Pappy's: interview

Acclaimed sketch trio, award-winning podcasters and squabbling flatmates Pappy’s offer readers – and Ben Williams – their advice on household headaches

© Rob Greig

Silly, shambolic sketch trio Pappy’s recently triumphed over Dom Joly, Danny Baker, Dave Gorman and Ricky Gervais to win ‘Funniest Podcast’ at the ‘Loaded Laftas’ comedy awards. Set in the group’s flat, each episode of ‘Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown’ sees tenants Ben Clark and Tom Parry competing to avoid being landed with household chores, with landlord Matthew Crosby setting them tasks. As award-winning experts on flat-sharing predicaments, we asked Pappy’s for advice on readers’ housemate problems…

‘My housemate is obsessed with bleaching everything. It’s difficult to inhale safely when the place stinks of bleach. What can I do?’

Tom ‘This can be solved with a simple game of label swap. Get up early and swap the labels on the bleach bottles with something that smells nicer, like cherryade.’

Ben ‘Isn’t that going to be worse? Won’t every surface cleaned with cherryade then be really sticky?’’

T ‘You don’t have to worry about that. Once they drink a pint of bleach, thinking it’s cherryade, they won’t be in any state to do any cleaning at all.’

Matthew ‘We don’t advocate murdering your housemates. My advice; if you’re a literary type and your house smells of bleach, you could always buy a gasmask and pretend you’re acting out the poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est”.’

B ‘Or you could play a Matilda-style prank and add bleach to his shampoo. He’ll think twice about using it so liberally if he’s walking around looking like a reject from “The Only Way Is Essex”.’

T ‘Put yourself on a cabbage and herring diet. That way, the house will smell of your cooking rather than bleach. Obviously, the after-effects of eating an all boiled-veg and smoked-fish dinner will probably help counteract the bleachy smell too.’

‘I have a housemate who assumes what’s mine is theirs. I’m always finding my food half eaten, my toiletries used… Can you help?’

M ‘Train yourself to only enjoy horrible foods. That way, they won’t want to steal your food. No one in the history of flat-sharing has ever uttered the sentence, “Who ate all my pickled walnuts?”.’

B ‘Or you could fight fire with fire…’

T ‘Set fire to their house?’

B ‘No, eat half of everything they own. And not just their food. Nothing says “You need to pull your weight in this house” like a half-eaten sofa.’

T ‘Actually, that’s not a bad idea. If they really are convinced that what’s yours is theirs, you should take it to the extreme. Make them share everything in your life: your problems, your debts…’

M ‘Your shifts at work…’

B ‘Your weekly phone chats with your parents…’

T ‘Your baths, your trips to the toilet. After a few days of that they’ll see that sharing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.’

M ‘If that fails, make them drink bleach.’

© Rob Greig

‘I don’t consider myself to be a noisy person. However, my housemate goes to bed early most nights and insists that any noise I make affects his sleep – telly, music; anything. I can’t sit in silence from 9pm every night. What should I do?’

T ‘In the wake of the success of “The Artist” why don’t you dig out some old silent movies?’

M ‘So long as they’re not silent comedies. You don’t want your laughter waking them up. Or tragedies, because of the sobbing. You’ll have to pick very boring silent films.’

B ‘It’s impossible to make a sound in a vacuum. Have you thought of hoovering?’

M ‘Ben, that only works if your housemate sleeps inside the hoover.’

T ‘Here’s what you do. When he goes to bed, you go out but leave the door open so you don’t wake him up by slamming it. When he wakes up in the morning and finds he’s been burgled, he might be a bit less tetchy about you watching TV every once in a while.’

‘This may sound petty but my housemate says “awesome” a lot and it really irritates me. Am I a dick?’

T ‘Yes. You’re a dick. An awesome dick. Your housemate sounds like a real cowabunga of a dude.’

B ‘Yeah, don’t have a cow man.’

M ‘I think I might have written that one.’

Both ‘Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown’ and ‘Pappy’s Bangers and Mash’ are available to download for free from iTunes.