Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Lights and Class War.

One of the things Mr Kite appreciates about me is my allegedly well-honed market research skills, so he bigs the service up to the clients as including proper area targeting. I normally provide this by checking things like how much off-street parking there is in any given road, looking for indications of family occupiers such as lots of toys/pensioner households with mobility scooters and handrails all over the place. But this time of year I get an extra set of really useful unmissable clues in the form of Christmas decorations. High proportion of Santa Please Stop Here signs is a pointer to a high density of young families living in the area, for instance. You don't get much of this in posh areas, for instance.
(image randomly nicked from somewhere else on the web)

Sure, there might be a tasteful shimmer of fairy lights in one window, or they might have gone so far as to illuminate an external tree or two, but your upmarket household generally only acknowledges the season with something like this.

I think it was Jilly Cooper who said that all children are lower-middle-class by inclination, and it's certainly the socio-economic grades C2 and D that expend the most cash and energy on extravagant Christmas lights, and certainly true that Trainboy adores them, the more flashing and colourful and enormous the better. Chopwimp, despite having that educated-boy-desperate-for-street-cred desire to portray himself as a lot more common than he is, gets very sniffy about such things, and has referred more than once to a neighbourhood close to his parents' home as 'Where all the plumbers and so on live. You can see the lights from fucking Mars...'
It's lack of money rather than snobbery that stops me from giving in to Trainboy's pleas to cover the front of the house with illuminated parachuting Santas and light-up trains and stars: I like them too and have great fun spotting different arrangements on various bus journeys. But then I probably am upper working class, if anything.
Still, soon enough they will all be gone, and I will have to go back to the more usual methods of assesing the class structure of an area street by street, such as remembering that garden ornaments consisting of piss-stained mattresses and broken bits of cars mean the inhabitants are probably not up for chakra healing or aromatherapy, and that luxury mansions with organic veg delivery still sitting in the extensive porch are not the target audience for two-for-one from Dubious Fried Chikken R Us.*

*Examples completely made up and hypothetical and not representative of actual clients at all. Oh no, Mr Kite, not at all.

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