The crap parent's guide to scaring your kids shitless by explaining Ukraine

DO you feel your children should be aware of the war in Ukraine? But can you also not be arsed to explain it responsibly? Be sure to cover all these bases.

Explain the effects of a nuclear holocaust

Breezily inform your kids they’ll be vaporised instantly – along with mummy, daddy, all their toys and favourite pet. When they start crying reassure them they’re the lucky ones – it’s the kids trying to survive in the irradiated wasteland they should feel sorry for. Hypothetical child-eating giant cockroaches will add ‘colour’.

Imply the Russian army is coming for them personally

Your child hasn’t got a clue where Ipswich is, let alone Ukraine. So it’s easy to imply that hordes of brutal Russians are coming to the UK. Let their little imaginations run wild – they’ll soon believe the Russians are evil monsters with fangs who’ll pluck them from their beds for a midnight snack. Are kids daft or what?

Mention Chernobyl

In case the situation wasn’t terrifying enough, why not mention there’s a ruined nuclear power plant which could easily send clouds of radioactive dust over Europe if destroyed? Don’t get put off your stride describing the effects of severe radiation poisoning when they begin to blubber.

Implausibly, they’ll have to fight in Ukraine

Be misleadingly vague, saying things like ‘EVERYONE is having to help fight the Russians’, suggesting they’re about to be handed a rifle and shipped off to Kyiv. They’re too naive to question the logic of sending a small child who still carries a cuddly toy around to fight Spetsnaz commandos. Give an interesting account of bayonet combat to really get the bed-wetting started.

World War 3 is a certainty

Tell your kids Ukraine might seem far away, but World War 2 was triggered by Hitler’s invasion of Poland (a good opportunity to add an extra tutorial on the Nazis). Also explain Putin is totally insane and could do anything. You’ll get a nice break from watching Peppa bloody Pig if they’re sitting trembling under the dining room table waiting for the world to end.

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Six ways Neighbours changed your life for the worse in the 80s

NEIGHBOURS is to be permanently axed, but it was practically illegal not to watch it in the 80s. Forget nostalgia – here’s why the shitty Aussie soap was a blight on the nation.

It really was shit

Neighbours not only had wooden acting, clunky dialogue, trivial disputes and tedious misunderstandings, it also really plumbed the depths of soap opera toss – a character with amnesia, a plane crash (only killing unpopular characters) and Bouncer’s dream about marrying another dog, which is bollocks for too many reasons to list. 

You watched it twice a day

Due to its odd scheduling, you could go home from school and watch it at lunchtime, then catch it again when you got back later. Why? You wouldn’t watch something good like Apocalypse Now twice a day. What a f**king phenomenal waste of time.

Kylie caught the attention of Pete Waterman

Pete Waterman had the evil/brilliant idea of flogging his shit pop to very young, undiscerning teenagers. And what better new star than C-list girl next door Kylie Minogue? Soon the charts were full of irritating, soulless pop hits like I Should Be So Lucky. If you’ve ever wondered if Waterman actually hated music, the fact that he made a record with Roland Rat suggests ‘yes’.

Neighbours was a gateway drug

After dabbling in class B Australian telly, you wanted to try the hard stuff: Prisoner: Cell Block H. Inevitably the ropey prison soap ruined your life. Not in the heroin sense, just staying up half the night at uni watching it while stoned and failing to get a 2:1.

You can never respect an Australian actor again 

Almost every Aussie thesp did a stint on Ramsay Street. Try watching Master and Commander knowing Russell Crowe was in it. You’ll keep imagining Captain Aubrey having a barbie in the officers’ dining room. Other victims include Margot Robbie, Guy Pearce and Liam Hemsworth. Cate Blanchett is quite snooty about having avoided it, which is a bit rich considering her most famous role is an elf with plastic ears. 

You became permanently prejudiced against Australians

Even now, you can’t shake off the belief that all Australians are suburban dimwits obsessed with very minor problems, watering their lawns and getting a job at Daphne’s. And they’re all called things like Toadfish, the f**king idiots.