Smoking in offices, and other things you tell your kids happened but they don't believe

AS children grow, they are told stories of the recent past that sound like made-up bollocks. These former commonplaces seem scarcely credible now: 

Smoking in offices

Forget a surreptitious puff on a strawberry vape. Pubs, buses, cinemas and offices used to be thick with blue smoke. It used to billow out of the school staffroom like Kiss had just come on stage. You reminisce about it as if your kid missed out on something by never having to cough their way off a train.

Books full of phone numbers

Phone numbers weren’t where they should be, on your phone, but in a huge Soviet index of numbers for everyone in your area. You had to pay not to be in it. You memorised important numbers, eg boys you fancied, and can still remember them today. Your child is looking at you as if you said ‘and we wrote them in hieroglyphics on papyrus’.

Lonely hearts ads

Single? Simply take out an advertisement in the newspaper, alongside second-hand fridges for sale and notices of lost parrots. Advertise your desperate loneliness to the 160,000 readers of the Stoke Sentinel using abbreviations like WLTM and GSOH and the now-disused term ‘foxy’. Your child is locked in a full-body cringe.

Half-day closing

Depending on your area, shops would close at noon on a weekday. The town centre was deserted. They just went home even though you had money to spend and needed stuff, you rant, even though the money you had was your bus fare and the stuff you needed was a Caramac. Your child looks slightly afraid.

Getting paid in cash

On a Friday you’d line up, get a brown envelope containing your week’s wages, and go to the pub with it. This was as unwise as it sounds but the universal policy and possibly enforced by law. You would then take cash and pay it into the bank, which even describing to your child sounds like ‘and gravity used to go up’.

There wasn’t telly in the day

As this point you realise you’ve parted company with reality. Nothing on but a girl and a doll, for hours? If that? And you’d watch it regardless? Your child nods knowingly, then pronounces you to have taken your lies too far and leaves the room. You agree she must be right.

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Bunch of unemployable shitheads want Boris back

JACOB Rees-Mogg, Priti Patel and other shitheads who would never be employed in any reasonable government have announced they want their old boss back. 

The former ministers all attended a special losers’ conference in Bournemouth this week to argue for the return of the only man who would ever give bumbling morons like themselves Cabinet jobs.

Nadine Dorries, once ludicrously secretary for digital, culture, media and sport, said: “It’s not about us. That I can only get work on Talk TV now is a coincidence.

“It’s about restoring a vote-winning, election-sweeping political giant to Downing Street, conveniently forgetting the scandal that kicked him out and his resulting massive unpopularity which we’re pretending never happened.

Proven bully Priti Patel, who has been replaced by an even more racist and stupid version, said: “I was the home f**king secretary. Now people don’t even shudder when they pass me in the street.

“We’ve tried gross economic disaster and ineffectual base-level competence a try. Neither’s worked. Time to put the dream team of headbanging lunatics led by a serial liar back on top.”

The conference, estimated to have cost tens of thousands, was not deigned worthy of attendance by Boris Johnson.