Five times you can bunk off work if you've got kids

CHILDREN are an expensive, noisy hassle. Their one saving grace is that you can use them to skive off work on these occasions.

Nativity plays

Watching your kid miss their cue, trip over their costume and forget their lines is an annual slog, but it gets you out of the office for an afternoon. When parents in the audience tearfully comment that their little ones are growing up so fast, it’s because they’re mourning the decline of a valuable excuse dispenser. Once they go to university it’s game over.

School runs

What’s wrong with the school bus? Nothing, except that it would mean you’d have to do a full day’s work. A round trip in your car eats up a couple of hours, time which you say you’ll make up but never do. It’s only fair though, you chose to reproduce which gives you certain inalienable rights, one of which is the entitlement to be a workshy twat.

They’ve done one cough

What’s that? Little Tilly did a single cough and doesn’t look the slightest bit peaky? Right, better scrap the afternoon of meetings you had lined up and drive her to the hospital. She’s obviously dying. Your colleagues will have to pick up the slack, which luckily they’re really good at because you do this every fortnight.

Extracurricular activities

School runs and illnesses only take up so much time. That’s why parents frogmarch their kids into sports clubs and music lessons, so they can skive off and attend to those as well. If you line everything up perfectly you can get away with briefly swinging by the office in the morning, taking an hour for lunch, then popping out until the next day.

It’s 4pm

Every day you can start frantically packing up and putting your coat on an hour early because of parental duties you don’t have time to explain. Fellow parents will understand, non-parents will look on with bitter resentment and suspect you’re bullshitting. It’s not like they can follow you and prove it, they’re chained to their desks until five.

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Fresher's entirely new personality not a hit at home

A FRESHER’S entirely new personality, developed and nurtured during his first term at university, is proving surprisingly unpopular with his hometown friends.

18-year-old Jack Browne, who now spells his first name ‘jaq’ without capitals, has reinvented himself as a genderqueer astrology-obsessed singer-songwriter, only for his mates to describe it as ‘bullshit’.

Friend Oli O’Connor said: “Astrology? He never even looked at the horoscopes in the Sun when he was reading the football results. Now apparently he’s Aries with Scorpio f**king rising.

“And this whole thing where he sweeps his fringe down and mutters like Joaquin Phoenix in Joker wasn’t much in evidence when we worked at Wetherspoons and he had special hand signals to alert me to girls with nice arses.

“We went down the pub, and all he wanted to talk about was his affinity for female singer-songwriters and his view that cis men should stop producing music to let other voices shine.

“I asked about Arsenal. He ‘doesn’t really follow them anymore’. I asked if he’d hooked up, and he said I was a foot soldier of the patriarchy. I asked how long this bullshit would last and he muttered under his fringe again. Me and his mum think Easter.”

Fellow friend Jordan Gardner said: “I can’t even bear to see him now. And that’s nothing to do with my coming back after  the first term as a non-binary singer-songwriter into astrology.”