for you. That probably sums it up unless it's an avocado which is good and rare enough to be a treat and good for you in a Mexican kind of cool but Latin way. Lets get more avocados.

Dairy: Then the dairy cabinet opens up it's bountiful world of sanitised promise. Yogurt, so full of mysterious, helpful cultures and formulas that you understand why previous generations just curled up and died, they had none of this for their working class digestions. Just brown ale, potatoes and herring with the bones in and facing the wrong way. Times were tough. Now we can eat yogurt of all types, though they all taste the same. Some promise you the arse of a Greek horse, others a huge couch cuddling experience with the Spencer Davis Group, others find a swift route round your struggling innards like some white python, cleansing and purging and pulverising any non-yogurts that get in the way, then there's the thin ones you just drink like a shot of bovine voodoo placed in your fridge by the Dharma Foundation. It's brilliant what they've now done with all that underpriced sour milk and jam and they've put it all like a sci-fi elixir into aerodynamic containers that are smaller on the inside than they look on the outside, like a busted Tardis, but it's fresh, clean and it fits into any lunch box or designer handbag easily.

Eyesight: I can see most things but when I cant I apply a conveniently located pair of pound shop bought reading glasses to the situation. These are set at somewhere between +.5 and +3 whatever that means. Putting them on is like giving yourself an instant hangover. Nothing in the room makes sense except for the cooking instructions that you're trying to read on the upturned back of the M&S ready meal. The cooking, well heating or warming really, instructions are seldom given pride of place in the packaging and a deliberately small font is mischievously used to baffle the consumer. The information is there but masked by the various lists of ingredients and chemicals – as if we're bothered or believe any of that bollocks. Once you've got the time from the packet and ceremonially pierced the film (always film to pierce) with a sharp knife you can set the oven. Of course after going through this you realise that it's yet another homogenised product, they all need twenty minutes at 180 Degrees, it's then ready to burn your tongue on, whatever it is.

TV volume: You can never get it right. I'm sure there's a master volume somewhere in the broadcaster's box of tricks and they just fuck about with it behind the scenes. They turn it up at the beginning of a programme to shock you into attention with the sonic booms of music and title sequences and then, slowly, trickily they turn it down. You are struggling to hear and then you turn your remote up so you don't miss any of that vital dialogue. Then just when your volume is on the up they turn theirs up so that as the commercial break comes you're at hit with a Tsunami like blast of some heavy metal band grinding into gear to sell you...yogurt or Vauxhalls. Bah! The sponsors love it I'm sure, nobody sleeps round here when Sky Atlantic's on.

Fruit: Plums are ok but overrated and they've no silent d in them, just a pip.

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