THE BLOG

Am I Beach Body Ready? The True Meaning of the Question

08/05/2015 12:10 BST | Updated 08/05/2016 10:59 BST

I was forced to consider this question as it stood out before me on an advertising poster in big letters during one otherwise normal day. It was accompanied with a picture of a beautiful blonde-haired woman in a tiny yellow bikini. This was vainly attempting to contain breasts with the upward momentum of a newly created Icelandic land mass. Finally, her skin tone was so unnatural it was clear that she did not get out much.

Having reflected on the beach question for a few moments, I came to the conclusion that I was indeed ready. I based this on being reasonably nimble, not coming out in hives when it is too hot and enjoying being buried in a large hole on a beach by my children, a practice I am encouraging so that I do not have to purchase a funeral plan to finance the method of my disposal.

Despite not owning a yellow bikini, Mrs Pickwick is beach body ready also, provided the sea is turquoise and the man supervising the allocation of sun loungers is called Raphael. If the man is called Colin and the sea is a murky grey green, she will engage with the beach only with the protection of a swathe of fleecy material that would not be out of place with a British Antarctic survey mission. She would be ready for Raphael anytime. But Colin would have to be really worth it.

It is a multi-layered question however. The answer is different depending on the emphasis you put on "beach" and on "body".

If the emphasis is on the former, the question is a logistical one relating to how can a beach be made ready for bodies. This could be for positive or nefarious reasons recognising that with an active tide, it may be an undesirable place for serial killers to dispose of their wares without being discovered quickly.

If the emphasis is on the latter, then we are focussing on the physical state of readiness of the lady or gentleman.

The statement on its own would presuppose the individual is expecting to be ready for the beach. Thus, the body would have to be well covered with sun tan oil and not be of the sort which would alarm small children or cause small waves in the environmental equilibrium which could trigger hurricanes on the other side of the World. The body would likely need to be accompanied by large amounts of luggage containing a picnic, towels, a windbreak, a football, reading material, various beach hats, an umbrella, a flask of tea and the necessary staff or family members to carry them. None of this is evident on the poster.

If it is not the beach specifically, then relevant to the question is what is the individual going to be ready for. The readiness purpose suggested from the stance of the beautiful blonde with the deathly skin tone is of the type that the beach location could be replaced with bedroom, boardroom or bus shelter depending on the circumstances. I confess I have never sought to achieve this purpose on a beach although concede that at a certain age, if I met the brightly attired woman on the poster with the deathly pallor, I would have given the issue serious thought. My motives however would be twofold; selfish, but also with a view to achieving salvation for the poor unfortunate bikini clad one so recently escaped from a coffin. Then again, she could be a vampire, so it's fashionable, don't ya know!

The beach could be a transit stop, important but not relevant to her state of readiness. The luscious lady in yellow could be going to a pie eating contest having achieved the state of readiness by not eating anything for weeks in anticipation for consuming countless plates of golden crusted culinary temptation. Judging by the greyish hue of her skin on the poster, she is more likely to be returning from such a contest to recreate rapidly what she has consumed in a more liquid form.

The poster in fact is for weight loss, meal replacements and protein enhanced powders designed to prepare you for the beach and is produced by Protein World, a company with a PR team that practices the dark arts with such enthusiasm it would make Dr Goebbels proud. Calling itself "Protein World" itself has an air of a mighty power creating the Master Race of foodstuffs.

For 97 per cent of the population preparing for the beach, the foodstuff of choice will not be a powder. It will be quite the opposite - something so dense, delicious and addictive that it could be employed as a secret weapon to slow down invading armies when they are in search of sustenance.

For the remaining 3 per cent of you who do, just imagine what sort of a dinner companion you are, however good you look. And then, attach your laughing gear to a bacon and egg sandwich and enjoy yourself.

Finally, we should consider whether it matters if you are not beach body ready. The beach after all is a sandy place moistened by regular coverings of diluted sewage. You cannot walk on sand unless it has been finally sorted and filtered of big and sharp bits that could hurt the fleshy bits of your feet, decaying plastics and unexploded munitions. You may therefore be beach body ready but would you ever want to go out there - it's dangerous.

As a postscript, there is another approach to the question which is far safer. Reach for a large pair of binoculars, stroke your facial hair whilst in serious thought, seek a television crew and a tousled haired blonde presenter who cannot manage you and go in search of tits - blue, bearded, coal, great, marsh, willow and crested. Then my friend, you will be Bill Oddie ready.