Tag Archives: Money

No. 71: Get Your Hopes up. About Anything.

Rejection and disappointment can’t even be referred to as ‘large, unavoidable parts’ of flancer life. It would give them a pointlessly disproportionate amount of column space.  A bit like saying ‘Crikey, breathing, eh? My week is literally riddled with it.’  It’s a given. IT. IS. Pointless.

Nope, for flancers R&D are par-for-the course. The day-to-day. The NORM. Once, in the early days, dismay at their omnipresence may have been given supplementary airtime, back when enough Reality hadn’t yet occurred to usurp  positivity and optimism. Which, once dispensed with, left holes that were swiftly and expertly plugged by cynicism and pint glasses of rose.

However.

The work is out there. Somewhere. And thus, hope can never truly die for the flancer – it simply languishes in a hospice surrounded by undrunk Lucozade.  And as any scientist that has placed electrodes on a rodent knows, the eternal promise of possible reward keeps intelligent life forms endlessly anticipating them.  Although it is arguably much easier overall to eventually obtain Red Leicester from a maze than obtain a commission from The Guardian Life&Style section. I know. I’ve tried.

Let’s stick with the laboratory analogy. The bell is traditionally Pavlovian and ironically it is with this that flancers associate with potential reward.  Email, front door, telephone, mobile: excitement ensues because all of these bells could mean WORK or MONEY. Or that you are a Labrador.

Hazards include:  the microwave, someone on the telly ringing a bell, your budgie’s mirror toy, the local landlord calling time (if you have phenomenal batlike audio capabilities)  or a person going past on a bike wishing to alert pedestrians to their presence. None of which mean work but will set off hope fuelled adrenaline and possibly the need to cry afterwards.

When it is one of the former, however, there will be much whooping and running out to the shed to see if there is a rifle you can fire into the air like an Afghan rebel. Or failing that, a car you can drive to the local Tesco car park for the executing of tarmac-burning joy donuts. Or perhaps a hairy mammal you can sacrifice on a fire to the Goddess of Professional Interest who has been too busy washing her hair and watching X-Factor lately to stop by much. She should by all accounts be omniscient, but The Goddess of PI just prefers directing her infinate attentions  away from you and at her leave-in conditioner and Gary Barlow. Which is fair enough really as he was always in charge of the boring end of the Take That stick and deserves a bit of Divine interest. Yay!  

Unfortunately for him, this is all made up in my head. If you’re reading Gary, sorry.*

Barlow: Only interesting to made-up, preternatural Divinities. And his accountant.

But  within seconds your hopes are shattered. Rather like Gary’s were just then. The doorbell  will have been that mad woman in all the mascara who owes your dad money because her mother backed her mobility scooter over the dog. The ‘phone was your nanna who thought she was phoning the hospital for a repeat prescription on her diabetes tablets (hours wasted due to her deafness and that deeply ingrained suspicious nature of the elderly convincing her that you were not her grand-daughter at all but a deliberatley obstrictive receptionsist. ‘Because the NHS are like that’.)  The email was notification that ‘@hotpants99  is now following you on twitter!’

And the person going by on their bike didn’t have a commission for you either. You checked.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES

*These somewhat eccentric examples of epic celebration are not definitive and may vary from flancer to flancer

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No. 62: Learn to Drive

Stand and observe at the side of any road these days and you will comprehend why anyone who doesn’t drive is reluctant to do so.

Stand and observe at the side of any French road these days and you will likely be mown down by some loaded night-clubber in a Twingo on their drive home, looking for a cigarette lighter in the central reservation.

But I am not here to slag off French drivers. No indeed. Driving is extremely dangerous even before you set foot on their blood-soaked and windscreen-glass strewn Gallic soil.  And so we non-drivers say ‘we understand’ to anyone that would rather suffer the unwashed and mentally ill on public transport – and their passengers – when you see what sort of lunacy passes for ‘driving’ on the main road into any UK city between 6am and 8.30am.

