“TV Go Home” mastermind Charlie Brooker surveys 2009’s bleak economic state (“The worst recession in 60 years. Broken windows and artless graffiti. Howling winds blowing empty cans past boarded-up shopfronts. Feral children eating sloppy handfuls of decomposed-pigeon-and-baked-bean mulch scraped from the bottom of dustbins in a desperate bid to survive. The pound worth less than the acorn”) and suggests the best means of frugal entertainment is popping round the neighbors’ house and inviting yourself to share a bubble bath with them (“assuming you have attractive neighbours”). From Monday’s Guardian :

Actually that whole bath scenario might represent the way forward. It sounds quite romantic, and authentic romance has been in short supply of late. Authentic romance makes life more enjoyable, but more importantly it costs nothing. Buying flowers and baubles and Parisian city breaks – that’s not authentic romance. That’s lazy showboating. Authentic romance could flourish in a skip. Prove this to yourself. Invite someone on a date and spend the evening sitting in a skip making each other laugh with limericks or something. Get through that and you’ve bonded for life. Or maybe a week. It’s hard to tell when you embark on a new relationship. Still, if you split up: time for more romance with someone else. Everybody wins.Mark my words, you’d be wise to practice your romancing skills now, because when, circa October, we’re huddled together in shelters sharing body heat to survive, the ability to whisper sweet nothings could prove useful. Come the dawn, you’ll need to pair up with someone to go hunting for supplies with, and it’ll help if you’ve been cuddling all night. The world outside will be dangerous, so there’ll have to be two of you. One to root through the abandoned Woolworth’s stockrooms and another to stand outside warding off fellow scavengers with a flaming rag on a stick.

Obviously if two is better than one, it follows that three is better than two, especially in the thick of a food riot. Rather than forming boring old duos as per tradition, polygamous unions involving up to 30 or 40 participants will emerge victorious, roving the landscape in packs by day, writhing around in obscene configurations in their papier-mache huts by night – strictly for the purposes of generating heat, of course. We can all do our bit. I, for one, am fully prepared to take on 50 wives if it’ll help make the world more manageable, provided I don’t have to talk to them and I get to wear a crown and issue decrees and everything.