The middle class guide to complaining about privileged things

ANNOYED about your pizza oven’s expired warranty or your over-budget extension? Complain about privileged things in a self-aware way with this guide.

Use disclaimers 

Phrases such as ‘I know I shouldn’t complain, but…’ and ‘I feel so lucky even to have this problem’ buy you full rights to grumble about how hard it is to iron 800-thread-count White Company bed linen. And how annoying it is to hear your lazy cleaning woman whingeing about having to do it. 

Choose your audience

If you only ever voice your grievances in front of other middle-class people who also may be having problems with their instant boiling water tap, there’s no need to hold back. Just make sure you never stray into the company of a person on the lowest tax rate or a wealthy Guardian reader who likes to show off about having a conscience.

Mention your difficult youth

You don’t have to go full-on Monty Python ‘Four Yorkshiremen’, but mentioning your difficult childhood will go some way to offsetting the privilege of your current complaint. For example, when lamenting how hard it is to broach the subject of hourly rates with your new cleaner, be sure to mention that when you were young your parents were so poor they had to clean their own house. 

Get the tone right

You can say whatever you like so long as you sound guilty while you do it. If you whisper self-consciously enough, the thing you just said doesn’t count as having been said at all – such as your comment about the noise from your kitchen extension disrupting your private home-yoga sessions. 

Talk about how hard you work

You can justify complaining about any number of irritating issues with your smart doorbell’s camera as long as you also bang on about how bollocking busy you are working to afford all these needless luxuries. Even a rant about the ripeness of Waitrose golden kiwis is fair game after a busy week.

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Five ways to scare the f**k out of trick-or-treaters

ABOUT to be swamped by freeloaders in fancy dress? Send trick-or-treaters fleeing in terror with these tips.

Wear a scary celebrity mask

Someone like Prince Andrew or Jacob Rees-Mogg should do the trick. Actually maybe not the latter, nobody deserves to be exposed to that horrifying Victorian visage without warning. The kids will delighted by the surprise, but the adults escorting them will back away in a panic because you’re clearly insane.

Tell them about dental procedures

Ghosts and zombies are spooky, but do kids knocking on your door know what’s really scary? Root canals and tooth extractions as a result of eating too many sweets. Especially seeing as NHS dentists are fully booked for the next 12 years so you’ll have to pay for private treatment. Hammer your message home by describing how nerves are ripped out in graphic detail.

Get a f**king massive dog

A classic of the shitting-kids-up oeuvre. A barking mastiff straining at its chain will keep kids well away from your front door, leaving you to enjoy a quiet night in feeling bored in peace. There’s bound to be a hard kid or two who will try their luck, so spray some shaving foam around its mouth for good measure.

Invite them in

Call the bluff of these juvenile spongers by beckoning them in with a creepy voice. Preferably with the lights off to create a suitably chilling atmosphere. Runs the risk of backfiring big time because if the lemmings do come inside you can expect a visit from the police the next morning. Maybe just lie low for the evening instead.

Share your life story

Halloween is a time of exchanging stories of blood-curdling terror, so scare the pants off trick-or-treaters by telling them about your mid-level job in PR with no career prospects. You’re single, you don’t have a pension plan, and worst of all… it could easily happen to them in a few years’ time. They won’t be frightened in the moment, but the memory of your life story will haunt them for the rest of their days.