Grown-up kids staying still living at home, or coming back to live at home, is a big discussion point these days, such as in this article in today’s Telegraph (I can’t see the whole of it, but I don’t think I’m missing much).
But I have uncovered archeological evidence that suggests that maybe it was more widespread in the olden days than we thought — the lyrics of ‘Living Next Door to Alice’:
Oh, I don’t know why she’s leaving
Or where she’s gonna go
I guess she’s got her reasons
But I just don’t want to know
‘Cos for twenty-four years
I’ve been living next door to Alice
Twenty-four years just waiting for a chance
To tell her how I feel, and maybe get a second glance
Now I’ve got to get used to not living next door to Alice…
Here you have two people who have lived next door to each other for 24 years. So they have to be at least 24. And living with their parents. In their twenties.
But perhaps, you might say, the people in question are older people, who’ve been living next door to each other since they were adults? From 30-54, perhaps? But no:
We grew up together
Two kids in the park
We carved our initials
Deep in the bark
Me and Alice
So that possibility doesn’t pan out. They grew up together, and must now still live with their parents.
But, you say, there’s just two of them. Doesn’t mean every other twenty-something else was like that back in the prehistoric 70s. They’re just a couple of outliers.
And Sally called back and asked how I felt
And she said: “I know how to help
Get over Alice”
She said: “Now Alice is gone
But I’m still here
You know I’ve been waiting
For twenty-four years…”
So there’s three of them! Three from one social circle. Two may be a coincidence, but three is approaching normality. Case closed: this is how people lived in the 70s. Most people didn’t even go to Uni, and Smokie were hardly Uni types, so this is not a case of coming back briefly after Uni. They never left. Just stayed in the basement wearing flares, smoking dope all day, writing their songs and eating their poor parents poor.
And this shows something important. if you want your kids to leave home, make their life boring. Don’t let them smoke dope. Don’t let them write songs. Don’t let them wear flares. Then they will leave of their own volition to meet a man in the motor trade:
She (What did we do that was wrong)
Is having (We didn’t know it was wrong)
Fun (Fun is the one thing that money can’t buy)
Something inside that was always denied
For so many years (Bye bye)