So, one day you’re in the bath eating toast or (if you’re on a real low, eating a chicken leg), and it hits you. No, not the stuffed faux-moose head* above the bath you put up whilst drunk four days ago (see posts no.26 and no.43) but the fact that you haven’t ever, ever, ever put away some money for that proverbial ‘rainy day’.
Or, to put it in a rather less clichéd and rather more urgently relevant way: you’re going to be a skint old person, alone, homeless and a known regular round the wheelie bins at the back of Greggs in a moth-eaten sheepskin car coat waiting for the moment they bin the leftover white rolls at six o’clock.
“Christ alive”, you think, as you sit amongst the floating toast debris/chicken skin – “I haven’t got any work now let alone in a few years when I should be placidly wandering in a smug, middle-class daze around Notcutts the Garden Centre staring at potted shrubs, safe in the knowledge that my pension** will sustain me through the twilight years of my life”.
A chicken bone floats by. You consider a little cry.
Bath-based contingency plans are then rapidly considered and discarded:
1. Find, (dupe) and marry a rich partner.
Downside: Really? You eat toast in the bath for frig’s sake.
2. Sell everything you have on eBay to start an ISA fund
Downside: £12.34 will not alleviate the immediate panic of a future spiralling downwards towards being wrapped in newspaper and wool, pushing empty coke cans around in a Seventies pram yowling about daffodils.
3. Get your adult children to look after you.
Downside: (a) as previously established – who going to pro-create with you, bath-eater?! (b) admit it: you have already secretly decided to abscond to the Isle of Man when your parents need full-time care, heartlessly leaving that shit to your richer, more successful sibling. So the old Karma isn’t looking too good for you, is it?
My plan? Join a commune in Calcutta and become a mellow, dreadlocked granny honking to Shiva and inhaling lentil buns until I breathe my very last flancer breath.
*Grand Designs was on and you’d just finished a whole pot of really gnarly coffee.
**Unless, of course, your local bank or building society has already spent your pension on bailing out another floundering bank or building society.