Mindless expenditure

Examples of social decline, especially in the UK

Mindless expenditure

Postby Andrea » 01 May 2014, 20:00

I went into town to get my husband's watch battery replaced. While I waited for this to be done, I had an interesting time listening to the underclass couple at the jewellery counter before me. They had come to sell their gold. At first I took pity on them, shame they had hit a low point and needed money to keep a roof over their heads, etc. Silly, silly me!

Jewellery chap: "I can give you £340 for this."
Underclass chap: "Eh! That'll be me drinks tab sorted"

They proceeded to discuss how they were going on holiday, and since their benefits weren't enough now that the f***ing Tories were in power, they had to sell their gold jewellery (which was really tacky!). They next produced a gold tooth, and this fetched another £300. They were chuckling and saying how they'll be able to have great fun on their cruise.

Luckily, the battery replacement was done and I left!
Andrea
 
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Re: Mindless expenditure

Postby Jonathan » 01 May 2014, 20:55

What struck me first about that story is the very concept of a three-hundred-pound bar tab. I say this as a person who rarely frequented bars even in my youth, and never left an establishment without settling the bill in full.

I expect this person frequents this pub almost daily, no? And built up this tab over several years or months, occasionally reducing it a bit when he had cash available. Is that right? Would he have similar unpaid bills in other places, or just in his regular pub? A pub would only extend such credit to regular customers, right?

Is such a tab also typical of the middle class, or just the underclass?

Sorry for focusing on a detail like this, it's just a bit of a glimpse into another world for me.
Jonathan
 
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Re: Mindless expenditure

Postby Kevin R » 01 May 2014, 21:24

Jonathan..

Considering Andrea's assessment, I think it unlikely that he has a bar-tab as was conventionally understood. These days, such things are becoming much less likely in English pubs, even in what we still refer to as 'locals' (which often have less and less locals in them). No, I think it was probably a wry remark referring to his disposition to drink to excess in one evening 'session', even when paid for drink by drink at the point of sale. Here in Britain this proud activity is a now an entrenched behavioural norm amongst all beery brethren who are yklept under the dipsomaniacal drinking phenomenon.. alas..
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Re: Mindless expenditure

Postby Gavin » 01 May 2014, 21:36

It's a world you don't want to go to, Jonathan!

The "bar tab" comment would not have been meant to be taken literally. The underclass man would just have meant "that'll pay for my drinks" (possibly a "joke" as to how much he might drink in one session, as Kevin suggests). Credit is very rarely extended beyond a single visit in pubs (perhaps in some private clubs).

Usually you pay first (I try to use cards whenever I can, because it shows up for accounting and I can get air miles). Sometimes there is a minimum amount because of card fees, in which case I need to buy two pints ;) Some pubs, or more often bar/restaurants, offer you to open a "tab" if you're going to be there for longer, and they usually take your card at the beginning if you're going to do that.

If you want to see more mindless expenditure, though, just go to any British town on a weekend. You'll see thousands of slovenly looking, usually pierced and tattooed, people out buying clothes and other items they probably don't need - probably on credit - in this age of "austerity"! Shopping is, for them, a recreation. I am convinced they don't go to get something they need, or had been considering for some time, but rather they do not even know what they're going to buy when they go out. It just must be something.
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Re: Mindless expenditure

Postby Andrea » 01 May 2014, 22:24

I'm sorry, chaps, I wasn't very clear. The man was referring to the price of an unlimited bar on the upcoming cruise he was going on. Still - that's a crazy amount to spend, but if you plan on getting completely inebriated each day, I guess that's the price on a ship. Weird thing is...if you go to all the trouble of booking a holiday, what's the point if you're going to be hammered the whole time. It's idiots like this that give "Brits Abroad" their reputation. The chap seemed just the type to be swearing and antisocial when drunk.
Andrea
 
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Re: Mindless expenditure

Postby Kevin R » 02 May 2014, 00:28

I can't help but speculate upon what the cost of a cruise for two would be if the pre-paid account merely for alcoholic drinks alone amounts to hundreds of pounds..

Where on earth have they secured the money for this cruising jolly? Have they perhaps sold grandad's rare war-medals, or been secured of a nice little endowment from the now ubiquitous 'Dodson and Foggs' of this world?!
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Re: Mindless expenditure

Postby Paul » 02 May 2014, 01:17

They're drug dealers, or at least a very strong chance they are. I know of dealers, only chav-type local ones who go on cruises often. One local chap has been to Egypt a few times I was told, though several years ago, before recent troubles. Why can't he decide to go now? His various offspring (or hers) were taken out of school (permission having been denied) several times to do so. I know this because my Mother worked at that school. Everyone knew about it. All the locals know about it and it's completely implausible that the Police don't know of it. Then again, there doesn't seem to be any Police about any more. Well, hardly.

The gold is likely stolen, or pawned for drugs........... so likely stolen earlier. One doesn't like to think of how the tooth came into their possession.
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Re: Mindless expenditure

Postby Andrea » 06 May 2014, 12:38

Paul wrote:They're drug dealers, or at least a very strong chance they are. I know of dealers, only chav-type local ones who go on cruises often. One local chap has been to Egypt a few times I was told, though several years ago, before recent troubles. Why can't he decide to go now? His various offspring (or hers) were taken out of school (permission having been denied) several times to do so. I know this because my Mother worked at that school. Everyone knew about it. All the locals know about it and it's completely implausible that the Police don't know of it. Then again, there doesn't seem to be any Police about any more. Well, hardly.

The gold is likely stolen, or pawned for drugs........... so likely stolen earlier. One doesn't like to think of how the tooth came into their possession.


Hi Paul. I've been thinking about what you wrote and I'm starting to believe you're probably right about these people. Thanks for replying, everyone.
Andrea
 
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Re: Mindless expenditure

Postby Jonathan » 06 May 2014, 19:32

Thanks for all the explanations, guys :)
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