No show fee


Last week I was meeting a friend for coffee. I got there early and had a cappuccino and a chocolate muffin but she didn’t turn up, so after half an hour I went home and typed out an invoice for my wasted time and money and popped it in the post. It turned out later that she was sick and didn’t have my new phone number to cancel, but what do I care? I demand recompense!

I didn’t, of course, do any of the above, because I am not a mentalist, but the recent news report concerning a woman who invoiced a child for failing to attend her kid’s party made me ponder all the things we might ask reparation for, if we had both the chutzpah and the sociopathic inclination to do so.

How often in life do we spend money on something that fails to come good?Let’s all start insisting on payback, starting with:


Be honest, you only bought your ex that diamond/Cartier watch/tandem because you thought you’d be together forever. If ‘forever’ turned out to be ‘until my wife gets out of rehab’ then, you are well within your rights to demand remuneration, not merely for the gifts you bestowed upon them, but also for the meals prepared but never eaten, the tickets for We Will Rock You that went to waste, and the hours you lost trying to scrub mascara out of your pillow with a damp flannel.


Some of you are the type who always do the bare minimum than a job demands. Well done, you’ll probably live longer. Alas, many of us are genetically programmed to be overly responsible for things which simply aren’t our problem. I say we starting claiming it all back. Every bag of office sugar no-one else could be arsed to buy; every after work email marked URGENT that wasn’t really urgent; every sleepless night spent worrying that Sheila took your comment about line dancing the wrong way. For best results, send the invoice marked URGENT, with seven exclamation marks, a ‘notify when read’ alert, a bolded and underlined URGENT in the body copy and a passive aggressive smiley poo as a sign off.


Whether you believe a person’s character is down to nature or nurture, it’s all still down to  your parents. Never made good on your dreams of becoming an astronaut? Blame your lack of a decent education. Got a serious gambling addiction? Trace that back to attachment disorder. Third nipple killing your romantic prospects? That’s your mother’s fault for watching The Man With The Golden Gun whilst in labour. Whatever your grouch, why not invoice your folks for all those lost earnings/Lucky Slots debts/online dating subscriptions? NB If your parents have passed away, or, as it is known in the trade, defaulted, you’ll have to take it up with…


Under current law, Acts of God include tornadoes, floods and being stuck by lightening, but under my delightful new regime, the holy trinity can be called to account for everything, from the wretchedness of our inevitable corporeal decline to cutting open an avocado too early. Be prepared to wait a while for payment on that invoice, however. God (like Gary Barlow) moves his money in mysterious ways and you may be refunded in a fashion you do not expect, nor even recognise, such as the laughter of a child, or the beauty of a flower, or the realisation that everyone looks ridiculous on a tandem.