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Loafing. When raised beyond sheer idleness, it is an artform. Not just for students, or the unemployed, or even the lazy, everyone can aspire to being the ultimate loafer. Follow Mavis’s 10 step lifestyle guide to attain the perfect loaf.
The art of loafing


Oliver Reed was a true loafer. He did it in style, and, more to the point, died whilst doing it. OK, so most of the time he was also pissed out of his skull, but that is an important part of the art; look at his ‘legendary’ performances on Aspel, The Word and After Dark. Pure loaf mastery.

1. Do not aspire to be Johnny Vaughan.

He is a tosser of the highest order who has nothing to offer the potential Loafer. Just ignore his ads for that cider. Cider makes you ill, and, more to the point, makes you talk more like one of the Wurzels. Which any self-respecting inhabitant of Swindon needs to avoid at all costs.

2. Practice staying in bed very very late.

In fact, if at all possible, try not to get out of bed at all. Ever. Maybe it’s a bloke thing, but it’s possible to find all sorts of interesting things to do whilst lying prostrate. Finding an old peanut from when you were watching that film the other week; trying to spot the mark on the ceiling from where you blew your nose just a little bit too hard...

3. Ignore what your girlfriend/mother has to say.

Loafing is invariably a male activity. That’s not to say that women can’t loaf, it’s just that they lack the all-out dedication that men have to it. At some point, a loafing woman will say to herself ‘well, I could be doing something worthwhile right now. So why am I still in bed?’. A man may well ask himself this very same question, but then turn over and go back to sleep again.

4. Go to the pub

Be careful though: you must be picky as to the type of establishment you frequent. Too yuppy, and your loafing reputation will take a dive as you’ll just be pretending; too down to earth and people will think you’re just a slob. Make sure the bar is full of salt-of-the-earth types who will buy you drinks as soon as they realise what a great person you are. The aim is to leave the pub only slightly poorer than you came in.

5. Aim to drink as much as humanly possible, but remain suave at the same time.

This is not as easy as it sounds. Looking dapper with a pint or a short in one hand is easy until an hour or so in; after that the difficulty of retaining your dignity becomes inversely proportional to the height of your trousers. Do not, repeat NOT, think that climbing on a table and singing ‘Wild Thing’ is the height of sophistication and will endear you to the opposite sex.

6. Look the part.

Look at Ollie. Yes, he was a total wreck 95% of the time, but he never looked anything but sophisticated. Although the ‘just got out of bed’ look may well be the most appropriate (and quickest) it will not endear you to anyone, and you will be dubbed a slacker, which is the last thing anyone wants.

7. Chris Evans

Like Vaughan, a prime example of how not to go about things. Burning out at 30 is not a pleasant way to go.

8. Golf is not the answer.

Golf is a game for men who are either too old, or old beyond their years. There is nothing inherently amusing about hitting a little white ball around several big fields with an iron club, trying to get it into a hole. Nor wearing tartan trousers tucked into your socks. You are not Chris Evans.

9. Ignore the fashion magazines.

Like the man said. Men’s Health is a particularly vile example, full of perfect-skinned, toned, tanned and touched-up tossers whose sole purpose in life is to make you feel inadequate. If you must engage in some sort of physical activity, make sure it involves nothing more strenuous than walking down to the pub twice a week.

10. TV chat shows

Aim to get on as many as possible. Jack Docherty, fine; Melinda Messenger – no; Parkinson – if you ever get the opportunity to do Parkinson, make sure you show up looking like Chris Eubank, with a huge jug of vodka and orange in your hand. Drink liberally, and aim to spill as much as possible over the other guests.

it’s possible to find all sorts of interesting things to do whilst lying prostrate