It strikes me…

The Beano

…that things have changed, a lot, and only now do I realise just how bad things have become.

Today I bought a copy of The Beano. Not for me, obviously, but to amuse a small person on a car journey.

I used to get The Beano every week, along with The Dandy and some other comic, Whizzer & Chips I think it was.  How the other commuters MOCKED me on the 7.18am from Tunbridge Wells to London Bridge.

I joke. I’m here all week, try the veal.

I was of course a wee pup, a striplet, a sapling, a small boy of 7 years old, and many an evening I’d retire to my bedroom, away from my alcoholic mother, to read my comics with glee, bought with my own pocket money earned by cleaning and washing so mum could stay in bed until two in the afternoon.

I was also a member of the Dennis and Gnasher Fan Club.

Today I’m just a member, and today The Beano costs £2.00.

Two. Actual. Pounds.

I asked the cashier for the defibrillator behind the counter as I paid, BY CARD, for this comic because I didn’t have enough cash on me.

Sad innit?

If I was a 7-year-old me, now, a) I’d need a time machine and a lot of excellent excuses, and b) I’d need pocket-money of about £10 a week to buy the things I used to love when I was a little Spencer. Inflation has pushed comics up to £2 or more a pop, so God knows how much other things would cost nowadays. Back in the day I could buy three comics, a quarter of cola cubes and a Jap Fancy and still have change from a pound note.

A pound NOTE! Blimey, that takes me back.

Some of you are so young you’ve probably never seen a pound note and thus have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s basically a pound coin, made from paper. A bit like a five pound note, but five times less in value. We ditched them as they were easy to forge and cost a lot to reproduce.

Unlike the £1 coin which costs a lot to produce and is easy to forge, but I digress.

While I’m explaining shizzle, I thought I’d just say a Jap Fancy is a cake, or at least it was a cake. It’s not a service provided by a lady who charges by the hour, but anyhow I digress. Again.


Two. UTTER. Quid.

It strikes me that this happened, stuff happened, and no-one was looking or watching or paying attention to actually do anything about it.

Progress, progressed, and I guess we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.

The same realisation struck me the other day in Asda, while scanning my own shopping. I was going to say ‘Back in the good old days’ but back then we had the threat of nuclear war, the prospect of acid rain and Stock, Aitken and Waterman, so I’ll eschew that phrase, ‘the good old days’.Years ago, you used to be able to put your shopping on the conveyor belt and someone would chat to you while they scanned it, and someone else would even help you pack your bags, cheerfully. They EVEN PRINTED THE CHEQUE OUT FOR YOU. All you had to do was sign it.

I was treated like a King.

Now I’m paying a lot of a lot more to pack and scan my own shit.

Progress eh? I may as well go and work in Asda as I’m doing all the donkey work now.

I daren’t ask if The Beano is still any good. If I found out it isn’t, having paid £2 for it, then I might have that heart attack that’s waiting for me.

Thanks for reading.


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