The six heart-sinking stages of helping a mate move house

DID a bastard so-called mate take you up on your offer to help them move house? You’ll go through these six states of despair: 

Arriving: Resignation

You turn up at 10am, as agreed, in the vain hope you’ll find them efficiently taping the last box closed. Instead they’re hungover on the sofa and have f**k all ready. So you’re spending the first two hours shovelling their crap into bin bags while wanting to incinerate it.

Hoarding: Anguish

Not the ideal time to discover your friend’s a hoarder, with every copy of 2000AD since 1983 stored in unbelievably heavy crates. Watch the hours piss away as you haul boxes of Inspector Morse DVDs and other charity shop rejects down the stairs as if anyone would want this shit.

Transportation: Hopelessness

Catastrophic ineptitude meant your friend didn’t rent a van for the big move and, as you’re all middle-class pricks in London, nobody knows anyone who owns one. So you’re left trying to fold a stained double mattress into the back of a VW Polo for the first of many, many trips.

Breakages: Vexation

Professional movers have insurance. You don’t, so when you trip over a step in the new flat and drop a laundry basket full of crockery the only recompense your mate has is being pissy for the rest of the day, even though you know they eat all of their meals straight out of microwavable containers.

Re-Assembly: Dejection

The phrase ‘help move a few boxes’ does not mean entirely dismantling and reassembling an IKEA futon, but you’re trapped now. The only consolation as you put it back together is it won’t last more than a few nights before collapsing under them at 4am.

Remuneration: Misery

After 12 hours of back-breaking work, your now former friend buys you a pint and a curry by way of thanks. Even in f**king London that means you’ve earned about £1.80 per hour and they should be arrested under the Modern Slavery act. You’ll content yourself with never seeing the prick again.

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A cast on your arm: the eight coolest things ever when you were eight

LIFE was incredible before you cared about stuff like inflation, mortgage rates and hormones. Which also meant coolness was achievable if you had this stuff:

A cast on your arm

From showing off about the gory details to the customisable surface to the way it got you out of doing any writing for months, the intense pain and temporary disability was worth it for the rockstar glory.

Diet Coke and Mentos

Knowing that, at any moment, you could combine two items and create an explosion? Firing a two-litre Coke across your neighbour’s drive? And getting away with it by calling it science?

A big stick

A kid with a big stick is a living legend. The only real option for using it is to announce, ‘look how big this is’ before being told to put it down before it takes someone’s eye out, but it’s a short and sweet taste of the high life.

A slide into a swimming pool

Doesn’t matter if it’s five feet or 50ft long, the sheer out-of-control thrill of hitting water at velocity cannot be beaten. An adrenaline high you’ll chase for life.

Copying catchphrases

In the modern age they’re from the internet; back in the day they were from adverts. But all eight-year-olds agree: no matter how many times they’re repeated, they never get any less funny.

Hair gel

There is only one styling option for hair gel at this age, and that is to make it all stick up in the air. Subtlety is for uncool cowards with boring, gravity-obeying tresses.

A cast on your leg

All the cred of a cast, and getting to carry round two big sticks with you everywhere you go. Or being pushed in a wheelchair by your mates using your leg as a weapon.

Dog on the playground

The only visitor to a school ground that could trump a cast-wearing, hair-gelled, catchphrase-spouting Year 4. Bonus points if you got to watch a dinner lady try to catch it.