Relax, don't do it. Exercise with me and shed no tears

Related Topics
PERHAPS the most terrifying experience I underwent in Canada recently was being exposed to what I took to be a rack of horror videos. They all featured threatening women on the front, wearing combat underwear and doing violent things to people just off-screen.

One of these videos featured a particularly muscular woman who looked as if she was just about to sit on the viewer and squash him to death. I can still remember its title, because it was so menacingly incomprehensible: Buns of Steel.

'What is a bun?' I asked

my sister-in-law Belinda, that evening. She looked at me oddly. I described what I had seen. Enlightenment dawned.

'Ah, I'm with you. In Canada 'bun' also means 'buttock'. Especially female buttock.'

Enlightenment dawned further. These weren't horror movies, they were exercise videos, designed for small, weak people to buy and take home under the illusion that they would turn them into big, strong people like the woman on the front.

Ever since then I have noticed that shops everywhere, even in this country, are crammed with exercise videos, and this has naturally raised the question: is there some way in which you and I can cash in on this fact? More specifically, is there some way in which I can cash in?

Quite honestly, I thought all this exercise mania had gone away with the end of the aerobics craze. Do you remember the aerobics craze? This was when Jane Fonda made the discovery that thousands of people who might be far too embarrassed to go to exercise classes and show off their shameful bodies to other people, would be prepared to pay good money for a video that they could take home and gyrate in front of, completely unobserved. It produced a generation of women with leotards and badly pulled muscles. Then it faded away.

Now it is back again, and a whole new generation is about to get into tights and do themselves an injury. So what we need to break into this market is a video with a star on the front. Judging from Buns of Steel, it should also be specialised. I am not sure why anyone should want to have buttocks as hard as iron, unless they are a professional cyclist or an Italian secretary who gets pinched a lot.

But the makers of Buns of Steel must have done their research and uncovered a longing for hard buttocks and I respect that. In fact, now I come to think of it, I once saw a book in a New York bookshop called Get Rid of That Double Chin in Two Weeks, which is, perhaps, even more specialised than Buns of Steel.

(The double-chin book described a series of exercises that you could do to delay the onset of multiple neck. I tried a few of them in the shop and I seem to remember that they all made you look like Stan Laurel or the poor girl in Edvard Munch's picture, The Scream. Not that I have a double chin. Especially when I point my chin upwards. Then I have no signs of a double chin at all. Good Lord, no, I was just trying it out, that's all. Research.)

And I am glad I did now, because the memory of how restful those double-chin exercises were (no leotard] no showering afterwards]) has given me an idea for the video that might make my fortune. It will be called Go on, Relax] It's Good For you] It will have a picture on the front of some famous star who has never been publicly associated with strenuous exercise in their life - Leo McKern perhaps, or Jo Brand. It will detail 10 specific exercises that they wouldn't dream of doing, and which you don't have to do either.

Most of the video will be devoted to Leo McKern and Jo Brand - or whichever celebrity I can persuade to do the job cheaply - reminiscing gently about people they have known, thus inducing a beneficial trance-like torpor in the watcher. But it will be interspersed with footage of well- known sports injuries - runners pulling up with agonising torn hamstrings, rugby and football players limping off the field - to ram home the message that exercise, in moderation, is still very bad for you.

Let me know if you might be interested in buying a copy. Just write in to me and say: 'I wish

to place an order for your forthcoming video, Buns of Cotton Wool.'

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

Read Next

CPAC 2015: What I learnt from the US — and what the US could learn from Ukip

Nigel Farage

If I were Prime Minister: I would create a government that actually reflects its people

Kaliya Franklin
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower