How to let a single piece of homework ruin the entire family's weekend, by a 13-year-old

WANT to ruin your whole family’s weekend by being a dick about doing your homework? Here’s how:

Start whining on Friday night

You’ve only been out of school for two hours but that doesn’t mean you can’t start inflicting the homework hanging over your head on your family. While they settle down on the sofa to watch a film you should hover fretfully in the living room doorway moaning about how school is ruining your life with its authoritarian demands, and generally spoiling their evening with your miserable presence.

Have a long consultation with a friend

Your parents suggest a day out but you shit all over that by saying you really must get on with your homework, leading to a tetchy Saturday atmosphere. Phone a friend to ask what the f**k an igneous rock is, before wasting two hours wittering mindlessly together about FIFA, Cardi B and if Ryan from 8S has really fingered Lucy from 9R.

Have a fight with your sister

Your sister is a goody-goody square who did her homework the moment she got home from school on Friday and is able to enjoy her weekend without the crushing weight of self-inflicted anxiety on her back. She taunts you mercilessly about this, so you give her a dead arm. She goes crying to your parents and you get told off, then waste another 90 minutes sulking on the stairs.

Have an almighty meltdown

Having moped about the house all day moaning that you’ll never use maths in real life because you have a calculator on your iPhone, you reach peak stress on Sunday at 6.45pm and throw a wobbly so huge and traumatised that your parents don’t tell you off but instead look worried for your fragile teenage mental health. This is good, because it leads to…

Your parents end up doing it

While you kick back on the sofa swaddled in blankets, your parents sit in the kitchen asking each other if they’re doing a shit job of parenting whilst simultaneously trying to remember the Pythagorean theorem. They end up having a huge argument but you don’t care because you got out of doing something that would only have taken 20 minutes if you’d just sat down and got the f**k on with it.

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Five music scenes your mum and dad swear were cool at the time

THE thought of your parents indulging in sex, drugs and rock’n’roll is bad enough, but were these music scenes they were once into as good as they make out?


The early 80s were a great time for bands really banging on about Thatcher and nuclear war. But anarchy doesn’t seem so great if you had to live in a squat and Chumbawamba later wrote the enduringly annoying Tubthumping. By then your parents had bought a semi in a middle-class area and their interest in smashing the system waned, although it’s a relief to go round and not have to listen to Nagasaki Nightmare by Crass.

New Romantics

The huge string of hits was impressive, but was it wise for New Romantics to draw their sartorial inspiration from panto? The frilly 17th Century style reached its natural conclusion with Adam Ant’s music-loving armed robber. Mr Ant has been gigging relatively recently, although strangely he’s opted for normal clothes instead of looking as if he’s wandered out of Dick Whittington. Less committed New Romantics like your parents made do with badly-applied blusher and too much eyeliner.

New wave of British heavy metal

Listening to bands like Saxon and wearing denim patches and military headwear was so uncool it probably reduced the UK’s birthrate. If your dad was into this scene it’s lucky he moved on or he might never have got the chance to impregnate your mum. Weirdly, little changed for heavy metal fans for decades despite the obvious disadvantages. Meanwhile recent attempts to claim Venom’s Cronos was Kate Middleton’s uncle turned out to be a dull hoax that fell flat and confirmed the scene’s inherent sadness.

Northern soul

The high-tempo take on Motown had some fantastic tunes, even if the scene in its early days launched the career of then-DJ Peter Stringfellow. It was also a key part of the Mod revival and gave people something to do in Stoke and Wigan. Your parents have kept their Mod parkas with sewn-on patches and show off the dances at family dos, but tend not to mention the shedloads of amphetamines they consumed. Sometimes they congregate with other obsessive middle-aged Mods at Paul Weller concerts, like some sort of ‘living history’ project. 

Yacht rock

Another term for soft rock, and nowhere near as cool as actually owning a yacht. Somehow considered smooth and aspirational, despite Hall and Oates’ mullets and Steely Dan naming themselves after a dildo. Still, this was the 80s. Thankfully now your dad has ditched his white Sonny Crockett jacket with rolled-up sleeves and the bland hits are consigned to covers bands playing white soul on your parents’ upcoming OAP-only cruise.