by Paul Singer - MD, London Fine Dining Group
So as another year passes and as the stench of brussel sprouts starts to fade, our thoughts inevitably turn to those things which we feel we should change for the next coming year. Little things like our job, our car, our wife or even big things like our "lifestyle".
Lifestyle changes are definitely all the rage at present with companies like Groupon (www.groupon.co.uk) offering a whole range of discounts with a seemingly connected theme. You start with a slap-up meal of fillet of wildebeest or some other lesser known cut at a remote and unknown Brazilian restaurant (£12), closely followed by colonic irrigation (£35) - which kind of defeats the slap-up meal, I would have thought. You then move on to having your teeth whitened (£25), a Brazilian blow-dry (£99), your legs (and vagazzle area) thoroughly waxed (I think those Brazilians are gradually taking over the world, one body part at a time) (£30), then you have a spa where thousands of tiny fish feast on your skin (I thought that only ever happened in James Bond movies) (£45), followed by a hot stone massage (£25), a bungee jump (not sure how that helps weight loss unless both your legs are wrenched off as you fall, thus losing much fat and weight immediately) (£25), and then it's all topped off with a wrinkle-reduction session (£50) to make you look like something from Madame Tussauds. Perfect.
As children we had none of that. We eagerly looked forward to Christmas and didn't give a hoot about New Year. My 6 year old nephew was so excited to find a huge bicycle-shaped present under the Christmas tree this year. My sister and her husband had tried for hours, without success, to find a method of concealing the shape of the said item to make it more of a surprise. Not to worry. At 5am on Christmas day, when most self-respecting 6 year olds should be fast asleep, he galloped into the lounge at full speed and began with the biggest present first, as you would, tearing the paper off to reveal the gleaming, stabiliser-adorned bicycle they had lovingly selected for him. As they watched through bleary eyes, they saw him circle the bike, look under it, and inspect every nook and cranny before exclaiming "Where does it connect to the Computer?!". So there you have it. It's a changing world and we had all better change this year, lest we be left behind in the bicycle age whilst all around us have moved with the times and embraced new technology.
If Jesus came back today he would have a big shock. Instead of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh it would be Control, Alt and Delete.
Speaking of which, my Blackberry has a new feature. Well, probably several thousand of them but most are not visible or remotely useful. This one, however, is very visible. It's an automatic profanity checker. The idea is that you prepare your email then as you press Send, it checks what you have put and if there are any naughty words in the message, it alerts you before it goes and says "Are you sure you want to send it?". Now, far be it from me to use those types of words in an email but it seems that I do - a lot. In fact, I am thinking of switching the *beep* thing off because it is *beep* slowing me down. What's interesting is the words it considers profane. The obvious "f*ck" is a complete non-starter although, interestingly "f*cker" is absolutely fine! So I'm using that instead.
Presumably, the idea is to stop you sending an email in haste to your boss on the night after the firm's Christmas party which contains any words you rather wish it didn't, when you wake up sober to find your P45 on the doormat the following day. Clever stuff.
And so, this brings me to the probably the most exciting innovation to arrive this year. A company called Rodial have launched a product called Boob Job which promises a fuller bust. I assume it's for ladies (but indirectly also for men) as I personally have no need of any more filling in my bust region although as MD of London Fine Dining Group perhaps we could rub it onto chickens to make their breasts plumper? For £125 it promises an 8.4% increase in cup size. And that's pretty specific. But don't even think of questioning the manufacturer's claims or you might find yourself on the end of a nice plump Writ for libel as one brave plastic surgeon did .
Speaking for mankind, if I may, I am all for it, and please do feel free to email me any photos to prove that it does what it says on the tin!