Six ways being a Brownie or Cub Scout made f**k all difference to your life

DID you spend an evening a week wearing a ridiculous uniform and trying to earn pointless badges? Here’s how being a girl or boy scout didn’t make you the better person it was meant to.

You have no skills

None of the activities are of any use in the real world, where picking up litter and building a bird box from old lolly sticks are not essential skills. It would have been more useful to train for a ‘When to swipe right’ badge or ‘How to cope with the horrors of being a parent’. Although getting your kids to piss off to Cubs or Brownies helps solve that that problem.

You never think of others 

You may have spent your Tuesday evenings in a freezing town hall promising to help others, but if it’s been a long day and there’s one seat left in the Tube carriage, pregnant women and the elderly can f**k off out of your way. You can’t be held responsible for promises made before your milk teeth had fallen out. They haven’t got a legal leg to stand on.

You don’t do your duty to God, let alone the Queen

You haven’t been to church since you pretended to be religious just so you could get married in a pretty one, and the closest you’ve come to respecting the Queen is binge-watching The Crown. Given how your life actually is now, pledging allegiance to Amazon and Cathedral City would have been more appropriate.

You don’t do your best

As a little Brownie you were encouraged to try your hardest, but as an adult you realise most things you do are meaningless and no matter how neatly you did a mosaic of a cat, trying your best all the time now will lead to a nervous breakdown. Maybe keep your hopelessly naive advice to yourself in future, Brown Owl?

You never go camping 

Even if you had time to go camping: why would you? No adult in their right mind would endure the dampness, being more tired than when you tried to go to sleep on a field full of stones, and your tentmates’ bodily gases. ‘Learning how to lie your way out of going camping’ would have been a badge worth having.

You’ve stayed in touch with nobody

So much for building lifelong bonds – you’re not in contact with any of your little scouting chums. Although admittedly all you had in common was living near a particular scout hut. Like ex members of a cult, you quietly hope never to run into each other again, particularly if they’re a weirdo who’s never grown out of it and now loves the power trip of running their own cub pack.

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Acceptable dad behaviour of the 80s that would be deeply weird now

THE 70s and 80s were a golden age for dads. Here are some of your father’s weird, self-indulgent habits which were somehow considered normal back then.

Avoiding visitors by hiding in the loft

Nowadays people try to behave in a mature way with visitors they’re not that keen on. Your dad had a much bolder approach: hide in the loft. He’d spend ages up there, supposedly ‘checking the joists’ or some other bullshit task, just to avoid a five-minute chat with his brother-in-law about his caravan. 

Certain chores were verboten for dads

In this era of relative equality, it would be odd for a male partner to never do the laundry. Not the case with your dad, for whom loading the washing machine was literally impossible to imagine, like getting married to a triangle. 

Having one joke

This tiresome joke was something like ‘A Jamaican rabbit went into a pub and ordered a toastie…’ The main scenario would be repeated a tedious three times, followed by a confusing punchline he’d have to laboriously explain: ‘The rabbit dies of ‘mixing my toasties’. Myxomatosis!’ For some reason everyone laughed dutifully at this, when really it should have been nipped in the bud.

His opinions were infallible, like the Pope

And boy did he have a lot of opinions, invariably wrong. The Argies would defeat the task force and invade Cornwall, Charles and Di were the perfect couple, Uri Geller was no fraud. He even had the ability to tell if a TV programme you were enjoying was a ‘load of rubbish’ after watching five seconds of it, wisely making the whole family watch Match of the Day highlights instead. 

Confidently dispensing crap advice to your kids

These days parents are urged to be sure they are giving the right advice. Your dad held forth freely on everything from injuries (‘Your ankle’s turning black… you need a dab of TCP on that’) to being bullied. At which point you trotted off happily to get the kicking of a lifetime thanks to using a deadly karate chop your dad saw on TV.

Basic conversational skills were unnecessary

If your dad wanted to talk about the boiler for half an hour, he would, even if everyone present clearly wanted to peel their faces off out of boredom. Tact was similarly unnecessary. If someone had died he’d see no problem with starting a bollocks conversation about ghosts, until your mum put on a quiet yet incredibly threatening voice and told him to shut up and get some more biscuits.