Letting someone with one item go in front of you: Good deeds you've got no sodding choice about

SOME acts of kindness are so unavoidable you can’t even congratulate yourself on your incredible generosity toward the little people. Here are some you just grudgingly have to do. 

Letting a person with one item go in front of you 

The person anxiously clutching a lunch break chocolate bar in the supermarket is full of friendly well-wishes when you let them go ahead of you, but it was never an option to force them to watch you unload your big shop onto the conveyor belt. Tesco would probably put you on the special noticeboard they have for shitty local events, maybe a screengrab of you on CCTV and a caption simply saying: ‘BASTARD.’

Picking up someone’s shopping from the floor 

Clearly the person who just launched a full bag of tins, avocados and snack bars to the four corners of the earth expected you to coldly sneer and walk away arrogantly, because now they’re acting like you’re their saviour or potential future spouse. However you will subsequently wonder numerous times if you should have chatted them up during their moment of distress, proving you are a horrible, devious person after all. 

Watching someone’s bag 

It’s impossible to refuse what is possibly the lowest-effort favour a person could be asked to do, requiring only the movement of your eyeballs. Even so, did you detect a note of mild sarcasm when they thanked you for performing this non-task when they returned? You sincerely hope next time they’re forced to leave their bag on a train inexplicably full of thieves, junkies with the ‘rattles’ and kleptomaniacs. 

Bringing your tray back at a café 

A polite notice on the table asks you to hand in your tray. A prominent sign next to the bin says: ‘Please leave your tray here.’ You’ve essentially been brainwashed into compliance, so why do they act like you elected to do it out of the kindness of your heart? The answer, tragically, is that most of their customers are terminally lazy f**kers who make you look good for doing basically nothing. 

Anything your mum asks you to do 

There is an implicit understanding – which has often been made explicit – that you are forever in your mother’s debt after she went through the pains of labour, fed you, clothed you and put a roof over your head for 18 years. The very least you could do is cut her grass. While you’re there you might as well put a shelf up, fix her computer, and ring the pharmacy about getting her thrush cream delivered. Any protest means you don’t love her and want her to die alone, obviously.

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Call from unknown number can go f**k itself

AN INCOMING phone call from a number you do not recognise can do one, it has been confirmed.

The call, which is coming from a random string of numbers and not a name saved into your contacts, will be left to ring until the voicemail kicks in, at which point you will breathe a sigh of relief that the ordeal is over.

Tom Booker, who witnessed the incident, said: “What were you supposed to do, answer it? It could have been a scammer who’d rip you off and ruin your life, or worse, your mum.

“If it was an important call from your boss or a pizza delivery driver then they’d leave a message you won’t listen to, so don’t worry about it. You did what any sane, rational person would do in all threatening situations – nothing.

“You wouldn’t welcome a stranger into your house, so why should you let an unknown person into your phone? If anything you should block that number right now to prevent this trauma from happening again.

“You did well not to let your fight or flight reflex take over. You could have smashed your phone into a thousand tiny pieces or told the caller to f**k off, but you kept a cool head and let your cowardice take control. I’m proud of you.”

Unknown caller Donna Sheridan said: “I’m so lonely. Why does everyone hate me so? Perhaps I should stop insisting they were in a car accident three months ago but have somehow forgotten that unusual and memorable event.”