Society Diary: Blue Cross’ latest offering gives paws for thought and more fat animals

19 May 2017 Voices

Say hello to 'Uncle Fat' - you could say he's a truly great ape, except he's a monkey

Friday again and, seriously, the ‘Leaders' Debate’ last night. What a travesty! Five 'leaders' from five parties blathering on at us and each other all with a combined chance of exactly 0 per cent of being the next PM and, still, each had the gall to claim a victory. Nobody has won anything in this election cycle, but democracy has lost a fair bit.

Thank heavens for animals though, right? This week in the world of sector satire: Blue Cross flogs some vaguely celebrity endorsed tat; an NGO comes to the rescue of a seriously chunky monkey, and Rob Wilson unwittingly pays homage to one of the 1990s greatest bands.

Blue Cross’ tea towel goals

How often do you, dear reader, really consider the state of your tea towels? This column would wager it wouldn’t be very often at all. In fact, Diary would bet its bottom dollar that you pay almost no attention to your tea towels whatsoever.

They just hang there in your kitchen, perhaps from the handle of your oven, or folded neatly in a drawer somewhere beneath the cutlery waiting patiently to dry your rinsed plates, spirit away ring stains on your brand new coffee table or (wrapped around an icepack or pad) soothe your fevered brow.

The point is, you’d miss your tea towel if it wasn’t there, wouldn’t you? The way you’d miss your small toe if, somehow, it too went missing. The eternal ache of losing something so important, mingled with the hot shame you’d feel that you never truly appreciated it until it was gone.

Anyway, noted (if somewhat confusingly named) animal charity Blue Cross are flogging some vaguely celebrity endorsed tea-towels with dogs on them and, yeah, Diary reckons you should buy some.

Take this effort, for example, from lethal Tottenham Hotspur striker (and vacant man-child) Harry Kane. Blue Cross have said he designed this tea towel himself and, having seen him interviewed on Television a few times, Diary can well believe it. This column has seen things hung on kindergarten art-class walls that bear closer resemblances to dogs than Harry Hotspur’s daubings.

Sure, that might be both spiteful and generally unpleasant but, still, back of the net!

There’s also a tea towel design from actor Warwick Davis, whose dog Sherlock actually kind of resembles one of those Ewoks from Star Wars – which is serendipitous given that Davis played an Ewok in episode VI – and another from Pam Ferris off Call the Midwife.

Diary’s got nothing on Pam Ferris. Nothing at all.

Each tea towel costs £5.99, which is just about the going rate for a properly durable tea towel in this hellish, post-Brexit landscape and, yeah, they’ve got crudely drawn canines on. All proceeds go to the charity too which, as ever, gives more than just paws for thought.

From fat cats to chunky monkeys

Last week, this column covered PDSA’s annual Pet Fit Club competition: where enormous household animals from around the UK are whittled down to a final, suety seven-strong group before being put on a crash course to see which fat cat or doughy dog can drop the most weight.

PDSA’s Pet Fit Club is, basically, catnip for charity sector satirists and, having already covered it in some detail last week, this column was, frankly, scrabbling around a bit for content. How, it wondered, can anything possibly top a one stone 12 pound ginger cat?  

Glad you asked actually. Feast your greedy little eyes on this massive macaque.

“Chunky monkey on diet after gorging on junk food” – screams the header on English language Thai newspaper The Bangkok Post and, just like that, everything is once more right with the world.

“A morbidly obese wild monkey who gorged himself on junk food and soda left behind by tourists has been rescued and placed on a strict diet of lean protein, fruits and vegetables” continues the story. “Wildlife officials caught the chunky monkey – nicknamed ‘Uncle Fat’ by locals – after photos of the animal started circulating on social media last month”.

The picture alone above this story was reason enough to include. Apparently this monkey mother weighs in at 26 kilograms or a whopping 4 stone. 4 stone!

‘Uncle Fat’ apparently had trained up a number of what Supakarn Kaewchot, a vet who works for the animal sanctuary which has taken the macaque in, called “minions bringing food for him” which he in turn would distribute to “younger monkeys”.

Uncle Fat had feeders, in other words. What a time to be alive.

While Diary couldn’t track down the name of the NGO in question which is now in the process of rigorously slimming Uncle Fat down, it’s tempted to start donating to every, single monkey charity in Thailand.

Rob can feel it in his fingers, feel it in his toes.

The election cycle continues and we are, mercifully maybe (or maybe not?) only 20 days away from election day and an end to this horrifying charade.

However during a campaign, having shed the weighty responsibilities of being an elected Member of Parliament, the one time stuffy politicians in their ill-fitting dark suits become, however briefly, themselves. Made manifestly human once more, be that for better or worse.

Which brings us, of course, to the official Twitter account of our former minister for civil society Rob Wilson. A thing that, much like the adult lifespan of an Emerald Swallowtail butterfly or the blooming of a lone Day Lily, we must enjoy for all its fleeting beauty.



It’s hard to know whether Rob intended to pay homage to seminal 90s soft rock/power ballad group Wet Wet Wet when he tweeted on Wednesday using the hashtag #wetwetwet. In all likelihood he didn’t but, he has and for that, this column salutes him. Well played, Sir. Well played.

See Diary out Marti Pellow!


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