Witness The Fatness

Saturday, 26 November 2011

I was listening to a talk radio programme today where it was revealed that British women are the fattest in Europe. Personally, where the female of the species is concerned, I don't mind a bit of flesh to hang on to. I went out with a very fit and muscular girl once and it quietly disturbed me that I knew what it was like to share a bed with another fella (minus the hairy back and large hands.....that's a story about a German woman for another time). But that's not to say that I have a penchant for those adult market, female performers labelled as BBW. Golly, no!

Then I got to thinking about an excellent blog post about lard-buckets called Fat is the New Fit that I was directed to by the author of The Path Less Travelled. Check it out here. It fits in nicely with the revelation about muffin-topped, pie-eating Brit burds.

All of this talk of obesity had me dismayed and scuttling off to the gym like Vanessa Feltz on her way to an end of season sale at Gregs. I got there and was further dismayed when I saw the state of the place. David Bastard Lloyd charges me seventy quid a month and the racquet obsessed twat can't even tidy his fucking gym up!

There were barbell weights and dumbells littering the floor and bits of old tissue whose former owners had insufficient brain-matter to recall the final two stanza of the government's 'Catch it, Bin it, Kill it' campaign.

So I indulged my OCD and set about putting all the weights away. I don't wear a basebell cap in the gym, I don't wear a stupid fucking shirt emblazoned with 'don't get big get massive' and I don't leave my weights lying about for other people to put away.

As I imagined a slowly moving snake of gym attendees clad in baseball caps and stupid fucking shirts, slowly trudging their way to a firing squad, it occurred to me that not a single one of these people were fat.

It was then that I realised that there are qualities among the obese that should, nay MUST, be championed. I've compiled a list and I invite you, should you so wish, to add to it. Here goes:

1. Fat people rarely leave their weights lying about in a gym. Admittedly this is because they're at home lying on a sofa watching Jezza Kyle.

2. Fat people don't wear baseball caps and stupid fucking shirts in a gym. For the reason why this is so I refer you to point 1 above.

3. Fat people rarely win prizes in beauty competitions, so for the rest of us that leaves more burds available (or fellas of course....although women seem strangely drawn to fat men that also have the attribute 'rich').

4. Fat people almost always finish behind us in a race; so for me it matters not that I'm about as athletic as Stephen Hawking after a night on the piss, I'll always beat a fat lad.

5. Fat people prove that it's OK to eat burgers, fries and kebabs.............hang on.........I know what you're thinking...........stay with me on this one.  They prove it's OK because, to a person, their fatness is the result of a glandular problem. It's fuck all to do with an over indulgence in fatty and sugar laden shit.

So there you have it. We need to champion those women that can't see their feet and those men whose penis to stomach size ratio suggests they own a clitoris.

Witness the fitness.

Christ in Richmond Park

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Check out my bad self! I'm gonna start off this post by wittering on about running.

I occassionally run in the Royal Park that is situated in South London. The one with the roaming herds of red and fallow deer. My running in said park has yet to include Mason (dog) but having experienced the Staffordshire Bull Terrier's penchant for the close investigation of squirrels, sheep and horses I doubt I'll ever run with him in Richmond Park off the lead.

The reason for my refusal to do so is demonstrated by this video, taken in Richmond Park, that has become a viral internet hit.

The video clearly shows Fenton (dog) closely investigating a herd of red deer while his owner dismisses any concern for clear thinking and self restraint and resorts to the public calling of Jesus Christ to bring Fenton (dog) under control.

This is definitive proof that either:

(a) God does not exist.

(b) Red deer made it aboard the Ark under a false passport.

Personally, Fenton (dog) owner's behaviour made me laugh my cock off. Thankfully, when the laughter began to subside I discovered the following spoofs that confirm to me that regardless of the existence of Christ, humour resides in the souls of fellow internet users and for that we should thank The Lord.

November. More Than an Excuse for Facial Hair

Monday, 21 November 2011

A couple of years ago I tried to complete the Nanowrimo challenge. I failed miserably.

I briefly examined the reason behind my failiure, not for too long, it has to be said, as other failures occur and I end up with a backlog which I try to work my way through and end up failing at other things as a result. Failure is a self-perpetuating cycle of failure. Fact.

I contented myself with the idea that the Nanowrimo dudes decided upon November as the month for the challenge and that was the reason behind my epic fail. It isn't my fault that the Allied and Central Powers decided to call a halt to the unmitigated slaughter in November 1918; that the Tank Corps found shortlived victory at Cambrai in November 1917; that we remember the fallen of the two world wars and subsequent campaigns in that month; and that those anniversaries require my attendance at commemorative events that traditionally result in an over indulgence in alcoholic beverage.

So here I am, on the 21st November, having put myself about in front of various commemorative structures, drunk a trailer load of booze, and spent enough money to make the Greek economy a blueprint for fiscal excellence.

