Alice Keppel, Balsamic Vinegar, Daphne Fowler, Eggheads, gene therapy, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Judith Keppel, Kettle Chips, knockout gene, Mario Capecchi, Matt Parker, Slimfast, Team GB Cycling, Tim Harford, Wallis Simpson, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?
A Wallis Simpson latte, please, said Brassica. What’ll you have?
Well, I was going to say ‘I’ll have what she’s having’, but what is it
Oh, it’s just something very skinny, said Brassie, picking up the
table number impaled on a cork and heading for our table in
Okay, one of those.
Anything to eat, ladies?
No! we chorused. Get thee behind me, etcetera. It’s Lent.
He didn’t catch the cultural references.
For me, weight gain isn’t about fizzy drinks, in spite of the
government’s assessment. It is about Kettle Chips, Sea
Salt and Balsamic Vinegar. Half a packet can disappear during
Eggheads while I am waiting for The Husband to return from
With all those journalists on strike today, there have been
really interesting things on Radio 4, such as this morning’s
discussion- probably a repeat- from a pop-up undercover
economist, Tim Harford, who clarified the theory of Marginal
He explained that progress may result from short term strategies
which can appear to be giant leaps forward. I suppose that is like
all the Slimfast Queens that shed kilos, but who pile it all back on
with hundreds and thousands sprinkled on top of their original
Then there are the long term bods, such as Mario Capecchi, who
shared The Nobel Prize for the delayed gratification of discovering
a fundamental of all gene therapy.
(Bear with me, folks.)
Do you want to be a knockout female? Then have one of your
genes knocked out: the one that tells you to keep snaffling Kettle
Capecchi’s discovery was a long time in the revelation, but,
according to Matt Parker, Head of Marginal Improvements, lots of
little steps add up to one massively successful leap forward.
You might look like a loser in the process, but you will come out
victorious in the end, big-time.
The FT analyst said that short term solutions look sexier, but we
should go with the long term plan of action. Slowly, slowly
So, maybe if I stick to skinny lattes long term, I can continue to
scoff half a bag of crisps with Eggheads. Compromise.
Seventy year old plus, Good Egg, Daphne Fowler is a positive
advert for the long term. She has clearly been accreting facts for
decades. Judith is sexier. I bet she doesn’t cram herself with
crisps-only non-calorific facts. Though, after winning Who Wants
To be a Millionairess? she can stuff herself with anything she
She probably doesn’t have that self-destruct gene, the one that
makes you lick salt like an elephant in an African cave. I bet her
famous ancestor, Alice, had similar DNA, which included
an inbuilt- Higher Evolutionary code- that knocked out any
inclination to stick her nose in a bag of Keppel crisps!
Anyway, Team GB’s cycling coach assured its members that small
1% improvements can add up to overall success, and with 7 gold
medals to the rest of the world’s 3, who can argue?
And Cappecchi now works for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Well, its namesake was a bit of an obsessive compulsive, but he is
doing good now from beyond. So, maybe I will have that excessive
focussing gene knocked out of me thanks to his sponsorship and then
I won’t gravitate towards the big blue bag prior to every tea-time.
Meanwhile, as marginal gains can make all the difference:
Brassie, do you want to share this muffin with me? I couldn’t eat a
whole one. (Lie)
Oh, go on then. There aren’t many calories in half. (Lie) Actually,
they aren’t all that big.
We can start in earnest next week.
Effect on muffin tops: marginal! Definitely less than 1%.