Bubble tea cafes and other shops men will never go into

MEN enjoy going to manly shops like Screwfix and the butchers. They will only enter these five establishments if they are dragged into them against their will.

Bubble tea cafes

Men do not know what bubble tea is, and they do not intend to find out. And why splash out on a mysterious trendy drink that costs a fortune when they could make a proper brew at home? The little waving cat figurines in the window are tempting… but no. For the sake of their masculinity they must resist setting foot through the door.


Everything about Lush, from the staff to the smells, is man repellent. It’s where wives duck into for a ten minute break from their husbands while they leave them to browse the DVDs in CEX. At a push, a man might venture in once a year to pick up a last-minute Christmas gift, but it’s an ordeal they would rather do without, like going to the dentist.


Men go to Boots if they want to purchase Lynx body sprays and overpriced disposable razors. Meanwhile Superdrug, with its feminine branding and associated hygiene products, is something of an unknown quantity. Men don’t even register it on the high street. When they look at Superdrug they see a strange haze, then their gaze drifts off to something reassuringly familiar like a fishing tackle shop.


Just as poisonous frogs warn off predators with their brightly coloured skin, Anthropologie keeps men at bay with its designer shabby chic clothing and vaguely world-inspired home furnishings. Not that it needs to, because men take one look at the price tag on a scented candle in the window and involuntarily yelp ‘F**k that!’.

Russell & Bromley

There’s a men’s section in Russell & Bromley, but it’s a token gesture. Blokes are often dropped off there like kids at a ball pit while their wives spend hours deliberating over identical pairs of flats, even though the more respectful thing to do would be to bar them entry. The men don’t want to be there. Their partners and staff don’t want them to be there. Everyone should drop the charade.

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Identifying your co-workers by smell: Six summer plights of office workers

OFFICE workers struggle through the depths of winter every year, hoping to be rewarded by summer. But the heat brings its own ordeals:

Identifying co-workers by smell

You don’t know the name of the new guy that sits behind you, but you could pick him out of a line-up based on BO alone. Be advised: if you hear him start talking about getting back into cycling to work, you are legally entitled to go on extended medical leave.

Fighting about fans

One person’s too hot, one’s too cold, one hates the noise, one needs the socket for their laptop charger. The ensuing bickering will create an unpleasant atmosphere until the end of September. And if the office has air-conditioning, some twat will always insist it’s set to freezing. It’s one of nature’s laws.

Watching the life cycle of a colleague’s sunburn

If they want to singe the skin off their arms and legs every weekend, it could be argued that it’s entirely their business. However, when you’re the one that has to watch it crust over, flake off, and get all over your desk when they come by for a chat, it feels like you are very closely involved as well.

Hearing about wanky family holidays

You had to put up with your line manager’s smug out-of-office for a fortnight, and your reward is to nod along to their anecdote about one of their many interchangeable offspring being a ‘natural’ at windsurfing for the millionth time. Which is annoying, especially as you can only afford a long weekend in Barnstaple this year.

Hearing your boss’ arse peel off her chair

A two-fold torture experience. Firstly, it’s made you picture just how sweaty her arse is. Even worse, it’s made you realise how soggy your own bum is, and worry about the noise that will be produced when you eventually have to stand up.

Seeing manky toes

Middle-aged men need to learn that only their closest family should be forced to witness them in sandals. Also, why has wearing shorts to the office become acceptable? Their pale bony ankles are almost as horrifying as their disgusting feet.