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The middle-class parents' guide to ruining bonfire night

BONFIRE night should be tacky, loud and fun. Here’s how to ruin it for your kids with your tedious middle-class ways:

Spend weeks collecting wood

Most people hack up an old dressing table and cover it with two month’s worth of Amazon boxes to create their bonfire night blaze. A middle-class family will spend weeks beforehand going on dull trips to local forests to collect ‘found’ wood and end up with a small pile of twigs that burns out within ten minutes.

Cook your own authentic treats

Why nip down the Spar shop for a cheap bag of treacle toffee when you can spend hours fannying about with jars of ruinously expensive organic molasses and stressfully fail at making a batch of your own? Also insist on serving your ‘signature’ homemade falafel burgers, which your kids’ friends will use the cover of darkness to chuck in a hedge.

Make a politically correct guy

Rather than stuffing straw into some old tights and dressing it up willy-nilly, think carefully about who your guy should represent. Perhaps an Amazonian rainforest logging company boss? Eventually decide that burning any effigy is far too violent and put a humble-bragging post on Facebook about giving the clothes to a homeless charity instead.

Insist on having an educational element

Rather than just letting your kids eat sugar and go mental for the evening, insist they sit down quietly while you tell them in incredibly dry detail about the origins of the plot to replace Protestant King James I with a Catholic head of state. Every moment is a potential learning experience, even if it makes your children hate you.

Be a miserable killjoy about health and safety

The vague frisson of danger is part of what makes bonfire night fun. Totally ruin this by insisting that the children stand five metres from the fire, sparklers are heavily supervised by adults and the nearest anyone gets to a firework is watching the council display in the local park from the safety of a bedroom window.

Abba Gold still best Abba album

HAVING listened to their new album, fans have confirmed that greatest hits album Abba Gold is still the highlight of the band’s discography.

After impatiently sitting through the ten tracks on Voyage without feeling the urge to hit the dance floor, fans have chucked on Abba Gold because it is the pinnacle of the group’s back catalogue.

Abba obsessive Susan Traherne said: “From ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Take A Chance On Me’ to ‘Waterloo’ and ‘Super Trooper’, Abba Gold is all killer. Whereas I can’t remember a single track from the new album and I literally just heard them all.

“They had 40 years to produce a string of bangers, but I can’t see any of these duds making it onto the Mamma Mia 3 soundtrack. Voyage isn’t going to shift over 5.7 million copies like Abba Gold did, even if it’s got a sappy Christmas song on it to boost sales in December.”

Fellow fan Bill McKay said: “At first I thought my opinions of Abba Gold were probably clouded by nostalgia. Then I quickly remembered it slaps just as hard as ever and that all music after 1982 is shit, whether it’s made by Abba or not.”