“What do you think the weirdest part of your body is?” asks my 10-year-old.
“Fingers,” I say. “So many of them, with a plasticky part at the end that you can paint different colours. And another whole set of stubbier ones at the end of your feet...”
“I think tongue,” she says. “This hunk of meat in your mouth that you can poke out to scare people.”
“Yeah but what about eyeballs? Two balls of jelly that swivel around and see everything!”
You’ve probably had a conversation like this as a kid, or with a kid. And this is the truth about bodies. It doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or a lingerie model – you are, essentially, just another freaky monster.
Welcome to the body issue. We’ve got a bunch of stories about bodies in here, but of course we haven’t touched the surface. There are 7.6 billion human bodies on this Earth, each with its own story, its own problems. They’re all swarming around, attracting and repelling each other like magnets.
We loathe them, we love them, starve them, stuff them, photograph them in flattering lights. We send them running around hills, or we lie in them, trapped, staring at ceilings. We try to extend their time here, although the long-term forecast isn’t too bright for any of them.
And let’s face it, none of us probably has the one we would have ordered off the Net, if that were possible. But we’re nothing without them.
Of course your body has its own story. It’s thrilled you and hurt you, moved you forward, let you down. It is you. I hope it’s comfortable. Why not make it a cup of tea, and enjoy this issue.
Last year Richard Meadows ate 220 pizzas in as many days and wrote about it for Sunday. Today, on page 16 we catch up with a radically different Richard.
Check out Sunday magazine online