Watch with Mother on Wednesday afternoons in the 1950s and 60s (the BBC) was Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men. It was set in the garden shed down at the bottom of the garden. When the gardener went for lunch, Bill and Ben came to life spouting curious gobbledegook like ‘Babap ickle Weed’ and ‘flobble-op’ (like church and university committees). Bill and Ben seemed strangely attracted to Little Weed that grew between them, though perhaps it’s better not to delve too deeply into the nature of the relationship. Maybe weed is not unrelated to the Flowerpot Men’s speech patterns.
Little Weed in the form of tobacco officially gets short shrift here in Ireland, for there is unalloyed joy at 10 years of the ban on smoking in the workplace. This includes pubs. Yes, pubs. Wikipedia tells me that the republic was the first state in the world to introduce such a ban.
We are told that as a result, the death rate from lung cancer is falling. Wonderful. But since we all die of something, the death rates from other things must be rising. Mind you, treatment for heart disease has come on so much that folk who used to die of heart disease now die of something else—cancer probably—so maybe not. The success of cardiologists must have caused deaths from cancer to rise.
While I’m on this little scherzo, I don’t understand all the fuss about fat in food. I am fat. I like fried eggs. Low fat food is chock full of sugar, so if you don’t get heart disease from too much fat, you’ll get kidney disease and have your feet chopped off because of the diabetes from too much sugar. And then you’ll die of cancer.
There’s another way of dealing with the tobacco problem, and it’s quite simple. If everyone were forced to smoke, lots of people would die from cancer, but all those who were genetically resistant to developing lung cancer would survive and reproduce. So then everyone would be resistant. The tobacco industry would have nothing to worry about, and the government could take more and more revenue from tax on tobacco. Problem solved. Simples.
I like salt too. I don’t like food police. There’s a lot of them about.