Conspicuous Consumption

Most of the houses had their downstairs lights on with curtains well drawn back so that casual observers on the street could admire the latest chain store colour schemes and prominent recent acquisitions. It was probably only a matter of time before the retired Major at number 7 would jump to his feet when he heard footsteps outside, and use his Malacca cane to point out treasured objects to interested parties in the garden:
“Pay attention you chaps next to the elm tree. On a recent reconnaissance operation to British Home Stores we secured these highly prized objects (wafting the Malacca cane about the lounge). We have now put the enemy next door at a serious strategic disadvantage….”
To one half of the population, society had become a collection of audiences, and to the other half, a collection of charities.


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