Friday, February 04, 2011

Top Gear, Mexico, A Fat Woman and a Smoker

In the last couple of days a few things have cropped up to create a bit of interest. I'm a bit on the porky side, I know I am. I used to be a smoker, twenty or more a day for thirty years, but I gave up four years ago. When I see my taxes being wasted on the NHS helping the weak willed to give up smoking it makes my blood boil. If you want to give up smoking have some backbone. My local NHS Trust is renting a shop in Lancaster for their "Smoking Cessation Team". If you really don't want to give up then carry on. Do not expect my bloody taxes to subsidise your lack of willpower and backbone.

Yesterday I saw a news piece about UK ambulances having to be adapted to carry the number of fatties they are having to carry. As I said above I am a bit porky, but I am making efforts to reduce my weight because I know that healthwise it's a good idea. I like to think I'm not stupid and can look after myself. My health is my responsibility, not yours and certainly not the states.

But I've seen an interview with a porky wench, and I mean seriously porky, who claims that obesity is an addiction and should be treated as such by the government and the NHS. Which means you and me through our taxes. Tell you what, I'm addicted to football, let's tax the porkers and use the money to subsidise my football addiction. No porky woman, you need to take responsibility for yourself.

Then the hat-trick, Top Gear is in trouble again. This time they claimed, tongue in cheek, that cars reflect national characteristics. So this is what was said when they reviewed a Mexican car:
“Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat.”
They also said that Mexican food resembled "refried sick". I've worked in Mexico and that assessment of Mexicans is not far off the mark. And the food is actually quite grim on the whole too. Don't get me wrong I loved Mexico but it could be extremely frustrating, especially when people are late for meetings because the cock crowed a bit late. Yes that did happen to me on a couple of occasions, although most Mexicans do use alarm clocks.

But the point of humour is that it is sharp observation, slightly skewed. That the Mexican ambassador has nothing better to do than write letters of complaint about a motoring show to the BBC perhaps says it all about the Mexican ambassador. The fact that the BBC grovellingly apologises to the Mexican  ambassador perhaps says it all about the BBC.

Which reminds me of the old joke I first heard, told to me by a Mexican, when I was there in 1990:

An American tourist was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The tourist complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."

The tourist then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"

The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs."

The tourist then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

The tourist scoffed, " I can help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you could run your ever-expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

The tourist replied, "15 to 20 years."

"But what then?" asked the Mexican.

The tourist laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions?...Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."
Thankfully most Mexicans seem to have a better sense of humour than their ambassador in London.

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