Six things you can't believe they do as standard in America

EVER been to the USA and wondered ‘What the f**k is going on?’ You’re not alone. These six American normalities are baffling to decent people: 

Tipping loads for everything

Back home you might tip 10 per cent, if there’s not already a service charge and service has, in fact, been excellent. In the US that’s seen as a dire insult that might end in an Western-style barroom brawl. You have to tip everyone you meet at least 20 per cent, whether it’s the hotel concierge or a mugger, even if they’re a prick.

Valet parking

In any big city parking is not only astronomically expensive, you’re not trusted to do it. Introducing the valet, who you pay to park your car for you with the unspoken understanding that they won’t just drive off with it or rifle through your glovebox. F**king nuts and would never fly in Birmingham.

Commercials for medicine

While you trust your GP to offer you whatever drugs you need, in America they advertise prescription medication on TV like it’s McDonalds. Happy people recommend you ask your doctor for Klarinptron. Listen out for the five-minute-long spiel at the end detailing minor side effects like internal bleeding and loss of motor functions.

Massive toilet gaps

Even the most boutique restaurants in the fanciest cities have bathroom – sorry, ‘restroom’ – stalls with a healthy two-foot gap at the bottom and top. Is it to make sure you’re not shooting up? Is it in case you get stuck? For all the privacy it affords you might as well be shitting in a urinal.

Late-night talk shows

At 11.30pm in Britain, there’s the rest of a film on BBC1, a repeat of a panel show on Channel 4 and bugger all on anywhere else, because it’s time to go to bed. At 11.30pm in the US a whole slate of competing talk shows begin competing for your attention, and after them more shows running until half past f**king one. Who’s watching them?

Not being allowed to drink until you’re 35

Alright, 21. But it’s still insane that you can get married, join the army and take out a $100,000 student loan before enjoying a disgusting can of Bud. And when they finally can drink they barely bother. Though maybe that’s for the best, considering how easy it is to get hold of a assault rifle.

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Charging for lockers at your £45-a-month gym, and five other things that take the f**king piss

LIFE contains delightful wonders, all vastly outweighed by the number of pissy little irritations like these: 

Charging for lockers at your £45 a month gym

Demanding the thick end of fifty quid to queue up for a cross-stepper and be intimidated by the weights is cheeky. Adding a joining fee for the privilege of forking out monthly is extortion. Then asking for a pound for a locker is so brazen it’s put you off going altogether.

The second YouTube pre-roll ad

The first pre-roll ad makes you sigh with frustration, but it’s a fair trade-off for free videos. All you have to do is wait five seconds for the skip ad button. The second one can go f**k itself forever. It makes you so angry you’re almost tempted to consider joining YouTube Premium, but £11.99 a month is a piss take.

Online booking fees

The additional fee when booking a gig turns a reasonable transaction into the case against capitalism. When an additional ‘shipment fee’ is added for you to print your tickets at home? On your printer, which you should anyway be paid for nursing back to functionality? For emailing a PDF?

Parking at Alton Towers

You didn’t even want to go to Alton Towers. You wanted to stay at home and not spend three hours queuing for 42 seconds of adrenalin. Yet here you are, being asked for a further seven quid on top of the hundreds you’ve already stumped up. The sour taste lingers for the rest of the day.

Anything that requires precise change

It’s the future. Nothing should be coin operated anymore. Mainly because it involves withdrawing cash then buying a Wispa to get the right change, and good luck with that, because self-service tills only accept cards so you’ll have to inconvenience a member of staff who has more important things to do than be your bitch.

Two-step verification

Online security is important. Entering a code that’s been sent to your phone which is all the way in the other room is a pain in the arse. Can’t the online world be bit more blasé about the risks posed by hackers when trying to order Chinese from Deliveroo? It’s not like you’re entering nuclear launch codes.