Hot on the heels of Chris Huhne's recent admission that he is after all, guilty as hell, it made us wonder which rules it is ok to bend, albeit slightly. We all know that the middle classes are too neurotic and self-conscious to be downright dishonest. But that doesn’t mean that we’re averse to a bit of rule bending when we know that nobody will be hurt or endangered as a result, and when there is little risk of being caught.
Based on a poll of about three people, here are the top 10 favourite middle-class cheating tactics. Can you bear to share yours?
- Paying the VAT-free take away price for food at Pret and then eating in
- Lending your Royal Academy card out to friends so they can see blockbuster exhibitions without paying or queuing
“They never look closely, and there’s no photo on the card” is what your friend says as she hands it to you, adding “Do you want my Tate one too?”. This also applies to Royal Horticultural Society cards, with which members can buy their friends tickets for the Chelsea Flower Show.
- Attending your local church in order to get your children into the local Church of England primary school
- Nipping into Nespresso for your free morning espresso, claiming to want to sample their latest flavour
Extra points if you are brave enough to confess to fellow sippers your opinion that all Nespresso flavours taste exactly the same.
- Handing on or accepting Pay-And-Display parking tickets if there is still parking time left on them
This happens a lot in middle-class haunts such as Battersea Park.
- When asked by the Sainsbury’s self-check-out machine how many of your own bags you used so the machine can reward you with the appropriate number of Nectar points, grossly inflating the number
NB. The maximum you can type in is 9.
- Re-using unfranked postage stamps by soaking them off and gluing them onto a new envelope
Naughty. (And surely what led to the invention of the self-adhesive stamp.)
- Stealing hotel bath foam and shampoo bottles when on business trips, for resale at your children’s school Christmas fundraising fete, packaged in beribboned cellophane
Stealing bath robes is in a league of its own.
- Booking flights to the US around Thanksgiving, knowing that it’s a popular time and that airlines frequently bump people onto other flights with the lure of free air miles
- Wearing the Boden clothes you ordered once and then returning them with the Free Returns
Sorry Johnny, but you have to insist, like ASOS does, that returns come with tags still attached.