I'm always happy to have arrived at this place and look forward to inhabiting a body brought back from the brink of self destruction and to taking a break from quietly buying a drink that will never be drunk by absent friends. Your beer is on the bar in the Barley Mow, Graham.

Onward and upward.

To say I'm on the wagon and in the gym for the forseeable future is a lie, actually. It's a lie because my partner in the Champions Mentor boxing programme, Vince is the winner of a 2011 Wandsworth Civic Award. This award will be made tomorrow night at a three course, slap up meal with wine at the Town Hall. It would be rude not to.

Vince doesn't know he's won this award yet (one which I nominated him for) and neither does he read this blog, so I feel safe in making this public proclamation. Vince doesn't drink a hell of a lot so luckily my Borough Commander, Nigel and I will be there to make up for his lack of thirst. Like me, Nigel gets particularly thirsty at such events.

Anyway, guys and gals, here's a few pics from this weekend, care of Mrs Lee Maclean, and a quick rendition of the regimental march 'My Boy Willie.'

We will remember them.


My Way

Friday, 11 November 2011

I try to make conversation of things other than running. It's my contention that to read about it or hear about it is enough to send you off at a rapid rate of knots with a rope for a neck-tie. But I chatted with someone today who opined that many of our successful sports people find their success as a result of seeking atonement for injustices suffered in childhood.

Personally I think that's bollocks, although if one reads of the recent departed Smokin' Joe Frazier's childhood I'm willing to be challenged on that. I guess this is my opportunity to bid farewell to a man that would have stomped on the heavyweight division in any other era but was unfortunate enough (or fortunate if viewed from another angle) to share the ring with heavyweight luminaries such as Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

Message to Joe: You were always my preferred combatant in the Ali v Frazier rubber competition. Not because you were an Uncle Sam; simply because I felt a definite connection to your march forward throwing hooks style of fighting, and indeed knew no other way to fight. If your doggedness and aggression were enough to experience victory in your final battle we'd have a cure for cancer. Sleep well Joe.

Anyway, back to this idiotic idea of childhood suffering resulting in sporting excellence nonsense. If this were true Jez Bragg would be a grit-eating muther. And it would be my grit the Blacks poster boy would be eating.

Here's why:

I've heard many people argue that the school they attended as a child was a battleground like no other. I hear this and chuckle to myself. That's because they didn't attended the Beaufoy School for Boys in Lambeth where I was taught between the years 1979 and 1984 (please don't assume I was actually present for all of my required attendance). On my first day at Beaufoy I witnessed a PE teacher kick a knife out of a pupil's hand before dropping him to the ground. Back in those days it was considered appropriate to hit the offender on the arse with a running shoe and throw the weapon in the bin.

But the in-yer-face physicality of the PE teacher wasn't just confined to the gym. I remember my drama teacher, Mr Dawson using our first drama lesson to introduce us to 'anticipation.' This involved arranging the classroom chairs in a big circle with the students kneeling on, and facing backward over said chairs. We were instructed to kneel there with our eyes clamped shut while Mr Dawson made his way around the group with a cane.

When you heard the cane cutting through the air you truly understood anticipation. You learned about pain and relief too. Your involvement in either of those experiences depended upon whether you heard the squeal and crash of a fellow pupil or felt the sting across your own arse and tumbled forward to crush your fingers as the back of the chair hit the ground.

It was as a child that I realised corporal punishment in school doesn't work. We had teachers hitting pupils for fun; when the teachers chastened their charges for something worthwhile the boys of Beaufoy wore the cane marks on their hands like a badge of honour.

To be honest none of this really concerned me. I'd grown up playing 'fighting in the dark' with my brothers, the rules of which were simply that you close the bedroom curtains and from a standing start against an opposing wall, run windmilling into the middle of the room. The winner was the last man standing. I was pretty good at that (oldest brother!).

The thing that really cut me up, and one that I realise I'm opening myself up to again for, was inspired by my drama teacher's rapier wit. You see old Mr Dawson had the ability to make a scything anagram of your name and with mine he changed Waterman to 'Wetwoman.'

So I endured years of being taunted with this sobriquet until I'd hit enough of my fellow pupils to convince them otherwise.

Judging by the argument above I should have been the Light-Welterweight champion of the world. I'm not.

Neither am I a remarkable runner so I can only conclude that:

1. The theory driving this blog post is utter nonsense.
2. My formative years weren't as colourful as I'd thought.
3. I can't sing as well as Smokin' Joe.


London Bound Astronaut

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

For anyone that hasn't yet realised it, a requirement of this blogging lark is to stumble through life experiencing the things that affect us all andthen turn them into something that might be considered interesting for the online delectation of others.

