There are some things that surely every fat person has been through and yet, somehow, I have avoided.
I have never, as far as I can remember, got stuck in a narrow space on account of being too fat. Apart from anything else, I have a bit of an aversion to narrow spaces, possibly just because I am so fat. I got claustrophobic just wearing a helmet to go karting with my friends. It was horrible and I was so tense that that evening I suffered from the first ever of my 'I am definitely going to die, my arm has gone numb' moments. But it was just the whole of one side of my body going into a bizarre spasm.
The closest I can remember to actually getting stuck in a narrow space was when I was about 10 years old. My best friend at the time was called Ruth and we used to play in the fields behind her house.
It was winter and we had built a den in a hedge and stocked it with survival supplies - string, small paper packets of sugar, the complete vocabulary of the new language we were creating, a watch, and a ball of rubber bands.
We visited the den one morning to discover that a cow had reversed into it and done a massive poo.
So we had to go and do something else. On this day we chose two separate ways to dice with death, possibly three if you include the loss of one of Ruth's new gloves, the loss of which would lead to summary execution.
Running between the fields were things that we thought of as streams but were probably drainage ditches. In one place, the Dutch ran through a small tunnel. We used to crawl through this tunnel all the time. It was only, I guess, about 4 metres long, perhaps not even that. And the water was probably about 4cm deep, probably not even that. We felt quite brave crawling through it and we had done it lots of times before.
On this occasion you will be unsurprised to hear that I got stuck.
Proper stuck because I had got so fat. Or possibly because I was at an age when people continue to get bigger day by day. Also this was around the time of my sugar sandwich phase so I was probably expanding in all directions.
Either way, Ruth had to push or pull me through. At some point in her valiant rescue of me she misplaced one of her gloves. We did not discover this until the second near-death incident on this, the most eventful day of my childhood....
(To be continued)