That said, there comes a point in a flancer’s pointless existence life when they think, ‘shit, I’m thirty whatever and I should really learn to drive…PLUS I could always live in my car when my parents kick me out.’

They share this thought (up to the ‘living in the car’ bit) with Friends With Benefits* who can drive. These friends promptly enthuse their faces off.  ‘Oooh it just gives you such freedom!’ they gush, when they are actually engaging in the far more prosaic fantasy of loading their horrible  children into their tasteless Citroen Picasso and binning them tout suite  at the nursery in order to get some quality daytime drinking in.

People Carrier: A wondrous machine that takes your children away

Meanwhile, the flancer is thinking of how driving would open up a whole new world of alternative branches of Majestic Wine in which they can load up on gin unmolested and flirt with the teenage staff.

Hmm. Perhaps this is why roads are so dangerous.

Many flancers cannot already drive because at some time they traded their soul in part-exchange for an in-house stint in the Big Smoke and decided that (a) it was too expensive to learn and (b) there wasn’t really any point due to the expansive public transport system. Which actually meant (a) ‘That’s good beer and shoe money I’m squandering there’ and (b) ‘I can’t be fagged.’    In addition, not driving is characteristic of Flancers who – in most other life respects – emo-psychologically resemble a sixteen year-old: i.e spends most of the time in Primark , can’t hold down a decent relationship, will drink whatever they can get their hands on – even if it’s Baileys flavoured with mint, are regularly spotted crying into a phone for some mysterious reason and sees nothing wrong with spending four whole days trying to buy Take That tickets on eBay.

And so not driving just ‘fits the profile’ as that blonde woman from CSI: Miami might mumble  through some new post-procedural facial swelling, apparent every other episode.

Nevertheless this Blogger is actually engaging in said expensive farce at the moment. Driving, that is, not cosmetic enhancement surgery.

Worryingly, the finger did hesitate over one question on the DVLA online test:

Q 24: What should you do if you have an argument with someone before you have to drive?

(a) have an alcoholic drink to calm down.

And that’s only after looking for the real answer which, as every Flancer knows is (e) Scream abuse at them before wheel spinning out of the drive in a huff.

 TODAY’S FOOTNOTES

* not the ones you call up for no-strings sex but the ones you call up when  hammered at a house party, having lost one of your shoes and all you can see are fields.

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No.53: Go Slightly Mental

You know, like that time where you’re sobbing so hard, spittle is dripping out of the sides of your mouth simply because you opened the cupboard above the sink a little too quickly and it bumped you on the head…. and that act of gross clumsiness reminded you that your life is worthless and that you have no talent or else why would you be sat here drooling onto your dressing gown rather than sat at your keyboard tapping out something for the Times, eh?  This prompts you to email all the people you’ve never really liked and tell them exactly why. And all the feature editors that never bothered (the BASTARDS) to even email you back a ‘thanks but eff off’ after you’d repeatedly sent them your best pitches.  Then you change your mind and don’t send them which makes you bitter AND spineless.  Then you go on Facebook and delete all the smug employed/married/”still-good-looking-despite-now-being thirty-and-ooh-don’t-they-know-it-from-their-posed-FB-picture”  people you know and maybe even go through your mobile phone and bin everyone who you haven’t spoken to in a month. And then you have another cry as your mobile phone book is now empty.  And perhaps you’ll even tackle the bank, who decided to shave a chunk off your overdraft without telling you and now you have to pay £69 in charges. I’ll teach them, etc…until they tell you that, no, they sent you a letter to inform you that they were going to shaft you for nigh-on seventy quid’s worth of spurious fees and promptly charge you another tenner for the administration cost of dealing with your phone call. Then, you eat everything you can find, whilst playing The Prodigy really, really loudly. And you wonder what would happen if you  just, you know, sacked it all off and buggered off to America – no, wait – INDIA, where you could find yourself and NatWest couldn’t. Then you might even contract Malaria *take a small moment to imagine your funeral and spend at least quarter of an hour choosing the playlist* and everyone that never called me or hired me will be sorry….then go and get in your car to drive somewhere ANYWHERE away from here and then give up on that plan and sit crying again with your head on the wheel because at the moment you are virtually a character from a Mike Leigh play and because your needle has been on red for the last week and a half and besides you’ll probably only drive to Tesco and bulk-purchase cream horns…perhaps then you go and stare at yourself in the mirror and decide that you’re getting old as well and who would ever want you…then wash-up and tidy-up and vacuum-up like a maniac, at which point you will catch yourself on the ankle with the vacuum cleaner and collapse into a pile of honking self-pity…then eat some more toast, try on everything in your wardrobe and decide you’re also getting a bit chubby (as well as old) before wanting a nap but feeling guilty about it (see post no. 49)

