Be like me: a practical how-to guide

At the time of writing, we've just broken into the second month of 2002. My window reveals a warm picture of Edinburgh; the sun is reflecting off the ordinarily grey buildings, painting them a delicious golden yellow. I recline in my leather office chair, warm and snuggly in my fleece, and ponder whether to make myself a café mocha or a green tea. It wasn't always thus: once upon a time, I ate undercooked doner kebabs and washed them down with axle-grease instant coffee like the rest of you. My role model was Ali G, and I wouldn't be seen dead without at least one item of clothing from Kappa's tasteful range; gangsta rap was my religion. But time, harsh mistress that she is, has moved me on to a better place. Dear, gentle reader, there are no two ways about it. I'm yuppie scum, and I'm going to teach you how to be just like me. The first step on the road to yuppie scumhood is the acquisition of a mobile phone, or cellphone. These, as you may already know, come in several distinct flavours; nonetheless, there is only one choice. Yuppies are fiercely brand loyal, and you must learn to be too. The phone must be Nokia, and the smaller the better. The reasons for purchasing a Nokia phone are twofold. The first is, everyone can see you holding one; they have a very distinctive design. The second is, Nokia phones can use ringtones downloaded from the Internet, allowing you to choose from a world of attention-grabbing tunes. This performs an important social function - the louder and more arresting the tune, the higher up the society hierarchy you are. Hail to the Chief at the loudest volume setting is perfect. The next step is a wardrobe change. Shell suits and Porn Star T-shirts may be lovely, but I'm afraid yuppies are only permitted to shop at Gap and J Crew. This is important. When you become King or Queen of Yuppiescumdom, perhaps you will be allowed to branch out into Benetton, but for now, everybody must wear khaki. Doing so will gain you the respect and admiration from your peers that you require; after all, you will look just like them, and they will look just like you. (Jeans can be purchased from anywhere famous. However, Levi's are too common; try Diesel or Calvin Klein. Ensure there is a giant logo on one of the buttocks. In a perfect world it should be red.) If you wear glasses, you must endeavour to shrink them. In the absence of voodoo potions and elderly witchdoctors, you should just buy small frames, although preferably, you should wear no frames at all; contact lenses are always a fine option. (If you're allergic, you can always hire a US Marine to help you get over the pain, like Jim Carrey.) If you must buy glasses, obtain the ones whose only semblance of a frame is between the lenses and to connect them to your ears. Being able to bend them is a marvellous bonus. Wear gel. Shave either five times a day, or once every three days. Once your outer image has been perfectly honed, we must delve deeper, and take a long hard look at the inner you. Technically, if you're going to be yuppie scum, there should be as little inner you as possible; however, we shall overlook this and move straight onto your lifestyle. Eliminate all instant coffee and non-organic tea. Such things are banned, and are downright impudent in the mind of yuppie scum. If you are going to drink tea, it should be produced straight from the hand of an elderly South American lady who prepares it leaf by leaf. Coffee matters less, but you must buy whole beans and they should have an Italian-sounding name. Keep a supply of green tea available, but don't drink it until after your first heart attack. At around the same time, start decorating your house with buddhist paintings, and watch the superbowl in the lotus position. Your kitchen must contain an espresso machine, with a powerful milk frother. Even if you don't like espresso, you will like frothing the milk. It is also mandatory to own a grinder, to ensure the freshness of the roast, and a Bose Wave Radio to listen to while you're frothing. If you can cook, forget; eat out five times a week, and eat microwave meals the other two. However, despite your lack of culinary experience, you should pretend to know a lot about wines, and whenever you order a bottle in a restaurant order the one with the Frenchest sounding name. If you know no French, home in on the word "Chateau". There are other little intricacies to becoming yuppie scum - all your floors should be polished hardwood, for example, and your furniture should look like it comes from Ikea but be four times as expensive - but these are learned with Time. A subscription to the Village Voice helps a great deal also, especially if you have never been to New York. I hope this guide will help get you started in the world of the yuppie scum. Doubtless, you will soon be running around in a Gucci suit "yah"-ing with the best of us. Have fun. Stay safe. Darling.

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