Can I cancel my holiday to an island on fire? F**k off, explains a lawyer

ARE you on, or going to, an island that is on fire for your holiday? Lawyer Denys Finch Hatton explains why this is entirely your responsibility: 

We’re due to fly to Rhodes this week. Can we cancel? 

Of course you can, while paying in full. It’s hardly the airline’s fault that Rhodes is ardenti inferno right now, is it? If they are willing to fly you to the hot zone then they have fulfilled their legal duties. You might want to be evacuated. That might be why you’re going.

If I want to fly home early am I entitled to a refund? 

Absolutely not. That’s your decision. If your airline or travel agent decides you’re unsafe it will arrange a flight. Which it won’t, because you’re safely sleeping on the floor of a gymnasium and the wildfires are at least a mile away until the wind changes.

Does my travel insurance cover wildfires? 

Is it called wildfire insurance? No? Then of course it f**king doesn’t. It covers you for travel, losing bags, etcetera. Wildfires are merely a natural feature of the environment and you’re no more covered for them than for sunburn. You people want something for nothing.

Will my health insurance cover wildfire injuries? 

Yes, with caveats. If you wilfully remained in the area of wildfires rather than paying for an immediate flight home or flew in when wildfires were raging or have contributed to climate change in the past then no. There are always exceptions.

We were evacuated, lost our luggage, and flown home after two days. Are we entitled to compensation?

Are you f**k. After your travel agent went to all that trouble? Do you ask a fireman for compensation when he’s carrying you from your burning home? And it sounds like you left your luggage to burn, so it’s your fault. In fact the resort owner has grounds for suit as your luggage was flammable material with which you deliberately fed the flames.

Free fruit provided by a relief effort post-evacuation gave me diarrhoea. Can I sue? 

That’s more like it. Screwing governments and charities out of cash is what the legal profession exists for. Yes, you can sue for the entire cost of your holiday, a whole new wardrobe, and compensation for emotional distress and ongoing anxiety. I await your instructions.

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Six times you've racked up more than eight hours of phone time a day

YOU look at your phone a perfectly reasonable number of times a day, and less than most. The screentime records it keeps are probably wrong, and anyway excusable: 

8h 12m: You had to send a difficult work email

When facing a simple but daunting task, you deserve a phone break or seven. Perhaps three consecutive hours watching YouTube shorts of unrealistically jacked people making overnight oats was too many. But the email got sent and you still think about those oats, and their hot, shirtless makers, so time well spent.

9h 23m: Searching for the origins of a meme

Everyone was quoting the meme and you didn’t get it. A desperate need to stay relevant sent you spiralling into the deepest investigation of your life, onto obscure subreddits that should only be medically prescribed. Anyone scanning through nine months of tweets from a 14-year-old edgelord would take this long. You actually did it quite quickly.

10h 49m: Downloading a new game

Candy Crush might be passé these days, but this new game you bought was totally different and a real mind-enhancer. Except that somehow you looked up, after an incredible run where you kept getting time-limited bonuses, to find the working day was over some hours ago. You deleted the game. It was asking you for money anyway.

11h 33m: At your parents’ house

Tedious monologues about the habits of their neighbours are the conversational highlights you expect from your parents, so of course you were scrolling social media. What sane person can get through contact with two adults who love and cherish them without the reassuringly beautiful people and deserted, exotic locations of Instagram?

13h 14m: Organising anything on WhatsApp

Jane couldn’t make Saturday and Toby was only free on the penultimate Thursday of even-numbered months, so the group chat was pinging with messages every millisecond. Then a secondary chat sprung up to talk about the behaviour in the first chat. Then a third chat came into being to find out if there was a second chat. You were pivotal to all three.

16h 06m: You discovered TikTok after promising you wouldn’t

It’s just a stupid app for teenagers to dance badly on, but you were a little curious. Four days later, you’d watched socio-political analyses of everything from communism to Corn Flakes and no longer understood the concept of time. It was the greatest day of entertainment you’ve ever had and all for free, apart from the bladder infection.