And then you look at the clock and see that it’s only 09.12 am.*

This might all just be me.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES

*Today’s post was sponsored by James Joyce.

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No.46: Do ‘Optimism Sums’

You never have any money.

Now, ignore this phrase and read on in a state of vehement denial. 

Welcome to the financial existence of the flancer.

If Flancerland existed, it would have no capital. That will be only funny if you have just opened your bank statement and are feeling hysterical.

However, now is the perfect time to do some ‘Optimism Sums’!

These consist of the sort of mathematical spin-doctorings that would  make Le Chiffre from Casino Royale’s eye bleed and which miraculously make cash appear after a series of complex equations written on the back of an old Tesco receipt.

[PC] – IE (fDD) + MNSR/4 =  A (- R)

This, dear work*-free readers is a highly sophisticated algebraic formula that, whomever the flancer might be, will have been applied to their finances at some point. Usually after a big cry.

[Purse contents] MINUS Imagined Expenditure (forgetting all direct debits) PLUS money not spent on a round DIVIDED BY no. of people in the pub = Assets. (Minus Reality.)

Not exactly NASA standard in it’s accuracy but the flancer rejoices that things are not as bad as they seemed and continues to believe in the old Buddhist adage that:

 “If the letters OD appear after your account balance but you never open the statement envelope, does it really make a sound?”

 ‘Right.  I can sell my liver on eBay for…seventy quid…and I didn’t buy that bag I liked from topshop.com. And I bought the Value range raspberry jam this afternoon. So I am actually one hundred pounds in the black and therefore needn’t worry about my financial state for another month. Ah Ha! Take that Natwest**!’

The bank however, has other ideas based on the reality of, well, reality. Which is a bit of a spanner in the works for the flancer who is puzzled as to why, after working out that they have only actually spent twenty pounds this month on their fingers on the bus fifteen minutes ago, the hole in the wall won’t put out.

They go storming into the bank before a navy polyester-wearing individual explains why, using a calculator and some proof. 

But they didn’t incorporate the back of a Tesco receipt.  So it doesn’t count, of course.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES:

*Substitute any of the following words: money, pride, new-clothing, thrifty.

**or whichever organisation looks after the space where your money should be.

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No.38: Make Your Own Christmas Presents

‘Waste time and save money? Show me the Sellotape!’ enthuses the flancer unfortunately for everyone they are considering giving a gift to this year. It was a flancer whom clearly invented the phrase ‘it’s the thought that counts’, stealthily insinuating it into the common belief system so that it would be the disappointed recipient of the shit, home-knitted doily who is the bad person – not the tight-arse that didn’t just buy them a £2 bottle of wine.

Like the Millennium Dome, hand-made christmas presents take ages to construct and tend to have no real purpose.   Aside from cluttering up the home of the recipient, who keeps the ‘frightening sculpture made of wood and covered with cut-out holly*’  fearing a deep and enduring guilt that plagues anyone who dares put a hand-made gift in the bin. 

