Hey, grandma—what's up?
Oh yeah, thanks, I really would like a cup of tea that takes you 20 minutes of tinkering about in the kitchen to make because you insist on using a teapot every time—even though teapot tea tastes exactly the same if not worse than mug tea because you are using teabags not loose leaf; how are you a thousand years old and you don't even know this yet—but yes, thank you, grandma, I will have a small porcelain plate with three pink wafer biscuits on it, thank you.
Hey, so, grandma, just a quick one: what the fuck.
What the fuck, grandma.
Lean your wrinkly little face close to me and tell me what the fuck.
Yo, grandma, check it. Check this graph. Put on your reading glasses. Put on your additional reading glasses. Put on your third, industrial-strength pair of reading glasses. See this breakdown of Brexit voting by age:
See you in there? You are that pink, blobby, soon-to-die bit by the bottom. Do you know how long it is going to take us to negotiate leaving the EU? The conservative estimate is two years—the exact same timeframe your doctor gave you the last time you had a check up. Tell me, grandma: why did you vote for a change you will never get a chance to see? Are you messing with me, grandma? Is this payback for a crime I do not remember committing? Is this because I shit on you that time? Grandma, I was eight months old. I shit a lot back then. I don't know why you think that, because you wiped my ass a few times when I was younger, I have to respect your bad opinions now.
A quick note about your doctor: your doctor is one of about ten percent of doctors who come from the EU. This is for a variety of reasons—we won't get into why you can't have a Nice British Doctor with Nice British Hands because of the whole Conservative government forcing the hand of the junior doctors upon which the service relies—but a lot of it is to do with the fact that to have an effective NHS, i.e. a health service with a diverse array of specialists and experts in different fields, you have to recruit from other countries. But now that's all gone fuck-a-doodle because the Brexit means it's going to be harder for the NHS to recruit doctors from Europe and harder for our doctors to go and work there, too. Let's not get onto the impending care crisis and how the six percent EU employment rate in an already stretched-to-breaking-point sector is going to be even more perilous once Brexit comes through. Yes, I know you don't trust Oana when she comes over twice a week because you "think she's going to steal your decorative plates," but she knows her way around a catheter tube.
Grandma, did you see that nice man Nigel who you like on the TV this morning? You like Nigel, don't you? He wears a tie. You know that bus he did that said the £350 million [$477 million] we supposedly pay to the EU a week will now be funneled directly into the NHS? Did you see him literally come out and say that was a lie, this morning? Hold on, I'll pull the video up on my phone. I know you don't understand phones. I know you don't understand "this Facebook." I know you don't understand things. Just watch the video where he admits literally hours after winning that the central tenet of his campaign was a lie.
You know how you say you can't get a doctor's appointment these days "because of immigrants?" You know how that is a lie, yeah? You know it's actually because public services are pushed to breaking point by a fundamental lack of funding and support, all backed by a government you just handed more power to? Also, you know how you wake up at 5 AM every day just so you can be the first person to call the doctor and ask for appointments? How you go to the doctor, like, ten, 15 times a week? You go to the doctor an obscene amount. And it doesn't even matter how often you go to the doctor, grandma. Unless he turns your body into a robot and your mind into a computer and powers you via solar, you are not going to be around to see these changes come into play.
Do you remember how you went to college for free? That was good, wasn't it? Do you remember when you bought your house in shillings, or whatever the fuck money was called back then? That was good, wasn't it? You got a pretty good pension, all in, didn't you, and retired on the dot at age 60, didn't you? That was good. No, you're right, though—it's millennials who are entitled.
I'm sorry, grandma, I'm just exceptionally mad and sad about the future. It's just: it's weird how you can barely make it to the grocery store across the road from here without six frantic phone calls to mom and a fucking £4 taxi and then another, additional, post-grocery store phone call to mom telling her how bad the grocery store was, but that you sure as shit found the chutzpah to shuffle down to the polling station yesterday to make sure you voted out of the EU, based on a vague prang of fear about losing our identity as a country.
Hey, grandma: weird that you are allowed to vote on a future you will never, ever see, but 16-year-olds aren't legally allowed to vote on the hell you are making them live through, and 18-to-24s are not actively targeted in voting campaigns, isn't it? It's almost like the only excuse you've had to leave the house in the last year-and-a-half is to go and carefully—with a pen you bought from home, because you're mad now—decide to fuck up the future for me and everyone I know.
Didn't know you hated disabled people, people of color, and women, grandma, but seeing as they are getting the sharp end of this Brexit fallout—and there is fallout, remember; the only things that are definitely happening as a result of Brexit are all bad and backed up by experts, and all the possible future good things are Nigel Farage and his ilk saying "maybe it'll be good now we don't have a European safety net? idk" and "immigration, which won't immediately go down in any discernible way, is still bad"—and that is thanks to you, grandma. This is all thanks to you.
I am leaving, now, grandma, but I just wanted to say this is war now. We are at war. Oh, you'd like to sit down on the bus? Well, I'd like to not live through another recession, so I guess it's tough shit for both of us. What—you wanted to go to the garden center with us on Sunday? Well, I quite wanted to go to Croatia this summer, but that's immediately costing me about 25 percent more thanks to your shonky voting. Oh, you'd like me to come visit you now and again? Dunno, grandma, a lot of my friends are now quite worried about their status in this country and whether they have to get visas now and I think I'd rather hang out with them. Nah, but at least you've got your national pride back, right? Sit here, grandma, with your doilies and your scones and your Keep Calm and Carry On tea towel, and your well dressing, and your framed photograph of the Queen, and your little Union Flag. You did it. You voted for this. Thanks a fucking bunch, grandma.
Follow Joel Golby on Twitter.
To see all our articles about the EU Referendum, check out Europe: The Final Countdown.