The Cellulite That Made Lenin Bolshie; A WEIGHTWATCHER'S HISTORY OF THE 20th CENTURY Part Three: 1916 - 1920
Byline: Craig Brown
JANUARY 1916: Claude Monet begins painting his Water Lilies. Friends worry that Monet is piling on the pounds. Is he eating too many biscuits and creamy cakes while at his easel? 'Some of those water lilies look dangerously like buns to me,' confides one concerned colleague, who fears the roly-poly painter may well be experiencing high-calorie hallucinations after eating too much, possibly as a result of stress.
MARCH: The last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicates the throne and the Republic of China is restored. 'Yuan was in terrific shape for his abdication, with a washboard stomach and trim thighs,' says a close aide. 'And that's the main thing.'
DECEMBER: Grigori Rasputin is assassinated. Former associates say that the so-called 'Mad Monk' had been spotted secretly tucking into a variety of cakes earlier in the day, and had recently been seen over-indulging in sugary drinks and sweets, so had only himself to blame. 'I know he'd be sorry to have died now,' says an aide. 'Especially as he was just a week away from embarking on a miracle diet.'
MAY 1917: Three peasant children claim to see the Virgin Mary above a Holm Oak tree in Cova da Iria near Fatima, Portugal. 'The Blessed Virgin has never looked thinner,' notes one. 'I've never seen her looking so trim. It's a miracle!'
OCTOBER: The workers of Petrograd, led by the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, attack the Provisional Government of Russia. The workers are at first said to be 'overwhelmed' by Vladimir Lenin's well-toned figure. 'It's an inspiration to all those of us who have been putting on weight under the iron rod of capitalism,' comments one.
But a gust of wind suddenly provokes Lenin's trousers to ride up, and an eagle-eyed worker notices that the Bolshevik leader is suffering from the skin scourge dreaded by millions of people around the world -- cellulite. The worker points it out to others in the crowd, and before long there is a tidal wave of revulsion.
Many distinguished historians later come to believe that Lenin's secret cellulite could be a principal cause of the Russian Revolution. 'No wonder Lenin was not feeling his best. Thanks to that cellulite his self-image must have been at an all-time low. …