Unfortunately, crafty presents made by anybody except really talented, arty types tend to be ugly and glittery and often sport inexplicable bobbles or tassels, like  something scraped from the bottom of an ageing transvestite’s make up bag.

However, from the flancer’s point of view, this present making lark is joy.  They are in their element, glueing and crocheting and weaving something from Santa’s reject bin of tat, listening to carols and swigging energetically from an £8 bottle of Lidl sherry.

They may – if you’re really unlucky –   decide to make their own cards as well. If a flancer gives you a Christmas card, best play it safe. Do not say, for instance:  ‘oooh! how public-spirited you are buying those charity cards by disabled people who paint with their feet!  I love groups of nuns – how christmassy!’ as the flancer probably spent five hours at it and meant it to be a group of penguins.

However, any hand-made thingy is better than a body lotion/shower gel/bathsalts and shower poouf set**  because nothing says: ‘You’re irrelevant to me’  like one of them.

TODAYS FOOTNOTES

*Or ‘Festive Wine Rack’ as the flancer would have it.

**These sets always  smell exactly the same –  like a scented candle from a pound-shop.  And every woman has at least three shower pooufs hanging over a tap somewhere in their home, which never seem to dry out and probably take four hundred years to biodegrade.

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No.35: Try and See The Good Side of Everything for a Bit

When you’re jobless, bored and glum, attempting to see the deeper meaning in your money/sex/work/point-less  existence can provide the necessary buffer between you and suicide – or worse: going for a job as a telesales person.

Getting existential allows the flancer mind (exhausted from thinking up reasons why you – the flancer – are fundamentally a waste of good amino acid chains) to take a well-earned sabbatical  from the sort of self-pity that would have a Samaritan frantically  mouthing – ‘TELL. HER. I’M. OUT.’ across the desk to their colleague who picked up your call without thinking.   Now, it can direct its flagging energies into forming esoteric reasons as to why you haven’t been commissioned since the invention of the telephone.

‘I have no work,’ smiles the flancer from his/her place of spiritual connection (the armchair in front of CSI:NY) ‘because the universe is preparing me for something more significant.’

What this ‘significant’ thing  might be, tends to remain unspecified, as God hates to spoil one’s roll by appearing in a dream pointing his large finger at a dole queue.  He will generally refrain from getting too involved, preferring to graciously leave such things to the flancer’s happy imaginings, in order to retain his position as the all-loving, all-giving Holy Spirit. A sort of Barak Obama of the heavens, if you will.

After this epiphany, the flancer will start (irritatingly) seeing every event as an indicator that popular recognition and financial abundance awaits them around every letter from the bank demanding they come in for a serious talking to.

In some ways this is good: the flancer will stop moping about and maybe even wash their tracksuit bottoms. And in some ways it is very bad: they will give the nice lady at Natwest bank the finger, safe in the assumption that – overdraft be hanged! – the Universe is on their side (and looks a bit  like Liam Neeson in Batman Begins) and it’s all going to turn out perfectly within 48-hours.

Fortunately, this breed of uncharacteristic rampant positivity generally only lasts about 48 hours anyway and so when Natwest send a really nasty letter threatening court action, the flancer doesn’t feel let down by anyone in any way whatsoever – be it the Universe or Liam Neeson.

However, if this is happening to a flancer you know and their positivity lasts longer than 48-hours, seek medical help. Because when  they suddenly start seeing the face of Mary Magdalene in their Marmite on toast, they are generally only a phone call away from becoming a Mormon.

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No.34: Try and Find A Bank Card That’ll be Accepted at The Supermarket

Flancers have two life dreams: (1) to be published. And (2) that the first card they pull out to pay for anything will actually work. Not especially in that order.

Non-flancer-writey people seem to have this gargantuan misconception that people who freelance make enormous mountains of money.  So mountainous in fact, that they probably also believe that the flancer regularly empties it onto the bed and rolls around in it in a gold bikini drinking Champagne from a unicorn’s hoof.

