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Yep. I knew that there was something about those folks over there in England, the Chawner family who, for the past 11 years, has received benefits because they are too fat to work. That's right. Too fat to work. Fat, perhaps. Too fat to work? I don't think so. From what I can tell, these folks are scamming the system over there across the pond and people must be buying it because they've been receiving $26,000 a year for the past eleven years. I'm not buying it. Here's why:
Closer Magazine ran an article about the Chawners on March 19, 2009. That article paints a slightly different portrait of this family than an article that ran in The Telegraph on March 17, 2009. Granted, in The Telegraph article, there were definitely holes in the Chawner's story. Their claim that their enormous weight is caused by heredity, yet they eat bacon sandwiches every day for lunch. It's things like that which make me question their entire story. (It's also things like that which make me wonder where I can get a bacon sandwich. Yum. There's always room for bacon.)
The Telegraph article said that the Chawners claimed to eat cereal for breakfast, bacon for lunch and microwave meat pies and some sort of potato for dinner. That article also had Mrs. Chawner claiming that she only spent £50 a week on food (which might be true if all they bought was bacon. And there was only one of them.) The closer article makes the same claim, only it also includes that the family "spends their time watching TV and scoffing biscuits, crisps and sandwiches." (You've really gotta love a publication that isn't afraid to use the term "scoffing", don't you? That's truth in reporting right there!) The Closer also mentioned that the Chawners go through "...18 bags of crisps, 30 eggs, 12 rolls, 10 burgers, 12 crumpets, four large pies, two packets of biscuits, two packets of chocolate bars, 1kg of potatoes and a litre of wine." Ah, yes. Drown your "too fat" sorrow in that litre of wine. That'll help your diabetes, Mr. Chawner, I'm sure of it! What is wrong with people?
Speaking of Mr. Chawner, he explained how he ended up not working (he used to be a truck driver). "The diabetes was making me fall asleep at the wheel. I haven’t bothered looking for another job because driving is all I know. I’m not good at English so I couldn’t work in an office, and I’d get too tired standing in a factory." You'd get too tired? Standing?! I'm guessing that you'd probably be doing something other than just standing there, sir. See, that's the thing about dozing off. It rarely happens while you're in constant motion. And I've seen factories, mostly in cartoons, but still! Those cartoon factories have the little mice or cats or whatever they have working there always on the go! Stuff keeps coming off of that conveyor belt (candy, tires, mops, you name it) so fast that those little guys can hardly keep up! They usually end up running around quite a bit in order to prevent some sort of chaos that inevitably happens anyway. So you should really look into that factory work, as I don't think you'd be able to doze off as easily as you think.
Mrs. Chawner "...last worked in the ’80s at a horse-riding school for a few months. (Worked as what? The horse?) But she hasn’t worked since she developed epilepsy and asthma over 16 years ago, both a result of being overweight." She says, "I can’t work because I could have an epileptic fit at any time. I could work from home, putting stamps on envelopes or something, but I must admit I’ve actually never looked into it.” Yeah, why bother when the government will give you money to do absolutely nothing. Now, she can't work because she could have an "epileptic fit at any time" (a condition that, if you're prone to, can be quite frightening and extremely inconvenient), but she can go to the store to pick up that litre of wine! What if she had "an epileptic fit" whilst wine shopping? That doesn't seem to concern her as much as the working part does. Shocking, I know.
Now, if that's not enough, we can look to an article in The Times from March 22, 2009 states that "The family...spend their days in front of a TV borrowed from a friend. Said Philip Chawner: “We love TV. It’s on from the moment we get up. Often I’m so tired from watching TV that I have to have a nap.” And from Mrs. Chawner: "We all love nibbling on biscuits. I once bought some pears, but they tasted funny." Funny? Funny how? Like fruit?!
But here is where I've managed to certify these folks as freeloaders. Over there at VoteForTheWorst.com they have an article from October, 2008 which reports the Chawners were evicted from their home after "dozens of complaints about 'loud singing' keeping them (the neighbors) awake late at night." Wait. What? They were "...evicted after 130 complaints were made against them in less than a year over playing loud music, singing late at night and foul and abusive language directed towards neighbours." Um, I thought they got tired from watching TV? But wait! There's more!
In a reference to Emma, the article reads, "The 19-year-old trainee hairdresser, who famously appeared on the TV talent show wearing a wedding-style dress made by her dad..." The what made by who for what? Huh? "Emma, 19, was notoriously rejected from the X Factor last year after singing Celine Dion's Titanic 'like a baby' and wearing a 'wedding dress' handmade by her father." A 'wedding dress' made by Naps After TV guy? What? Behold!
Oh, Lord. OK, that's it! Thaaaat's it. I've had enough of these folks. They can trot around auditioning for X-Factor (which would appear to be an American Idol for England and a bunch of other countries that are not the US) and/or spend time tailoring very long dresses. They can stay up late at night singing and playing music. They can haul their stuff out of their apartment that they were evicted from because of said late night singing and music playing. But they can't work?!
England? You've been had.