Cling film and other seemingly simple inventions they still manage to f**k up

MANKIND can travel into space and cure cancer, so how come so many straightforward minor inventions are useless and annoying? Like these…

Cling film

Used for all manner of household tasks, from covering plates of food to dangerous sex games. That’s if you can find the f**king start of it then somehow peel it back in one piece. Instead it tears halfway, leaving you trying to wrap your sandwich in a two-inch strip which is already sticking to its bloody self. How’s your blood pressure, by the way?

Fray Bentos pies

A meat pie in a tin that keeps it fresh for years. Genius! So long as you have an engineering degree to get into the f**ker in the first place. Eventually you prise half the lid open but a load falls on the floor and it’s taken so long you’ve lost your appetite anyway. Which is no bad thing because they taste and smell like shit anyway.

Squeezy mayonnaise bottles

Ideal if you like throwing away half of what you’ve bought because it’s stuck in the bottle. You’ll end up taking the top off and fishing around inside with a butter knife to salvage mayo from all the gunk stuck to the sides. We’ve invented Teflon so surely it’s piss-easy to give it a non-stick lining? Certainly compared to building an atom bomb?

Egg cartons

Eggs are the most delicate thing on the planet, and prone to crack if you just look at them sternly. So what better receptacle then than a flimsy cardboard container with no real ability to prevent crushing by tins of beans and beer bottles? They’re not sealable and cardboard is porous so they’ll also helpfully leak raw egg over your bag of salad.

Waterproof plasters

Waterproof plasters are indeed 100 per cent water resistant – right up to the point of getting wet. After you’ve performed the arduous task of successfully peeling the backing off and applying it while your cut finger drips blood, you can’t face doing it again so can’t wash your hands. Even if you’ve been for a shit. Don’t mention that to anyone.

Disposable barbecues

Easily mankind’s most f**ked-up invention ever. They’re so tiny they’re useless unless you’re a very sad bastard having a barbecue for one. Even then you’ve only got a three-minute window between it being fully ablaze and the meagre amount of charcoal fizzling out and going cold. At least the ‘disposable’ bit is dead right. Chuck it straight in the bin and save yourself the hassle of using it.

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Were you a crap lad of the 1990s? Take our quiz

LAD culture was all the rage in the 90s, but it was harder being a lad than you might expect. Take our quiz and see if you didn’t quite live up to the Loaded ideal.

What were you wearing?

A) All the lad fashions of the time – Ellesse, Fila, pristine Reebok Classics. 

B) I had an Adidas tracksuit top, but I just looked like a swimming instructor.

Did you sleep with a lot of women?

A) Yeah. I pulled pretty frequently when I went clubbing. And quite a few of them bore more than a passing resemblance to the Loaded-approved babes of the era: Kathy Lloyd, Kelly Brook, Lucy Pinder.

B) Just my girlfriend. Until she dumped me, signalling the start of a two-year ‘dry spell’. Still, all those FHM swimsuit pictures of Kirsty Gallacher served a purpose during those barren times.

I bet you were really into football, right?

A) Totally, me and my mates were always going to games.

B) Totally. I watched every episode of Fantasy Football League with Frank Skinner and Cambridge Footlights alumnus David Baddiel. Working class culture doesn’t get much more authentic than that.

Did you get into dodgy but hilarious scrapes, like in the classic lad hooligan movie The Football Factory?

A) Ha, I did get off with this woman whose boyfriend was in the Paras. I was shitting myself. Managed to end it amicably without getting my head kicked in.

B) I once threw up all over myself in a pub and had to go home. It was disgusting and really embarrassing. Does that count? 

Did you do a lot of drugs?

A) A fair bit. Mainly recreational stuff. Speed, coke, a lot of Es. 

B) The small town in Wiltshire where I lived wasn’t exactly awash with class As but you could spend £60 on four White Doves containing so little MDMA you’d get a similar mellow high off a mug of Horlicks. So our main drug of choice was ‘lager’. 

What was a typical lads’ night out like?

A) A continental lager-fuelled odyssey of banter and chat-ups in trendy bars and nightclubs. With end-of-night hi-jinks like Connor chatting up a policewoman. Classic.

B) Sitting in the same regional pub, with the same male mates, talking about work. It wasn’t qualitatively any different to what the puce-faced, 50-something borderline alcoholics at the bar were doing. So really I didn’t need to be a lad at all. 

Did you read the lads’ magazines?

A) Yeah, for the babes and fashion. Mainly I was out getting pissed though.

B) Yeah, mainly I read the magazines instead of going out getting pissed. To this day I’m weirdly knowledgeable about ‘lad’ things I’ll never do, like how to fight a timber wolf to the death and driving a Challenger 2 tank. 


Mostly As: You really lived the lad lifestyle! You must have been one of the tiny 0.0001 per cent of the population who was a coked-up middle class media wanker droning on about f**king Arsenal.

Mostly Bs: You had the authentic lad experience. It was a lot shitter than nostalgic lads will ever admit and all you’ve got to show for it is a load of extremely mediocre CDs by Oasis and The Farm.