Six things not to have in the background during a video call

ARE you spending a lot of time on frustrating Zoom calls? Here is a guide to things you shouldn’t have in the background.

A poorly thought-out bookcase

It’s important to take time to reorder your shelves so that your pristine editions of A Brief History of Time and Ulysses can clearly be seen over your shoulder, while your body obscures your well-thumbed copies of Fifty Shades of Grey or loads of Sven Hassel SS novels.

Shit sports trophies 

If someone asks what that silver cup is, don’t put yourself through the humiliation of admitting it was a trophy you won 30 years ago for taking part in an egg-and-spoon race. And everyone got one.


We’ve all seen the BBC interview with that guy in Korea where his kids burst in behind him. It was adorable. Kids ARE adorable. But when you finally snap and scream “STOP F**KING MESSING ABOUT WITH MY F**KING KEYBOARD YOU LITTLE F**KING BASTARDS!”, it can come across badly in a business meeting.

Dirty laundry

It’s easy to forget how slobby you have become during lockdown. Friends, family and colleagues do not need to see the pair of pants you’ve worn for three weeks drying on a ledge behind you. Particularly the skidmarks.

A mirror

Any reflective surface behind you could reveal your screen. This risks revealing that you have relegated FaceTime to a tiny corner and opened a second, much larger, window to discreetly browse the Daily Mail sidebar and Pornhub. We’ll leave it you to decide which has the more insulting depiction of women.

Your genitals

Your personal bits have never felt so free! Just don’t stand up and reveal to work colleagues that you’ve been Donald Ducking it for weeks.

Sign up now to get
The Daily Mash
free Headlines email – every weekday

Tap dancing, and four other unbelievably selfish new lockdown hobbies

WHAT better time to take up playing the bass than now, when your neighbours need the distraction of you failing to learn Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain? Or try these: 

Taiko drumming

Anyone can be a lockdown rock drummer, but the Japanese art of taiko drumming will really convince your neighbout that they’re hallucinating a rainstorm, the thrum of overloading power lines or a helicopter directly overhead. Fun for hours.


Remember that awesome guy outside the train station who genuinely gave you goosebumps with his incredible beatboxing? You could be that good if you just started practicing 18 years ago. Remember the more saliva sprayed the better, and stay as close as possible to whoever you’re entertaining with this magical art.

Tap dancing

Only really recommended if you have downstairs neighbours who really need your staccato performance of Riverdance to enliven their days. Remember you need 10,000 hours of practice to be the best, so make sure to keep dancing late into the night as if cursed by the devil.


Doesn’t matter what kind of drilling – just buy a drill and start putting holes in stuff. The earlier you can get up and do it, the better. 7am? 6am? The second the sun comes up? You can single handedly make everyone on your street’s life worse. It’s incredible how much power a little Black & Decker has.


The post-lockdown parties are going to be epic, so buy decks, practice your retro record scratches, up the frequency so Chaka Khan sounds like a cloud of rabid bats, stick it on your SoundCloud. Why not set up a Ko-Fi and ask for donations? You’re the next Kygo so nobody should get in your way of your lifelong dream that you thought of yesterday afternoon.