The Curmudgeon


Monday, February 13, 2006

Get Stiffed

As is well known all over the world, two inalienable attributes of the British anatomy are the upright posture and the stiff upper lip. However, owing to consistent erosion of our national character by foreign influxes, directives from Brussels and the minimum wage, over the past half-century there has been a detectable and potentially calamitous decline both in labial rigidity and spinal erectitude.

This unfortunate state of affairs can be blamed in part on the character of modern wars, in which comparatively few real people are killed. Nevertheless, the Government has judged it politically inexpedient to reintroduce conscription during the present Parliament, unless the outbreak of World War III can be arranged as compensation for the present shouldering of the white man's burden in the Middle East. At the same time, the consequences of labial lassitude and vertebral vacillation are considered by the Government to be avoided if possible.

It is therefore ordered that every person of certified Britishness shall undergo the necessary and largely painless process of labiospinal recycling. One (or, in particularly slovenly cases, two) lumbar vertebrae will be removed from the small of everyone's back and the bony matter thereby obtained will be duly processed and inserted between the gums and the upper lip with a view to the augmentation of labial fibre. The resultant ensmallification of the lumbar area will facilitate resumption of the traditional proud British posture of extruded chest and back-thrust shoulders.

The Government realises that under certain circumstances, such as chronic chest weakness or other symptoms of doubtful Britishness, this operation may cause postural difficulties. There is a small possibility of skin wrinkles in the area between the bottom ribs and the pelvis, and an even smaller possibility that a minority of beneficiaries will suffer a mild degree of kidney displacement. Those whose labial fibre is not adequate to the degree of agony they are suffering should apply for further augmentation.

If, having undergone the operation, you find the back of your head scraping the floor when you walk, a specially adapted roller skate may be applied for provided your income is sufficiently low. In order to prevent fraudulent roller skate claims by pseudo-British elements, you may also be required to undergo further augmentation of your labial fibre. While the bone matter used in such operations will be of the highest quality available, implants for non-fee-paying beneficiaries may be the produce of more than one country and/or species.


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