Trade Day again


Unfortunately, the rest of you is gradually going to get bigger and bigger too, until you’re just a quivering mound of fat.  Luckily it takes decades to run its course.

I had forgotten that the first Thursday of July is Trade Day (or Day of Commerce) in Kristiansand, year after year.  It seems to usually take me by surprise.  Not so the people of the surrounding countryside.  I did notice on the commute bus that it was fuller than usual.  In fact, there was hardly a free seat by the time we came to the city.  Still it was not until I saw the crates on the pavement that I remembered.

Extremely regular readers may remember that I have reported from Trade Day almost yearly. In particular the sight of an unusual number of chubby housewives, or something like that, invading the city for the occasion.  My primary theory is that they come from the surrounding countryside, but I have no explanation why women outside the city would be visibly fatter than those in it.  So I have also speculated that maybe these come from the same area as their slightly slimmer sisters, but that they stay out of sight except in dire emergencies, such as half price on frying pans.

In any case, they are back, and they are fatter than ever.  In fact, I think this is getting too far. Perhaps I should say, even I think so.  I find chubby women decorative, but this goes beyond merely chubby.

I’ll briefly repeat my observation of body mass and femininity.  Skinny women, with some few exceptions, tend toward the boyish, or “unisex” perhaps more correctly.  When they fatten up, they normally become more womanly:  Their cheeks grow rounder, their breasts grow larger and heavier, their hips and buttocks grow larger and rounder, and their thighs softer.  But at some point – which varies from family to family, it seems – this process stops.  Perhaps all the feminine fat cells are filled to the max. Whatever the reason, further weight gain seems to just settle wherever there is free space on the body, gradually transforming their feminine curves to a quivering mound of fat.  And once again, they become near indistinguishable from their equally fat brethren. Unisex again.

There is also the detail that it looks unhealthy.  At some point you know that these people will have a problem walking up stairs or a hillside, in extreme cases perhaps even on flat ground, though there are still few of those around here.  But we are starting to see more and more American conditions.  And we know that Americans spend a lot of money on their health and get rather less health for it.  Some claim that this is because socialized medicine is inherently superior in some way.  I think it can all be explained by the fact that most Americans are fat and lazy.  And now we’re getting there too, even the women.  It reminds me of a comment I once saw to the effect that America is a shining lighthouse, and the purpose of a lighthouse is so other people can steer clear of it, not straight at it!

Apart from that, the day was hot but despite the blue sky there was a fairly strong breeze that kept the city from overheating completely.  There was much less wind in the valley where I live, however, so I did not get the house cooled down until right now, around midnight.  Even then it is barely bearable.  Sleep quality (and even quantity) suffers from the heat.  Ironically the basement is downright chilly.  I should have rented that instead, I sometimes think.

I can’t imagine how people can stand being fat in this weather.  Fat is a good insulator, to the point where whales and seals use it to survive the cold of the arctic waters. And unlike clothes, you can never take it off. Wouldn’t it be nice if humans put on weight in the autumn and lost it again in spring? In Brian Aldiss’ Helliconia trilogy there is such a mechanism, but then again the seasons there last for centuries.  I suppose “bone fever” is not really an alternative here on Earth. Although I do expect to lose a few pounds during the Mexican flu, if I survive it.  And it seems all but a few people do.  But that is a concern for another time, if ever.

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