Saturday, May 24, 2008

Boobs and Burma.

I spent the afternoon at a place called Xscape just outside Glasgow. It's a sort of semi-adult playground, where it appeared all ages were enjoying themselves.
The reason I was there was because Mrs. Lear couldn't get anyone else to help out collecting for Save the Children. I had already told her that, when I had mentioned this to odd people the day before I got several " I hope your not collecting for that Burma lot."
I'm used to collecting for the Gurkha Welfare Trust, when people come up to you all the time, pour money into your tin, and tell you interesting stories, and I was quite unprepared for the indifference to Save the Children, and the collection for Burma in particular.
I was approached by one person, who, instead of reaching for her wallet said " You should be ashamed of yourself collecting for those Generals. I hope they get all the diseases the country's getting." Another said " You should be collecting for China - they've done the job properly."
Needless to say, I didn't collect very much. One person was actually putting money in the bucket, then saw the poster, " Oh no, not for them" and walked away.
We may think the Great British Public doesn't pay attention, but the ones on display today certainly knew what they wanted - and more importantly, didn't want.
But to the boobs.
The weather was all right, warmish and not raining, but definitely not summer. That didn't seem to have stopped the girls and women from exposing acres of their upper torsos.
Apart from the 11 and 12 year olds, going on 30, and the 14 or 16 year olds with exceptionally gormless boyfriends, the vast majority of women walking towards me were large bosomed.
I was put in mind of the excellent Peter Sellers, and his " Balham, Gateway to the South." There's a poem in it that starts " Broad bosomed, bold, becalmed benign, stands Balham, full square on the Northern line". Certainly the ladies walking towards me would have qualified as "Broad bosomed"
Over 30 years ago when Mrs. Lear was having babies, she had a gynea, who had gone to New Zealand for 5 years, then returned to his native Glasgow.
He always told the story of going into his clinic waiting room in Auckland and seeing a long line of tall and blond women waiting for him. Halfway along the line was always a creature a good foot shorter, with big boobs. She always turned out to have been born in Glasgow, or her parents had.
His view was it was something in the water - or the diet - that had this strange effect. Women from Aberdeen or Dundee or Edinburgh don't seem to have the same shape at all.
So my conclusion today was that Glasgow women are still eating the fried Mars bars and drinking ginger **.
And good luck to them.

** " ginger" = generic name used in Glasgow for all and every fizzy drink.

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