2000 Mythsteries and Other Pithy Shorts #18
Once upon a long ago, humanity stayed at little numbers because of sabre tooth tigers. Also the lions in the arenas wiped out quite a few as did ungodly and floral wars.
Powerbodies ran amok often enough to keep general groups of people to mini-numbers while keeping their own purses at the full and ready. In time, when the mini-wars were sharply curtailed, the peons made some headway as far as quantity was concerned.
It came to pass that some kings couldn't spend all their lootings and plunders in one short life so they encouraged witch doctors to invent longevity. The witching cauldrons picked up a heated glow while cooking concoctions of anti-passing potions and many people did begin living, living and living. While many good ones passed too soon, lots of bad ones and scores of other mediocres lived far into their century marks.
Well. All this continued for some great time.
Then the messengers began signaling smokes that sympathised the mid-agers who were being saddled with their offspring as well as with their forefolks. Anyway, the sandwich generation was what the messengers named the middles and this caused their parents to feel guilty for living so long even though the cauldron stirrers left not much outage. But the youngers used so much coinage that it took both generations to provide all their wantfuls.
In the meantime, the kettles did keep on cookin'. Then there became big places full of people shells, their real parts having gone on, and there were cells for the young who couldn't figure out what to do because everything was already done for them by the sandwich middles and the sandwich tops.
The youngers became known as the heels. The middles became depressed because it was a waste of good money to keep the shells going, and they were tired of working to make a living. They wanted mostly to track some dreams and become playful with their inner kids again but they were living so long they must keep working even as they frailed. And the heels became meaner and meaner and more threatening.
This went on for some time, until the chimer reversed and the sandwiches began to see that their olders and their youngers were really their bloods and began to join up to make family groups instead of letting the me-me's talk them into dispersal and poorboying.
And that's how the world became homely once again.
Note: By request, I produced Poorboys, the Sandwich Generation as an audio for presentation on BBC in 2000