Uh oh, here comes the too-much-money bri­gade

You can spot them a mile off – and they’re mov­ing in near you

The Daily Telegraph - - Living & Features - S HANE WAT­SON

C‘They don’t like to waste a smile on some­one they might not need some­thing from’

an we please talk about the rapidly ex­pand­ing class of TMMs – peo­ple with Too Much Money?

I’m not talk­ing about the Su­per-Rich. You never see them. They’re in their un­der­ground roller­skat­ing parks. I’m not even talk­ing about The Merely Rich, who are busy spend­ing money in places we never go to. I’m talk­ing about the TMMs, who I am get­ting to know well be­cause they’ve started leak­ing from their grand post­code into our pre­vi­ously or­di­nary post­code, and you can spot them a mile off.

For a start, they don’t like to waste a smile on a per­son they might not need some­thing from. They’d rather not look at you, if it’s all the same, and they don’t like you smil­ing at their chil­dren, un­less, of course, you are an­other TMM. If you are wear­ing a ropey old parka and car­ry­ing Asda bags, do not even think about glanc­ing in their di­rec­tion. The pol­icy is the chil­dren must not be ex­posed to plebs or any­thing touched by plebs. I have seen a TMM wet-wip­ing the wheels of their pram, all four, be­fore let­ting it back into the house.

There is a whole grandiose delu­sions thing go­ing on with TMMs. So, the front doors (of their mod­est semi-de­tached houses) are got up like the en­trance of a May­fair club. They have box topiary and bay trees flank­ing the door­way, and down­stairs, in the base­ment, a Filipino cou­ple liv­ing in what we like to call the larder. (That’s our ver­sion of delu­sional: it is re­ally a cup­board for tins, shoe pol­ish and light bulbs.)

TMMs pay some­one in a branded polo shirt to drive their dogs in a van to a wood for an away­day sev­eral times a week. All they re­ally know about the dog is that it is al­lergy-proofed.

And they have very spe­cific cof­fee or­ders: ex­tra hot, dry, two shots but trick­led into the cup, not poured in di­rectly. (I made that bit up, but the or­der­ing process – if you’ve ever wit­nessed it – is in­tense.) In gen­eral, TMMs make a habit of or­der­ing off­menu. It’s partly a show of su­pe­ri­or­ity, partly straight­for­ward food con­trol­ling, and it makes you feel slightly anx­ious should you wit­ness it.

And, it goes with­out say­ing, that they are very bad at shar­ing the street. By which I mean they have a car that looks like it could with­stand a rocket at­tack and com­fort­ably sleep a fam­ily of seven, added to which they like to leave a lot of clear air space at ei­ther end of the car, when parked. This is to al­low room to… I’m not 100 per cent sure what, ex­actly. Un­pack the Louis Vuit­ton lug­gage in ser­ried rows? Spread out the Waitrose shop? It’s ob­vi­ously some­thing re­ally im­por­tant be­cause should you be im­per­ti­nent enough to roll down the win­dow of your Prius and ask the driver if he could nudge for­ward a bit so that you too might park in your street, he will look at you as if you have said “Oi, mate! How much for the tran­si­tion­ing blonde?” And then Mrs TMM (un­pack­ing boxes of or­ganic veg and seven kinds of mud­less wellies) gives you the Do You Know Who We ARE look? Well, yes, is the short an­swer. You are Mrs TMM and I would say I’m re­ally glad I don’t have you as a neigh­bour, but sadly I do. Cup of sugar?

A word about the chil­dren of TMMs. They are adorable thus far (thanks to one half of the pre-liv­ing-wage cou­ple in res­i­dence in the larder). But there will come a time when they see just enough of Mummy and Daddy or Ma and Fa or Ma­man and Pops to con­vert them into tiny TMMs, and then we re­ally are go­ing to be over­run in the neigh­bour­hood.

Too much money, not enough class

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