A survey just out states that young Britons expect to be earning a salary of £101,001 a year by the time they reach middle age. Isn't that absolutely precious? The part about them reaching middle age, I mean. They have no chance, what with their sedentary lifestyles and their crisp-based nutritional regimes. Most of them will be lucky to make it out of puberty. They have more chance of reaching their 40s than getting their five-a-day from a packet of Cheesy Wotsits. Prehistoric Man had a greater life expectancy and he was used as toothpicks by dinosaurs.
But the young can dream. That is what they do best. They have not lived long enough for the vessels of their hopes to be dashed on the rocks of experience. And they are dreaming BIG. A hundred thousand and one pounds! Apart from it seeming like an oddly specific number, it is also a rather large one. The youth are not completely out of touch, though. They have read about the earning power of Lady Bieber and Brad Clooney and they have sensibly discounted bringing in such largesse. They do not expect to be making $50m a film and they are not anticipating having millions of fans buy their "music". The youth of today are much more down to earth than that. However, their feet aren't quite on solid ground.
It will come as something of a shock to them when they leave their youthful pert teenage faces behind and take on the saggy, tired, lined and jowly physogs that they will present to the working world. £100,001 might not seem like much money to any of those charlatans, crooks and ne'er-do-wells who make up the bulk of the Sunday Times Rich List. To them, it is the kind of figure that they would put aside for something special at the weekend, like a rented yacht, a brace of Latvian hookers and a steaming mug of hot cocaine. But to ordinary people, it is the sort of money that will remain permanently out of reach, unless they work for five whole years without spending a single penny in the meantime. And that would mean living with their parents, which they can't do because that would mean living with their parents.
The average wage in this country is about £25,000 a year. This figure is known by those that earn it as: NOT NEARLY ENOUGH. And yet that is what most people have to live on. Young people do not think of themselves as average though. They strike themselves as being rather extraordinary in every way. I blame the parents. Specifically, I blame the mothers who instil this idea in their offspring no matter how dozy, dense and thick headed they are. A mother will tell her charges they are special and unique and that they have a very great deal to offer the world even if, intellectually speaking, they barely qualify as human beings at all.
Can you imagine the pent up tsunami of disappointment that awaits the young when they grow up and discover that Simon Cowell will not be rescuing them from their drab and pedestrian existences and catapulting them to riches and stardom? Just think how upset they will be when they find out that Jay Z and Rihanna will never be returning their calls.
Kids have always thought they would grow up to do something exciting, like being a commercial airline pilot or a fireman, but as the former have largely been replaced by a computer programme and are little more than airborne bus drivers and the later are all on strike, those jobs aren't too attractive any more. Their dreams have moved on from doing something exciting to earning an amount that is exciting. And being famous while they are doing it.
The chances of the average person earning a six figure salary are about as remote as the average person being able to touch their toes. Most can't SEE their toes without the aid of a mirror. Disappointment awaits.
There is a generation coming up who will find life a bit of a let down. I bet you £100,001.