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Of spare parts and interior decor

As you might know, I’ve got a brand new shiny hip.

Oh, I’m sorry. I know you can’t actually see it; they’ve put it back deep into the interior, sewn up the hole and probably thrown away the needle. But I can assure you it’s there.

I think they’ve done the right thing, tucking it away inside me. You would look pretty silly with some of your inner working bits relocated to the outside. It would also be quite cumbersome, especially on the bus.

So it’s a thumbs-up from me for that.

Imagine a hip – designed as it is to link the upper torso with the leg – attached to the outside! You’d need pulleys and cogs – possibly even a differential – to make it all work so, yes, I’m happy they’ve tucked it away inside even though it means viewing drawbacks for you.

I was reminded of just how much stuff is tucked away in us when I recently revisited a vintage Peter Cook sketch. On a park bench, Cook sits next to a complete stranger and turns to tell him a very interesting fact: “Did you know that you’ve got four miles of tubing inside your stomach?”

“Oh yes,” he affirms. “It’s coiled up very tightly. It’s got to be coiled up tightly so the people in charge can cram it all in.”

Just who “the people in charge” are is not made clear but I think wise money is on the blokes and blokesses who line the assembly conveyor belt and cram all our bits in. I’m sure you can imagine the problems if the tubing were not very flexible and tightly coiled.

Cook even shows the stranger a diagram of how it all works. The fact that he had a diagram of it in his overcoat pocket might tell us something about the character’s personality.

There’s no denying that the body is a remarkable piece of work but it’s not without its failings. As Cook points out, your food has to travel through the four miles of tubing at a speed of one mile per hour. This means that, after the four-hour journey, none of the food is really fresh.

Even the pancreas is not perfect. If the online pictures are anything to go by, it looks more like a cob of corn. Interestingly enough, though, despite its important functions, it is possible to live without one.

I’ve had a few interior bits medically removed over the years and, now that this discussion has come up, I’m a little worried that my interior might appear a little too bare. Instead of a crammed and congested urban-style interior, I might be sporting more of a spartan landscape with minimalist overtones.

Or I could get lucky; stripped back could become the new black.

I imagined the scenario if I sought professional guidance, or if I contracted an interior designer to take a look around and offer advice.

“Just loving the new hip,” she/he might say.

“The titanium has provided a modern pop of urban chic, a meeting place for new and old.”

​Then could came the bad news, “The rest, however, is all too dated, too cluttered. It all looks so crammed in. There’s just not enough elbow room.”

So now that I know where my Achilles’ heel is, I might need to turn a blind eye to the whole business or get some more bits removed in the near future for decluttering purposes. But not the hip. It’s my shiny, modern statement which I had to wait a very long time for and I’m not willing to part with it.

Not to mention the fact that it cost an arm and a leg.

Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.

Roger Parker
Roger Parker
Roger Parker is the Times-Age news director. In the Venn-diagram of his two great loves, news and sport, sports news is the sweet spot.

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