Middle Class Problems: As if January wasn't bad enough, we're all expected to detox

What's worse than spending a month eating kelp? Easy! Someone else spending a month eating kelp, and then telling you about it.

As if January wasn't bad enough, half a stone of mince pie and a steady stream of Special K commercials combine to turn hitherto-sensible people into lunatics, spouting nonsensical statements such as, "No wine for me," "I'm drinking four litres of water a day," and "Haven't you heard? I'm off sugar!"

They can't stop there. No, they have to walk you through it, even though a mile in the shoes of someone drinking four litres of water a day is a very long mile indeed – the loo breaks alone add at least an hour.

So I learn from X that a sober life is a happier life. That all that water makes the whites of Y's eyes glow. And that since giving up sugar, meals are so much more satisfying. In fact, Z doesn't even want sweet stuff any more. He just doesn't need it!

I know, and surely he knows, that come 1 February, he'll be mainlining Crunchies. But to say so would be unthinkable. Which is why I go along with it.

I nod and I smile and I ask pertinent questions about depth of sleep and ease of bowel movements. I've even been known to peer sadly at my chalky mid-winter cheeks and ask where I might find a decent juicer.

Because that's the other annoying thing about all this hippie-dippy claptrap. Possibly the most annoying thing of all. Every now and then, some of it actually works.

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