TFI 2011
Fat, poor and insecure

The first showing of the Coke TV advert in late November each year is a watershed event. It’s the moment when you realise that Christmas is nigh (whether you like it or not). Indeed, although ‘the holidays are coming’, with them arrive an assortment of ball-breaking issues – what present to buy the uncle you know is alive but you never see, the pleasantries of the teeth-pulling office lunch, and the mountain of work you have to plough through in order to get away from your desk by lunchtime on the 24th.

The festive period is a totally unique experience. For one, it’s the only time we rapidly gain and lose pounds (lbs / £) at the same time in equal measure. It’s also a time when people, through gesture, imply what they really think about you. From the four varieties of Lynx shower gel, the maxi-pack of undercrackers, and a net of oranges, a short assessment of this year’s gifts reveals the personal shortcomings that are too sensitive to say to your face. Essentially, you’re overweight, you smell like someone who reverses their pants, and that if you apply said ‘scrub’ with water hopefully you’ll get laid, grow up and leave the family home (taking your Airfix kits with you).
The return to our respective orifices of business in January 2011 (plump, skint and still hoarse from the cataclysmic disagreements we had with each member of our family at the Christmas Day lunch) is somewhat welcome. Order is restored. Recent experiences to be filed in the back of our minds under the tab labelled ‘forget’ include: the look on Gran’s face when she received another scarf from Tierack, the paralysing virus you caught from a colleague, the bank statement listing in painful detail how much money retailers fooled you into spending, and the read-out on the bathroom scales on New Year’s Day.

And so the long road to repairing the damage caused to belt lines and bank accounts begins. With a positive foot forward, everything should be in order by late November – just in time for the Coke advert.