Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The cost of living

Contrary to my last post, I am starting to think that modern life is a big pile of poo. Here I am, careering towards the inevitable bad party that is middle age, having passed the first flush of youth some time ago. I work hard, and I have a reasonable job, earning a reasonable salary. My wife also works hard and has a reasonable job earning a reasonable salary. We have a reasonable house, a reasonable car, a reasonable family pet and reasonable children. We are at that point in life where we should be on the home straight.

So why is it that at every turn there is a big shitty stick waiting to give us a large whack in the knackers?

Out of our reasonable salaries must come our unreasonable mortgage payments, water, gas, electricity, council tax, credit card payments, child-care and any number of other outgoings that would test the financial prowess of Simon Cowell. By my calculations an average couple would need to earn somewhere in the region of twelve and a half million pounds a year to simply earn enough to get through the month and enjoy a guilt free tub of Haagen-Dazs at the weekend.

Even if you manage to scrape through the month without the weight of the British banking system bearing down on you with it’s collective ‘tut tut,’ there will always be something, anything, that will pull the rug from under you. The butter side down principle of finance. For me, this month it’s our car. This two-ton spite mobile, held together by hate and venom for its owner, decided to break down at the worst possible moment, practically and financially. While I used every trick at my disposal (i.e. shout at it and call the RAC) it sat choking away like a spoilt child trying to blag the day off school. ‘I’m not going anywhere you bastard. I’m happy where I am, and I want a little TLC at the local garage.’ There were any number of other locations and occasions that would have been less problematic, but no, this delinquent heap of rust infested junk decided to wait until it was good and ready and could cause the most problems.

Of course it doesn’t have to be a car. It could be a broken boiler, a flooded bathroom, an unexpected vets bill, projectile vomiting children ruining your carpet in the dead of night or a meteorite landing on your new greenhouse. Anything. The only certainty is that it will happen at the worst possible moment.

But going back to my original point, these things should be easily dealt with. I should be able to draw on the large cash reserves that my hard work surely warrants. I don’t spend the vast majority of my life either at work or travelling to work, just so a large financial corporation can line their pockets from that evil little piece of plastic in my pocket.

But no, I have to get the vile vehicle to a garage and then drop to my knees in prayer, hoping against hope that just this once it will be okay. Knowing, of course that a large greasy man with tattoos and an ‘I’m so much cleverer than you’ attitude will eventually phone me and, starting the conversation with a sharp intake of breath, give me a whole load of flannel that basically translates to it’s fucked.’

And because I live in the modern world, which is only geared up for millionaires and politicians, I shall have to plunge myself deeper into debt, in the hope that the next financial, emotional or physical breakdown can wait another month.


  1. I remember something my mother says. If you have a house, car and kids you will never have money. Many a wise words, any kids reading this will do well to listen to their parents.
    Oh, and our car presented us with a significant bill this week.

  2. So I guess the option is to be homeless with no car and no family? But hang on, all the people I see like that look like they have no money either!
    Bloody hell, there are no winners here.