Recycling and other tasks middle aged men somehow become obsessed with

THERE seems to be a switch that is flipped in the minds of many men once they hit middle age that causes them to fixate on certain household chores. Like these:

The lawn

In their mid-40s, suburban males will become engaged in a futile struggle for dominance over their lawn. They’ll start endlessly mowing and vainly attempting to cover over brown patches while enviously peering at Tony next door’s lawn which is always a f**king pristine green carpet.

The recycling

For middle aged men, the recycling has nothing to do with the environment, it’s simply about control. Not following the council’s incredibly specific rules is a personal failing. Expect a full scale inquest reminiscent of the Nuremberg Trials if someone puts a bean can in without fully rinsing it. 

Cleaning the car

Middle age is when many people are able to afford a car that hasn’t had 17 previous owners with 100,000 miles on the clock. Now they finally own a vehicle that doesn’t resemble a motorised skip, some dads become obsessed with cleaning it regularly, displaying levels of diligence and concern almost entirely absent from their parenting.


James Dyson is to blame for turning vacuum cleaners into state-of-the-art, must-have gadgets for dads. A whole generation of fathers now spend their evenings brandishing cordless hoovers, imagining themselves to be Ghostbusters battling Gozer, when really they’re just hoovering up bits of crisps from the carpet. 

Stacking the dishwasher

Many men stack dishwashers as if they’ll be reviewed by the state. Rather than just chucking in all their dishes, they’ll stack plates in order of size, and arrange their cutlery by type. The thrill they get from an orderly dishwasher may be compensating for their diminishing sex life.

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Employers and four other people who don't give a shit about GCSE results

TOP GCSE grades are an impressive achievement for students but deathly dull to everyone else. These people don’t care if someone got a 9 or a 1.


Can you plod through an uninspiring job without messing things up constantly? Are you fairly cheap to employ? Yes? Then employers couldn’t care less how well you did in an exam years ago. Maybe take your GCSE grades off your CV and say you’re ‘passionate about spreadsheets’ instead.

Oxford University admissions tutors

This top university says it takes GCSE results into account, but if you’ve been coached to bullshit your way through the entrance exams you’ll be fine. If not, they won’t really be amazed by the 9 you got in humanities and award you a place. London South Bank will though.

Romantic partners

Intelligence is sexy, but bringing up old exam results on a date in an attempt to look brainy is tragic. It’s even worse if you talk about your GCSEs because it looks like your life peaked when you were 16 and it’s been downhill ever since. Even though this is true, keep it to yourself.

Other GCSE students

After they’ve glanced at their results and gone ‘cool’, most GCSE students won’t give them a second thought because even they know they’re not a big deal. They won’t even talk about their grades to their mates because they’re too busy sourcing cheap alcohol and attending the sort of house parties you were never invited to.


University degrees are impressive, and A-Levels grades can be life-changing, but parents don’t really give a toss about GCSE results. They’ll make all the right noises, but really they’re wondering how your triumphant grad 9 in film studies will help you in a proper job like corporate accountant.