gra-dult-hood n.

1. A stage in life between graduation and adulthood.
2. Gradulthood often involves jobs that don't fulfil a graduate's expectations.
3. A term coined during the recession.

Gradults 0-1 Daily Mail Comments Section

Stop over sexualising our children!
It’s a well known phenomenon that people slow down when they approach a car crash. They know they could potentially see something horrifying, even scarring, yet they can’t help but glance, and perhaps even hope that they do. It’s an innate morbid fascination.

Now unlike my 17-year old cousin, Enya, I don’t actually drive, so make of that opening gambit what you will. However, I feel I’m experiencing that same sensation at least three times a day.

Yep, it can only be some sort of morbid fascination that drives me to reading online comments I know will horrify, potentially scar and routinely sicken me, every morning, noon and night.

I blame the Daily Mail website for kick-starting my habit. The humble bikini was my gateway drug and I was too weak, and often too bored, to resist it. I, like millions of others, was drawn to the site by the promise of glossy beach photographs nestled neatly next to articles bemoaning the over sexualisation of our children.

How dare Rhianna dance so sexily!’ the Mail will observe from the side of the school disco, ‘This move is unacceptable...! And this one, and this one, and this close up and oh-my-god-this-one-is-the-worst, thank god we managed to crop and zoom it so well’.

But I’m a sucker for it. As a result of my repeated visits I could probably sketch Geri Haliwell’s cleavage free hand. I mean I’ll wait till I’ve got a long train journey before I have a crack, but I’m confident going in. I for one just hope Kelly Brook has enjoyed her jaunt to Italy almost as much as I have. Best beach celebrity ever, bra none.

Unfortunately, there is more to the Mail than deciding if you’d rather be on holiday with Lamps and Bleakley or the Redknapps. (FYI – Couple of beers with Lamps, sure, but there’s no way Bleakley would be a better host than Louise, and call me crazy but I’m fairly confident Frank would get annoying). Yep, for the real car crash addicts, the reading starts when the story ends. Behold, the comments section.

We’re all aware that a YouTube comment thread can sustain itself for perhaps seven or eight inputs before collapsing into a putrid ball of xenophobic self-loathing. Yet this wasn’t the comment menagerie that got me started. Infact, it was a different collection of animal altogether. The registered users of The Sun website, no less.

These guys don’t pull any punches. They’ll call a spade a spade. Except substitute ‘spade’ for ‘great arse’. Or perhaps, with a tear in your eye, substitute the first spade with ‘our boyz’ and the second spade with ‘heroes’. Just don’t add immigrant into the mix. In a way, I don’t begrudge the Sun lot. Yes I know a sizable majority will be typing in their pyjamas in between conducting an ugly, badly spelt affair on Facebook, but at least they don’t pretend to be anything they’re not. It’s all very: ‘yes I’m wearing these trackies to the job interview, and no, I’m not going to wash them.’

The Daily Mail commentators are a different breed, you won’t get any cringe inducing flirting or inane football chatter on there, not on your life, they’ve got bigger fish to fry. Who else is going to tell Sarah Harding she looks shit in a pair of jeans if it’s not Jean from Somerset. If Rob from Hull doesn’t pass judgement on Beckham teaching his kid to surf, how is Becks ever going to know he doesn’t have the right? And heaven forbid, if Janet from ‘Used to be Great Britain’ doesn’t keep up her online onslaught against Cheryl Cole, is her self esteem going to go up, down or not change in the least?

‘Used to be Great Britain’, that’s a favourite of mine. No, no, actually ‘soon to be ex pat’ is my favourite. Like the way to reclaim the spirit of the Dambuster’s is to pump out a couple of snide remarks during the X-Factor ad-break. Promise you’re not teasing me, please move to Spain, speak to waiters in loud, slow English and pretend five San Miguel’s and a suspect mole is soaking up the local culture.

But who’s worse? Those who log on and contribute to the bile - or the pretentious Guardian reading ponce slowing down like a rubber-necker on an icy roundabout? Who am I kidding, I read the Guardian, of course I think I’m better than them.

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