You all think you had it hard! Ha! Oh how we dreamed of school. How we wished that we could be lucky enough to be systematically hit over the head with a dictionary! We could hardly imagine the sheer heaven of a sub-zero, one roomed school with futile lessons! Oh how we aspired to futility! And caning? Luxury! Absolute luxury. We desperately wished we could have been hit with a big stick every day. You lot don’t know how fortunate you were!
We only had one meal a year. If we were lucky. Rest of the time we’d just lick the pavement. Things got so bad that one Christmas we even ate Susan. We served her beautifully, woodlouse á la mud surrounded by roasted stones and a jus lovingly crafted from strained sluice. To be truthful, she was a little dry, what with having been dead all those years, but we appreciated what we had in those days, not like the kids these days with their fancy "penicillin" and "electroshock therapy".
Oh how we wished for pails of water from a pump! Beats lapping the puddles that collected outside the Gents’ toilets. And germs the size of tadpoles! What nutrition! What a feast! I’d have sold me own Mother for germs the size of tadpoles every day, although of course you would have to go and dig her up, so I’d give her to you at a knock-down price.
No, we had it tough, we did. Fifty of us lived in a small drain at the unfashionable end of the London sewer system. Sometimes when we got home we’d find a dead rat bunging up the entrance, and then we’d just have to sleep standing up, in the snow, naturally. Not that we got very much sleep that is. We had to get up at midnight, run 60 miles while carrying twice our bodyweight in jagged rocks that were sent to Canada for the posh kids to use in their baseball games, before running all the way back home just in time for bed at eleven forty five. Oh how blessed those rich Canadian kids were, what with their sticks and their jagged rocks and their second degree knee traumas.
Kids these days don’t know how lucky they have it. We didn’t even have any clothes in those days, and yet now I hear complaining about clothes! You had to wear the same clothes for five years straight – oh you were spoiled! Suppose you think you’re a bit special there, having clothes and all! Bit high and mighty in your swanky clothes. We had it really hard you see. All we had to cover our modesty were the old rattan sacks left in the rubbish at the end of the fish market. Once you’d scraped off all the scales and entrails they really weren’t so bad. And on the plus side, if you ever went into a shop or a building the smell wouldn’t half clear the room quickly. It was like your own personal privacy generator.
Yes, it’s a whole new generation now, and I tell you what, they just haven’t learned to appreciate the simple things in life.