The middle-class guide to choosing a pet

GUINEA pigs and goldfish too common for your darling little prodigies? Try these pretentious pets instead: 

Want everyone to know you’ve got a one-and-a-half acre garden? These animals are big and impressive but impossible to ride so you won’t waste money on lessons and equipment for Matilda and Laurent. Plus you can use its wool to make a shrug.

Armadillo lizard
Looks like a dragon, requires hardly any care and does so little that once you’re bored of it you can sell it complete with vivarium on eBay and the children won’t even notice it’s gone.

Micro pig
Like a puppy but more kooky, and ideal for sensitive flowers allergic to pet hair. It may end up growing into a 25-stone monster, but it’ll be organically raised so simply pop it round the butcher to be turned into bacon when the kids get bored of it.

Koi carp
Koi carp are basically expensive goldfish on steroids. Not very cuddly but perfect for proving you’ve got cash to burn when they see the Instagram photos of you feeding them from a little bridge.

Essentially fancy rats, chinchillas offer the same skittish movements and nasty little teeth as more basic rodents, but in a luxurious fur coat. Ideal if you want something that won’t last very long.

‘Adopted’ whale
Pets too much hassle? Rather than admitting it, tell the kids the most worthy and sustainable thing to do is to pay to ‘adopt’ a pet. They’ll be impressed because whales are massive, and you won’t have to clean up any dung.

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Only grandma does anything when grandparents babysit

CHILDREN have confirmed that when Granny and Grandad come over to babysit only Granny actually does any work. 

Three-year-olds to 11-year-olds stated that while Grandad was technically present, Granny did their tea, their bath, read them a story, put them to bed, and dealt with any bedtime-related urine incidents while he sat on the sofa.

Tom Booker, aged seven, said: “I asked Grandad if he would get me a cup of milk. He shouted Granny and carried on reading a book about steam trains.

“Also Granny changes my brother’s nappies, plays with us, tidies up our toys, cleans up the kitchen, does drawings with us and sings us our bedtime songs. Grandad must be very tired.”

Mother Emily Booker said: “Dad’s contractually obliged to come, but the only evidence that he’s actually been present is that the TV’s on the History Channel.

“When you ask what he did, he just says ‘I’m not as good with the baby as your mother’ or ‘I did the driving’ until everyone loses the will to live.”

Tom Booker said: “Grandad just sits and does nothing. He’s my favourite. I hope when I grow up I can be like him.”