Uh oh, here comes the too-much-money brigade
You can spot them a mile off – and they’re moving in near you
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