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News / City Life

Marcus Brigstocke solves London's problems

Each week a different comedian addresses Londoners’ issues. This week, stand-up and TV satirist Marcus Brigstocke tackles your problems head on.

Dear Marcus: 'One of my friends died recently owing me £15. Can I ask one of their relatives for it?' Jill, Dagenham

Dear Jill: 'No, you can’t ask their relatives for the money. That would be crass and possibly cause huge upset. Much better to attend the funeral, wake or memorial and eat and drink more than your share of what is offered. I would suggest the most respectful thing to do would be to work out how much you’d normally eat then make a list of extras worth up to but not exceeding £15 and eat that too.'

Dear Marcus: 'I spend a lot of time in the toilets at work. Not pooing, just getting some peace and quiet, reading the news, playing some Angry Birds… How can I get away with this without looking like I have chronic IBS?' Gaz, Bow

Dear Gaz: 'IBS is far less embarrassing than an adult with a job playing Angry Birds. Tell your colleagues you suffer from a constant oscillation between severe constipation and explosive diarrhoea, so if they hear the sound of flying fowl impacting on splintering wood, it should all make sense. As for reading the news, I think it is sensible to sit on the loo while doing this, as much of it is likely to make you cry, wet yourself or simply flush your despairing head down the bog.'

Dear Marcus: 'Iím tired of Tinder and Guardian Soulmates. How can I find real love in this soulless digital world?' Siobhan, Teddington

Dear Siobhan: 'As the old, wise saying goes, ‘When a woman is tired of Tinder, she is tired of basing romantic liaisons on proximity.’ Tinder’s strapline should be: ‘He may not be attractive but he’s really near.’ I was advised that my post on Guardian Soulmates should read simply: ‘Four-bedroom house in Balham and three of them are en suite (house may contain man)’, and I should post a picture of my bookshelves.'

Dear Marcus: 'Going to university in London is expensive and the only jobs I seem to be able to get are medical trials or erotic dancing. Help!' Theo, Brixton

Dear Theo: 'Combine the two and double down? Do medical/erotic/trial dancing in the name of science. See the therapeutic benefit of gyration while slowly removing your light green scrubs. You could do a whole erotically charged routine based on scrubbing up and sanitising. In any case, make sure you put your wages in an offshore fund so you don’t have to pay any tax. It’s all the rage and seems to be working really well for the people who do it. When I was at college in London, I was a rollerblading instructor, a dancer and a busker (all true!). None of them paid much, but I enjoyed myself.'

Find out how advice compared when Nick Helm solved London's problems.

Marcus Brigstocke will appear at Soho Theatre with his show, 'Why the Long Face?' from Apr 25-May 7.

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