Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “yuppie”…
“Dad,” asked Meg, looking up from her homework, “were you ever a Yuppie?”
Her Dad smiled and sat upright in his chair. Her older siblings, Laura and Ron, sighed and slumped down in theirs. “Here we go,” muttered Ron.
“I was indeed,” said Dad proudly. “What would you like to know?”
“It’s for my civics homework,”said Meg. “I’ve to write about how Yuppies destroyed the social fabric of civilisation.”
There was a snigger from Ron’s chair. Dad looked astounded.
“We didn’t destroy the world, we made it”, he said.
“What, the place it is today?” asked Ron. “Well, well done, it’s just wonderful. Not.”
He had a point. Since a consortium comprising the World Bank, the IMF and, for some reason, Beyoncé had stepped in to calm Europe’s finances things had been tough. There were taxes on daisies, bath bubbles and freckles. There were charges for singing along to the radio in your car, scratching your left ear-lobe and watching westerns. You needed a licence to own a computer.
You also needed a licence not to own one, and this licence could only be obtained online.
“We didn’t do this,” said Dad. “This was the Noughties lot.”
“Were they Yuppies too?”
“No,” said Dad. “They were Bailed Out Obnoxious Bankers. We were the Golden Generation. I rose from being a simple Barrow-boy -”
“There’s no such thing,” said Laura, “and there hasn’t been since Molly Malone cried cockles and mussels, alive alive-oh.”
“Well, I was born in Barrow,” said Dad.
“Really?” said Meg. “Mum said our family have been from Surrey for generations.”
“Yes, she likes to pretend that,” said Dad. “Anyway, I worked in the City -”
“- where you got “Lunch is for Wimps” tattooed on your arse,” muttered Ron.
Dad looked stunned. “How do you know that?” he asked. It was Ron and Laura’s turn to look stunned.
“As I said, I worked in the City and the world was my oyster. In fact, I ate oysters. I drank champagne after work. I went skiing in the winter and sunning in the summer. I drove a Ferrari.”
“What?” asked Meg. “Where did Mum sit?”
“No, not the Formula One car,” said Dad. “Ferrari used to make a small sports car. They don’t bother anymore.”
“Because of the recession?” asked Meg.
“Because of speed bumps,” said Laura. “They couldn’t get over them.”
“Look at what we gave to the world,” said Dad. “Before us there was only one TV in each house. There was such thing as a wine bar. Nobody ever went to a gym. There were no mobile phones.”
Meg’s mouth opened wide in horror. “Then why did it all end?”
“It was ruined by do-gooders and socialists,” said Dad. “They kept rabbiting on about something called ‘social justice’.They wanted more hospitals and more schools. They wanted more money for the poor.”
“Were there no workhouses?” asked Laura sarcastically.
“Of course not,” said Dad. “Some Labour government shut them all down.”
Laura opened her mouth, then decided not to bother.
“It was the greatest era of all time,” said Dad. “That’s why you were all named after it. Ron, you were called after Ronald Reagan. Meg, your full name, Margaret, is after Mrs Thatcher.”
“And what about me?” asked Laura.
“Laura Ashley,” said Dad.
“What?” said Laura. “I’m named after wallpaper?”
Dad shrugged. “You should count yourself lucky,” he said. “Your mum wanted to call you Gucci.”