16/ Sibling abuse
Cornering your younger brother, pulling his shirt up over his face and slapping him round the side of the head. And then doing it harder. And keeping on slapping him until he’s crying and disorientated and saying, “I don’t like this… I can smell colours.” Just because you’re bored.
15/ Making machine gun noises while wielding an umbrella
See also: screwing your pool cue together like it’s an M82A1 high-velocity sniper rifle and you’ve been charged with the task of disposing of the corrupt president of Mauritania and the loose-lipped, high-class call girl posing as his wife.
14/ Getting erections in public
Mmm. Lovely sleepy bus journey to work. Got the good seat over the wheel arch. And look – there’s the local nursing students, out jogging for… whoa! Where did that come from? Shit. It’s stiffer than a nervous meerkat, it’s ‘no-bag Friday’ and this is my stop. What now?
13/ Cancelling social plans to play Xbox
Come on! I’ve just got across the bridge on GTA IV. A new neighbourhood to wreak untold carnage – I can’t leave now! And it’s not like they can’t do it without me anyway. It takes what – five people to carry an elderly woman’s coffin?
12/ Film posters
Because nothing says ‘sophisticated bachelor-about-town’ than blu-tacking the same tattered Scarface poster to your bedroom wall that every other undergrad got free with Empire four years ago.
11/ Perving at boobs in articles about tribespeople
“You see, National Geographic delivers a crucial insight into Third World life – one of war, famine, corruption and… whoa! Check them out! They’re like three-day-old balloons!”
10/ Novelty drinking
Any concoction called ‘Cheeky Vimto’ or ‘Turbo Diesel’. Any non-standard glassware (yards, shots, ice luges). Any bar with “grass skirt” as a dresscode. And the inevitable conclusion…
If you’re under four, or undergoing chemo for Stage Four lymphatic cancer, maybe you have an excuse. Maybe. But if you’re ‘greeting Ralph’ for mere alcohol abuse at your age then your body’s giving you a message. And the message is: “You’re about to turn yellow.”
8/ Cringing social embarrassment
When, exactly, do we hit the suave, self-assured phase? Every other adult we know has. And yet there we are: mumbling, blurting and still wincingly unable to speak to women properly. Like riding a bike 1,000 times and still falling off.
7/ Getting overexcited in cars
It’s around a decade since a mate first passed their test. But the second more than two of you are in the car, it’s on. Ignorant hip-hop up full, McDonald’s wrappers flying out of the window and a wordless honking every time a girl passes. Just wait until you get out of the car park, then it’ll really kick off.
6/ Pointing excitedly at planes
Sole exception: when it’s heading towards your office.
5/ T-shirts with swearwords on
Also: arrows pointing towards your genitalia, or referring to your proximity to ‘Stupid’. There are impressionable children about, you know.
4/ Masturbating as soon as you’re alone
Inside 14 seconds of the door closing: you’ve hammered youporn.com into your laptop, waited, then panicked as your girlfriend returns unexpectedly just as Fat Girls In The Doghouse freezes during loading, and seriously contemplated flinging the computer – or yourself – out of the window.
3/ Alphabetti Spaghetti
“T…I…T…W…A…N… sorry? No, just the bill when you’re ready please, garçon.”
2/ Picking your nose
Mucus, skin particles and germs. Congealing and multiplying. In your nose. Jesus. If the government was responsible for that disgusting coagulant, they’d have to bury it in a lead-lined chamber in Cumbria. Still, wiping it under your desk is just as good. Oh – or, yes, eating it noisily.
1/ Lifting your feet off
the ground when pushing a trolley And ignoring your girlfriend when she says to be careful. Then trying to do wheelies. Before groggily swearing at the old lady from St John Ambulance as she holds smelling salts under your nose.