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A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison

Lifestyle Police

The English middle classes aspire to the healthy and fashionable lifestyles portrayed by the media. The pace of modern life is fast, however, and there is limited time to seek the latest fashions and most up-to-the-minute advice on food and behaviour.

Initially, ‘Lifestyle Consultants’ filled this gap by providing direction on matters such as what to wear, what to eat and where to be seen. It soon became apparent, however, that clients remained dissatisfied. They had been provided with the practical requirements of style but not with the willpower to carry it through. Many still dressed badly - despite wardrobes containing the height of fashion - because they were too idle to do otherwise. They turned upon lifestyle consultants, angrily complaining that no one had restrained their unfashionable free-will.

A particular problem lay with healthy eating. Many secretly bypassed the watercress and yoghurt in favour of high-fat take-aways and then furiously demanded to know why they had not been prevented.

So it was that my role as ‘Lifestyle Policeman’ came into being. As an LP I am employed by a lifestyle consultant to enforce a client’s ‘lifestyle contract’. LPs each have lifestyle specialisms, mine being healthy eating. Routine tasks include unannounced home visits to check the refrigerator and other less obvious places where foods may be hidden. Also covert surveillance of clients while shopping.

Sometime, however, emergency action is required. Recent intelligence indicated one client to be in possession of a pack of fresh cream cakes. My team of armed LPs was immediately scrambled to surround the house. I called through a megaphone for the occupant to throw the cakes out of a window and leave the building with her hands on her head. In this instance she complied, so there was no need for an escalation of force.

Many people are surprised to learn that LPs are armed. Agreement that LPs can use ‘lethal force’, however, has proved to be a vital part of client contracts to maintain individual motivation. Indeed, one particularly fashion-passionate LP from the clothing team recently discovered a client wearing last year’s colours. He felt he had no choice but summary execution.

I was recently faced with such a dilemma when my team stormed a property. On entering the kitchen, I found the target standing just a foot away from a Black Forest gateaux. I levelled my weapon and screamed for him to move slowly away from the confectionery. He made a grab for it, and I was forced to fire. It was not a pretty sight. The wall was spattered with cherries, jam and sponge. The target was led away angrily demanding why I had wasted the cake - sobbing that it should have been him.

Government concern about obesity has, of course, led to ‘Lifestyle Diet Court Orders’. Much of my team’s work in now related to their enforcement. Publicising names on the ‘Calorie Offenders Register’ has been of enormous value in gaining leads from the general public. So if you see someone you suspect to be overweight, eating high-calorie food, call ‘Freephone Fatbusters’.