Sugar: It’s a kind of food, you know?

Once when I was a child I had a sugar sandwich. Two slices of buttered bread with a layer of sugar in between. Much to the disgust of every one of my relatives, and even though it was actually pretty horrible, I ate the whole thing. I’d asked for it, was given it, and have never been able to back down from a challenge. Especially not one I’d set myself.

It was a one off. I never asked for another and couldn’t even think of eating one now. Don’t try this at home, it’s really not worth it.

People say there was less sugar around in the ‘old days’. Cobblers. There was loads of it. Real sugar was easy to get and desserts were pretty much made of it. Candy floss and sugar mice – yes, a mouse shape made entirely from sugar with a string tail. I remember those. Probably cost me a couple of teeth later, but worth it.

Aniseed balls, blackjacks, fruit salad sweets that had not been so much as introduced to a fruit or a salad, even sweet cigarettes. Toffee slabs that came with a hammer so you could crack the damn thing to make a start on it, and then we kids got the hammer afterwards as a play tool or just for throwing at each other.

There was plenty of sugar around. Everyone took sugar in tea, a friend of mine liked five spoonfuls in each cup and he developed into something that resembled the Hulk. I mean the Lou Ferrigno Hulk, not the Cyril Smith melted version. Didn’t do him any harm.

Plenty of fat in our diets too. Everything was deep fried and not in vegetable oil. In a big pan of melted lard. Chips did not go in the oven. The slices of fresh potato went straight in the hot lard. Then we covered them -and I mean covered them – in salt and a sprinkle of vinegar.

I still drink a little vinegar now and then. I like it, always have. Malt vinegar, naturally, not that clear crap.

There were a few fat kids around, but not many. There might be a few more around now but really, not many. When I start work at 4 pm, I run the gauntlet of feral groin fruits as they emerge from school and lose all the civilisation and obedience the teachers spent so much effort instilling in them. They are mostly wiry and fast and hard to hit on the road. I need a better car.

Maybe a tractor with bale spikes. Hey kids, kebab time…

I don’t think this childhood obesity is a real thing at all. If it was half as bad as claimed, the planet would have tilted on its axis by now. They skew it by testing the 10-11 year olds. I was a seriously chubby 11 year old. By the time I was 13 I could have rivalled catwalk models for being the closest thing to being alive and not actually visible edge on.

I have to find that photo of me on holiday in Spain at 13. Dressed in Goth black with a black sombrero, I looked just like a carpet tack.

Kids are supposed to chubby up between 9 and 11. It’s the body loading up for the puberty growth spurt. I suspect the anti-food brigade are well aware of this and they probably realise that by keeping kids skinny at that age, they will stunt their growth and make them into feeble and easily controlled worker drones for the future.

Maybe parents now hide their fat kids in basements and attic rooms, safe in the knowledge they can’t leave until they are slim enough to get through an average sized door.

Yes, okay, kids now spend more time developing thumb callouses with their phones and playing video games that make them think they’re tough while they’re really getting weaker. Okay, they aren’t allowed to do the things we did like climbing trees and wandering the woods and bringing lizards home in jars and tadpoles in our wellies. They aren’t allowed to hunt each other with airguns or throw toffee hammers at each other while shouting ‘I am Thor!’

Must be dull being a kid now. Even the comics are sanitised. I saw a Beano recently. What the Hell happened to that?

You would think Gubblement would have realised by now that ‘childhood obesity’ is entirely their fault. They won’t let kids do anything any more. They reduce the waist size they consider obese and they refuse to let kids do what kids have always done – burn off energy by being little buggers. They’d burn off a lot of energy a lot faster if I had a tractor with baling spikes but that’s unlikely to be allowed, I feel.

We burned off a lot when adults chased us. They used to chase us all the time, usually shouting something, but adults dare not chase kids now. They’d be shot by armed police.

The solution is, of course, ban something. Regulation of people’s private lives. The commenters on that article agree – with nothing at all to back up their prejudices. They think it won’t affect them. Gradual encroachment into your private life is fine, they cannot extrapolate to where it goes from there. These idiots will call on us one day to save them.


As for the Spiteful Nannying Party, well, if you’re in Scotland and you vote for them, consider this.

They do not consider you an adult. They consider you a dolt who must be controlled for your own good.

Is that how you see yourself? Is that really – I mean really – what you want to happen to your life? You really want someone telling you every detail of how you must live?

Then keep voting SNP.

You know it makes no sense.

32 thoughts on “Sugar: It’s a kind of food, you know?

  1. The SNP are a means to an end. Win independence, then it’s thanks very much and we’ll take it from there. My lunchtime snack at High School was a pint of milk in a glass bottle, a Mars Bar and as many white chocolate drops as the lose change leftover would allow. Sometimes I’d vary it a bit and buy toffee made by the wifie who owned the shop. It chewy, very chewy. I’d put it in my pocket and then eat it after school. By that time the paper bag it came in was being subsumed by the toffee which was also coated in detritus and pocket lint. Never did me any harm. Salads? If you like them fine but they’re not for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My wife and I have been unfortunate enough to be walking past 2 different high schools in central Scotland this year as lunchtime commenced, you could count the number of fat kids on one hand mixed in with the hundreds of slim kids as they headed to the fast food shops. Child obesity epidemic my arse.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sugar sandwich… challenge… one off…

    Sandwiches? Sandwiches? We just had doorsteps with a thick layer of butter, and the sugar pressed as firmly into it as possible.

    It was important that the bread was cut in good thick doorsteps to maintain rigidity when raising them towards the mouth, because otherwise loose sugar would slide off. This was the real challenge: to prevent the sugar sliding off.

    And they weren’t one offs either. We didn’t eat them regularly, but if we were out of jam or marmalade they were a perfectly adequate substitute.

    And they weren’t horrible either. I quite liked them. Some 10 years ago, I suddenly remembered them, and couldn’t resist constructing and eating one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve just described my childhood, Leggy. There were definitely more sweets back then, I’m sure and more sweet shops selling pear drops, rhubarb and custard, chocolate limes by the quarter. Oh those were the days…!

    The kids in my area aren’t obese either, more like runner beans and full of energy. They queue up in Greggs after school and stuff themselves with pizza slices and don’t put on an ounce. It’s the adults you have to watch. There’s a group around town who are off the richter scale of obesity. Lardy arses the lot of them. Boy are they fat. Too much food and too little exercise. A lot more than I ever remember when I was a child, but it’s still only a small group.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pieces.
    Now you are in Jockland anything between two slices of bread is a piece.
    Sugar, condensed milk, dripping, fried egg, chips, black pudding, sausages, the fragments of batter floating in the fat after fish ‘n’ chips have been done, even jam or sliced meat. All can be put in a piece. All delightfully unhealthy
    But to really ruin your teeth, a stick of rhubarb and a poke of sugar.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d have you know sir, sugar butties were a staple in Lancashire back in the 1950s, as was toast and dripping (that’s beef dripping sprinkled with salt). My wife often reminds me that the big favourite among her friends was Nestle’s Condensed Milk sandwiches (but she’s from Oswaldtwistle – us Manks are more sophisticated). If my childhood was deprived at all it was through lack of this treat, we only had carnation tinned milk which was not condensed enough for anything except pouring.
    My mother however remembers being allowed to scoop the aforementioned Nestle product out of the can by the fingerful (this is wonderful because sadly se does not remember what was said to her two minutes ago).
    Yes, the diet of 1950s children would have horrified food fascists.

    Liked by 1 person

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