Donald MacInnes

Donald MacInnes writes Tales from the Water Cooler, which can be found every Saturday on page 2 of i. And, although a financial near-imbecile, he writes a weekly column in The Independent’s Money section, also on Saturdays. He writes regularly on a broad range of subjects in i’s Freeview section and occasionally fills in on Simon Kelner’s daily column when emotionally up to it. @DonaldAMacInnes

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Donald MacInnes: It takes patience to make a living, and a high pain threshold

Earning money is not always the easiest thing to do. From the bottom to the top of society. It can't be easy standing behind a till in Greggs all day, lobbing sausage rolls at insolent 15-year-olds called Jayden. Of course, at the comfier end of the spectrum, movie stars have to put up with paps papping them every time they sneeze and must tolerate sniggering chat show gonks like Graham Norton in order to convince us to watch their new film. So it's swings and roundabouts.

Donald MacInnes: Who would want to be a Barbie girl in a non-Barbie world?

Fans of late-80s body-swap comedy films will recall Penny Marshall's Big, in which Tom Hanks played a little boy transformed overnight into his older self. He gets a job with a large toy manufacturer, and immediately begins to rise up the corporate ladder thanks to his relentless ability to come up with dynamite ideas for new toy lines, because he can think like a child.

Donald MacInnes: My wasted hours in the retail deserts of Dixons-Carphone

People assume, because my writing appears in a quality national newspaper (and its slick website), that I must be held accountable for my opinions. Even if those opinions were only ever meant to provide light relief from the news, people still take me far too seriously.

Donald MacInnes: Online banking? It presses all the wrong buttons

Ah, January. A month among months. Named, obviously, after the Viking god Janus, who brought stability to the 12 warring kingdoms by inventing the world's first self-service checkout.

Donald MacInnes: Elvis's generosity, football bribery and other disappointments

In a final act of post-festive laziness, I intend to take one last look at the best of last year's columns. If that's okay with you…

Donald MacInnes: The dog that sold for a million and a vision of Father Ted

Welcome to another seasonal “Best of In the Red”. I do hope Santa was good to you and you managed to get through the holiday without any fairy light-based violence.

Donald MacInnes: It would be childish and unhelpful to compare Ukip to the Nazis...

As I dictate these words to my long-time stenographer, Mrs Cooper, I am reclining on my sick bed, its inert, Bauhaus-inspired lines interrupted and, to my shame, very much corrupted by the gothic filigree flourishes of – and there is really no way of putting this elegantly – my hardened snot.

Donald MacInnes: Why do we indulge Farage? Why aren’t we storming the Lords?

Two recent events made me very, very angry.

Donald MacInnes: We're having a baby so I won't get the Banana Splits for Christmas

Somewhere in the minds of each of those people who share your bloodline or your name, there resides a number. This figure represents an amount of money that these people – your family, basically – are prepared to spend on you at Christmas. (This is assuming that both they and you follow either the Judao-Christian perception of Christmas, or the more economically fluid Argos-Amazon translation.)

Donald MacInnes: Can you really put a price on magic? Even second-rate magic?

Why are we at all surprised when, at this time of year, we go through money like a canoe through water? Since when was Christmas anything at all to do with good financial sense?

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