Bonding over country walks instead of class As: Signs you and your mates are getting middle aged

ONE minute you’re popping pills, the next you’re visiting National Trust sites and discussing potty training. Here are the warning signs that your social circle has become dangerously middle-aged.

You bond over country walks instead of class A drugs

Do your friends contact you before a big get-together and remind you to bring a few grams? Or do they remind you to bring an anorak and a decent pair of walking boots? If the closest thing to a drug you consume now is a slab of moreish Kendal mint cake, you’ll never swap dreary anecdotes about a ‘bad E’ again. 

Your holidays always factor in art galleries and museums

Time was, you and your mates would pick holiday destinations based purely on their proximity to clubs and bars. But in recent years you’ve been overcome by the feeling you should look at a Picasso or a bit of medieval crockery. It’s nothing to worry about. It just means your youth is over and you’ve begun your slow march to the grave.

The vast majority of your conversations are about property prices

Young people talk about TikTok, Stranger Things, and anal sex. Whereas old people prefer to chat about tedious shit like house prices and mortgages. You don’t mean to get sucked into a long, boring-as-f**k conversation off Location, Location, Location, but somehow it always happens.  

Nightclubs are now too loud and busy

Once you reach a certain age, nightclubs suddenly become confusing and frightening places. Don’t fight it. A nightclub is simply not a suitable environment for bald patches, cardigans and mid-life ennui. Instead go somewhere more age-appropriate, like a quiet pub that lets you play board games. A good game of backgammon is just as much fun as pulling, you blatantly lie to yourself.

You all call it a night before 10pm

You can still remember the days when you and your mates would stay out until the sun came up. But now you’ve all got work and other soul-destroying responsibilities. Also you’re tired. Really f**king tired. Still, if all your mates are knackered zombies with no interesting conversation you’ve always got people to hang out with.

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Why higher taxes are actually really fun and cool, by Rishi Sunak

HAVEN’T got two pennies to rub together? Worried about paying higher taxes? Let me, Rishi Sunak, explain why forking out a fortune you don’t have is actually really fun and cool.

Everyone’s going to be doing it

Paying higher taxes isn’t some obscure hobby that only anorak-wearing weirdos indulge in like trainspotting or stamp collecting. Everyone’s going to be digging deep for the next few years meaning it’s going to be bigger than Taylor Swift. You don’t want to be a loser who misses out on this hot new trend, do you? Didn’t think so.

They’ll pay for really nifty things

Not boring old public services like libraries or free dentistry. Dare to dream a bit bigger. Your taxes will go towards the salary I don’t need and repairing my party’s public image after my predecessors shat all over it. Not even speed boats for everyone in the UK would be as awesomesauce as that.

Filling the black hole sounds rad

I get it. ‘Balancing the books’ has an ominous air about it. That’s why I’m trying to rebrand the fiscal crisis we’ve found ourselves in as a black hole. Think of yourself as an intrepid astronaut as you try to fill the yawning void threatening to swallow the country. It’s much more palatable than the reality that you’re going to be skint until you’re dead.

You’ll feel like an underdog rebel

This country loves an underdog, and when you’re pissing away the bulk of your pay packet each month on taxes that’s exactly what you’ll feel like. Don’t think of higher taxes as a symptom of needless, grinding austerity, reframe them as the antagonist you’re training hard to overcome, like in Rocky. You’re essentially Sylvester Stallone, who is certifiably cool.

Paying them won’t take any effort

Leave it with me. I’ll take care of all the paperwork and numbers just like I did when I threw you some spare change during lockdown. All you have to do is work five jobs, sacrifice the concept of free time and learn to live on three hours sleep. You’ll get nothing to show for it in return but I might be able to win the next election. Thanks in advance!