Sitting in the front seat of a taxi, and other mysterious life rules you should never break

OUR lives are full of unspoken but universally observed rules that must never be broken. Only the wilfully lawless would dare contravene these:  

Never sit in the front seat of a taxi

Unless you’re so freakishly tall that you need the extra legroom, sitting in the front seat of a taxi marks you out as a lunatic. Sitting in the back is mandatory, as is asking the driver ‘Having a good day?’ and ‘What time are you on until?’ For total compliance, say ‘anywhere along here’s fine’ when you’re nowhere near your destination.

The bill must be split equally even if you only ordered chips

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the bill for a meal must be split fairly, regardless of whether you only had a bowl of chips and a glass of water. The upside of this is that you might as well order the lobster, as it’s going to work out about the same price anyway. Looking cheap is its own taboo.

Don’t stand next to someone at a urinal if you can possibly help it

You must do everything in your power not to stand next to another man at a urinal, even if that means using the cubicle, which also marks you out as strange and hiding something. The trick is to embrace the absence of talk, which gives the room a deadly serious atmosphere, as if you’re monks transcribing a holy text rather than just blokes having a slash.

Never, ever use someone else’s work mug

Your colleagues would genuinely rather you shagged their partner than used their work mug, so don’t be tempted to chance it. Like Kathy Bates in Misery they will know what you’ve done because you put it back in the cupboard at the wrong angle, and they’ll also want to hobble you with a sledgehammer.

Don’t ask your partner what they’re thinking

People are told that communication is key to a healthy relationship, but not the ultimate communication of asking your partner what’s going on in their mind. This particular question marks you out as needy, intrusive and pathetic, and will result in you being rapidly dumped. They’re probably only thinking about what to eat next anyway.

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Six musical artists who had f**king awful image changes

POP stars switch up their images to move with the times or grab cash.  Makes sense, whereas these awful revamps remain baffling: 

David Bowie’s Tin Machine period

Bowie ruled the 70s with his androgynous alien look that made guitarist Mick Ronson fear he was going to bum him. Several fashion incarnations later, in the 80s he tried cheap-looking fashion suits. He probably thought he was capturing the zeitgeist – see also Mick Jagger’s solo career – but he looked as if his auntie have given him Burton’s vouchers for Christmas.

Madonna’s conical bra

When Madonna donned the Jean Paul Gaultier conical bra, it was so iconic she couldn’t let it go, and even to this day is squeezing into age-inappropriate corsetry. You didn’t have to stick with that one look, Madge. Darth Vader was iconic, but David Prowse didn’t wear a black cape and mask years later when he went to Tesco.

Status Quo’s denim look

Before discovering denim, the Quo dressed in the psychedelic style of the time. Deciding they weren’t getting laid enough, they switched to a naff jeans-and-waistcoats ‘rock’ look and adopted a new sound: chugging, boring rock that unadventurous music fans adored. As if to underline their commitment to naffness, Rick Parfitt got a biro stuck up his nose during a coke binge.

Kiss’s lucrative goth clown look

For a brief period, Kiss did not look like total bellends but a vaguely normal early-70s band. Then came the make-up, followed by shedloads of cash and groupies. This means every man trying to get laid has got it wrong; what women really find attractive is a grotesque leotard showing chest hair down to your belly, comical platform boots and gothic clownface.

Heart in the 80s

Hard to believe, but Heart were cool rock chicks in the 70s. Then came a transformation that couldn’t have been more 80s if Roland Rat had joined the band: shoulder pads, fingerless gloves and massive hair. They could still write a decent tune, but looked as if they’d come off some strange 80s soft rock production line that also made Starship.

MC Hammer goes gangster

A strange and obscure chapter in music history. A few years after the global mega-hit U Can’t Touch This, Hammer tried his hand at gangster rap. The album sold poorly and Hammer’s career resolutely went downhill. There’s a cautionary tale for everyone: if you’ve made $33 million from dance-based party rap, don’t sing about killing kids.