MUM refusing to get off the phone? Cut the call short and save yourself a load of earache with these excuses:
‘The cat’s brought a mouse in’
This is obviously a crisis situation which requires your immediate attention, so your mum’s fascinating story about the state of aunt Mary’s haemorrhoid replacement operation will have to wait. Double check you’ve got a cat first, or you’ll blow your cover.
‘My sofa’s inexplicably caught fire’
The threat of spontaneous immolation should force your mum to start wrapping up her rambling anecdote about her ingrowing toenail. Although she might take the opportunity to remind you about the importance of contents insurance. Her friend Pam could fix you up with a good rate if you’ve got a pen and paper ready to take her number?
‘The doctor’s about to call’
A risky strategy. Could drag out the conversation as you’re forced to invent an illness that’s serious enough for the surgery to ring you when they’re not in the least interested in your mum’s irritable bowel when she has a madras. But needs to be mild enough to prevent your mum from rushing over, keen to discuss ailments for hours.
‘My dinner’s burning’
Timing is key for this one. It can only be used within an hour of your 5pm mealtime, which is when you ate as a child and your mum naturally assumes hasn’t changed. Use this excuse in the mid-afternoon and she’ll diagnose you with a compulsive eating disorder, extending the chat for an hour as she recommends the therapist her friend Ange from Zumba has.
‘There’s somebody at the door’
Less successful as she’ll wait on the line while you answer it. So you’ll have to go through the motions of opening the door and having a pretend conversation with nobody like a lunatic, while your mum does the same down the discarded phone.
‘I love you but can’t actually stand talking to you, sorry’
Less an excuse than harsh, undeniable truth. Your mum will fall silent for a second, admit that she feels the same and that she’s disappointed in the adult you’ve become, then tell you about it being too hot in the room where she does flower-arranging classes as if the honesty never happened.