HEC was all atwitter this morning, when he heard a report on Australia's Radio National, which doubles as world headquarters of Worryworts Inc, that Australians are virtually all tubbies.
Not Teletubbies, of course, engaging little creatures though they are - and such a hit with Indonesians, for most of whom the term 'tubby' is just a dream, or a nightmare if they're among those who are convinced The West is A Bad Thing. But Aussies are probably a tad tubby, from watching too much television, eating too much junk food, and generally not doing enough exercise.
Among the cures for their condition lately promoted is additional tax deductions for gym memberships (the Nanny State is not only alive and well Down Under, it's positively plush, especially now Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has revealed his membership of Wowsers Worldwide). Of course, they don't really need tax concessions to get off their bums. They just need cranes, apparently.
It's interesting, Hec notes, that the Australians' claim to be the world leaders of fat has been swiftly knocked back by the Americans, who traditionally claim have the biggest, best and greatest of anything going.
But perhaps the Canadians should also lodge an official complaint. Hec treasures a moment from long ago, when a nice little Aussie bird of his passing acquaintance who had lived for years in Hong Kong told him, while on a visit to Edmonton, that she was glad she was in Canada: She no longer had the biggest arse in town.