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The Book

Out now at Amazon | Waterstones

Middle Class Handbook on Twitter
Chattering Class

Leicester City overkill

Yes we get it, it's lovely. But can we talk about something else now?

Online petitions

Please sign our online petition to have them banned


The new Frozen

Artisan marshmallows


The word “artisan”


Discussing sourdough recipes

You buy it? Might as well wear a Burberry baseball cap

Getting the right shade of fake tan

“Just enough to stop my legs looking like something I dug up”

Travelling off-peak on rural branchline trains


Pointless gadgets made by start-ups

Usually no better than Innovations catalogue stuff

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The Periodic Table of the Middle Class
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    Entries in MCH (106)


    Five reasons the self-service checkout is a false convenience  

    On its shiny, robotic surface, the self-service checkout looks like the quicker, more efficient option if you’ve only got a few items in your basket. But, be careful, because there are irritations aplenty lying in wait. Here are five reasons why it’s more hassle than it’s worth.

    1. Your handbag/shoulder bag keeps falling off every time you lean down to add something to your bags. Very annoying.
    2. Putting your fruit and vegetables through the self-service feels horribly like being back at primary school. The machine asks you to look through the listings of fruit, with photographs, and click on the image that matches the real-life fruit you’ve got in front of you. “Well done, human, yes that is a lime, you may continue,” it might as well say.
    3. That moment, on a tired day, when you search through all the listings and you can’t find the picture of a courgette. You simply can’t see for looking. And a member of staff comes over and finds the image in two seconds, and presses continue, and you feel a royal idiot.
    4. There’s never enough space in the ‘bagging area’, so you place one full bag on the floor to make way for another – only for the machine to fly into a panic and eventually malfunction. There’s no need to call for help; the machine is sending maniacal audio-visual signals to everyone in eyeshot. 
    5. The verification required for umpteen bottles of booze, plus the help you need when the machine malfunctions, means you’ve had more contact with members of staff than you would have had to endure at the bloody real-life checkout.


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