Friday, August 24, 2007

Grey Anatomy Part 1

The civil servant, or functionarius indolentus, has many distinguishing anatomical features, all brought about by a swift evolutionary process which has its origins in the civil servant's environment, namely, the Department. In fact, it could be said that this evolutionary process is the quickest and most efficient system in place in a given Department at any given time.

Many of the anatomical changes begin from day one of a civil servant's career. It is actually possible to arrive at a reasonably accurate estimate of the time at which the process begins. 11 a.m. This is the beginning of the legendary Departmental "Tea Break". In no other organisation will you find this. Private sector employees daily scald their tongues on their coffee before running back to their posts. Civil servants, on the other hand, allow their coffee to become pleasantly warm each morning as they stuff their faces with butter-laden croissants, greasy sausages and great big lumps of foie gras. And when the last mouthful of substandard coffee has vanished down the oesophageal tract, they remain in position, ruminating, almost, as their buttocks make a near-permanent, sweaty impression on the seat. Indeed, retiring officers have often been presented with a handsome bas-relief of their favourite canteen chair, with a perfect rendition of their arse thereon.

The cumulative effect of many years of Departmental "Tea Breaks" bring about two major anatomical changes:

1. The very large bottom. This appendage eventually becomes disproportionate to the rest of the officer's anatomy. It can be quite alarmingly so. Even on the males. Arses on some male officers have been recorded as being so great in circumference, that they could block out the sun if the officer stood in a particular spot. The Gluteal Eclipse is a phenomenon of mythical proportions, and no Government department has ever admitted to keeping a record of one. They are probably far too embarrassed.

2. Colonic changes. Widely documented in this blog, a combination of unhealthy diet and sedentary occupation bring about this aspect of the government employee's anatomy. Post 12 p.m. on a daily basis the Departmental lavatories are a no-go area, as those who didn't go at home when they got up like normal people evacuate their lower intestines.

In Part 2. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and its sister condition, Inky Fingers.

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