"Anything can be a delicious and hearty meal if you just believe"Miranda Evans

What should I buy for my mother's boyfriend for Christmas? She says he’s a gentle lover – but does he deserve anything from me?

Catalogue of sex tips. Bam. Easy. You want to know why? Prong one of this approach: her beau is so insulted that your relationship to him is forever scarred by this gesture of goodwill, rendering the need for any future Christmas presents a moot point entirely. Prong two: her lover may no longer be so gentle. Whilst you may not like the mental image of a woman in her mid-fifties being ridden like a buxom young mare by a viagra-crazed cowboy, you are going to have to put up with it if you want her to turn a blind eye to all the mysterious new purchases you’ll be making on her credit card. Either way, you’ll be saving money in the long run – you could even splash out on a new pair of earplugs so you’re not kept up at night by the sounds that would make your poor old dad cry into his eighth bowl of instant mac and cheese from the squalor of his bachelor pad. Forget your mother’s sex life, you need your beauty sleep – you’ve got a degree to be getting on with! You’ll be the summa cum laude to her sigma cum… lord! Or at least he soon will be, having lovingly read through your gift to him. The guide doesn’t even have to be good. Get him a shit one you can find on the back of the shelf in the ‘literature’ section of TK Maxx so he knows just how unbothered you truly are. How do I know exactly where to find them, you ask? Well, as you know, any good literature student has a working knowledge of the classics…

Is it acceptable to get my grandma drunk on Christmas Day?

You’ll be the summa cum laude to her sigma cum… lord!

Well, that depends entirely on your purpose. If you’re thinking that, in her drunken merriment, the old bird will suddenly stump up half your inheritance as a holiday gift for being “such a good grandson/daughter/kid/moocher-in-chief”, you may as well believe that Santa lets Rudolph and all the other future McDoubles run free range for the other eleven months of the year (you can’t fool me, I’ve seen the PETA dispatches, mate). Come on, what else is there for an old lady to do during her retirement than piss away your keys to the easy life down at the bingo hall and a mad lads’ cruise to Shagaluf back in ‘05? You’d always foolishly assumed that photograph of her and Peter Andre in matching tankinis was your dad’s poor photoshop attempt to help her get over your dead grandad, but now, all the puzzle pieces are slowly falling into place. She’s probably so bored out of her mind most days that it’s a complete rarity she’s not roaring drunk before lunchtime rolls around, whether or not a roast turkey is there to soak up a morning of uninhibited boozing. Still, I wouldn’t waste the free alcohol - chances are the Christmas day food coma will immobilise her for a few hours, the perfect amount of time to swoop in and ransack her house for hidden treasures - pre-inheritance tax!

Help! I’m £400 in my overdraft, how should I prioritise Christmas shopping?


Mountain View

Ask Aunty Maddy: how do I sabotage a serial snack thief?

It’s funny. It’s soooo funny. Little did the poor sweet child that asked this question know it, but I’m currently in this exact situation. ‘Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it’, the #haters often say of my advice. This time, I’m going method. In fact, almost to the number. Take a look for yourself! It’s not all bad though: recently, a bunch of fraudsters tried to pass transactions worth hundreds of pounds through my account, which failed when the balance was inevitably too low. Can’t steal if there’s nothing there, suckers! But away with sad anecdotes from my own miserable existence. As for genuine advice, last time I checked I don’t think I’m allowed to condone theft outright in our university’s official student publication (fear not, one day we’ll prevail over such damning plagues of censorship), so I’ll dish out my favourite money-saving tips and tricks. Example 1: anything can be a delicious and hearty meal if you just believe. I’m chiefly referring to the 22p tins of spaghetti hoops in Mainsbury’s and the bag of spinach that’s been collecting mould (or as I like to call it, flavour) at the back of the fridge since about Week 2. But, this can also include the ten or so chocolate digestives and five slices of banana bread you steal from each of the various welfare teas peppered conveniently throughout the week across the subject faculty libraries. Depending on individual resourcefulness and the strength of your immune system, some of these can even be half-eaten! Example 2: lighten the load. Actively seek to make enemies of your current friends, and bam! Suddenly, fewer Christmas presents tanking your already dismal credit score! And to my secret santa, if you’re reading this, go fuck yourself.