18 March 2009

A family that is "too fat to work"

This entire story reads like a joke worthy of the Onion, but since this isn't April 1, it seems to be real, written up in the Telegraph (U.K.), not a trash tabloid. Some excerpts:
The family from Blackburn claim £22,508 a year in benefits, equivalent to the take-home pay from a £30,000 salary. The Chawners, haven't worked in 11 years, claim their weight is a hereditary condition and the money they receive is insufficient to live on.

Mr Chawner said: "What we get barely covers the bills and puts food on the table. It's not our fault we can't work. We deserve more."

The family claim to spend £50 a week on food and consume 3,000 calories each a day. The recommended maximum intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.

"We have cereal for breakfast, bacon butties for lunch and microwave pies with mashed potato or chips for dinner," Mrs Chawner told Closer magazine.

"All that healthy food, like fruit and veg, is too expensive. We're fat because it's in our genes. Our whole family is overweight," she added.

I can't go on. Maybe I should have saved the Scream image for this post. More at the link.

Addendum: The DailyMail has more, including a weekly shopping list, and these quotes:

Asked why they don’t simply go on a diet, the jobless Chawner family who are so obese their neighbours call them ‘the telly tubbies’ insist: ‘We don’t have the time.’

Mr Chawner said: ‘We love TV. It’s on from the moment we get up. Often I’m so tired from watching TV I have to have a nap.’

Are we SURE this isn't an elaborate joke? It's almost a parody of itself.


  1. I know fatter people who work. Is the government in England mad to pay these people? What is their disability? Self-dineial? TV addiction? Over-indulgence? Sheer laziness?

  2. I read this too. In england. It's certainly an elaborate joke, but also, it's certainly true.
    People like this seem to appear in the papers every week, yet somehow they seem to have got away with it for years...
    When I become the ruler of the world, I plan to have them dugging ditches all day. Their remuneration will be in food. (A nicely balanced salad, methinks) -related in amount to the distance of completed ditching. There is a danger they may take to eating worms and other small things, of course.
    Welfare will be seen as a trade, not as a right for the unemployed. Nobody will starve, if they are prepared to work......

  3. I certainly think that the welfare system is a necessity of any organized government, but I think that there ought to be standards that require at least a minimum effort from the people who receive assistance. Kind of like what we had here in the United States after Bill Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Bill. Oh...at least kind of what we USED to have, ever since our current Congress slipped in easier standards in Barack Obama's economic stimulus package. Guess I'll head down to the local Welfare Application center. Do you think "I can't work, I'm blogging all day!" will qualify?

    Of course, the truth is I'm unemployed and can't find a job might be a bit better.

  4. I want financial support too! At 5ft, I'm too short to work. My feet barely touch the floor under my desk and it's too painful and tiring to climb up those huge stair steps!

    Just kidding...

  5. Sadly it's not a joke. It's an insult to people like my Dad who are genuinely disabled, in constant pain and virtually housebound that lazy lowlifes like them use the word disability.

  6. besides, if you are actually too fat to work, you could start a home business, right?

    damn, if they like tv that much, they could start a tv-guide-like blog, and get some money out of advertisment... I think that they are too dumb to work, or too lazy.

    People with real handicaps get the shaft everyday, it saddens me to see people like this taking advantage.


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