December 22, 2007 Article
Every day it seems that a new report is released predicting shocking increases in British obesity levels. According to the latest figures, 78% of the population is presently overweight, and that figure increasing every day.
And if scientists’ predictions prove correct, by 2020 every single person in the country will be clinically obese.
The face of Britain will change forever, that much is certain. But what will Fat Britain looks like? How will it travel? What will it do to relax?
Here, Professor Kidderminster Chocolate, head of the Obesity Forecasting Department at Lampeter University takes a look at every aspect of daily life in a future where EVERY Briton is a fatty-bum-bum…
Every aspect of the television industry will have to change to accommodate Britain’s broader-beamed viewers. Televisions themselves will all have to be made wider as fat people take up more screen room. And remote controls will have to be redesigned with larger, more widely-spaced buttons for the viewers’ sausage-like fingers. Not only that, but programmes will be broadcast in the upper half of the screen only, as the bottom half will be permanently obscured by viewers’ bloated stomachs.
The other side of the camera will also see great changes. Weather reports will take longer, as a thirty-stone Sian Lloyd lumbers around in front of her map, wheezing and fighting for breath. And commercial breaks will have to be much longer to allow gargantuan viewers to waddle off to the lavatory, where they will take several minutes to locate their genitals amongst all their rolls of sweating flesh.
The sexy programmes we love today, such as The Tudors, Diary of a Call Girl, Fanny Hill and Das Crazy Sex Show, will all have to be banned as their broadcast would lead to excited viewers dropping dead in their millions.
This would be good news for viewers, as dull, uninteresting programmes would be a lot cheaper to make and consequently the licence fee would drop from £140 to around £60. Now for the bad news; the increased expense of feeding morbidly obese BBC employees would see the fee increase to more than four times its present level.
The standard four-seater saloon car of today would have to be twice as wide as it is now in order to accommodate the morbidly-obese family of the future sitting side by side. This would mean that every road in the country will have to be widened – an impossible task. Instead, the car as we know it will have to be made twice as LONG, with the passengers sitting in a line behind the driver, like in a bobsleigh.
Up at the front, the dashboard will have to be three feet deep, to accommodate all the driver’s pies, sweets, burgers and cakes. Meanwhile, the traditional steering wheel will be useless, as it will become wedged in the bulging gut of the 2020 motorist. Instead, he will wear a metal collander on his head, which will transmit his brainwaves to the front wheels down some curly wires. The salad-dodging driver of the future will merely have to think which way he wants to go and the wheels will automatically point in the right direction.
In tomorrow’s fat world of the future, the double decker buses we know today will of become a thing of the past, as the narrow staircases up to their top decks will be impassable for their elephantine passengers. And the drivers will be wedged solid into their cramped cabs, too fat to get out at the depot. They will be forced to live their whole lives like veal cows, trapped on board their buses, wallowing miserably in a foetid soup of their own filth and ordure. It’s not a pleasant prospect for their passengers, so bus fares will be forced to come down.
With the roads clogged up with double-length cars and shit-stinking buses, train travel will become the best way of getting about. But even the railways will not be immune from the consequences of Fat Britain. In order to meet the demands of the obese travelling public, on a typical twelve-carriage intercity express, eleven of the carriages will have to be buffet cars serving teas, coffees, sandwiches, hot bacon and tomato rolls, and a wide selection of snacks and crisps. However, some things won’t change. The trains of 2020 will still run out of sandwiches within ten minutes of leaving the station.
But the biggest change of all will take place in the air. Instead of the relaxed, spacious experience that flying is for us today, going abroad on a plane in the year 2020 will be cramped, stuffy and uncomfortable, with barely enough room for us to stretch our legs.
