I: Imagine us, sitting in the fanciest pub in England, drinking our Chateau de Chauclea wine.
II: Right you are, 30 years ago we would have been lucky to have had a cup of tea.
I: Cold tea.
II: Yes, without sugar or milk.
I: Or tea.
II: In a cracked and filthy cup.
I: We used to be so poor that we would drink tea out of a rolled-up newspaper.
II: You were lucky to have a newspaper, we used to have to suck our tea out of a damp cloth.
I: We were poor but we were happy.
II: We were happy because we were poor.
I: Right you are, my daddy said that dollars would never buy happiness.
II: That’s because he never had any money, the bloody beggar.
I: When I was young we used to live in a house with big holes in the roof.
II: You had a house? You were lucky! We used to live in a bottle cap, 23 of us in the middle of the ocean.
I: Well, I say it was a house, actually it was a room — all 36 of us, and we had only half a floor. We had a big hole in the middle of the floor and we used to huddle next to the wall for fear we would fall in.
II: You were lucky! We used to live in a hallway.
I: Well, you were lucky! We used to live in an abandoned septic tank in the middle of the garbage dump.
II: You lived in a septic tank? You were lucky! We lived in a paper sack in the bottom of a toxic waste dump. Every morning we would awaken to nuclear waste being dumped on us until we glowed.
I: Actually, the house I was telling you about was no more than a hole in the ground, covered with twigs.
II: Well, you were lucky! We were evicted from our hole. We had to live in the bottom of the lake.
I: You were lucky to live in the bottom of a lake. There was 150 of us living in a shoe box in the middle of a road. We dreamed of living in a lake.
II: You were lucky to live in a shoe box. We lived in a brown paper bag. All 300 of us! Got up at 6 AM, ate a crust of stale bread, and worked in the mills for 12 hours. When we got home Dad would beat us and put us to bed with no dinner.
I: Well you were lucky! We used to get up at 3 a.m., strain the lake clean with our teeth, eat a cup of hot grave, work 15 hours at the mill and when we got home our Dad would beat us about the head and shoulders with a broken beer bottle and use us for kitty litter.
II: We dreamed of that! We used to live in a rusty tin can in the middle of the road. One hour after sunset we would clean the road with our tongues, eat a handful of cold gravel and work 20 hours at the mill with no pay! When we got home our Dad would cut us up with a dull gensu knife and use us for cheese fondue.
I: Well, you were lucky! That was luxury. We used to get up in the morning at 10 at night — which was half an hour before we went to bed - eat a hunk of dry poison — work 29 hours a day at the mill and when we got home or parents would kill us and dance around our grave singing "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah".
II: But you tell that to the kids today and they simply don’t believe you.
3 months ago