This may in part be due to Carrie (Bradshaw, the cake-deficient designer-draped mammal. Not the blood-soaked, telekinetic Stephen King one) or any other Hollywood cinematic flancer character  flouncing out of C. Dior with an elbow full of designer truck, jumping in a cab to go home and poke at a brand new ibook for five minutes.

In reality?  Carrie would be a potty-mouthed cynic, sweating out Nescafe, dropping crumbs from a Nutella and bacon sandwich all over a vintage Dell that takes forty-five minutes to fire up (see post.27).   Her biggest daily concern would be whether to bother washing her filthy hair as she’s unlikely to go out for at least another two days.* She would only wear Jimmy Choo footwear if he did slippers.

When I bemoan the echoing chasm of doom that is my monetary fund, my friends make this sort of ‘pffft!’ noise adding, ‘but you’re a writer!  You lot are loaded!’ Granted, most days I resemble the millionaire, Sir B. Geldof.   But I am willing to bet that he doesn’t stand at the cash point on the verge of tears every other day or get that vomity feeling when he hands over his card in Tescos for a shop of tampons and milk  totaling a mere £3.75.

Warning: A distressing reconstruction follows.

If you have never stood behind a flancer in a supermarket who is suffering from a nasty case of skint, here’s what usually happens: the nice till lady will look at the flancer with motherly pity** and convey the news with funeral directorly regret that the card hasn’t been accepted. The flancer will look aghast and, shaking their head, will say something like ‘oh! That’s funny, there’s plenty of money in there.***’ 

(As if the other customers care. They just want the poor person in the pyjama bottoms and Primark Ugg boots to get a frikkin’ move on as they have casseroles to get home and put on.)

There will be lots of sighing and huffing from the flancer, who will pull out another card and hand it over in desperation like an under-qualified magician fluffing valiantly though a failing trick.  To which the nice till lady will shake her head like a surgeon conveying news of a death to a family waiting anxiously in A&E.

Having only a Blockbuster Membership card left (which is only to be handed over in the event of full-mental breakdown) the Emergency Credit Card comes out.  It was signed up  for  in order to deal with serious emergencies – i.e. needing to fly out of Columbia if a war starts or something when you’re travelling.  But it is regularly used for other emergencies like, buying milk or Christmas party shoes.  

The Emergency Credit Card works, their gut relaxes and the flancer slinks away, red-faced clutching their booty of Nutella and smoked back. Which has ironically just cost them £126.78 after bank charges.

In the car park, the flancer resolves to go and give the bank a piece of their mind for this gross mistake and their subsequent embarrassment. They storm to Natwest, print out a mini statement and suddenly  realise that their complaint is as valid as Ratner shares.

They decide to go and buy themselves a coffee with their Blockbuster Membership card as consolation.

 TODAY’S FOOTNOTES:

*This could just be me. Apologies to any hygienic flancers reading.

**regional supermarkets only. If you live in a big city they just look at you with scorn. They may even laugh in your face like a panto baddy.

***IE. twenty pounds left of the overdraft.

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No.31: Pitch To Someone Totally Random

You’ve run out of money. You have just received a final written warning from the local swimming baths for yet again attempting to pass off a car-wash token as a pound in their coffee vending machine.  Your confidence is so low, you believe that a piece of over-ripe fruit could write a better piece of editorial than you ever could. Plus, your inability to generate gainful employment obviously comes with the associated assumptions of the paranoid, out-of-work-creative, namely: your parents never wanted you, the sexually active world-at-large has placed an international  embargo your under-organs, your hair never lays flat and you daren’t search Facebook because you know that there will be a group entitled: ‘HateThis Flancer’ [accompanied by your picture].  All your exes/employers/family members will have joined it, as will the woman from downstairs whom you’ve only met once.

And so, you pitch to the Magazine You Have no Business pitching to.

