Splitting a restaurant bill most stressful life event after moving house and getting divorced

A new study to be published next month has revealed that the stress levels produced by divvying up a restaurant bill between a large group of people is on a par with moving house or getting divorced.

The University of Tewkesbury questioned 12,000 people in the largest ever study of its kind.  Early results suggest that as splitting a bill is usually done at the end of the night, after everyone has had several drinks and is desperate not to miss the last train home, the situation can spiral disastrously out of control.

University spokesman Dr Julian Smith says that problems can occur when someone announces “I’m not drinking much tonight, I’ve got an early start tomorrow”, and then insists on working out the price of two thirds of a glass of wine.  “Then someone always orders a main course that is way more expensive than everyone else’s, and no one can quite agree how much of a tip to leave.  Things get worse when the waiter inevitably adds an extra gin and tonic in the hope that they’ll all be too pissed to notice.”

One survey respondent commented, “My wife and I had just moved into a new house so that we could live closer to her family.  To celebrate, I organised a big family dinner with 8 of her relatives, but splitting the bill between that bunch of pissheads caused so much aggro that we’re now getting divorced. Fuck my life.”

London couple on holiday in Cotswolds ‘bored shitless’ after 24 hours

30-something couple Sunny and Neema Shah, from Dalston, can’t wait to get back to the safe and warm embrace of East London.  The reason for their homesick pining?  They’ve stupidly gone on a week’s holiday to Gloucestershire and are deeply regretting the decision.

“We thought a spell of pastoral relaxation would be really nice, but instead we’re so bored we’ve started playing ‘I spy with my little eye’, the answers to which are a bit predictable when you’re in a field”, complains Sunny.  “The English countryside is overrated. It’s full of horse shit, pollen and racists.  There isn’t even a Boxpark out here.  We’ve just spent 2 hours in Bibury staring at a row of cottages that look barely habitable.  We’re doing falconry tomorrow, and all I can think is that my eyes might get pecked out, which will make me rubbish at ‘I Spy’.”

Neema is also unimpressed with the Cotswolds.  “Bourton is described in the guidebooks as pretty and quaint, but when you’re being kettled up the High Street in a huddle of 200 American tourists at the pace of an elderly tortoise in a fucking Ikea, it takes the shine off.  On the other hand, we got hammered last night, on a really decent Chianti that only cost 12 quid down the local pub.  Get in.”

Restoration contractors advised to stop setting fire to historical monuments

Restoration contractors who are tasked with restoring and preserving Europe’s greatest monuments are being strongly advised to try and avoid burning them to the ground, it has emerged.  Since the devastating fire that tore through Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, it has been suggested that destroying historically important buildings should probably been avoided.

In a damning report into the fire, which hasn’t been commissioned yet but presumably will, a number of recommendations aimed at reducing the likelihood of further fires will be made.  These include turning off electrical appliances when workers pack up for the night, not having a crafty fag and lobbing the dog-end into things made of wood or fabric, and removing priceless combustible artifacts before setting up high-voltage power tools next to them.

A site foreman who wishes to remain anonymous, and who has worked on a number of prestigious  restoration projects over the past few years, has welcomed the as-yet not commissioned report.  “It’s not easy trying to remember all the safety stuff on site.  So to be reminded of things like not leaving the welding torches on when we go for our tea break, or not plugging in the curling tongs next to the rood screen, is actually quite useful.  For example, centuries-old timbers are quite likely to catch fire when you have an indoor barbecue next to them.  Who knew?”

The following buildings have, within the last few decades, also been engulfed in flames after someone forgot they were supposed to not destroy them:

The Cutty Sark
Glasgow School of Art (twice, for crying out loud)
Clandon Park
Windsor Castle
York Minster
The entire City of London, when a Pudding Lane resident left a chip pan on

All monuments will be fully repaired at great expense by interested philanthropist millionaires.  The NHS will continue to be chronically under-funded.


Street food contains more bacteria than a public toilet

It’s 3pm on a Saturday afternoon in London’s Brick Lane, and the street is thronging with punters happily tucking into little polystyrene tubs of rice-based fork food.  The aroma that fills the air is a heady mix of spices, grilled meats and diesel fumes.  However, the exotic romance of this food-lovers paradise conceals a dark secret.  Those gigantic metal cooking pans with tiny handles on the sides aren’t as innocent as they look.

According to a study out today by The University of Tewkesbury, street food is full of the most disgusting shit imaginable, and we’re not just referring to those weird spongey bits of chicken in the paella.

Chef/ minimum wage pan stirrer, Armando, loads up a tub of Thai Green Curry and shoves a wooden spork into it.  “I’ve sneezed into that twice”, he admits, handing it to me.  “I’ve got a nasty cold but I need the money so I’m working a full shift today.  I try not to make my coughing too obvious, and most people are oblivious anyway because they’re busy Instagramming the food.  That’ll be ten quid please.”

Hannah is stirring a massive black pan on the next stall.  “I caught a pigeon wading through the Nasi Goreng earlier.  I hit it with my spatula and it flew off with its feet stained yellow.  There’s nothing we can do about it.”

Lab tests have revealed that the possibility of catching food poisoning, cholera or AIDS is worryingly high.  Advice for foodies is to get themselves vaccinated as if they were a gap year student embarking on a round-the-world trip.

British tourist steals mosaic tiles from Pompeii relic to decorate new bathroom

A woman has been arrested by Italian police after being caught stealing mosaic pieces from the floor of an important historical site.  According to a local police spokesman, in her statement she claimed that her interior designer back in the UK couldn’t find any tiles she liked, despite the brief being to find something ‘that evokes the aesthetic of ancient Italianate interior design with a hint of 70’s decadence’.  Pompeii police found dozens of the priceless artefacts in her bag.

The statement, leaked exclusively to The Bluelands Gazette, reads: “Why shouldn’t I have exactly what I want in my bathroom?  I’ve paid a lot of money already for the basins and taps and showers, and I expect a high level of service.  I suggested to my designer that she might want to think about raiding a UNESCO World Heritage site to get the look I want, but all I got from her was a load of ‘can’t be bothered’ attitude.”

We tracked down the interior designer in question who wearily told us that the woman, who is receiving British consular assistance but has not yet been named, has been a total ball ache to deal with.  “She couldn’t decide from brochure pictures what she wanted, so she insisted on us ordering the entire bathroom and delivering it to her free of charge so she could touch it and breathe all over it and then decide whether she wanted it or not.  And then take it away if she didn’t like it.  Then she comes out with this ridiculous idea about the bloody mosaic tiles.”

The designer continues. “I hope she gets thrown into an Italian prison and has to eat boiled pasta every day until her arse is the size of her new sofa that I spent 3 months sourcing.”