with Archibald Scamp

Home Defence UK
A Symptom of a Greater Malaise
A New Year.  A fresh start.  Draw a line over what has passed and then move on.  
That’s the message which comes across loud, clear and aggressively-marketed the 
moment those final strains of Auld Lang Syne fade into the atmosphere, and the lingering tang of a vodka-fuelled
sympathy kiss is replaced by the bitter after-taste of vomit and social embarrassment.

You can dance, yoga, boxercise, tango, rumba or skip yourself thin, accompanied by a lower-tier celebrity who will show you how they looked before (fat, haggard, no make-up, hair from a 1930s horror movie) and how they look now (thin, toned, perfect make-up, hair so sleek it’s like they just stepped out of a salon).  A thin new body is promised, just as long as you stay in
front of the television and do your exercises, maneuvering around the coffee table and apologizing to the cat
when you accidentally tread upon its tail / paws / head. 

An exercise DVD doesn’t take your fancy?  Books then.  Hundred of the buggers.  Books that tell you how to
quit smoking or how to get fit through a workout (essentially the same as a DVD, with the added bonus of not
needing to be in front of the television – you can cripple yourself anywhere in the house).  Books can tell you
how to manage your finances, or teach you to relax.  You can even get a book on how to obtain the body of a
celebrity (this seems risky for two reasons (1) they don’t say which celebrity, and (2) they 
don’t say how you obtain the body – is it delivered, or do you have to capture it yourself, by any means necessary?)

Whatever takes your fancy from this cornucopia of patronizing crap, you’re still going to have to part with plenty 
of cash to get advice from people who probably don’t know what they’re talking about.  What works for one does 
not work for all.  You’d need to sift through a load of books and DVDs to find the one for you.  So, here at Home 
Defence, we have thought about doing this investigation for you. Then we decided not to test any of the lifestyle 
changes suggested in the material referenced within our lengthy (and essentially pointless) pre-amble, but make 
up a load of bogus ones purely for shits and giggles instead.  Strap in folks…

                              WORK YOURSELF THIN
Not a bad option this, mainly because it involves no extra effort.  All you need do is carry on working.  Just keep
doing the job you’re doing, keep slogging along in your normal way, wearing the same gradually fading clothes,
becoming more bitter and twisted as the years pass.  How can this help your life?  Well, odds are you’re not
getting a pay rise above inflation, so something in your lifestyle will have to give. Inevitably, you’ll have to stop
buying food.  If you’re lucky and work in the civil service, then the Government will spread your chance to eat
less over three years.  Ace, huh?

This is a guaranteed winner.  If you go and exercise you’ll lose weight and feel better about yourself.  
When, as will happen, you realize you don’t quite fit in with everyone else there who are all massively 
intimidating toned / bronzed gods and goddesses, then you’ll stop going to the gym but keep paying for 
it month after month.  This is all money you won’t be spending on food.  Hooray!  Less cash for calories.  
Combine this with the WORK YOURSELF THIN plan, and you might well have a bigger lifestyle 
change – such as getting evicted and losing your home!

Colonic irrigation.  People choose to do this.  People pay to do this.  People are weird.  Of course, for the New Year you, there is an easy way to by-pass all the queues at your local ass cleansing centre.  All you need do is pay a quick visit to the nearby NHS
Trust hospital.  Some won’t be of any help, they’re the ones without signs warning you to go away and wash
your hands carefully as you leave, preferably without breathing in.  Instead, find notices pointing out most
wards are closed because of winter vomiting and sickness bugs, germs who are living it up on the unwashed
floors, walls and operating tables.  Just touch as few of these surfaces, then go for a bite to eat in hospital
canteen and you’ll see the weight drop dramatically as your white blood cell count goes through the roof! 
Weight loss while you lie in bed – perfect for the busy, 21st century dieter!

You might look in the mirror and find yourself repulsed.  You might compare yourself to a tramp asleep on a 
bench with old copies of the Daily Mail down his pants and come up wanting.  You might open your pay 
packet and consider selling internal organs so you can keep that crappy roof over your crappy haircut.  
There are so many things that make you feel bad if you let them.  So instead lower your standards.  Expect 
less.  Want less.  You think you want a Playstation 3?  Settle for a ZX Spectrum 48k.  Retro fun for all the 
family!  You want to go see the latest action film at the cinema?  Buy a video of a Steven Seagal classic.  
Nothing better than that: Fact.  Takeaway food?  Screw it.  Kill and eat a rat.  If anyone asks, you’ll still 
have standards. Just not standards that might interfere with your existence. That's the secret to happiness.

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