Everyone loves going to the pictures, but in Fat Britain we’re set to see a whole load of changes to our movie-going experience. The first difference we’ll notice is at the food counter. The obscene, bucket-sized ‘large’ popcorn of today will become the piddly ‘extra-small’ portion of 2020. Ask for a ‘large’ popcorn in the future, and it will be delivered to your seat by an usherette in a fork-lift truck. But that’s not all she’ll be delivering. With viewers’ fat cheeks swollen up like risen dough, squeezing their piggy little eyes shut, staff will hand out special screwjacks so film fans can push their podgy chops down far enough for them to be able to see the screen.
Pop bands of the fat future will bear little resemblance to the ones we know today. Guitars, pianos and any instruments with fiddly little keys will prove impossible to play with the clumsy, chubby fingers our musicians will then have. As their waistlines swell, present day skinny virtuosos such as Eric Clapton, Jools Holland and Peter Hook will be forced to retrain as alpine horn, kazoo or kettle drum players.
In the fat Britain of the future, Premiership football games will be much shorter than they are today, as thirty-stone players will find themselves red-faced, puffing and blowing within ten minutes of kick-off. Crowd numbers will be slashed in half, as each fatty footie fan will require two seats – one for each buttock. With ticket revenues slashed in two, players’ wages will drop. And further down the table, the effects could be be even more pronounced, with non-league grounds left empty as overweight supporters find themselves unable to squeeze through the turnstiles.
The London Marathon will still take place, now lasting over a week instead of its present three or four hours. And its route will be drastically different too. Structural engineers fear that the massive vibrations set up by thousands of morbidly obese runners thundering across it like a herd of baby elephants would smash Tower Bridge like matchwood.
The traditional cricket match that is such a part of our national identity is set to be transformed beyond recognition. In the Test Matches of 2020, big-boned bowlers will make their run-ups on battery-powered mobility scooters, whilst corpulent batsmen will slouch on settees in front of their wickets, clutching a bat in one hand and a plate of sausage rolls in the other. Tea and lunch intervals would last so long that there would only be enough time for a couple of overs a day.
And the High Octane world of Grand Prix racing will not be immune either. The F1 cars of today, with their 1000 horsepower engines, would barely have enough grunt to get off the starting line with a fifty-stone Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And the McLaren driver’s trademark yellow helmet will have to be redesigned from scratch, needing seven – or even eight – chinstraps to hold it on.
Darts would be the only sport left unaffected.
The world of work will be unrecognisable in a fat Britain of the future. Rush hours will not exist as we know them today, as practically the entire working population will be too fat to get out of their houses. Traditionally, in such circumstances, the Fire Brigade are called to remove a window and lift the victim out on a tarpaulin. But in 2020, the firefighters will be unable to assist, as they will be too fat themselves to slide down the pole and get out of the station.
Of those that do manage to get to work, the vast majority will find themselves working in chippies, cake shops and Greggs bakery. However, the shop counters will have to be moved forwards several feet to make enough space for the vast assistants. This means that the space for customers in the shop will be smaller. However, this will all be irrelevant as none of the customers will be able to fit through the doors.
In factories, the working day will be completely different. In order to meet the workforce’s insatiable demand for food, tea breaks will be up to two hours long, and the traditional cake trolley will be replaced by a dumper truck filled with jam doughnuts. Coupled with a four-hour break for lunch, this means that production lines will only be running for half an hour a day, during which time the workers will probably take the opportunity to go for a big Elvis-sized shit on specially strengthened jumbo toilets.
One place that is gearing up in readiness for a fat future is the Lancashire seaside resort of Blackpool. And according to Lord Mayor, Mike Taylor, by 2020 the town will be more than able to cope with any number of morbidly obese funseekers. “Bring it on!” he told reporters.
Launching their new policy document ‘Blackpool – Where FAT spells FUN,’ Blackpool County Council set out a twenty point plan to ensure that the town will be more than ready for the 2020 corpulence epidemic. Amongst measures being proposed are:
“Blackpool has kept going strong through two world wars and global warming,” Mr. Taylor told reporters. “We’re certainly not going to let a few excess pounds of adipose tissue spoil the fun along the Golden Mile,” he added.