How to survive a packed Christmas train 

IF you’re going home for Christmas by train, it will be rammed with inconsiderate b*stards. Here’s how to get through the ordeal.

Get used to sitting on filthy floors
Psychologically prepare yourself for the leg of the journey to Didcot Parkway by practising sitting cross-legged in a disused factory thick with pigeon faeces, or a public toilet. Just try not to get done for trespassing or cottaging.

Take a shooting stick
No, not a gun, one of those walking sticks that opens up and becomes a wobbly one-legged chair. Feel like less of a twat by wearing a tweed jacket and saying, ‘Reminds you of the Glorious Twelfth, what?’

Learn gymnastics
An incredibly supple body will be helpful for wedging yourself into the gaps between other people and their massive suitcases. Try to think of it as ‘Human Tetris’.

Get smashed beforehand
High-risk strategy. On the one hand being totally pissed will make you barely aware of your journey through hell, but you could also get terminally confused and wake up in a field 300 miles from your parents’ house after a massive blackout.

Carry a chainsaw
Are you a tree surgeon having a well-deserved Christmas break, or a psychopathic dismemberer? Who can tell? Being arrested is a possibility, but people will definitely get out of your way when you need to use the toilet. You can give Uncle Alan the chainsaw as his present.

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Only four days until Christmas shopping begins, men warned

MEN have been reminded they only have four days left before they need to start doing their Christmas shopping.

With Christmas Eve afternoon approaching, time is running out for men to keep doing the important things they do all year round before embarking on a chaotic last-minute Christmas shop.

Donna Sheridan of the British Retail Association said: “Our message to men is ‘don’t panic’. There are still 96 hours of non-Christmas time left before you need to act. 

“Keep doing all your important man activities like going to the pub. Then at 5.30pm on December 24 have a frantic dash around an unfamiliar shopping centre in search of perfume and novelty socks.”

Office manager Tom Logan said: “I realise it’s a long way off yet, but I believe in planning ahead so I’ve already got my Christmas shopping strategy sorted.

“The moment I finish work on Christmas Eve I’ll be making a desperate, clueless sprint around John Lewis in search of shirt and tie combinations for my dad and whatever scent they’ve got on special offer.

“Fortunately the kids were sorted a while back. My wife got them bikes, or something.”