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Thursday, December 24, 1998 Published at 16:29 GMT


Christmas puddings

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat...The goose? Never mind the goose! What about the whole of the population getting fat?

Clogging up their already narrowed arteries with cream, chocolates, pastry, pork pies, sherry trifle and more cream.

What does Christmas mean to you? Chestnuts (high in polyunsaturates) roasting on an open fire, or chocolates disappearing from an open box (not high in polyunsaturates).

But, it's official, your friendly Dr Scrooge Thomas says Christmas is bad for you.

Overindulgence, gluttony, too much fat, too much food, too much stress and too many relations - the uncle and mother-in-law kind I mean - not much chance of any other sort of relations with all that booze around!

The stress of Christmas has been building up since the World Cup finished in July.

But now in the last frenzied days before Christmas shoppers are positively certifiable.

They get behind the wheel of their supermarket trolley and become psychopathic as they push and squash other shoppers into the ground in a quest for the best brussel sprouts.

Brussels incidentally, as we all know, are only eaten at Christmas which gives us all a year to forget the wicked wind production they encourage, so every year we pile our plates high in silent oblivion.

Then Christmas Day itself. Having burnt off the lining of your stomach with the alcoholic binge the night before down the pub, you wake up and immediately start on the ginger wine and sherry, soaked up with peanuts, cheese sticks and Twiglets which are not renowned for their antacid properties.

The whole country is then involved in a medical experiment to determine the critical volume of food that can be stuffed into a human stomach without causing it to explode - and then having an extra helping of Christmas pudding on top.

Now, normally you would try to walk this meal off, but on Christmas Day? Oh no. You aim straight for the settee and watch the last bit of Top of the Pops before the highlight of Christmas, the Queen (on BBC One of course).

All family feuds are forgotten as we are immersed in a post-Dunkirk, post-Falklands spirit which lasts, well, about five minutes and the feuding starts again.

Uncle Harry then starts to complain of abdominal pain.

That turkey, come to think of it, did look a bit raw in the middle.

Your four-year-old cousin has drunk half a bottle of Smirnoff and has to have his stomach pumped.

Auntie Sheila has sprained her back doing the hokey-cokey and, to cap it all, you've swallowed the crown that your dentist had replaced at great expense on Christmas Eve.

I believe that Christmas was invented by Charles Darwin to prove his theory of evolution.

If you can get through the next few days then that will indeed prove the survival of the fittest!

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