Your parents' guide to being a pain in the arse while eating out

IS a meal out with your elderly parents now just a few weeks away? Here’s how they’ll take all the fun out of it:

Getting dressed up

You’ve told them it’s just a carvery on a retail estate, but nonetheless your dad willl don full suit and tie, mum will be in her best earrings and they’ll both be horrified that you’re wearing trainers. It’s a pub, not the Raffles Hotel in Singapore in 1935.

Constant inane questions

Once seated expect a barrage of pointless queries including: where the toilets are, what the toilets might be like, whether the manager is the owner, if this is the same place Don and Denise went to for their wedding anniversary in 2014, and a fretful conversation about how much the tip will be.

Expressing prejudice against food

As they peruse the menu, strange opinions will be expressed. Any duck dish will be rejected because it’s ‘just fat’. Cauliflower gives you wind, apparently. Heaven help you if you’ve gone for a Chinese dish because that will never fill you up.

Alcohol tension

Depending on your parents, they’ll either get surprisingly pissed on one drink, or not drink at all, making you feel as if you should get alcohol counselling for ordering a second glass of Merlot.

Menu choices that defeat the point of eating out

With a range of fancy gastropub things like lamb shanks or guineafowl, your parents will decide they want a plain omelette with chips. Don’t bother arguing – they’re still suspicious about getting a free basket of bread rolls.

Awkward interactions with staff

Your dad will consider himself a top comedian if an obliging waiter smiles at zingers like ‘Beats cooking for myself!’ Expect callbacks to this early hit throughout the evening.

Total ingratitude

You booked it. You drove them there. You put up with their bullshit, paid for it, and left a generous tip. On the way home your mother will take a call from your sister and describe the whole experience as ‘nothing to write home about’.

The gameshows that are incredibly challenging if you're thick as shit

DAYTIME gameshows can be tricky if you can’t tell the difference between a county and a continent. Tune in to these to be baffled: 

Family Fortunes

Who could possibly guess that, when asked for a four-legged animal, 74 out of 100 people would say ‘dog’? Other than 74 out of a 100 people? Difficult to get your brain around, which is why mastermind Gino D’Acampo is at the helm to break down those complex ideas for people other than PhD students.

This Is My House

This game of expert deduction challenges viewers to guess which of four contestants is the homeowner and which is an actor at a career low point. How could anyone possibly figure this one, when confronted with three people giving overly complex backstories and one awkwardly glancing at the camera?

The Wall

Highbrow triumvirate Danny Dyer, the disembodied voice of Angela Rippon and a large wall lead this one. Did Beyonce get married before Kim Kardashian? Is France further north than Zimbabwe? Only sheer brainpower, and the random probability of balls falling down a wall while being shouted at by a Cockney, hold the answer.

The Wheel

Not to be confused with The Wall, though also named after something that was amazing in the Stone Age, The Wheel tests the knowledge of celebrities and members of the public. Spinning Mel B in a circle for thirty seconds before asking her trivia about her own career is an intellectual challenge which even Wittgenstein would struggle with.

The Masked Singer

The only thing that gets those neurons firing faster than a singing contest is a singing contest with novelty costumes. Sharpen your investigative skills by shouting the names of celebrities into a Twitter abyss. Or, if overwhelmed, sit back and watch the expert Rita Ora at work.

University Challenge

This one’s basically a pub quiz. Easy.