This blog post, I might add, is NOT in any way borne of a belief that one publication is better than another. The point is this: flancers sometimes get so desperate to work/earn they will step out of their area of expertise and brazenly venture into the publicational Hinterland of the niche magazine: Quantum Physics Bulletin, Neuro-Surgeon’s World or  Miniature China Animals Gazette.

IE into magazine-flavoured waters they know precisely jack shat about.

‘Well, I’ve seen a miniature china animal,’ protests the delusionally desperate flancer, as they eat all that there is left in the house  (a packet of biscuits as old as Terry Wogan) to maintain energy levels, thanks to the bastards at the swimming baths having curtailed the illicit coffee supply.  And decide that they will simply re-market their total and utter  inexperience of animals, small, china or otherwise as ‘a new spin from an outsider!’ 

They will then plough all of their creative frustration into eight or maybe nine of the worst ideas ever come up with by anybody in the history of the planet (including the people who make air-freshener adverts) and send them off, rubbing their hands together at their cunning. ‘No other flancers will be doing this and I will have the monopoly!’ they cackle, like an inmate of a rubber-walled hospital for the utterly idiotic. 

Unsurprisingly, their genius feature idea for ‘clever verbal negotiating tactics for securing a knock-down bargain price from a wiley miniature pottery animal vendor!’ (cunning re titled: ‘Bull in a China Shop’) is just not the MCAG features desk’s sort of thing. Having now been rejected by MCAG, the flancer momentarily considers The Official Gazette of the Slovenian Society for Sautéed Potatoes and Onions* before getting a grip and taking a week off.

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES:

*An actual real-life publication. If you have submitted to this magazine I would be delighted to hear from you.

 

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No.30: Consider Organising Your Accounts

Every flancer has a brown A4 envelope under their bed. This envelope contains precisely 34,583 receipts. And its name is Depression.

Every year at around about April-ish, the flancer panics and considers running away to Aruba because the envelope calls (just before the accountant does. For the ninth time). Every year around about June-ish there is Olympic-Standard Procrastination. And every year around about September-ish there is lots of sobbing and entire boxes of wine drunk to try and stamp out the treacherous brain cells that insist on reminding you of what could happen if you do not sort your shit out.

Sometimes though, after a head-blow or some seriously A-Grade boredom, the flancer thinks, ‘ooh, I might just give next year’s accounts a preliminary tickle…’  A gallon of stomach-chewing coffee will be brewed and some Kendal Mint Cake eaten in order to fortify the flancer against the contents of The Envelope. ‘Rather start now and reduce the horror come May,’ thinks the flancer smugly, buffered by the escape-hatch-thought* that they can sack off this madness whenever they want because it’s only November.** Flancers, incidentally have and use so many escape-hatch-thoughts throughout the course of the working day that the thought-escape-hatch hinges are wafer-thin through constant deployment.

But the gaping flaw in this ‘plan’ is that flancers are  the most disorganised creatures ever to spring forth from the hands of the Lord.

Flancers are just not programmed to get things done in good time. In good time means: ‘before I suffer serious comeback for repeatedly putting this off.’ And so, whilst truly intending to begin ordering their accounts, the following scenario will occur: A Facebook status of ‘Am starting my accounts!’ will be posted in order to crow to other flancers that you are indeed a paragon of organisation.  This will then be Tweeted. The search for The Envelope will commence (cue small internal fanfare – or if like me you spend quite a lot of the day alone and thus talking to yourself – external fanfare)  but first you happen to unearth your cuts book. You will read your cuts book with a nostalgic half-smile, realise an hour has gone by and re-commence the search. You will then find a photo album of your student days and then a copy of Vogue from 1997, both of which will distract you for a further two hours.

You are now up to your nipples in dust bunnies and decide, hey – you may as well clean your room. Then, why stop there? Clean the house. Stop for a coffee. Hem some curtains. FB and Tweet something spitefully witty about H M Revenue & Customs.  Answer some emails. Maybe start knitting a bag to keep The Envelope in when you find it.

