Inadequately-sunscreened middle-class child bursts instantly into flames

A MIDDLE-CLASS boy who was not wearing enough sunscreen of a high-enough factor spontaneously combusted yesterday. 

Property lawyers Julian and Francesca Cook neglected to slather their son Reuben in enough UV protection and saw him reduced to ash after only making it a few steps into their one-and-a-quarter acre garden with orchard.

Julian said: “We were in the orangery putting his sunscreen on when he thought he saw a nuthatch. Well that’s on the checklist for his house at school’s birdwatching trophy.

“Thrilled, he ran outside before I’d finished applying his third coat of factor 60. He’s not like common boys who play out on bikes you see, he’s sensitive and learning Russian.

“We’ve been protecting him from the sun’s deadly beams his whole life. His porcelain skin wasn’t exposed to an overcast sky until he was 18 months. And now this.

“But the Archers omnibus was on, Francesca was preparing carrot batons for our midday hummus, and we let the reins slip. Now he’ll never go to Cambridge.”

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Six things you don't want your kids to bring home on the last day of school

THE end of the school year is here, and with it your child staggering home under the weight of all this crap: 

A giant artwork

Comes in two varieties: first, the giant artwork they’ve made at school and they’re very proud of and they now, you realise with sinking heart, intend to display at home. Or, second and worse, the giant artwork you spent all Easter making returning all broken and ruined. Both will meet their destiny in the bin.

A year’s work

You’re happy to accept your child got 26 out of 27 in a maths test. You don’t require evidence. But the school doesn’t want that shit either so you’re getting a year’s worth of exercise books to feel guilty about not looking through.

Some other kid’s uniform

The sheer f**king cost of jumpers and blazers lost this year gnaws away at you, but the grab-bag of random shit your child brings home is no compensation. The blazer’s two sizes smaller, the jumper’s a cheap no-logo Sainsbury’s one, and what use is one shoe?

The school hamster

Your child is a naturally caring, nurturing person for the first two days of the school holidays, until they can’t be arsed and you have to take over. You also have to take said hamster for two weeks in Aberdeenshire, then explain the temporary, cyclical nature of life to your child on the way to the pet shop to get a like-for-like replacement.


You knew you should have waited before going on holiday. Now you’re sitting on a lovely Welsh beach with your itching head dripping in radioactive grease, considering shaving the whole family’s heads like a cult. But at least it’s not Covid.


Ending a school year of self-isolation and lockdown with a positive lateral flow test and ten days house arrest during a heatwave is perfect apart from how much you’ll f**king hate it. Send your kids to school in hazmat suits for the last week even if it results in abject humiliation on sports day.