We were watching a DVD the other night, of Richard Pryor, back in the 70s. Apart from some general “comedy doesn’t always time travel well” moments, there was something even more noticeable.
Everyone was thin.
He was very thin. And the audience were too.
And it got me to thinking, and remembering.
Back when I was wee, we would occasionally be looked after by my dad’s best friend whilst my parents went out for the night. More particularly, we would go to stay in his bachelors pad. He was divorced, with kids of his own, and lived in a flat high up in the sky – very exciting when you’re 6!
But even more exciting than the dizzying heights was the contents of his fridge. Cans – cans! of coke, and mars bars.
And we were allowed to drink and eat them… I even recall we were allowed them for breakfast, but that may be memory taking liberties with me!
What made this all the more remarkable was that we never had such things at home. I don’t remember, but I’m sure I’ve heard my mum saying how we would have a kitkat on a Sunday, and those would be the only chocolate biscuits in the house. The “pop man” would come and delivery fizzy pop – limeade or orangeade – in the small, returnable bottles every so often, but I don’t remember having brand names (well, maybe Irn Bru…) that often.
I’m not sure whether it just wasn’t the done thing, or it was a financial thing, but there just weren’t so many treats in the house. Maybe it’s not such a surprise that people in the 70s and the 80s seem slim in comparison to these days…
In 1984, we moved down from Glasgow to England, and generally there was a bit more money around, but also times had changed… There was no McDonald’s where we’d lived before; there was now. And just a few years on I have very clear memories of a glass cookie jar with a red lid (oh yes, because I still have it in my kitchen!) filled with mini cadbury’s bars… Quite a change. And now? There’s a whole treats cupboard in my kitchen…
So, it’s no causation; but I wonder…