A lover's guide to delivering the perfect Valentine's Day from the all-night garage

FORGOTTEN Valentine’s Day? In a desperate panic? Here’s how to delight your loved one with generic tat from the nearest open shop:

Buy the only card left

You’ve got to get a card, even if you are so impoverished of imagination that you let the soppy printed message do all the work and just scrawl your name at the bottom. Pick the reddest, most impractically sized monstrosity you can find, preferably padded. Bonus points if it’s full of glitter that your partner has to hoover up after they’ve opened it.

Throw in some chocolate

Chocolate is romantic, right? Well, maybe if you’d spent a ruinous amount of money on a batch of handcrafted artisanal truffles with your partner’s name carefully piped on each one. A multipack of Double Deckers doesn’t demonstrate quite the same level of forethought and care.

Don’t buy flowers

A bunch of wilted flowers from a petrol station is a Valentine’s Day cliche which you aren’t going to perpetuate. Instead, grab something like a can of de-icer or a set of jump leads and spin it to your partner as a hilariously ironic and witty gift. They will crack a fake smile while hating you on the inside.

Leave the price on

Nothing says romance like spontaneity, so the fact that you present your gifts wrapped loosely in a plastic bag with the word ‘Esso’ printed on it just shows you’re a free-wheeling maverick who follows your heart. After all, you can’t put a price tag on love, even though £2.50 is clearly the amount you’ve chosen.

If all else fails, get a scratch card

Everyone loves a scratch card as they offer the potential of getting loads of cash, ditching your old life and running away to sunnier climes with a string of hot young lovers. Which is exactly what your partner is going to want to do after spending yet another horribly disappointing Valentine’s Day with you.

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Rustler's microwave burgers and other quick meals for the lonely and desperate

GOURMET restaurants and fancy dinner parties are for people with friends. Here’s what’s on the menu for those who always eat alone:

Rustler’s burger

Is it made of reconstituted horse? Is it grown in a lab? Is it fit for human consumption? Nobody knows, but if you’ve been brought so low by life that you’re prepared to eat one, you probably don’t care. Next time you cook one, take a good long look at yourself in the microwave door and ask if you could have made better choices.

A packet of wafer-thin ham

Standing in the cold glow of the fridge light mindlessly shoving an entire packet of ham into your gob does not constitute a good meal, no matter what you tell yourself about the importance of getting enough protein. It’s not the keto diet, it’s a tragic lack of self-respect.

The same leftovers for the fifth night running

People complain marriage is monotonous, but have they ever tried making a large bolognese, putting it in a Tupperware box and then spending a week miserably ladling out a portion each night? After five nights in a row the sight of those carefully chopped carrot chunks will make you want to throw up.

Beige freezer medley

If you have no significant other, you also have no one to judge you for eating the dregs of the freezer in place of a balanced meal. Fill your plate with entirely beige foods, including potato waffles, chicken nuggets, chips and onion rings, and then enjoy a rock-solid beige bowel movement two days later.

Just crisps

If you can’t be arsed to rouse yourself from your lonely torpor to create something vaguely resembling a decent dinner, then several bags of crisps will at the very least stop you from fainting. Kid yourself that a bag of rosemary and sea salt kettle chips is fancy and means you haven’t entirely given up on yourself, before getting into bed with some scampi fries and having a big sob.