(This is from my old column in Mid-Day. It appeared Sept 23, 2002)
An unfortunately named Randy Jirtle has been given money to spend time researching why some people have more hindsight than others.
So he’s spent years and pounds looking at sheep with big bums, mice with big bums (oh yes, even I feel faint) and some girls with big bums. Then he took down notes, lipid samples, did a little maths and voila — it’s not several lifetimes worth of ancestors jiving their cute East Indian booties up, up and away into the ozone layer that gave you your copious coupe — it’s one little truant gene.
Fat-bottomed girls — now there’s an album title.
I want a job like that. Let’s try and find out why some men are square of jaw, aquiline of nose and poetic of eyebrow. Or incredibly loyal, truthful plus veins popping out of forearms. Or let’s do some real research ladies, hmm? What’s with the boys and televised sport?
Saturday evening. A football match, in the greens of some English county, between some pasty-faced team in red and some silly other team. The fans chug beer in the stadium. The permanent roommate is rapt. Shortly after, someone just misses a goal. The fans cry out in despair. The permanent roommate, swept up with the emotion, lets out a frustrated hiss of disgust as well. Like a good wife, I try and console him. “Aww, they’re like a million miles away. Don’t be sad he missed the goal. Look honey, it’s morning there. Why do you care?”
Not just him. I’ve seen my dad, cousins, friends leap around on one foot celebrating some goal, some catch, some runs, someone being gifted a tax-exempt Ferrari. It’s all the same to them. Like porn. So what if you’ve never held a bat in front of a few thousand people or dated a girl with a — well — bum like that? So what if you never will? Tune in, get the gist, whimper or cheer ecstatically — all on the comfort of your callipyge. And to think some men’s jobs are to go to war.
Before, it was just innocent coverage of men in groups of 11 running around a ball of sport-specific shape or size. Now, you hear Harsha (did his mama look at his face and believe he’d one day be a big TV star?) and his ilk beam about how ‘entertained’ the fans will be. And the talking. My god don’t they ever shut up? ‘A bats to B, C’s looking at the sky, I say, has D gotten an extra ration of those sports protection thing… — omigod — A’s running despite his largesse of thigh, getting men around the country to clench their rooted callipyge in tension and make creases in the upholstery’.
So on said Saturday evening, watching the football, the permanent roommate was sitting on his phone and somehow, he dialled my best friend R in England. Randy Jirtle, in his oh so scientific paper indicates that in humans, the J-Lo effect can be a big neon sign that says, ‘If you had my love and I gave you all my trust, I could also feed your babies real good.’ Also, big bummed sheep produce up to thirty per cent more food with their corpulent callipyge.
The question is, can they dial international? Dr Jirtle’s positive endorsement of the gravity-defying derriere comes too late for someone with years of big-bum jokes behind her. Frankly, he can stick his research where the sun don’t shine.