You Don’t Have to Go Full-on Michael Douglas in Falling Down, but Every Time You Fail to Lose Your Shit at Being Belittled by the Stuff You’re Buying, the Stuff You’re Buying Redoubles Its Efforts to Insult You Some More

So you’ve found yourself hemmed in by the perfect plastic smiley faces and you’re wondering how the adverts can try to sell you a life you don’t have along with the tat you don’t want but you’ll stick on the credit card anyway. 

Well, that’s easily solved with that new burger in the food court that turns out to be identical to that old burger in the food court because every one of them just adds bacon in an ever so slightly different order to the one before

Or you’re looking at the clothes that you’re sure were in fashion a decade and a half ago, 

Until everyone at once determined that ponchos looked ridiculous, 

And decided now was the time for stirrup pants and bullet bras. 

Well, that’s fine, if you carry on wearing what you’re wearing, you can lose yourself in a thrift store and be mistaken for a mannequin. 

They’ll be a greetings card for that, 

Calling you an “old fart” or such. 

And you’ve bought them, you know you have, 

For the colleagues whose distress at life does not need encouraging, 

Because you worry that they’re taking it all too seriously, 

Because you know that you are. 

So you fear what might happen if you paused in your purchasing, 

As you remember Michael Douglas in Falling Down

And you realise you’ve already passed that point long ago. 

And the stores are still trading, and the mall is still there, 

And those Y2K stretch flare jeans you’re eyeing up 

Are coming home with you tonight, whether you like it or not. 

Mike Hickman (@MikeHicWriter) is a writer from York, England. He has written for Off the Rock Productions (stage and audio), including 2018’s “Not So Funny Now” about Groucho Marx and Erin Fleming. He has recently been published in EllipsisZine, Dwelling Literary, Bandit Fiction, Nymphs, Flash Fiction Magazine, Brown Bag, and Red Fez. His co-written, completed six-part BBC radio sit com remains frustratingly as unproduced as it was the last time he updated this biography. So here it is, line by [almost] line (Part Six): “This is all terribly exciting. Shall I prepare the priest holes? Will we need to use the tunnel beneath the moat to effect our daring escape?” “We don’t have a tunnel beneath the moat.” “Not quite true, ma’am, Lizzy’s been sleep digging again.”

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