The Truth about Goats
August marks that time of year when British holidaymakers begin their annual cull by leaping drunkenly from balconies, ignoring ski helmets or by combining scuba diving with outboard motors. Naturally those unable to afford such expensive jaunts respond with the same levels of commiseration normally reserved for small children banging their heads on tables after being told ‘not to run’.
So apathetic are our levels of sympathy for the newly deceased that one sociologist commentated: ‘Being eaten by wild animals is natural selection for the rich; as a person of average income would never see a polar bear outside of a zoo. For those on a tight budget, they are now equating death on safari with voting for Nick Clegg – something you just brought on yourself’.
While the public have a great deal of compassion for indigenous peoples hit by natural disasters, they are far less concerned by gap year students caught in the middle, while trying to exploit cheap exchange rates. One father of six, forced to share a single tent with his family on the Isle of Wight, said: ‘If they are too rich to read safety instructions or weather reports, they deserve everything they have coming to them’.
Holiday deaths have now moved above ‘sitting on wet paint’, ‘the war on drugs’ or ‘trusting Google with your pin number’ as errors that elicit no sympathy. The wider concern is that ‘schadenfreude’ is no longer an encompassing term for this feeling. Therefore the ordinary public will now use the more apt ‘sterben-reich-bastard’ the next time they hear of someone falling off an Aspen ski lift, choking on caviar in Monaco or drowning on a manmade island in Dubai.