Win friends and irritate people

Laura Macfehin presents three simple strategies to make your flatting lockdown experience unforgettable.

O.K.  We’ve been in lockdown for several weeks now, and if you are in a flatting situation you may have noticed your housemates starting  to chafe a little at the circumstances.  They might be a little terser than usual with you, you may even have had some burst into tears when you enter the room.  These feelings and reactions are all perfectly normal, but if you are a go-getter who knows what’s best for other people you don’t have to accept them!

Not everybody has the brains or passion to lead a group of unwilling people to where you think they should go, but you do, so appoint yourself Chief Officer in charge of Morale and prepare to buck the living heck out your flatmates spirits.


You probably exhausted your usual repertoire of games and japes early on into lockdown, or perhaps haven’t had the chance to suggest any as your flatmates kept to themselves and took to their rooms, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many opportunities to enforce a good time.

Putting fun back on the menu!

Do you have a cooking roster?  Then the next step is obvious– I am of course talking about re-creating a historical feast.  Pick an era (the medieval period is always popular) and the use that fantastic resource the interweb to find authentic recipes and decorating suggestions–  allowing your fellow house-pals to travel back in time with you via your culinary wizardry.  They have probably never heard of deer humbles, or even know what caudle is, so don’t hold back on educating them– there is no better sauce than un-asked for knowledge.  Of course this won’t work unless everybody fully commits, so feel free to insist on period details like only using the correct utensils for the era and refusing to answer questions unless they are spaketh in ye olde tongue.


Of course with a lockdown larder to contend with you may have to make some substitutions– instead of a suckling pig baked beans; instead of pheasant pie, also baked beans.  Don’t forget to separate each course with a suitable musical interlude to extend the whole experience.  With sufficient compulsion your flatmates will soon be proclaiming you a fine fellow indeed!


Panic stations!

Vibrant, interesting people like you and your flatmates will probably be missing the usual fun pursuits of the outer suburbs like indoor rock-climbing  and mandatory paint-ball afternoons.  Of course, you can’t recreate those sorts of team-building activities in your home… or can you?  One extremely popular fad can easily be replicated in a domestic setting and is sure to blow the minds of your flatmates.

Imagine the surprise on the faces when they assemble for the house meeting you have called only to find themselves in their very own Panic Room!  A Panic Room is an entertainment where a group of people are locked into a space where they have to listen to the loudest member of the group decipher what they think are clues, until either the event manager relents or someone throws up and they are released.


In a residential context you have two choices when setting up a Panic Room entertainment– choose a room that already has a lock on it or do a bit of sneaky carpentry in the night.  In can be hard to convince folks that a flat meeting has to take place in the bathroom though, so really the trick is to install a lock after they have gone to bed.  Play some soothing music loud enough to cover the sound of your chisel and drill and the a new lock can be installed in a matter of hours!

After that all that is required is luring them in with a fake meeting agenda (re-use one from a past meeting– they never pay proper attention anyway) and shutting the door.  If your lock is sturdy and your clues oblique enough you can keep them entertained this way all day, by which time a lot of pent up frustrations will probably have been released.  Cathartic entertainment at its best.

 Be my Boo!

My final suggestion will certainly to the practical joker in you.  You may have heard the term ‘ghosting’ used in recent times.  To ‘ghost’ someone in this modern sense means to simulate a haunting in which you take on the role of mischievous spirit or poltergeist in someone else’s life.  The traditional pranks will suffice– moving or hiding their belongings, writing threatening messages on the steamed up bathroom mirror as they shower, making their walls appear to drip blood.

Focus on each flatmate for a couple of days before moving on to the next victim– the feelings of persecution and subsequent recriminations will really distract your fellow housemates from their lockdown malaise!


Anyway, there’s not long to go now as far as lockdown continues to move through the different alert levels.  With a little ingenuity and no scruples about imposing your will upon others you can come through this as the one flatmate your acquaintances will never want to remember never forget!


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