* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Lesson 2: Buying his Gran for a tenner

22 May 2003
James is apparently not "instrumental" enough.

J. Tell you what, sell me your granny for a tenner.

F. What?

The shock tactic - always a good opener. Putting the mark off-guard is an excellent opener. Watch how what is an initial frivolous joke soon develops into a deeper conversation.

J. My final offer, no lower.

F. Nah, nah mate, nothing less than a pony. It is family after all.

J. Bah to you too. This ain't no 'Enders script.

F. Go on then, I'm listening. What's this idea then.

F is referring to the initial ploy for which J has called this meeting in the pub. Note the careful selection of venue: a public place so no scene will be made, and the convivial atmosphere conducive to "friendly banter" upon which this ploy rests. The carefully fostered close relationship between these makes the situation natural - a crucial ingredient in this situation.

J. Right. Pensions are crap, right? They are designed to preserve the waning lives of the near-dead, while feeding off the labours of the young and ambitious, i.e. you and me. Seniors get more and more senior, often living an entire normal working life after retirement. And what fun can they have, apart from putting the stair-lift on full speed, or putting slug-pellets in the bird-feeder?

F. ...

J. Exactly. So I've put my up-and-coming law career to good use and devised contracts whereby people who are "pensioner-rich" i.e. you, and sell off the burden to those of us who are less interested in immediate financial gain and are starting to consider our long-term financial stability.

F. ... I think I see.

J has only explained the plan vaguely and in fairly self-contradictory terms. Yet it is his strong relationship with F, and continuing "honesty" that are starting to win him over.

J. Of course you do. I knew you would. You see, you know me, I'm always the cautious, planning type. I've thought this through. And I know when you see a good idea. So I was thinking, who is the best man to trust with the first go at this?

F. Me, naturally. I can see where you going with this, yeah, tell me more. Solving the pension gap. We should tell B*****: he's in government and would think it's a great idea.

J has really got him going, and is letting F reach his own conclusions on the idea. And the vodka that J has been slipping in F's pints is helping too. Note how J built F in as an intergral part of the plan, the fact that he can be trusted, etc. But the whole conversation shows how J is clearly what we call the Instrumental member of the relationship, the leading partner (refer to chapers six and eight for more on the definitions).

J. Freeing up resources, taxes could be lowered, freeing pension funds from the volatility of the markets - you're the one always going on about that.

F. Yeah, definitely. Look, lets, give B***** a call to meet up next Thursday same place. He'll be so up for this.

J. So you're in? Wicked.

F. Yeah man, call me about it.

Now watch the killer blow.

J. In fact, my firm has already drawn up the papers. Sign there, and initial there.

F. What, oh OK.

J. And here's your tenner. Cheers.

They part friends, and J is now down a tenner, but up a Granny.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
16 October 2003. James writes: Jakesy's School of Urban Driving
24 September 2003. James writes: Chapter One
4 September 2003. James writes: The Silicon Soul
14 August 2003. James writes: A Room With 100 Seats
24 July 2003. James writes: English For Beginners
3 July 2003. James writes: Coldplay are crap. Discuss.
9 June 2003. James writes: It Takes All Sorts
22 May 2003. James writes: Lesson 2: Buying his Gran for a tenner
1 May 2003. James writes: Rosencrantz and Leytonstone
10 April 2003. James writes: Character Building
20 March 2003. James writes: So This Is It. What Are We Going To Do About It?
27 February 2003. James writes: Street Level Zero
6 February 2003. James writes: Reference: James Noteworthy
16 January 2003. James writes: Kissing George Clooney for just £99!
26 December 2002. James writes: Hongkong In Four Tableaux
5 December 2002. James writes: We Are Your Idea
14 November 2002. James writes: The Knight Of Spring Fervent
24 October 2002. James writes: Go On, Be Honest
7 October 2002. James writes: Cold Comfort
12 September 2002. James writes: Peas In A Pod
22 August 2002. James writes: Seed Investment
1 August 2002. James writes: We Are QPR
11 July 2002. James writes: The Road to Ossuna
20 June 2002. James writes: Pret A Teleporter
27 May 2002. James writes: A Play On Words
2 May 2002. James writes: Labour Saving Device
8 April 2002. James writes: Beggaring Belief
14 March 2002. James writes: Small Things
18 February 2002. James writes: Drop Dead Letters
24 January 2002. James writes: High-Rise Rhapsody
27 December 2001. James writes: My drift's too hip to resist.
6 December 2001. James writes: My Lord Has No Nose
12 November 2001. James writes: A Job For Life
18 October 2001. James writes: Which is the cleverest animal?
24 September 2001. James writes: Interview With An Automatum
30 August 2001. James writes: Each To Their Own
6 August 2001. James writes: An Escape, In Sonata Form
12 July 2001. James writes: Truckloads Of Goodies
18 June 2001. James writes: There's No Such Thing As A Coincidence
24 May 2001. James writes: It's All True - The Paper Says So
30 April 2001. James writes: A Letter From Prisyn
16 April 2001. James writes: I Quit
15 March 2001. James writes: An Essay In Procrastination
15 February 2001. James writes: Confessions Of An English Sand-Eater
22 January 2001. James writes: The Future And The Pasta
28 December 2000. James writes: Never drink with men in red
4 December 2000. James writes: The Underground
9 November 2000. James writes: Right answer. Wrong answer
16 October 2000. James writes: The March of Proudfoot: Part I
21 September 2000. James writes: You haven't got a chance
28 August 2000. James writes: Bad, man. Wicked
24 July 2000. James writes: I play games with street lamps

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