You then remember The Envelope and why you started looking for it.  You will also remember that The Envelope means sitting there, head in hands for hours thinking: ‘what the chuff did I spend £15.46 on in Argos on the fifteenth?’ Cue the silent workings of the extremely well-oiled escape-hatch-thought hinges.

And then the phone rings and interrupts you. It is your accountant on your case. Because it’s now actually April. 

TODAY’S FOOTNOTES:

*Escape-Hatch Thoughts: ‘I have plenty of time for this and will do it later.’ ‘This is totally good enough.’ ‘They will never know I made that up.’ ‘I deserve a break – hey, I might burn out if I’m not careful.’ ‘A long walk and a coffee is good to recharge creativity.’ ‘I think I’m ill.’

**Unless of course you decided to sack off this year’s dealings with your pushy accountant for online self assessment and are now seriously considering how ‘doable’ prison is rather than going anywhere near The Envelope.
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No.28: Justify Your ‘Job’ to your Parents

As previously pointed out, the question ‘how’s work at the moment?’ is feared and loathed by flancers worldwide. But it is particularly horrorsome when asked by a parent.

Especially when you have called them to borrow money.

‘How are things?’ blithely asks The Mum.  You mumble ‘ok’ whilst trying not to break down over the truth which is that – only ten minutes ago – you were contemplating laying down in the gas oven due to an all-time workless low. The Mum isn’t fooled. She can hear in your voice that things are a bit rum. She distracts you by twittering pleasantly about the nasty hanging baskets Shelia from across the road has put out and laughs at herself for being a curtain twitcher (hey, you can relate, see post No.15). She asks how your friends with jobs are getting on at work (The Mum needs to show interest in a child’s life. And seeing as her child has been virtually unemployed and single for five years – any child will do. But The Mum knows that asking about your life will only upset or embarrass you further, and so she makes this adjustment without realising that this just makes things worse.  Until of course she asks you about the married friends and their new-born children.)

‘Would you like to speak to your dad?’ she asks. All pretence is over.

The dad pulls no punches* and immediately after asking ‘how you’re keeping’ will ask you how you are for money. His gently hectoring tone suggests that any chance of a loan is off, so you reply, ‘fine’ swiftly followed by thinking, *shit!* as you remember that The cunning Dad probably opens your bank statements, as virtually every flancer has used their parents’ home address as their fixed address since university in order to get loans and credit cards. Which, in retrospect is pretty bad because that’s where the bailiff will go first.  The Dad will ‘hmm’ enigmatically and ask about work. You will fluff somewhat and try and distract him by talking about the flashy book/script/project you are working on. This bluster impresses many, but cuts no cheese with The  Dad; who is all about  mortgage and cold hard cash under the mattress. He asks if you need money. You say no. He will ‘hmm’ again and ask what you’re doing today (seeing as you’ve called them at like, 3pm) The honest answer being ‘nothing’, you throw him off the scent by talking about a proper job you were considering getting. He will demand details. You will not have them.

Then you realise that you have a coffee date you are late for. But telling The Dad that you don’t have time to explain how poor and workless you are because you have to go out and dispose of your non-existant disposable income  will further secure your place in the ‘WRITE THIS OFFSPRING OUT OF THE WILL’ file. The Dad senses that you are ready to go and despite everything sends his love (as does mum from the background.) You can hear the theme tune to Murder She Wrote and the kettle whistling.

‘I’ll pop a bit in your account today,’ says Dad. And as you put the phone down trying not to sob, you swear to yourself that when your book sells its first million – before anything else – you will buy that man a sports car.

 

TODAYS FOOTNOTES

*Dads hate using the phone and talking to their children – even if their children are millionaire entrepreneurs. They just do. If ever you call home and your dad picks up, within twenty seconds he’ll usually say: ‘I’ll put your mum on’

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