The Great Conspiracy

There is a conspiracy in the shops against me and I think my wife is in on it…

One of the worst things about coming back to the UK is that we’ve come back at the wrong time of the year. What makes that even harder to bear is that when we return to Bangladesh in January it will be the wrong time for returning too. Bangladesh is a super-hot and sweaty country with temperatures reaching 40oC or more and the humidity reaching more than 80%. We came back to the UK in July just as the British summer was beginning – the highest it reached was 21oC ! And it has got progressively colder since then.

This has meant that my family and I, just as we get acclimatised to the weather, feel cold again when the season shifts gear and drops a few more degrees. My kids and spouse gave up many weeks ago and are now wearing shoes, socks and big thick coats. I am still in the only footwear I brought back with me (my sandals) and refusing to put on any socks no matter how tempting it is becoming. Trousers are in short supply as I only brought a couple back from Bangladesh wearing, as a rule, shorts as much as possible (otherwise I would die a slow death from sweating. Not pleasant.).

But today I decided enough was enough. Even I had to admit that bare feet in sandals was just getting silly. I can’t feel my toes half the time! So off I went this morning to the sock drawer just before taking the kids to school. My wife, who was already horrified that I was wearing 2 different shades of blue (apparently) stopped me before I could accomplish this. It would appear that socks with sandals just won’t do. I don’t know why – it seemed like a good idea to me.

So off I went with the kids to school in bare feet again. When I returned and had a cup of tea to warm myself up I was told (without any hint that this could be discussed or compromised in any way) that we were going to buy me new shoes today and possibly pick up some jeans too.

Fine. After this morning, I think I am ready to go back to British footwear.

So we went to the shop. Being penniless aid workers we did not go to a posh shop but a cheap ‘discount’-type store. Readying myself to the task of buying something I didn’t particularly want, I am impressed my wife with my purposeful stride into the shop…straight to the DVDs.

They were really good. I had no idea that ‘War Games’ had a sequel and the Schwarzenegger box set looked ideal as a Christmas gift for…well, someone.

Anyway, I was soon rumbled and taken around the shop, dismissing as many items as possible as too expensive, too big, too black and so on and occasionally picking up a shoe I thought I might like to be told by my wife that I was looking in the Women’s section (no jokes and no ‘hmm’ thoughts about that please). Eventually, we found some nice boots that we both liked. That was the easy part.

Then came the point where I knew I was being conspired against. The jeans.

We had a look at a variety of jeans. The waist size was the most important thing in my mind. In the past, a 32 inch waist has been ok but only with a belt and, even then, a good deal of tucking shirts in to try and keep it up! A 30 inch waist is normally safer although it can get a little tight after a damned good meal. As I have put one or two pounds on whilst being back in the UK I figured that I would try out some 32 inch waist jeans. “After all,” I said to my wife, “I can always wear a belt if they are too loose.”

Off I toddled to the changing rooms to try a few on. What a demoralising mistake.

I thought there was a mistake on the label but, no, pair after pair saying 32 inch waist had the same problem. I couldn’t fit in to them. Now I know that there are quite a few members of the public these days who are a little bit larger than I and not a few of them read this blog. I suspect many are thinking that 32 inches is nothing. Fair point. But I used to be able to get into them very easily. I’ve been away in a country where you sweat your weight off faster than you can put it on for 3 years now. Everyone, when we returned, said how I thin I was. I know I’ve put a bit on over the last couple of months but surely not that much?

So, I have come to a conclusion.

The shops are lying. They are in cahoots with my wife who keeps telling me I’m getting a belly and need to start exercising (pfft! The cheek.) and they have clearly swapped labels around to fool me. I’m probably wearing size 28 jeans – not 32. Maybe this conspiracy goes further. Maybe it was not just for me (although my missus was making a lot of phone calls this morning when I wasn’t looking). Maybe they are doing it everyone? Maybe we’re all being conned? Perhaps it is so we all think we’re a bigger size than we are because of some kind of Government mind control thing to make people eat healthy food? Ha! They won’t fool me. I’ll show them I can eat just as much rubbish as I want this Christmas and it won’t touch my weight! As if what you eat affects what weight you put on?

No, despite her best attempts, my wife is not going to convince me that I need to do something about the belly. Does she not realise that it is meant to flop over the jeans like that these days? That’s how they design trousers and jeans – you see it all the time – amongst the men in the pubs and on the building sites. Ask any plumber. It’s a fashion thing. I believe a lot of women find it really attractive.

Bring it on, you Government-conspiracy-thingy-type people. Me and my waistline are ready for you.


About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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8 Responses to The Great Conspiracy

  1. Martin Devereux says:

    I had to smile when you mentioned 30″ waist jeans – I was 14 when I last had a pair of those! I usually yo-yo between 34-38″ (depending on what state of mad-cap diet, exercise regime or buffet momentum phase) I’m in, but I fear your conspiracy theory may just have some truth in it, certainly when dealing with a skinny, such as yourself.

    For me, I simply recall Arnold Rimmer’s cruel remarks to Lister:
    “When you’re younger you can eat what you like, drink what you like, and still climb into your 26″ waist trousers and zip them closed. Then you reach that age, 24-25, your muscles give up, they wave a little white flag, and without any warning at all you’re suddenly a fat bastard.”


    • LOL well I admit I’m not the ‘giant’ of a man that you are Martin – though you were looking pretty trim the last time I saw you I must say!

      As for the Red Dwarf quote – classic! Loved it and so very true – even if it took me a bit longer! thanks for sharing 🙂


  2. Gordon says:

    It’s not just the shops. As soon as I chucked my old 38″ trousers, all my new 36″waists shrank.


    • Ah ha the plot thickens! Maybe all our wives and girlfriends are in on the act? Maybe the Government has got some kind of ‘Stepford Wives’ thing going on with half the nation? And to think we’ve rumbled them Gordon with just some simple observations. We both need to be watching out for car bombs and assassins now I think…


  3. Vikki Ford-Powell says:

    LOL. There will come a point where the conspiracy theory will give in to good old fashioned realism and the next shop visit will be for trainers. That’s tomorrows job sorted out then!!


  4. Tamara Zaman says:

    ROFL!!!! very amusing 😛


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