15/ "I'm going to learn a language"
For the love of God, why? You’ve spent your life learning English only to squander it on misspelt Facebook bullshit and indecipherable grunts. You won’t unleash your ‘inner poet’ just because you’re talking Spanish.
14/ "I'm only going to put the tip in"
Although that’s all best left to the courts now.
13/ "I'll come out for one"
Face it, you’re pathologically incapable of saying “no” to anything. ‘One’ swiftly descends into mid-pub press-ups, wearing a wig made of crisps and a tearful chorus of Westlife’s Mandy.
12/ "Aw, she looks just like you"
Unless the new parent to whom you’re speaking actually is a goggle-eyed, uncoordinated freeloader who’s just shat their pants, the chances are against this being true.
11/ "Ben Hur is a masterclass in modern film-making..."
… and any other meaningless phrases that hint at a discursive, encyclopaedic knowledge of modern cinema, and not your solitary Chuck Norris DVD boxset.
10/ "Lots of my friends are gay"
Do you mean a couple of those blokes who work with your girlfriend… who you can’t make eye contact with? Or that guy you victimise at work who might not even be gay? Or the fact that you own a Pet Shop Boys record?
9/ "We must meet up for a drink soon"
Perhaps in the Shangri-La Arms, for a pint of zephyr’s tears. You know, just after hell’s frozen over.
8/ "That's the hottest one on the menu? Bring it on!"
Er… your eyes. They’re… bleeding!
7/ "Honestly Dad, I don't need any cash"
And you’re happy with me getting beaten around the face and neck again by those Albanian loan sharks, yes? Cool-io.
6/ "She's lovely, really lovely"
Only ever said about the hard-faced Thatcherite a friend’s tethered himself to. Because what else are you going to say? “I know you’re lonely. And you never got over that bird you loved for eight, unrequited years.” Tell him the truth? In the name of all that’s good in England – never!
5/ "You. Outside. Now"
Christ. By the time you’re bluffing at this level, you know it isn’t going to end well. What’s the other guy going to do – politely decline? Or do what you do: secretly hope you get outside, shout a bit, pat your chest in what you think is a demonstrable gang gesture… and then get mercifully pulled away by your mates. Face-saving, in every possible way.
4/ "I'm having a rethink about my career"
Cue logging on to monster.co.uk, looking up how much a lumberjack earns and seeing if there are any opportunities at the zoo, before getting bored and going to see if anyone’s read your crazy ‘Behind the scenes in accountancy’ blog.
3/ "Let's just get a cottage for the New Year"
Even if you did get around to it – rather than just farting around until it was too late and then going to the local as usual – what are you going to do when you get there. Talk about stuff? Play board games? Kill yourself?
2/ "Keep that up and I'll call the police"
And do what? Have an incredibly long-winded conversation with an operator who repeats your postcode back to you four times, incorrectly. That’ll really put the shits up the ASBOs chucking stones at your window.
1/ "She's just a friend"
Presumably you’re just the kind of guy who fantasises about getting sucked off by all of his friends.