The love handles of happiness

LOVE handles?

Those are love handles! I thought they were fat. I’ve had ‘em for years and they don’t make me swim any faster.

That’s not to say I don’t feel every sympathy for Grant Hackett, whose fat has been caught on news cameras ‘in repose’, so to speak.

It happens with faces. That moment when you’re not scowling but people think you are because your face is ‘in repose’.

I’m sure that 10 seconds later Grant would have spotted an attractive woman somewhere in the crowd and his chest would have been out and his stomach in, instead of the other way round.

It happens to me every time I walk along The Strand; my chest and my stomach chane places so often I look like I’m having a seizure. Some of the things I see on The Strand Ñ I sometimes am!

But let’s forget Grant Hackett’s love handles. Let’s look at our own. Let’s especially look at the surplus flesh on the people who are looking at Grant Hackett. People in pubs, spectators at events, couch potatoes in front of the telly … journalists!

They Ñ the journos Ñ are the ones who started Grant’s love-handle story in the first place. Do you know how your average journo spends his/her average day? At the office desk; in a pub; in a wine bar; in a restaurant … Not swimming.

They don’t spend a lot of time in a pool. And if they did they’d float very, very well thanks to what the world is now euphemistically calling love handles.

While we’re at it Ñ what is a love handle? And when does it morph into a tractor tyre? And how come blokes have them? I can’t come up with a mental image of a love handle “in use” as it were, without it saying interesting things about a chap’s sexual orientation.

But I’m inexperienced in such matters. I’ve got them and I don’t think I’ve ever ‘used’ them. I think I’m glad about that. I just think it’s bizarre that a country with a spiralling obesity problem (studies show that 47% of women and 63% of men are overweight or obese) should be interested in a little light padding when it’s something more than half the population can aspire to.

So Grant has maybe thickened a little. So what? I’ve thickened a little, and I’m not a world champion. And what’s more it’s my business. And who knows Ñ maybe it’s a tactic! When you’ve enough body fat to keep you afloat you can focus all your energy on going forward. Fast!

Besides, where is it written that champions have to be thin? Was Shane Warne thin? Is Tamanoshima thin? (He’s a champion sumo wrestler). Shakespeare’s (the playwright, not the swimmer) Julius Caesar said: “Give me men about me who are fat.” He thought that if they were fat they were more likely to be happy and less likely to stab him. Maybe Grant’s happy. And there aren’t many people who can claim to be world champions at that.