My So-Called Life: A new body in just three weeks!

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The Independent Online

If you went mad over Christmas/New Year, don't panic. I'm here to help you maintain all that damage with The Buttox Diet (Hodder, £67.99) which would be taking America by storm if only it wasn't so frightened of flying, what with air marshals and fingerprinting and what have you.

If you went mad over Christmas/New Year, don't panic. I'm here to help you maintain all that damage with The Buttox Diet (Hodder, £67.99) which would be taking America by storm if only it wasn't so frightened of flying, what with air marshals and fingerprinting and what have you.

Anyway, follow The Buttox Diet for three weeks and, by the end, you will not only have gone up a dress size, but - more importantly - you won't have learned any good habits or changed the way you live your life forever, which is good, because if it were otherwise it would be wholly out of character and just too spooky for words.

Week One: In the first week, it is absolutely imperative that you drink no water whatsoever. Water has no calories, tastes of nothing, plus gives you the sort of "full" feeling that can be otherwise achieved with cake. Avoid cucumber and celery, which are simply water in disguise. In fact, you'd be amazed just how much water some food items contain. All fruit and vegetables, for example, can contain up to 80 per cent and should be avoided at all costs. (I do think, in this instance, better labelling is called for so that consumers can more accurately assess water content).

Should you feel the urge for a tangerine, say, substitute a Godiva chocolate instead. Keep a deluxe assortment in the fridge to nibble on. Failing that, six Bounties and a packet of Revels will do, even though you've yet to forgive the Revels people for taking the orange ones out and putting the coffee ones in without any kind of public consultation. Also, check products for hidden nutrients. Foods you can consume freely include Sunny Delight, Dairylea Lunchables, Monster Munch and Cheestrings. Cheestrings should not be confused with G-strings, even though it's an easy mistake to make. Do not fall into the "organic" trap. It's only food with mud on.

Week Two: Now you have kick-started the body's natural toxing process, try to up your smoking. This is easier than you think, as it's largely about mindset. If you find you can cut down, don't. Instead, smoke where previously you wouldn't have, like in the shower, and around babies, and outside Allen Carr's house, while trying to blow the smoke directly through his windows and up his trouser legs.

Those who are still nervous about smoking can gain reassurance from the current British Heart Foundation's campaign which shows, comfortingly, that cigarettes are not made from tobacco, as popularly thought, but from Pepperami, and do not lead to lung cancer, just a filling of the arteries with what appears to be Coleman's horseradish sauce. There is no clinical proof that Coleman's horseradish sauce has ever done any harm to anybody, otherwise it would say things like "Coleman's Kills And Seriously Harms Others Around You" on the front of the jars.

Take up t'ai chi, but without the t'ai. Indeed, there is nothing like a nice cup of chi, particularly with 17 sugars and a Hob Nob on the side.

By now, you can expect to have put on at least 7lb, most of which will be body fat. Your kidneys may also be aching, which is a sign the Buttox Diet is working. Of course, your arse will be spreading nicely, which will prove a great help, comfort wise, should you ever have to sit through a Lord of the Rings film, which would be over in half the time, if only the characters talked at a normal rate instead of saying the same things over and over again very slowly: "The... (10 minutes)... time (another 10 minutes)... has (20 minutes)... come!" Oh, piss off. You're only Ian McKellen in a beard. You're not fooling me. Pass the Poppets. Yes, it's The Buttox Diet. Marvellous. Swear by it.

Week Three: You should now be so mentally and physically unempowered that if you ever get out of bed again it'll be a miracle.

Get some use from your gym membership card by using it to chop your coke into lines. (They don't have to be perfectly straight. Squiggly ones work just the same). Tell everyone you've taken up "spinning" from home, particularly after 24 vodkas, 32 crèmes de menthe and one of those wine boxes. Think you've come to the end of the box? Slice it open, take out the foil thing, and squeeze. There is always another glass in there. Lastly, remember, that no matter what anyone says, your body is not a temple, it's a derelict caravan on bricks, abandoned on a council estate. Always has been, always will be.

'The Buttox Diet', available from very few good bookshops and all bad ones

Heart-stopping drama for couch potatoes

Hurrah, ...R's back next week. You know, between seasons, I do have this horrible ER-shaped gap in my life which, no matter how hard I try, I just cannot fill with Casualty. ER is far superior to Casualty because you don't have to wait for accidents to happen.

You know how it works in Casualty. There's the lingering shot of the man's thumb. There's the lingering shot of the electric saw. And there you are, behind the sofa, knowing that, at any minute, that saw is going to make contact with that thumb and the thumb is going to come off much the worse, if not come off altogether, except it doesn't because, meanwhile, the man's wife, who does not look as if she's about to have an accident, goes to open a jar of Coleman's and her arm drops off. (This is a one-off, and does not constitute clinical proof).

In ER, however, the action begins (crucially) only after the accidents have happened. The casualties are rushed in to the Emergency Room, where the doctors cry: "What we got? What we got?". Then the paramedics cry: "Middle-aged Crouch End housewife. Major horseradishing of the arteries. Dehydration, 400 per cent. Unconscious. BP 67 over 100. Pulse 75. Falling. Saline 100mg. Morphine 20g. Arsenal 1. Nottingham Forest 4. Chelsea for the Cup. Bloody hell, look at the buttox on this! Stand clear, trying to get her through... no, I don't have a light! And neither does Dr Carter!"