Anything else, like logging your running hours, miles and calories burned is exactly that- a log (I was being polite there, for 'log' read 'big, fat, steamy shit').

So here I sit on a Virgin Pendolino having left the Land of Jock where I ran not a step and burned few calories but consumed many. My sole encounter with ultra running involved meeting the uber-cool ultra supremo, Debbie Martin-Consani on the Glasgow Central station concourse and having a right good blether with her.

Have I gripped you yet? Of course not. The Subversive Runner is sitting on a train with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier for company having been afforded five minutes of Mrs Martin Consani's time, what's so interesting about that?

Not a lot.

But you'll agree that we meet individuals in life who make us shake our heads (God knows I'm surrounded by people, all day long, that shake their heads) and maybe make half-decent blogging material.

So I boarded the train to London and went about locating my booked seat which turned out to be one of those side by side ones rather than the preferable table seats. A woman located her seat about the same time as me and seemed slightly disappointed that she was to spend the next four and a half hours in the company of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.....of course the tattooed South Londoner that accompanied said pooch was nothing short of an absolute joy.

A delicate and very professionally delivered suggestion by the female guard that the tattooed South Londoner and Staffordshire Bull Terrier relocate to the free wheelchair seats in coach 'C' was met with appreciation from all involved.

So there we were, me and Mason (dog) plotted up on the double seats designed for wheelchair users, with room to stretch our legs, an ability to utilise the electricity access point, and just chill out.

Then she gets on. The blog material. She's a young attractive woman bedecked head to toe in expensive designer garb. She's a recent mum and has her first born with her who's safely encased in one of those buggies that shouldn't cross minimal weight-bearing bridges and would probably withstand a Taliban IED.

She looks at me and I look at her. I'm not sure if she speaks because Bob Dylan is singing 'Idiot Wind' to me through my headphones so I motion to the empty seat next to me.

It quickly becomes obvious that it's both seats she wants. The Maserati pushchair ain't for dismantling and in any case it's so loaded down with blankets, bottles and bags that she's gonna have to conduct a boot sale to get rid of the stuff first.

My first response is that I'm a fully functioning, fit man so I'll move and give Ms Maserati both seats for her and Junior.

Then I think, hang on, she's chosen to travel with the bomb-proof buggy and failed to reserve a seat in First Class where there's more room, so fuck it, you and Junior can have the seat next to me and Me and Mason (dog) will crack on here.

Ms Maserati chooses the spare seat space for Junior's buggy, within which remains Junior, and sits in the seat opposite me.

She then spends almost thirty minutes mixing bottles of powdered milk, one of which is spilled over the laptop of the young fella sitting next to her, and getting out of her seat every fifteen seconds to check on Junior.

She's obviously concerned about being as far as seven feet and eight inches away from her first born but the thought of him/her sitting on her lap and crumpling her designer blouse is too awful to consider, so Junior remains in the buggy next to Yours Truly.

Then the unthinkable happens. Mason (dog) wakes up, stretches and his superior olfactory system detects a new arrival in our space. So Mason (dog) does what dogs do and has a sniff. Now don't get me wrong, he doesn't pounce on the pram like a deranged, rabid Hound of the Baskervilles; no, he puts his nose near the buggy and has a sniff.

Ms Maserati leaps into the air amid flying milk bottles and in a swirl of Dolce and Gabbana and Balenciaga she removes Junior, the buggy and all her shit and scuttles off to First Class wittering on about how wrong is it that such a wild cur might be allowed to use public transport.

I feel offended....never been called a wild cur before, but I carry on listening to Bob Dylan nonetheless and Mason (dog) and I stretch out again.

Then the track changes and Professor Green starts singing to me instead. Not my usual kind of tune but the Prof encourages me to put the laptop on and attempt to match his creative writing skills but all I can manage is to type this drivel, so check him out.

Rather good.

A Lesson for Alanis

Friday, 4 November 2011

In a former blog post I discussed Alanis Morissette's flawed definition of irony. I stand by my argument that a no smoking sign on your cigarette break is nothing more than the implementation of the smoking ban and dying at ninety-eight, whether you've won the lottery or not, is simply reaching the end of your life at a pretty appropriate time.

You want irony, Alanis? Check this out you warbling, wide mouthed supposed former infatuation junkie.

In an impressive act of preparation, the like of which hasn't been seen since I wore a green uniform and dog-tags and travelled the world meeting interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture....and killed them, I had everything in place for a journey north to a strange, far away land where men wear skirts and women have a hierarchical system based on the number of their remaining teeth (Ok, Ok...maybe there's a new reader that hasn't heard that one yet).

In an attempt to secure an affordable journey I had purchased a ticket on the 05:40 from Euston to Glasgow. The limitation being that I had to be on that train and no other. Getting to Euston at that time was to involve a 03:00 wake-up, a drive to Battersea, a night bus to Trafalgar Square, and another night bus to Euston.

