I GIVE UP! By Trevor Plumbly

My world seems full of people giving up stuff lately: coffee, tea, cheese, red meat, even booze! And they’re all so bloody proud of it; the slightest gap in the conversation and they’ll spout out that whatever they’ve been happily chomping or swigging for years hasn’t passed their lips for months. It’s a bit too much for me – I don’t want to be left out of this orgy of healthy abstinence, but at the same time, I don’t fancy spending my remaining time feeling threatened by stuff I’ve enjoyed for ages. I wouldn’t mind if there was any real evidence that this self-imposed torture actually works: they don’t look younger, fitter or even happier; they look just the same as they did before deciding that green tea and mung beans would provide eternal youth. I don’t really care if the buggers live forever, at least I won’t be around for the dietary discussions.

It’s all very well to talk about those Mongolian geezers living on dried fish, rice and goats’ milk. They might make it to 110, but not by giving stuff up, there’s sod-all else there to eat. Maybe they don’t actually live longer; it might just seem longer with that sort of sustenance.

Healthy food never really fitted with me; I graduated from bread and dripping as a child to anything fried with chips washed down with a couple of pints. OK, I agree it’s basic and probably not terribly healthy, but on the other hand I’m not agonising over fatty acids, calories and stuff. I don’t need scales, a recipe book or a celebrity chef to consult and it always turns out the same; how’s that for stress free cuisine? I have given up things in the past, smoking for example, and I tried to give up beer but decided giving up trying to give up things was a more achievable goal and this theory has stood the test of time. So Ya Boo to salad slaves all, I’ll give up breathing sometime but I promise not to brag about it!

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