Microwave popcorn, and four seemingly easy foods you always f**k up

DESPITE being embarrassingly simple to prepare, there are certain foodstuffs you’ll always manage to screw up somehow. Like these:


In a moment of arrogant madness you decided to stray from the faithful boil-in-the-bag rice and get loose grains. Oh Icarus. Be prepared for your dinner to be an utter travesty. The rice will end up sticking to the pan, before turning into a sort of gruel that will be somehow both wet and crunchy.

Microwave popcorn

If you survive being blinded by the steam when you tear open the bag, you’ll be greeted by either a smouldering mass of charred popcorn or a mountain of unpopped kernels. Unless you sit with your ear pressed to the microwave listening to the pops like you’re cracking a safe, you’ll make a balls of this.


You enter the kitchen with the intention of making a reasonable amount of spaghetti for your bolognese this evening. You follow the instructions on the packet, exactly. Yet 15 minutes later you’re huddled over the sink straining enough pasta to feed a large Italian village. 


Despite owning a machine whose sole purpose is to make toast, your bread will regularly be obliterated. Just when you’ve got the settings right, your twat of a flatmate will come along with a doorstopper piece of rye bread and set the toaster to max, incinerating your bread when you next use it.


In a vain health kick you’ve ditched the Frosties for porridge. But since you aren’t an 18th century farmhand getting up at 6am to put oatmeal on the stove, you use a microwave. After a couple of minutes you’ll hear a loud bang and find the inside of your microwave coated in a sort of molten Scottish magma.

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What you were doing vs. what Downing Street was doing last Christmas: A timeline

LAST Christmas, while you stayed indoors, the Downing Street spads were having it large. Here’s what you did and they did laid out in a simple timeline: 

3pm, you

Meet your brother in a pub car park for a socially distanced present exchange. It’s cold, raining and you can’t even hug him. Joke about what a miserable Christmas it’s going to be.

3pm, Downing Street

Issue the latest Christmas-cancelling restrictions, which have been on your desk in Downing Street for a fortnight marked ‘From Chris Whitty – action immediately’ and light up a fat spliff.

6pm, you

Finish your evening meal and turn on the TV. Reflect that you should be out the pub with your mates but instead you’re stuck in watching Christmas repeats. 

6pm, Downing Street

Finish the nightly Daylesford organic food takeaway which you signed for as ‘The Taxpayer’. Meet Gove’s coke guy at the back door. Give him £12,000 from petty cash. 

8pm, you

Tuck the kids up. They’ve been out of school for weeks, haven’t seen any of their friends and there’s been no Christmas party. Comfort them by saying the rules are the same for everybody.

8pm, Downing Street

Snort a fat line of charlie from between the tits of the sexiest spad, the one from Williamson’s office. Answer the door to the rest of the girls in their party dresses. 

10pm, you

Zoom call your elderly parents to explain that no, you won’t be seeing them this Christmas even though Dad’s just had his operation. They’re shielding so you might not see them for months. Hide your tears.  

10pm, Downing Street

The MDMA kicks in as the game of naked Twister begins, and guess who’s coming down the stairs? It’s amazing how Johnson knows the second the clothes are off. ‘Santa’s coming, ladies!’ he shouts.

Midnight, you

Go to bed. Stare at the ceiling mourning your favourite time of year. Your wife says she understands but it’s for the public good. 


Memories from this point are fragmentary. Chasing nude through the Cabinet room, discovering Disraeli’s private wine cellar and chugging an 1870 Chateau Lafite Rothschild in one. Still you bloody need to de-stress from work. Really it’s for the public good.