Everything had to be prepared, any haring around packing bags prior to leaving the house, as is the norm, might result in a tattooed South Londoner and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier standing on a platform watching a Virgin Pendolino disappear into the distance.

Bags packed, 1.25l Bad Boy fuelled, alarm set, bed time and the tattooed South Londoner is determined to get some shut eye before a ridiculously early start. On the pillow, next to the tattooed South Londoner is a mobile phone, the device which is to ensure the journey to Euston occurs according to the time-frame mentioned above.

Sometime during the night, Mason (dog) decided to occupy his usual sleeping position spread out on the bed.

At 06:15 the tattooed South Londoner wakes up and retrieves the mobile phone from beneath the Staffordshire Bull Terrier to find the thing switched off. The realisation that the Virgin Pendolino left the platform over thirty minutes ago and the weekend is fucked hits him and he considers returning Mason (dog) to his former home in Battersea.

Mason (dog) can't do tricks. He can't play dead, he can't roll over on command and he can't say 'sausages'......but he can switch a fuckin' mobile off.

Now, Alanis can use my tale above for her next song about irony if she likes. It'll match her original because it's a story of sadness, not irony.

Here's the irony: I had tickets to see the Airborne Toxic Event at the Shepherds Bush Empire. Due to my decision to take part in the Glen Ogle 33 ultra marathon I would be 450 miles away from Shepherds Bush when the band took to the stage so got tickets for their Glasgow gig instead.

When I missed the train it wasn't just my attendance at the Glen Ogle 33 that disappeared into the ether.....it was the Airborne Toxic Event too.

'At least you've got the London tickets,' I was told today, just as my mobile phone beeped to tell me a text message had arrived.

It read: 'Thanks for the free Airborne tickets you gave me, Dave can't wait to see them at Shepherds Bush.'

That's irony, Alanis: the recipient of your largesse seeing your favourite band live while you're sat at home listening to them on a CD.

A Small Car Enters the WHW Race

Thursday, 3 November 2011

This summer the author of The Beirut Taxi wrote about temptation. This concerned Richard's battling with the temptation to end a punishing training run early. I've met temptation in that guise many times myself.

In fact I've never been one for avoiding temptation, while wearing running shoes or any other footwear. If it were me in the desert rather than Jesus, I'd have skipped off down the track with the Devil to partake in bastard hot curry, rice and chips to spend the rest of eternity stoking the fires of hell (like music, it's my contention that the Devil has all the best food). Yep, if it had been me there would have been no need for thirty nine of the scheduled forty days and nights and there would be no Christianity, no understanding of moral resistance and no bland-as-shit chicken korma.

My weak willed resistance to temptation was proven in February when I visited Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. My intention was to exploit the voluntary entry fee and the undoubted attraction of the doe-eyed homeless mutts that would give my youngest daughter an enjoyable but cheap day out. It was absolutely not to give one of those homeless mutts a home.

At the end of that day I left Battersea Dogs and Cats Home the owner of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who occupies more than half of my bed and has a diet that's significantly healthier than mine.

I truly am a spiritual wimp.

Anyway, I've decided that the time has come to face the Devil and smite him. For the past six years I have entered and started the West Highland Way Race, it became a kind of raison d'etre. Six years of training (well, planning to....and then my old friend temptation encouraged me to do something far more enjoyable. Like eat kebabs and drink wine), six years of planning, and six years of playing the race-with-no-training lottery.

The entries are now open for what would be my seventh race and the temptation is strong.

But I must fight the urge to enter and demonstrate some willpower. My reasoning here is not personal as it concerns the well being of others.  You see my old mucker Martin Antoninus Horatio Hooper has entered and so has David Ross from Strathaven.

In a requitable act of selfless duty I am sworn to perform the role of back-up crew to two men that did the same for me in years gone by. To give in to temptation would be to place crewing responsibilities on others and leave Martin and David a person short.

That's the official line, anyway.

The unofficial line is that between them Martin and David weigh the same as a small car. With the two of them running together I fear for any poorly constructed building in the near vicinity for the ground is sure to shake and tremor.

Neither man is built for distance running; both are about as incongruous on the start line of an ultra as Ann Widdecombe in a lap dancing club. This is where my skill and experience come in. I know the West Highland Way like the back of my hand and am a trained search and rescue technician.

Ok, so if one or both collapse while running it's unlikely that their considerable bulk will be covered by a windfall of leaves (a mixer-truck delivery of cement might just do it) but if they do go down I'll be able to find them. Admittedly the detail of my strategy for extracting them to civilisation has yet to be worked out but I'm working on the idea of a Chinook with up-rated winch.

The issue of temptation is one that effects not just myself in this sordid tale of ambition and ability. Both Martin and David will have to fight off the ever-present temptation of pies.