On the agenda: September albums; School of Life stationery; Doctor Who; Sharknado
Middle-class problems: Workmen
By Nicholas Barber
It should be simple. You've got a pipe/wire/something scary that needs mending, so you hire a professional to do it for you. Sorted. Yet, when you open your front door to a plumber or an electrician, logic goes out of the window. You notice your accent slipping several Osbornes down the poshness scale.
You hide your copy of The Independent under a sofa cushion. You try to sound knowledgeable about the workman's (and let's be honest, it is still usually a man) favourite football team. All of a sudden, he's not just a bloke with a hammer and a white van. He's half-god, half-new best friend.
The workman, sensing weakness, launches into a series of questions, quite possibly devised by CIA interrogators. This pipe/wire/something scary, he asks. When was it last fixed? Who fixed it? Didn't you notice that they were using a self-tapping screw with a 5mm slotted-hex washer head? By the time he's finished, you can barely muster the strength to brew him six cups of tea and break out the biscuits.
But the biscuits are part of the problem. On some level, they symbolise the class divide, and your embarrassment about getting someone working-class to do your dirty jobs for you. And that's why you're being so spineless. You're terrified that the workman might accuse you of looking down on him.
Which makes no sense. In the 21st century, the chances are his qualifications and earnings are way beyond anything you'll ever achieve. How come he's not afraid of looking down on you?
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Jeremy Clarkson courted by Russian Ministry of Defence TV station to present motoring show
One Direction fans campaign to buy the band after Zayn Malik quits
Kay Burley 'bias' against Ed Miliband prompts 130 complaints to Ofcom
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest