Deborah Ross: I spend most of my day laughing at the privileged

If you ask me

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If you ask me, although I do my best to be a good person and a decent person and a kind person, I can now see that I am, in fact, horrible and unthinking and cruel. I realised this when I read an impassioned piece by a posh and privileged person saying the only group in society that is still considered a free-for-all on the jokes front is, yes, the posh and privileged, as evidenced by the Gap Yah sketches and the character JP in the Channel 4 sitcom Fresh Meat, and the moment I read all this I knew it: I am as guilty as anyone, and a complete disgrace.

I have always laughed at privileged people, I'm deeply ashamed to say. Some days, even, I get up laughing at the privileged, go to bed laughing at the privileged and, as for the hours in between, I spend them mostly laughing at the privileged. I have even been known to wake up in the middle of the night, chuckling at how much some people will pay for a pair of underpants from Jack Wills, for example, or on one of those handbags described as "must have". Must have or what? I suspect a must-have handbag is never as must-have as the polio vaccine, say... Oh, look. There I go again. I am despicable. I am repellent. I am beyond the pale. I should be thrashed or, at the very least, dispatched to boarding school, on a train, on my own, with only Nanny to see me off.

So I must desist from mocking the posh and privileged, but how? How, when all my own funds are so entirely tied up in Making Ends Meet? How, when I read that Victoria Beckham's latest bag is now available from Selfridges for £9,000? How, when I live with a man who, when asked to guess the price of the aforementioned bag, came back with "you wouldn't ask if it wasn't expensive so... £70?" and then, on learning the truth, yelped: "But you can buy a Kia Picanto for that! With a seven-year warranty!"

Actually, if I were rich and privileged, you know what I'd do? I'd drive my nicer car back to my nicer house and while the kids were out at their nicer schools I'd kick off my nicer shoes and pour myself a large, nicer port and sink back into my nicer armchair and think: "Also, I don't have to live with a man who is impressed by budget cars and does not mind showing himself up in this regard." What I am saying is this: who is having the last laugh, really? Come on.

d.ross@independent.co.uk

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