Seven ways to walk past a homeless person without being consumed by middle-class guilt

BEING homeless is incredibly hard – but so is walking past them outside Waitrose. Here’s how to put your class-related guilt to one side and glide past painlessly.

Stare intently ahead and think about something else

Seeing a homeless person may make you sad or despondent. One way of avoiding these annoying emotions is to ignore the vagrant and think about something else, like cake or puppies (not ones on a bit of string). Basically you just have to hold your nerve and not look at them. Turn it into a game by pretending they’re Weeping Angels and you’re Doctor Who.

Do your most sympathetic face

If you don’t want to ignore the homeless but don’t want to talk to them either – let’s face it, it’s always just doom and gloom – then adopt a melancholic facial expression. Try to convey the message: ‘I’m not going to talk to you or give you any money, but I feel really bloody awful about all this.’ They will find that hugely comforting.

Shrug and mumble something about not having any change

The ‘shrug and mumble’ approach to homelessness is a national institution. You’ll find saying ‘Sorry [mumble mumble] no change [shrug] only cashcard [mumble] sorry [shrug]’ is a great help to anyone without a home. It’s so deeply imbedded that thanks to evolution future generations will be born with an innate ability to reject those in need with a sheepish mumble about bank cards.

Wear headphones  

Listening to music through headphones is a great way of avoiding other human beings generally. And when dodging rough sleepers and the associated pangs of shame, an upbeat playlist will cheer you up. Just don’t have the volume too high so they hear Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves as you cheerfully hurry past their grubby sleeping bag.

Offer some brief words of encouragement

Sometimes a few kind words are far more valuable than things like money and shelter. This isn’t actually true, but it’s cheaper from your point of view. Definitely try to say something vaguely positive like ‘Take care’, but don’t overdo the positivity. ‘Things will look better in the morning’ or ‘Turn that frown upside down!’ aren’t really appropriate.

Sprint by like it’s an emergency

If you’re feeling particularly cowardly, simply run straight past any homeless person you see. It’s important the homeless person doesn’t know you’re avoiding them so feign a life-or-death drama by saying something like ‘Oh God – the hospital!’ as you sprint by. Move fast enough and you might be able to outrun your own guilt and hypocrisy. Also hope the homeless person doesn’t say ‘Are you okay, love/mate?’ because then you’ll feel like a real shit.

Pretend you’re on the phone to a homeless charity

The nub of the problem is this: you don’t really want to help the homeless person (because it involves talking to them and money) but you want to look like the sort of person who does. So next time you pass one, hold your phone to your ear and loudly say, ‘Hello, is that Shelter? I’d like to increase my monthly donation to £300.’ If you feel genuine guilt about this you can’t be that terrible a person. In fact, you’re practically a saint.

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Woman into World War 2 every man's fantasy

THE greatest sexual fantasy of every heterosexual male in the UK is a woman with an interest in military history 1939-45, a study has proved.

Research revealed there is no bigger turn-on for British men than meeting a woman who can hold an informed conversation about the Battle of Britain.

Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies said: “Men claimed to be aroused by large breasts, lingerie or shapely arses. But when we showed them a woman discussing WW2, that turned out be a lie.

“After mere seconds of watching a video of a woman talking about D-Day most of them were struggling to hide their erections. One spontaneously ejaculated when she started giving accurate figures for SS casualties in the Normandy campaign.

“Another subsequently confessed that his ultimate fantasy was a threesome with two women who really knew their stuff about the development of the T-34.”

Study participant James Bates said: “If my wife could talk to me about the underlying causes of the failure of Operation Market Garden, I’m sure my erectile problems would be a thing of the past.”

Fellow test subject Tom Logan said: “My girlfriend likes to tease me by asking if I want to see her beevor. By which of course she means Antony Beevor’s definitive account of the Battle of Stalingrad.”