Five things you're totally free to talk about but probably shouldn't

NOT sure what you’re allowed to talk about in this supposed age of ‘cancel culture’? These topics won’t get you no-platformed, but it’s still best to avoid them.

A satisfying bowel movement

The relief of unloading a stool into the toilet is a universal experience, however people will give you a wide berth if you start dropping the topic into conversation. The only person who might possibly care is your doctor, and only because they’re being paid for it.

Last night’s dream

Did your subconscious show you some weird random images and memories again? Did you find yourself in your nan’s house with a kid from primary school? Thrilling. Only mention your dream if it was a crystal-clear premonition of lottery numbers, and even then don’t expect people to listen because it’s still bollocks.

The weather

Noticing that it’s overcast won’t get you hounded off social media, but it will signal to people that you’re a thundering dullard with nothing interesting to say. In the unlikely event of notable weather you should only say clipped observations like ‘nice out’ and ‘f**k’s sake’. Anything longer is just wasting everybody’s precious time.

How well your relationship is going

While your deep human connection and marathon shagging sessions are fascinating to you, everyone else will find your happiness deeply repulsive. However feel free to mention it if you’re going through a tearful break-up or your partner is a pain in the arse. Everyone likes a bit of other people’s misery. 

Your reasonable political opinions

Extreme views are off the table for obvious reasons, but don’t think your achingly moderate political opinions are worth hearing about either. So what if you support Keir Starmer but with understandable reservations? Talk about something more exciting, like a big duck you saw.

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A full English and other ways to make your day a write-off

LOOKING to start your day in the worst possible way and get absolutely nothing done? Here’s how to go about it.

Full English

Consuming that much processed pork first thing was always going to cause problems. Though it may be greatest of breakfasts, it also guarantees you’ll be slumped on the sofa until lunch, nursing your bloated stomach and hoping the meat sweats subside after another few hours.

Going for a morning run

You’ve heard about successful CEOs who begin their days at the crack of dawn with a half-marathon and try it for yourself. Unfortunately, you are massively unfit and end up almost fainting about 200 metres from your front door, before spending the entire morning wracked with pain, desperately trying to not vomit up last night’s lamb madras.

Drinking at lunch

‘If it’s good enough for Don Draper, it’s good enough for me,’ you think. Except you aren’t a hard-drinking alpha male ad executive in the 1950s, and you’re not drinking in a classy New York bar, but in a flat in Northampton. By 4pm you’re on your sixth Grolsch and you’re absolutely trolleyed.

Too much coffee

You had every intention of having a productive day. Unfortunately, by trying to make yourself as sharp and focused as possible by drinking an entire pot of coffee before 9am you have ruined everything. Very soon, the caffeine will leave you like some Vietnam war veteran, paranoid and trembling under your desk.

YouTube binge

Before starting work, you reward yourself for having not slept in again by watching one short video on YouTube. Suddenly it’s 4.30pm. You’ve spent seven hours watching inane compilations of dogs sneezing, and you’ve got numerous voice mails from your boss you’re too scared to listen to.