How to be a knobhead on both sides of the woke debate

BEING for or against woke is all the rage at the moment. Instead of being reasonable, why not head straight for the demented extremes of the debate?

Pro-woke: Find obscure causes of possible offence

These should be things that would never occur to any normal person, eg. ‘Why are there so few board games designed for LGBTQ+ people?’ There’s no better way to advance a worthwhile cause than to sound like you’re parodying it.

Anti-woke: Make things up 

People on the anti-woke media bandwagon/gravy train ignore actual prejudice, which is inconveniently real, preferring to invent silly examples: ‘How long before people are identifying as a toilet brush?’ It’s like claiming you’re a historian because you’ve written a paper on Noggin the Nog.

Pro-woke: Lecture people in a patronising way 

Before you came along, no one had ever considered that the British Empire might not be very nice. But thanks to whole minutes of in-depth googling, you can reveal completely undocumented historical injustices like the Opium Wars and society being a bastard to Alan Turing. 

Anti-woke: Lecture people in a deranged way

Confidently predict the total collapse of normal society due to woke. If you worry your own nonsense might be making you lose your grip on reality, remember it’s an occupational hazard of working for the Telegraph.

Pro-woke: Rigidly take sides

‘If you’re not with me, you’re my enemy’ said Darth Vader, who’s not the best role model. Nonetheless, assume anyone not 100 per cent supportive of every aspect of woke is evil and join in every unsavoury Twitter pile-on.

Anti-woke: Have a totally cynical political agenda

For many anti-woke pundits, woke isn’t anything to do with woke. It’s about keeping the public voting Tory now Brexit is inexplicably losing its sparkle. Don’t expect it to stop until there’s something else to pathetically play the victim over.

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How to panic and f**k it up when someone asks for directions

BEING asked for directions used to be a common occurrence before smartphones intervened. Here are six deranged ways to react if it happens now:

Make something up

Rather than say you don’t know to a motorist, panic and blurt out a series of semi-convincing left and right turns at fictitious landmarks. Spend the next hour living in paranoid terror that they’ll find you again and implausibly decide to beat you up.

Be painfully accurate

Completely mess things up by being excruciatingly pedantic about junctions and road lanes. Throw in a little local history too. If they’re a middle-aged man you could be there for hours. If not, they’ll be looking for someone else to ask within seconds.

Pretend you’re foreign

Rather than admit your ignorance, pretend to have a foreign accent and speak very little English. It’s offensive but at least there’ll be no doubt about you being a twat when you unconvincingly burble: ‘Me no habitez locally, amigo.’

Become distracted by their appearance

Become fixated on a facial blemish or the person’s general appearance, and rudely stare. Ask if they’re on TV and if you can have a selfie. You’ll avoid giving directions entirely as they’ll decide you’re a nutcase and put the pedal to the metal.

Get needlessly defensive

It’s bloody unreasonable to be asked a question without adequate preparation. You’re fully entitled to say ‘I don’t know! Why are you asking me? I haven’t memorised the f**king road atlas. Don’t you have a phone?’ Feeling guilty and shouting ‘Sorry’ after them will do little to help.

Make it all about you

Do the thing you always do in conversation and bring it all back to you. ‘Yes, I’ve often meant to visit Matalan. I find it hard to buy clothes that fit due to having short legs…’ If they’re in a car, they’re haring off. If they’re on foot, they’re running.