Saturday, May 20, 2006

Is Kel Knight (from “Kath and Kim”) a cashed-up small businessman?

Xer-hating David Chalke thinks so:

Kel . . . spends a fortune on matching his-and-hers leather jackets; they have the spa and big telly.”

Now, even accepting that Chalke may be somewhat taking the piss, as well as the dictum that one should not excessively rely on fictional TV characters to make, or deny, demographic pronouncements, the above is still a palpable crock.

Matching his-and-hers leather jackets in the style Kel and Kath favour are available in any op shop in Australia for $10 each, tops (I’m sure you could also haggle them down from this, because they have undoubtedly been hanging on the rack for at least a decade). Even new leather jackets these days (thanks to the "miracle" of globalisation (which translated, usually means third-world slave-labour)) are about one-quarter their real cost in the 1980s; i.e. about two-hundred 2006 dollars, compared to five-hundred 1985 dollars. (I know this coz I bought one overseas then: “That’ll save!”, as Kath says.)

A spa? Big deal – it costs $10k or so to put one in. Like dishwashers, whether one has one or not is quite unrelated to income; it mainly depends on whether one owns or rents. (I’ve lived in rental properties for almost 20 years, only one year of which has seen me dishwasher-blessed (spas = none).)

Big TV? Doesn’t Chalke remember the ep when they got the huge new plasma (in 2002, ~ $10k, now ~$3k), but Kath got addicted to watching it, so it went back? A smart move in retrospect, because if the 50-ish Kel really is on $100k+ a year (which I doubt, judging by the car he drives), then the recent budget is a dream incentive for his plowing all he can into voluntary super for the next six years. After which time, not only will huge plasmas be cheaper still, but Kel will have a tax-free (at least after 60) lump sum of $1m+ to spend on new man-bags and all manner of other baubles.

(Gender-awareness note: I do not discuss Kath’s personal nor joint financial situation here because (i) it is (unless I missed something in the series) opaque at best (ii) Chalke reduces her role to housewife-sidekick anyway, and who am I, as an "instant gratification" Xer, to argue with that?)

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