It was intended principally as a sort of amusing Deb.Soc. conjuring trick wherein I raised an untenable argument and then attempted to stand it up with a series of entertaining essays, comical pop-culture-inspired lists and the odd unscientific equation.
Now, one apparently unpredictable credit crunch later, all sorts of grown-ups are reporting that the phenomenon I thought I’d invented to raise a few chuckles is in fact for many people a genuine and necessary response as the walls of recession close in like that enormous garbage disposal thingy in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (as we’re obliged to now call it).
The inimitable Simon de Bruxelles, in The Times, gives the phenomenon a name:
"Welcome to the “staycation”, which experts expect to be the trend as families who cancel or cut back their holiday plans opt to stay at home during their summer break"
An associated article quotes John O’Connor, a Somerset shipping manager:
“The cost of everything is rising and we are starting to feel the pinch. A holiday is a big outlay so unfortunately it’s the first thing we can afford to go without. Holidays in Europe seem very expensive at the moment because of the exchange rate and we were very surprised at the cost of self-catering breaks in England"
Meanwhile, Jeff Randall in the Telegraph observes that:
For me, Britain's finest hour comes just as the dash abroad begins. It is only then that one realises how much nicer life would be if our cities were not so crowded.
Peter Riddell has all the hard stats on the thing, if hard stats are your kind of thing:
"Nearly three out of five of us say that we intend to cut back our summer holiday plans because of financial pressures"
I would love to pretend that I saw all this coming. Of course if I had, even for a moment, I’d have been doing something clever on the stock market instead of wasting my weekends writing comic essays for your amusement.
Still. All the same.
I told you so.