Complain at a restaurant: Six things dads can't believe you're too pathetic to do

YOUR children are your greatest source of pride and shame. Modern society has left them weak, embarrassing and without these basic skills, writes father Martin Bishop.

Parallel parking

You show a millennial a spot large enough to parallel park your Volkswagen Passat in and they’ll look at you blankly or whinge about the environment. When I learned to drive, I was able to pilot my Fiesta into any space, no matter how small it was or how drunk I was. This generation shouldn’t be allowed on the roads.

Complaining at a restaurant

My children say feeble things like ‘for God’s sake stop embarrassing us’ or ‘now you’re just being obnoxious’ whenever I calmly but firmly point out to a waiter the massive failings of their establishment, such as a missing butter knife. When will my kids understand that if you’re paying for ‘service’ in a modestly-priced roadside carvery you’re entitled to perfection?

Shaking hands properly

On his 18th birthday last year I gave my youngest, Nigel, a congratulatory handshake and frankly the experience left me cold. Instead of being firm and manly, Nigel’s dismal effort felt as if someone had slid a limp eel into my hand. A couple of years in the army would sort him out. Or he could just grip a bit more firmly next time.

Changing a tyre

Servicing a motor vehicle is one of mankind’s most fundamental skills, like hunting. I’m always furious with my children when they call the AA with their car problems instead of coming to me first. Sure, last time I changed a tyre on my car it resulted in a near-fatal blow-out on the M1, but that’s beside the point.

Finger whistling

Unhygienically putting your fingers in your mouth and whistling so loudly it’ll deafen anyone within five metres is a great way to get someone’s attention. Unfortunately, young people can’t get to grips with it and look at me jealously whenever I do it in the park, on public transport, or in the local library.

Appreciating Phil Collins

This generation are all about instant gratification. This means that they can’t enjoy great art that requires effort on their part, and Phil Collins really makes his listeners work in that respect. It’s sad to think my children will never know the joy of No Jacket Required, or an all-day Genesis marathon.

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Five brutally honest things you'd love to say at work

DO you spend your working day wishing you could speak your mind? Here are five things you dream of saying, loud and proud, in the interests of truth.

‘Piss off, you can’t have a fiver’ 

For Linda’s birthday gift, for Simon’s leaving do, for Hugh’s daughter’s sponsored readathon… not to mention all the marathons, bike rides and Ironmans. It’s bad enough being trapped in an office with these twats, let alone having to fund their stilted office gatherings and midlife crises.

‘I’m just going to half-ass this one’

You can’t be expected to perform at 100 per cent capacity all the time – 63 per cent is beyond the call of duty. Just once you’d like to tell your boss you can’t be arsed to make an effort with some trivial task. Your idiot colleagues and clients certainly won’t notice. However, this would shatter his self-important little world and you’d feel guilty about him having a nervous breakdown. 

‘I have no f**king idea what I’m doing’

You naively thought that by the time you were an adult with a proper job you’d have at least some idea how to do that job. And yet here you are winging it, day in, day out. You can’t even ask for help because everyone else is making it up as they go along too, the f**king frauds.

‘F**k off, Gary’ 

No one else wants to be friends with Gary, your involuntary workplace pal. He’s decided you’re his friend and homes in on you in the canteen to have boring conversations about work or women in the office he doesn’t stand a chance with. You want to tell him to go away but what if he topped himself, leaving a note saying his only friend had abandoned him? You’re being paranoid now and he’d just latch onto someone else, but it’s not worth the risk.

‘There is no point to our existence’

There’s nothing like an average day at work to really drive home the futility of existence. You’d like to share this revelation with everyone and give them a chance of finding freedom. But they’d just look at you blankly and go back to bitching inanely about how Clare’s taken too many days off with a slipped disc, which is probably made up anyway.