'I'm a bit overstretched' and other diplomatic ways to say you can't be arsed

BEING asked to do actual work? Then you get home and a friend only wants to go out for a f**king drink? Get out of it with these befogging phrases: 

‘I’m a bit overstretched’

Gives the impression of an Olympic gymnast who already has one foot behind her head and the other hooked over a bar, which is honestly how you feel inside. Not a woman slumped on her sofa next to a family bag of Doritos who could help you move but has a big schedule of binge-watching planned.

‘I’m at mental capacity’

Your mind only holds enough space for two things in your leisure hours – eating and sleeping. Drinking is more of a learned reflex. That’s why you simply haven’t the emotional bandwidth for the life-changing experience of meeting your mate’s new baby. If asked again, repeat and stress ‘mental’.

‘That’s going to be tricky for me’

How can you possibly attend an exhibition of Napoleonic teapots on a disappointing second date you’d forgotten making when you’ve got a colonoscopy in Manchester nine days before? The logistics just aren’t on your side, what with potential train and meteor strikes.

‘It can’t really be my focus right now’ 

Asked to take on a minor project, you launch into a pre-prepared list of every single ongoing job you have, from what’s open on your screen behind Twitter currently to stuff you were assigned in 2019 when you took the job and still haven’t looked at. The manager making the request will feel belittled and selfish for even asking.

‘Could we reschedule?’

A gamble on your friend’s popularity; if you throw another date out there and they say ‘yes, absolutely’ they’re clearly lonely and not worth hanging out with. If they reply ‘actually I’m chocka until September’ you can play Zelda in your pants, occasionally worrying if that makes you the unpopular one.

‘Is that tonight?!’

Damn your subconscious for blocking out this event and causing you to click away calendar and text reminders. It’s so lazy and unwilling! But now it’ll take two hours to get there, the buses are so bloody unreliable, afraid there’s just no way you can get to boardgame night with your ex and his weird housemates. Ah well.

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The CV of Dominic Raab, Britain's least employable man

DOMINIC Raab is walking away from politics to take up one of the countless offers from employers who want an inept bully on staff. Here’s his CV: 

Dominic ‘Gripper’ Raab

Previous positions include foreign secretary, justice minister, lord chancellor, and deputy prime minister. Brexit secretary back in 2018 when Brexit was f**king Brexit. All positions only left either when all problems were entirely fixed or if resigning to destabilise boss.

Proudly did not serve in the Truss administration.

Career highlight: acting as prime minister for a week in 2020 when boss was seriously ill, running entire UK and colonial possessions. Returning it a week later in full working order. Nobody was allowed out or to do anything during this period, but still.

Currently Member of Parliament for Esher and Walton. Reason for leaving: just too small for a man of my stature and calibre. Polls are irrelevant to me, I’d outperform them. I’m definitely not worried I’d lose their poxy little election.

Experience previous to politics: six years working professionally as a solicitor, frequently for the Civil Service. But this was before it was a woke blob, in the New Labour years before everything went off the bloody rails.

Significant achievements: beat 2017 libel case against paid-off junior who baselessly accused me of bullying and sexual harrassment. Came creditable sixth in 2019 leadership contest. Brexit.

Organised 2021 evacuation of Afghanistan personnel while on holiday, from actual beach. Independent investigation of multiple bullying complaints upheld a mere two out of eight. Resigned on principle.

Co-author of Britannia Unchained, which accused Britons of being ‘the worst idlers in the world’ and ‘more interested in football and pop music’. This is the energy I’d bring to your business.

Black belt in karate, third dan. These hands are lethal weapons. This is also the energy I’d bring to your business if anyone thought they could f**king cross me.

Areas of expertise: bullying, the importance of the Dover-Calais freight crossing (hard-won), foreigners, deportation, glaring.

Interests: Country walks, reading, spending time with family.