Running to stand still

August 19, 2012

So, I’ve been thinking about chickens over the last few days. I quite like chickens. I used to have to look after a small herd of them, and they were easy to deal with. Newly-laid eggs are a minor miracle. And a happy chicken is a delicious chicken.

Miserable chickens don’t taste nearly as good. Especially battery-reared ones, fed on fishmeal, which taste distinctly … fishy. So, anyway, I’m all in favour of being nice to chickens.

And so are the people at PETA. I think the people at PETA are generally well-meaning, but morons. My feeling is that if you can catch and kill an animal with your bare hands, then you can eat it. (That’s why I don’t eat tigers.)

But anyway, some people from PETA held a protest this week in Phnom Penh, by climbing into a metal cage outside KFC, to draw attention to their ruthless treatment of my galline chums.

Cambodia is a country beset with problems. Endemic corruption, non-existent healthcare and education, chronic, grinding poverty, sex-slavery, disease – you name it, if it’s bad, it’s here. So to focus on the state of chicken farming seems, to me, to be slightly missing the point, like complaining about the softness of the loo paper on the Titanic. (And the chicken KFC uses here apparently comes from the US anyway.)

So these two clueless PETA nimrods climbed into a cage outside KFC on one of Phnom Penh’s main boulevards. A few bemused people watched them – at the most the crowd was estimated at 11. Eventually the police turned up and arrested them, before realising that they were simply westerners who happened to be dumber than a box of rocks, and sending them on their way.

A clearly baffled police spokesman said “We wanted to know the reason for the protest because it’s strange. In Cambodia, no one wants to be caged, but they got into the cage by themselves.”

And on the subject of making a rod for your own back, I’ve started going to the gym. Only because I’m working on walking, and need to use an exercise bicycle and a pool.

But I’ve been reminded why I don’t like gyms, and haven’t set foot inside one since I was 15, and discovered I could choose snooker as an option for Games, rather than the weightlifting I was doing.

Gyms are horrid places. Mine, like all of them, I suspect, is full of weirdly overstuffed men gazing lovingly at themselves in the mirrors as they flex their overinflated biceps. And the music is epically terrible.

And the running machines. I really don’t get them. My gym is surrounded by grassland, and has large windows. So these preening tossers take a taxi across town so they can look at fields while running on a $5,000 machine to do something they could do for nothing five feet away. Do these people not understand the concept of cognitive dissonance? If you like running, why not run somewhere? Run to the gym, have a shower and be done with it. It just seems like your hobby got commodified, and sold back to you. Idiots.

So I was sitting glumly on the old exercise bike (I promise you I’d be riding a real one if I had two good legs) and pondering how I’d improve the gym. More armchairs, I decided. No gay eurodisco music. Books. Then I remembered that such places exist. They’re called libraries.

And on that pretentious note, here is a picture I took the other morning of the Moon and Venus. I thought it was kinda cool.

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2 Responses to “Running to stand still”

  1. You beat me to it! Couldn’t agree more. I loved the quote from a passer by: ‘I don’t understand foreigners – all Cambodians know that chickens were born to be eaten’.

  2. J&J said

    Superb – really enjoying reading your blog. Thank you.

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