The messy bastard's guide to leaving everywhere a total shit tip

THINK how easy life would be if you didn’t feel the need to be even slightly tidy. Nikki Hollis, who ‘doesn’t see mess’, explains how to achieve this state of nirvana.

Think in three dimensions

Some wannabe messy f**kers make the rookie mistake of putting their shit into one or two Himalayan piles. The pro knows you’ve got to spread outwards as well as up – no inch of kitchen worktop or sofa should be free of your mess. Errant objects should be bafflingly random and not belong together: a hammer, trainer cleaning spray, a pack of paracetamol.

Stay on top of the mess

If anyone has the audacity to tidy your shit up for you, restore disorder immediately. The last thing you want is for your housemates to remember they actually live in quite a spacious house and don’t need to walk up the stairs hopping over objects as they go like a pissed-off dressage pony.

Have good intentions 

If you really want to hit peak scuzziness, it’s important to truly believe you’ll tidy up later. That way you’ll free yourself from any subconscious feelings of restraint and have free rein to create even more of a pigsty because there’s nothing to worry about – you’re just about to sort it.

Defend your habits 

What have clean and tidy people got against you anyway? There may not be a visible system, but you know EXACTLY where everything is. This will usually fob off a housemate, but isn’t so effective at work when you lose some critical document among piles of grimy folders, increasingly terrifying coffee mugs, and half-eaten packs of Oreos that got lost before they could even be eaten.

Inspire others

To be able to keep up this kind of behaviour long-term without being being kicked out by flatmates or divorced by your partner, make them become your allies. If everyone under the same roof learns to use the floor as a wardrobe and stops caring about silly details such as drinking tea out of a mug instead of, say, a wok, if that happens to be the one clean receptacle, then life will be harmonious.

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How to ensure everyone knows you're ill

YOU’VE come down with a serious, debilitating illness, although your coldhearted partner says it’s just a sniffle. Here’s how to make sure everyone knows how much you’re suffering.

Moan and groan

Display the agony of your mild illness by groaning your way through making a cup of tea, and gasp pathetically at your struggle to lift it. It’s almost guaranteed that other people will offer to take over. Not from sympathy, they just want you to shut the f**k up.

Avoid human contact

To imply your sniffle is highly contagious, avoid all contact with other humans as if you’ve got a deadly virus from Resident Evil. Refuse to accept any object unless it’s put on a safe surface and the carrier backs away. Ignore the obvious question – if you’re so ill why are you in work? Because you’re a trouper. A martyr. A bloody nuisance.

Inconvenience everyone

If a window is open, ask to close it. If it’s closed, ask to open it. Asking what day it is every five minutes will make it clear how dangerously feverish you are. If these tactics aren’t garnering the care you deserve, faint on the printer. If at home, faint by the router and somehow pull the plug out. Both will get you noticed.

Relate everything to your illness

Feebly joke that your high temperature is making global warming worse. Nobly quip that you wish these paracetamol were going to someone with Covid. Bringing everything back to being ill will be tiring though, so get people to bring you a constant supply of chocolate bars and snacks for ‘energy’.

Cancel everything

That night out on Friday, the dental appointment, your child’s school play – cancel them all. Even your sister’s wedding. You’re just too considerate to spread your germs and ruin an event that just happens to be a lot of expense and hassle for you with no personal gain.

Ramp it up

If you’ve tried everything and are still not getting the attention you desperately want, send ‘Get well soon’ cards to yourself. Scatter funeral plans around and send everyone a link to your podcast ‘The Gift of Life: My Journey to Wellness’. The only risk is you’ll develop a weird somatic symptom disorder and start to feel as genuinely shit as you’re pretending.