The 40-year-old goth's guide to transitioning into normal life

WENT gothic at 14 but unable to justify dressing like a Poundland Edward Scissorhands in middle age? Former goth Roy Hobbs outlines escape routes: 

Ditch the make-up

While my signature look of a powdered face, charcoal eyeshadow, and crimped raven-black hair earned me admirers, there comes a time when age does the work of making you look like a corpse all on its own. Gradually reduce over months and nobody will ever say ‘You’re looking well’.

Introduce other music

Everyone loved the years you spent blaring Marilyn Manson, but against all the odds he turned out to be a bad person. So why not indulge your secret fondness for Natasha Bedingfield? While family might initially miss the eclectic mix of cyber goth and industrial death metal you used to play, they’ll adjust to the new you.

Remove your tattoos

At the age of 21 it made perfect sense to get gravestones inked on both forearms. But now, as has been made clear, it’s stalling your career progression in NatWest. Get them lasered and you’ll still be scarred, remaining authentically goth while achieving your middle-management dream.

Toss the clothes

Your teenage daughter will take your mascara, but 20 years of Cure, Sisters of Mercy and Cradle of Filth T-shirts won’t be as easy to shift. A charity shot will take your wardrobe of darkness and your full-length leather trench coat stinking of decades of stale sweat.

Take up a new hobby

Now you can’t spend evening brooding on a throne, white rats running freely about your body while you sip Pernod and black from a skull, you need a new hobby. No, not taxidermy. Personally I’ve found crochet to be incredibly rewarding.

Get a tan

The ultimate goth taboo should only be attempted when you feel you’re ready. Step out in the sun, resist your natural urge to hiss ‘It burnsss!’ and allow it to bronze your flesh. Think of the money you’ll save on vitamin D supplements.

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How to defeat every animal in hand-to-hand combat, by a bloke down the pub

OFTEN find yourself pondering how you would best a bear if it came to it? Guinness enthusiast Bill McKay explains how to kill any animal with your bare hands: 


I live in Stourbridge, but that doesn’t mean I won’t come across an escaped anaconda at some point. We’ve got a zoo. My first port of call would be its stupid little snake eyes. Take them out with your thumbs then throw it in a duck pond. They breathe through their skin so it would die instantly.


I watch documentaries about surviving bear attacks and with my brains and skillset, I know I’d walk away unscathed. If a grizzly came up to me in the street, I’d simply kick it repeatedly in the ursine nuts until it was down. Then keep kicking.


My cousin swears he saw a hammerhead off the coast near King’s Lynn so frankly I’m resigned to the fact I’ll have to kick one’s arse one day. If one were to turn up in Dudley canal I’d hook my fingers right in the gills, then headbutt its stupid f**king shark face.


I’d have a different technique for fighting an alligator obviously, I’m not a bleeding moron. But if I was cruising down the Nile and saw one of these boys in the water I’d jump in and shut its mouth with my hands so it couldn’t bite me. Then I’d bite it. See how it likes it.


These bastards are all over the park and need a lesson teaching. If a rabid squirrel tried to chew my nephew’s face off, I’d show the little f**ker who’s boss. When it jumped up I’d grab it and bite off its head like it was a meaty Frube.


My girlfriend’s cat always gives me this really evil, sly look. If the bastard comes at me claws out I’ll drop a plant pot on his head and then put the body in the bin before she noticed. What? That’s not a weird thing to plan for. F**k off.