Then the conspiracy begins. The people at the game factory, who write the rules and design the board, decide that the game needs some new rules. So once you have passed Go enough times that you are ready to tip over the game on it’s side, they bring in a new dimension. It is this: work gone card. Suddenly you are free not to work and go start living, but the thoughts of not having a job fills you with fear and then you want to work even more, and although you don’t need to, you keep at it and you hoard the money this time, just in case you ever need to buy a topper for your memory foam mattress or a tin of beans.
This is the only way I can make sense of people who haven’t worked for years and never worked during the boom times when you needed to bring your own personal translator with you if you wanted to get served in a coffee shop, now demanding the right to work and marching to Parliament with banners and clenched fists claiming they are entitled to jobs. The same people also claim that they never got a piece of the Celtic Tiger because they have been long term unemployed. The thing is though, even if you were unemployed during the boom, you were still benefitting from it, in that the money was there to pay for you not having a job, and even if you had a lousy job with the minimum wage, that minimum wage was a lot better than if you were working in say, rural
One way or the other though, having had various different salaries at different times, I’ve noticed that no matter how much or little you have it always ends up with being broke at the end of the year.After all, that's the nature of money, it flows in and out like the tide, and then when the tide is way out so far that you can't see it anymore, that is when the Sales are on in the shops, which is probably not a conspiracy, but more like a streak of retail sadism. They know you have no money so they offer it for half price.
In many ways I like the recession. People are more interesting when they’re boasting about how poor they are than how rich they are, and at least this time round I can participate in the conversation. Then again, I do prefer the way terrorism goes down during a boom because the freedom fighters and idealists are too busy buying leather sofas and 50 inch TV screens. I suppose that’s why you always see war going on in poor places. So hopefully it won’t be too long before the nice people who write the rules of the game give us our boom back. After all, I still haven’t gotten round to that four wheel drive.