RICHARD ORD: Man v Goose ... the fight they've all been waiting for

Moving back indoors to consume alcohol is all well and good, but from an evolutionary perspective we may have missed a trick.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 12:00 am

Al fresco imbibing, should it have continued unabated for a few more million years, would have seen significant, and perhaps beneficial, physical transformations among UK humans.

Within days of outdoor boozing being allowed, it was clear the larger and hairier of our species were in their element.

While you invariably had to book a table in advance of beers in the local pub beer garden, you couldn’t book the weather. As such, those insulated by layers of excess fat and body hair thrived in the ice cool of British spring and summer, while the thinnies were frozen out.

As such, I never booked a table, but was happy to wait on the periphery, like a lion circling a herd of bison looking for a straggler to wander too far. In the case of the beer garden or outside seating, it was the underdressed thin person shivering over their cocktail. They may have booked the table for two hours, but a British spring with accompanying hailstones soon sent them packing.

Fast forward a million years and evolution would have worked its magic … and humans would have developed into bouncing orbs of blubber and matted hair with, probably, funnels for mouths. That goes for the women too. Think wooly mammoth wielding a credit card.

But we can drink indoors now, so don’t let that thought keep you awake at night.

Instead, the pub conversation can resume and the world’s biggest issues can be resolved. Perhaps not Israel and Palestine or Brexit, but the usual conundrums that surface from the amber froth. Like who would win a fight between a crocodile and gorilla?

A survey out this week took that argument one step further when it revealed which animals Americans thought they could beat in a fight.

The hardest animal was deemed the grizzly bear. Of all the animals listed, the grizzly came out as the toughest opponent. The mightiest of the beasts when it comes to fighting a human. Yet, six per cent of Americans thought they could beat a grizzly bear in a fight.

A surprise given the survey was very clear that this was unarmed combat and each participant was a fully grown adult. Maybe they were thinking of Yogi Bear.

My usual response to these surveys is to question the surface on which the fight takes place. Crocodile versus gorilla, for example, takes on a whole new complexion if you stage it in four foot or water. Same if it takes place on ice.

You’ve got to think about these things.

The worst fighter in the animal kingdom was, according to the survey, the goose. Second bottom of the pile, just below ostrich, was the human.

I’m struggling to find a surface on which the goose would excel. But I’m sure, now we can all get together in pubs again, that puzzle will be solved within six pints. Watch this space ....