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August 2007 - Flying the Flag

Do you, like me, get mightily fed up with our glorious government repeatedly changing its mind over the, so-called, health advice that it churns out, ad nauseum, presumably to save itself the cost of us getting a tad poorly occasionally and popping into one of their hospitals for a few days?

You must have noticed the way the saga goes.  On Monday we get told we must eat more salt; then on Tuesday it's avoid salt at all costs.  Wednesday brings a call for total abstinence from anything the slightest bit alcoholic; while on Thursday we're told that a bottle of red wine a day would be good for us.

Then there's all this nonsense they come out with about eating the low fat versions of all our food.  Have you ever looked at the detailed ingredients on all these low fat products?  They always seem to have about three times as much sugar in them as the standard alternatives.

So, if you want to lose weight, my advice is to make sure you always eat the ordinary versions of everything.  Yes, you can probably end up about half a stone lighter by eating the low fat one, but you're likely to put on a whole stone from the extra sugar, believe me.

And all this complete nonsense is before we even get near to the subject of getting plenty of exercise.  More on that idea a little further down.

Well, hello there.  Welcome along to the August epistle.  I thought I'd get that bit of a minor digression out of the way before I even started this time round.  Well, it saves wandering off the subject in mid flow, doesn't it?

Not that that one initial digression is any guarantee whatsoever that Nick Harvey won't take any further minor detours away from the plot, anywhere between here and the bottom of the page.  After all, you regular devotees would expect nothing less of me, would you?

You see, the subject for in-depth analysis under the jolly, old Acme microscope in this month's exciting edition has been prompted by the flagpole outside the local golf club.  I have occasion, on a fairly regular basis, to pass this particular golf club, and its flagpole, in the rapid racer, so I tend to notice these things.

I should, perhaps, explain at this point about the golf club, and exactly which golf club it is to which I am referring.  No, no madam, I don't mean I'm going to explain to which golf club I am referring in the geographical sense of the words, I mean which golf club in the descriptive sense of the words.

Don't you think it's absolutely ridiculous that the English language has spawned two pairs of words, one pair to describe the implement you utilise to propel a ball from one place to another, and another, identical, pair to describe the general area in which this propulsion usually takes place.

On this occasion, I am not referring to the propulsion implement, I am referring to the general area where the game takes place, the building in which those partaking partake of drinks and store their trophies on the shelf, and where they change between normal, human clothing and anything involving a check design.

Even more specifically, for the purposes of this month's investigation, I'm referring to the flagpole out at the front of this building; but had we gone directly to that point, we would never have had the opportunity to discuss the stupidity of the two words, golf club.

The location and the use of this flagpole are, however, very important to this month's plot.  I should make it extremely clear at this juncture that this is not one of those flagpoles outside some public building, somewhere; one where that new Brown chap, in charge of our government, wants everyone to fly the Union Flag every day.

This is a flagpole which never bothers to fly the Union Flag, no matter what the Brown chap suggests they ought to be doing.  This flagpole just flies the golf club flag.  That, incidentally, isn't a flag with a picture of a pair of crossed golf clubs on it, it's the flag of the organisation who, as far as I can gather, own the flagpole.

The fact that it's the golf club flagpole and the fact that it flies the golf club flag are absolutely key to the story which you're probably finding it very difficult to believe is actually unfolding before you at this very moment.

It is unfolding, though, honest, madam.  Everything, thus far, is but background explanation to an exceptionally sad story of yet more lies and deceit from those in power over us.  Yes, even what you thought was an initial digression is part of the proof that we're being hoodwinked and led down the garden path by all this health advice from the Brown chap's new team.

As a quick aside, here, before I move on, I do rather like the description of the propulsion implements as used by that nice Mr C from the Top Gear programme on the television.  He always refers to them as golf bats and I think we should all do the same to avoid any further confusion.

So, anyway, it must be time to move on.  I note that the nice lady in the beige cardigan in the third row is starting to nod off again, so perhaps I'd better try to get to the crux of this issue fairly rapidly.  Could the lady in green, on the end of the row, next to the lady in beige, possibly give her a quick nudge so she doesn't miss anything?

Our glorious government seem to have one, specific, health message which they promote far more often than anything about what we ought to eat, or drink, or whether we ought to put things in our mouths and set fire to them.

The message which comes over loudest and longest is always the one about us getting more exercise.  There you are, you see, I did promise I'd come back to that point, didn't I?  Never let it be said that Nick Harvey doesn't keep his promises.

They drone on and on and on and on and on and on at us about getting up and getting out and getting fit.  They seem to want us on our bikes, don't they?  Oh no, that was an earlier lot regarding unemployment, wasn't it.

But the current lot do still want us up and out and doing some exercise.  So, to finally bring all this month's themes together, and to repeat an extremely old joke, what better way is there to get some exercise, than to go for a long walk; and what better way is there to ruin a long walk, than by playing a round of golf?

Which must bring us round to the theoretical situation that any regular golfers out there ought to be just about as fit as you can ever, possibly get, if the evidence presented by the government, is true.

Okay, so if it's not a Thursday, then perhaps the bottle of red wine at the nineteenth hole isn't too wise an idea, after one has been around for the round and then got the round in, but these golfers ought to be in the absolute peek of condition if the publicity is to believed, I would have thought.

But, sadly, dear viewers, it's at this point that I need to present the evidence to completely disprove this theory and to prove that you should never, ever go near a golf club, of either description, if you want to live a long and healthy life.

The evidence is hanging from the flagpole, you see.  As I mentioned earlier, I pass by this golf club, and the flagpole on a regular basis, on a number of occasions each week, so I know what I'm talking about.

They're obviously a very respectful group of people, the members of this golf club.  Whenever a member of the club passes away, they always fly the flag at half mast out of respect.

The trouble is, that given my observations over the last few months, the flag seems to spend far more of its time at half mast than ever it does at the top of the pole.

From some rough calculations I've been carrying out, following my observations, it appears that an average of one member of this particular golf club finally puts up his putter each and every week.

No wonder they always seem to be advertising for new members in the local paper.  They can hardly have any of the originals left if the last few months are anything to go by.

So, dear viewers, now all the evidence is in, here is the considered advice from Nick Harvey.  Don't join.  Don't join, whatever you do.  It's got to be the most unhealthy place to join in the entire world, from the number of recently recorded half mast incidents.

Take my advice, folks.  Stay healthy, stay on the sofa!

To quote yet another ancient saying, of rather dubious origin and likely to upset my lady viewers of sensitive sensibilities, so please look away now, old golfers never die, they just lose their balls.  I can't help thinking that they got that one a little bit wrong, didn't they?

Well, seeing as I have no intention whatsoever of joining any organisations of healthy intent in the next month or so, I should be here, bright eyed and bushy tailed, promptly on September the first, for more in a similar vein; so do please join me then.

In the meantime, I think it's about time to throw the calendar in the bin and pretend it's a Thursday.  Right, I'm off, where's me corkscrew?

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