Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time Is Ripe to Size Up the Opposition; TOON AND COUNTRY

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Time Is Ripe to Size Up the Opposition; TOON AND COUNTRY

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID BANKS

WHAT I'm about to say might upset a small number of people (or should that be a number of small people?) but say it I must: up here in North Northumberland, size does matter.

The issue first came to light at a busy darts and dominoes night at the Red Lion. "Are you in the Leak Club?" I was asked. "No," I replied, "I'm just queuing for the Gents."

It was a misunderstanding. It was Milfield's L-E-E-K Club he meant. Leeks, like leaks, come in all sorts and shapes, it seems. But up here they come in only one size: huge.

So I joined the Leek Club and, as regular readers will recall, my entries in two annual leek shows have been easily dwarfed by the big boys. But the girls up here like them big and bonny as well.

I took on the ladies of the parish, producing loaves in the Wholemeal and White Bread sections at Etal Show. I was proud of my efforts but apologetic.

"My white loaf isn't up to much," I remarked to my neighbour, the prize-laden Doreen. "Nonsense!" she exclaimed. And, pointing to a wee little waif of a white loaf that had been surgically dissected by the judge's breadknife, she added: "I bet it's better than that, at any rate." Yes, you guessed it: "that" was my loaf.

Still, I'm determined to triumph in the Land of the Large. I went to spy on the 3XL exhibits at the Etal Onion Show last weekend and what I saw brought tears to my eyes.

They were all monsters. Biggest was a kitchen cannonball weighing almost four pounds, "and that's almost a pound less than last year," said the winner.

Around the benches were paraded hundreds of super-heavyweights, trimmed and tied to perfection.

I saw my pal Gorgeous George eyeing the pick of the crop. "Forget it, George; they're too good for the likes of us."

"Huh!" he sniffed. "I got two Seconds and a Third and Best in Show. …

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