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30th Apr 2018

Adebayo Akinfenwa’s arms are big

Are they as big as a house or a car? No, but they're still big

Wayne Farry

There’s no two ways of looking at it

We live in a complicated and varied world. Some things are so small that you need a telescope to even begin to see them, while other things are so big that they could be very far away and guess what? You’d still see them.

Cars, houses, buses, boats, elephants, planes, blimps, buildings, statues; all of these things can vary in size but they remain connected by one constant: they are all pretty big.

For centuries people assumed that the list of big things in the world was finite, as if it the list were dictated by the man upstairs himself.

Perhaps a larger type of car or plane – like the ill-fated Concorde – might be added to it, they probably hypothesised as they shared a glass of fermented honey wine, but these would be more like edits, rather than additions.

Time passed on, cars grew larger and smaller, planes did the same, statues grew much larger and elephants stayed about the same size, we were living in a world we knew, a world not of our making, but ours nonetheless.

Then came the day that this photograph of Wycombe Wanderers footballer Adebayo Akinfenwa was posted on the world wide web, and everything changed.

The phrase “this thing is a big thing” – something we said every day and took for granted as fact, was no longer so black and white, no longer what our parents had told us, and what our grandparents had told them.

Does the fact that Adebayo Akinfenwa’s arms are big – some would say very big – change the fact that other things are also big? That’s not for me to say.

Cars remain quite big. Statues also remain very big. Buildings continue to get more and more big as days go by. But does the fact that a man – a mere human – possesses arms which are also big nullify just how big these things are?

Again, that’s above my pay grade. But what’s certain is that they are big. Not as big as a house – or even a really big dog – but they are definitely big.

In times of acute uncertainty and division like this, this is something we can all agree on.