To Sheffield, where this weekend saw an unexpected development near the city centre, as a group of extremely overweight
Englishmen and women took to the streets, protesting against their
recent treatment at the hands of society and government. As these
citizens struggled to carry homemade placards while dawdling along the two-mile route, organisers were forced to admit that the demonstration had not been fully thought through. Indeed, an estimated 20% of the ten thousand marchers ended up having to request help from hastily-assembled first aid stations, with several hundred individuals spending the night in hospital, suffering from breathing difficulties, heart arrhythmia, and uncontrollable “These lardarses hadn’t understood the health implications at all.” Shocked Police Inspector Derek Cashpoint told Home Defence after warning a group of teenagers who were mocking a Billy Bunter lookalike spread out on the pavement. “Within a few minutes of the protest commencing, many of the more blubbery demonstrators had given up and gone down the pub instead. By the halfway point only a small minority could still walk, and most of them had turned purple. Then it turned out that some genius had planned for the route to pass Sheffield’s finest pie shop. At that point it was game over.”
But fat rights spokesman and former Gluttonbowl contestant, Birdy Num-Nums, refused to let these setbacks
undermine his ire. “We had a fantastic turn out today.” Birdy enthused. “On sheer weight of numbers alone this
is the strongest protest I’ve ever been involved in. It’s unfortunate such action was necessary, but recent
months have seen a fattist government crackdown that’s tantamount to a war on obese people. Overweight
acquaintances of mine have been denied medical treatment or entry to tourist attractions, while my
exceptionally well-fed son is now made to stand up during maths lessons because his teacher says he’ll lose
more calories that way. This is a form of persecution, and furthermore…” Birdy then tailed off into a fit of
wheezing before administering an insulin injection for his life-threatening diabetes.
One of the founding principles of this demonstration was that the fat voice has been drowned out recently by politicians and self-appointed dietary guardians, public figures who round on the elephantine, accusing them of a lack of will power, creating a bad example for children and eating all the communal biscuits. However, the ante was upped by violent pressure group, ‘Normal People Against Fat’, a splinter faction which some have accused of initiating the recent firebombings of ‘High and Mighty’ stores, mocking bed ridden porkers in their own homes, and pressurising the government into a ban on junk food advertising (hoping that the constant availability of chips and pasties will thus be forgotten by the corpulent). The situation has led to school lunchtimes degenerating into glum affairs, consisting only of dead silence punctuated by the occasional chewing of carrots and muttered swear words.
“Of course we want these people to help themselves, they shouldn’t need coercion or threats from us.”
NPAF chairman Shirley Revette told us over the phone. “But most of these individuals can’t be trusted to
even go shopping on their own, let alone resist the temptations of Burger King. Look what they do to
themselves when we don’t step in! Right now, following this ridiculous ‘march’, these people are taking up
hospital beds that could be more usefully occupied by clean-living, thin folk. Their flab overflows onto our
seats, they feed their hapless, piggy-eyed offspring four square meals a day plus snacks, and then they
expect us not to trample on them as they lumber across the platforms during rush hour. Here at ‘Normal
People Against Fat’ we believe it’s time to say enough is enough! You don’t have to take this from the
portly – just kick them down the escalators if they’re in your way. Many of these chubsters are virtually
spherical, they’ll probably bounce.”
But veteran roly-poly raconteur and former music hall star Tommy ‘Tubby’ Tardent, who suffers from asthma and regularly bleeds from the legs, disagrees. “I’m utterly in favour of this protest and what it was trying to achieve.” Gasped Tommy between mouthfuls of cream cake when we met in a Soho coffee shop. “Nowadays political correctness means you can be sacked for prejudice against women, blacks, cripples, towelheads, ugly people, dwarves, or even gangly freaks like Peter Crouch, but those of us who boast the fuller figure remain fair game. Men like me are refused medical insurance, and often there aren’t enough pallbearers available when we succumb to the inevitable complications during surgery. Many of my deceased friends had to be cremated, simply because people were afraid of putting their backs out carrying the corpses. That’s “One billion people on this planet are considered clinically obese.” Tardent continued. “And most of us are at perpetual risk of heart attacks, dementia and strokes. Yet still the media portray fat people as good natured and funny. I don’t believe this is a laughing matter. Only last week some guy in a suit came up to me in the street and asked if he could ‘slap my arse and ride the waves’. It’s beyond the pale, it really is. We demand equal rights…” “…and third helpings.” Yelled a sniggering teenager from the other side of the café.
While fat rights supporters consider their next moves, which are said to include a call for more readily available appetite suppressants, free stomach stapling operations on the NHS, and Lisa Riley’s return to prime-time ITV, the NPAF continues to grow in strength.
“Christmas is a particularly difficult time for gut-buckets.” Shirley Revette nodded condescendingly during a recent appearance on Sheffield’s local news. “What with so many images of lardy gift-givers in red and white urging us to have another bowl of pudding. That’s why our pressure group is diversifying in the New Year. Come 2007 we hope to have sufficient government funding to set up ‘Normal People Against Fat’ as a charity and raise enough money to make
these salad dodgers feel bad about themselves through unpleasant advertising campaigns. Maybe we’ll
even pay for the fattest to have their jaws wired shut, against their will if needs be.
“And so, in the spirit of yuletide, please give generously to help us fight this battle, because
roly-poliness is a bigger threat to our planet than terrorism!” Shirley yelled, before quickly adding the
following disclaimer: “Of course, you understand I’m talking about the working and lower middle
classes here. Citizens with money can do what they want, we won’t try and stop them.”