Elderly parent helps out by washing up immediately next to dishwasher

AN elderly parent is helping at Christmas by doing the washing up while standing three feet away from a dishwasher. 

Susan Traherne entered her adult daughter’s kitchen, spotted a large pile of unwashed dishes, sighed, rolled up her sleeves and started long-sufferingly and needlessly scrubbing. 

She said: “Who Kerry thinks is going to do all these dishes I don’t know. The washing-up fairy? 

“I suppose she has put us up for three days, and done all the cooking, and given us her bedroom and that, so I don’t mind doing my share. Though why she can’t wash up as she goes I’ll never understand. 

“Surely they can hear me clinking around in here. I’m surprised nobody’s come to help. Kerry? Kerry?

“Dishwasher? What dishwasher? Well I didn’t know, I thought it was a cupboard. If you want to help get that tea towel and start doing some drying.”

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'Aren't headphones small now?' and four other inevitable Christmas chats

PAINFUL Christmas conversations with your relatives are a fine Christmas tradition. Brace yourself for these topics that will inevitably come up.

‘Aren’t headphones small now?’

A truly fascinating observation, usually from an older relative. But it’s a conversation and as such is bringing different generations together. Don’t bother to try and explain what a PS5 is, though. Oldies will just glaze over and wander off to try and find the bowl of walnuts they saw when they arrived.

‘Didn’t the Queen do well?’

This will be the refrain up and down the country after another incredibly bland speech by Queenie. But it’s Christmas, so resist the temptation to point out that the Queen DOES do well, thanks to having all that cash and the finest medical attention money can buy. Nod along earnestly at her references to ‘unity’ and ‘resilience’, and don’t mention Prince Andrew.

‘I’m not passing him the gravy – he might have the virus’

Wags in your family will be unable to resist quips about Covid. Refusing to pass someone the gravy really is a good one. Also prepare for gags about anyone with a slight cough. That never gets old, Uncle Dave.

‘No more plastic toys in crackers? I blame Greta Thunberg’

Due to a heady cocktail of too much wine and some misplaced anger, a relative is bound to have a rant. Focus on your sprouts or whatever film you’re watching and let your cousin Pete burble on about the least controversial environmental measure of all time – not putting crappy magnifying glasses and tiny combs in Christmas crackers.

‘So, are you seeing anyone?’

This begs the reply: “No, Auntie Sharon, I haven’t been swept off my feet this year because I haven’t left the house since March and amazingly the love of my life wasn’t hiding in my own living room.” But just spout some banality like “No, still looking for the right woman”. That is more than adequate for Christmas chats.