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.