The Snook should have been a model of respectability, but it had a reputation as a hotbed of snobbery and prejudice. Pleasant tree-lined streets shielded large houses from the roads, although there was some smaller housing for the less well off. It had been popular with the rich and even famous over the years, which enhanced its standing as the place to be. An obsession with status grew in the Snook and a natural order emerged. Separation was the order of the day, so everyone knew their place.
Posheys were the elite in terms money and lifestyle. They wore expensive clothes, drove impressive cars and dined in the best restaurants. Their noses poked high in the air as if their necks had a hereditary kink. In the world of high-society, Posheys looked down on anyone who went to the wrong school, spoke with a common accent or wore cheap clothing. And they detested anyone who could not afford the fine eateries. New money or old, status was the key to social inclusion.
The social mid-rankers were Gossips, who huddled together to exaggerate, manipulate and make up stories. They whispered and nattered behind other people’s backs. Rumours, tittle-tattle or any hint of a scandal were their bread and butter. Putting people down and sniggering at situations made their day. Gossips traded lies to downplay achievements or make misfortunes worse for their victims. Fakery was a weapon used to blacken names, especially when directed at downmarket types.
Outsiders made up the interloping underclass. Stigmatised and usually disadvantaged, they often lived on the breadline. Most scratched a living but sometimes an Outsider did well for themselves. This was an appalling notion for Posheys and a source of chin-wagging for Gossips. But the fact was Outsiders did not fit into the Snook. They were different and made to feel sub-standard. Perception was everything and these people were misfits. Social exclusion was their lot and the least they could expect were disapproving glances. In the face of sneers and abuse, they tried to make the best of life.
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