10) People in their mid-thirties and older who say: “These days, I’d rather have one good glass of wine than a whole bottle.” This always makes me want to pull a bottle of Lidl vodka from my rucksack and say: “That’s a shame, Dave, because I came round to get absolutely s***faced.”
9) Their obsession with creating high-performing superkids. In the old days it was enough to pop out a kid, stuff them with food like sausages, fish fingers and chocolate spread (that was a popular meal, in fact), smoke all over them, roast them mercilessly in the sun on holiday and when the time was right pack them off to the comp. Today, you're expected to put them through a gruelling regime of language classes, Montessori classes, karate classes, pilates classes and yoga classes, and all while they're still in the womb. Whatever happened to just being a kid?
8) Using the word "partner". This is obviously in common use now but I still think it's a ridiculously coy word. The reason for that is that it reminds me of an Alas Smith and Jones head-to-head sketch from the 80s, in which Griff Rhys Jones admits to Mel Smith that he's been a bit of a flop in the bedroom of late.
MEL: Have you discussed this... with your partner?
GRIFF (thinks for a while, then, disgusted): What... Bob?!? He can hardly manage his half of the stall!
7) Being anti-Disney. My favourite thing is being among strangers when one of them mentions Disney World in a disparaging way. This is where I say oh yeah, I’ve been there. They look at me with eyebrows raised as if waiting for me to follow up with: “My parents dragged me when I was a kid, it was AWFUL.” Instead, I tell the truth: “Yes, I went in 1981, 1992 and 1994 AND IT WAS AWESOME EVERY TIME. I even went on my own in ’92 and got there as it opened so I could get on Pirates of the Caribbean and then run round and do it all again.” It's a great way to wind up a Guardian reader.
6) Being “spiritual, not religious”. This one was suggested by a friend. “What’s wrong with it?” I said. “Well, what the **** does it mean?” she said. “That I’m deeper than you and I think about stuff? It seems to mean they think there’s ‘something out there’.”
5) All the deferring away from anything to do with England or Englishness while implying other countries/cultures are inherently wiser. The worst case of this I have ever seen was on the day of a crucial England-Germany football match, when staff at my workplace had been let go early so as not to miss kick-off. As I left the office I bumped into an English colleague - a big Socialist Worker volunteer - who was tearing sweatily down the high street. "You don't happen to know," he panted, "where I can go to get a German flag?" I was happy to tell him where to go.
4) Bickering with other adults. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the Guardian letters page or the comments boxes of their online stories. When you're a kid, you bicker with other kids and your arguments descend into pettiness and abuse. Then you grow up. Guardian readers, grow TF up.
3) Food being sensual, especially chocolate. It’s not. It's just one of the things poncey types do to help them pretend they live in a Mediterranean country, along with sitting outside London cafes on scummy bits of chewing gum-speckled pavement in the cold. Blame Nigella, blame freakin' Joanne "Chocolat" Harris, blame the fridge scene in Nine And A Half Weeks, blame Like Water For Chocolate, blame the whole of the 90s. And if you're ever thinking of buying me some Green and Black's, TAKE IT BACK AND GET ME SOME EFFING FRUIT AND NUT.
2) Believing that because they are literate and read a lot of books they have a shot at writing a novel. They don't. You need natural storytelling talent. You can keep taking six months off to go and sit in a caravan to write a book for the rest of your life but if stories don't flow from you like glacial streams you are never going to get there. Accept it.
1) That they always “go travelling”, never "go on holiday”. Saying the word “holiday” to a Guardian reader is like flinging acid in their face. Even if they go on a narrowboat in the Norfolk Broads for a week and eat ice cream every day and wear knotted handkerchiefs on their heads they’ll come back and say they spent a week “travelling the east coast by a snaking route of traditional waterways”.Tweet