Tuesday 25 August 2009


“There is no love sincerer, than the love of food”, wrote George Bernard Shaw. And he wasn’t kidding.

In an age where obesity has become the new herpes. The ne plus ultra of social exclusion. Is it any wonder, that the creed and zeal of the gourmet has vanquished protocol and etiquette away from our dining tables?

In a demonstration of absolute gluttony and access to excess, I looked on horrified as a vilely obese couple, probably only in their twenties, queued at the carvery and proceeded to pile so much food on their plates, in a manner characteristic of the carnal hedonist and with no regard for those queuing behind.

Then I watched as they walked back to their table, slowly, and with unfailing sangfroid, two steps forward one step back, as their high structures of yorkshire puddings, sausages and stuffing balls, teetered but remained vertical. By the time they made it back to their table, the entire staff and remaining diners were looking on, silent and with mouths open, like an audience watching a balancing act at the Chinese State Circus. I swear, even the dishwasher had come out for a look as pints over-poured in the drip trays as bar staff froze, in a catatonic like state.

Perhaps pub restaurants could introduce a two tier system for Sunday carverys? With normal people eating between the hours of 12 and 3pm and fat people thereafter. Or maybe fat people could be issued with smaller plates, with security men stood at the front of the queue with tape measures, carrying out random searches for smuggled larger plates?

For, having seen active service, it is only now, since witnessing this dreadful exhibition, that I fully understand the etiology of post traumatic stress disorder and fully concur with food critic Giles Corenn of the Times, who suggests all fat people should be taxed to subsidise the national health budget.

Express & Echo, Exeter
Herald Express, Torquay