John Walker's Electronic House

The Rules

    THE RULES

#1 If you think of an excellent punning name for a shop or business, you must quit your job there and then, and begin that enterprise immediately.

#2 Never go to a party which has clip art on the invite.

#3 You no longer have to pay £7 to have a conversation with your friends at the cinema. From now on you may have the same conversation with your friends in the park, for free.

#4 Look at toilets before you sit down, you idiot.

#5 If you are offered a cup of tea or coffee, that is the indication that it’s not too much trouble. From now on, if you put this proviso on your reply, you will be obliged to leave.

#6 If you have a t-shirt with writing across your breasts, that means you’ve said it’s ok for people to read your breasts.

#7 No umbrellas.

#8 You no longer have to thank cars for stopping at zebra crossings. They’re required to stop. You don’t thank them at traffic lights, so stop it at zebra crossings as well.

#9 Get your wallet/purse out before you put your shopping on the conveyor belt.

#10 You must be involved in the digging of one hole, at least one foot deep, every year.

#11 The right to walk in front of anyone you like at any time you like because you’re pushing a buggy/stroller has been entirely revoked. You’re back to having to give a crap about anyone else again.

#12 Every time you hear someone use the word “debate” with some sort of explanation that it needs to be bigger than the norm, you absolutely must say, “mass debate” and snigger.

#13 Fake bingo calls are always funny. “Seven and three, twenty-eight.” “All the fours, nine.” “On its own, eighty-two.”

#14 Correcting grammar is to be met with a sense of reverence and awe.

#15 One type of cleaning spray for bathroom and kitchen.

#16 People who get blown up by bombs are not “brave”. They are “unlucky”. From now on, they are to only receive awards for “Misfortune”.

#17 Any sentence that begins, “Am I the only person who thinks…” or “Is it just me or…” is to be ignored.

#18 When walking down the pavement/sidewalk and someone is walking toward you in the opposite direction, the first person to move to one side has the priority. Moving over to the same side after the first person has moved over gives the first person permission to hit you with a pole. This situation is not funny in any sense, and nervous laughter in response is outlawed.

#19 If you think someone has forgotten that you’re meeting them, say, “I want to check that you remember that we’re meeting today,” and not, “Are we still on for later today?” or any other feeble attempt to make your accusation of your companion’s disorganisation look like a general enquiry.

#20 You do not need to qualify every comment you make with, “In my personal opinion…” If it’s an opinion you have, then yes, it will be yours, and indeed it will be personal, and indeed it will be an opinion. Such awful tautology demonstrates that anything qualified with such an introduction can only be the most redundant and idiotic opinion available. Although chances are it’s nothing of the sort, but something you read in the The Mirror and have unconsciously taken as your own belief.

#21 When two ‘o’s appear together in a word, no one under any circumstances is allowed to make them into eyes. For the word ‘look’ it is punishable by death.

#22 Presents may not be presented as from either babies or pets, once the presentee is over the age of 10.

#23 If you live in the UK, the amber light means GET READY. By the time it’s green, YOU GO. As it turns green, you are pulling away. And this is equally the case if you are seven cars back in the queue. You do not begin pulling away once you see the car in front move – you watch the lights. If you live in the US, or other countries without an amber before the light turns from red to green, you already manage this fine without the amber, so what the hell is going on UKites? Aren’t you humiliated? The rest of the world doesn’t even get the warning and they can manage it. You’re pathetic. Sort it out, for crying out loud. Look at yourself. It’s embarrassing.

#24 An ‘i’ may only be topped by a single dot. Adding a circle, or god forbid a heart, does not make you interesting, or kooky, or brighten anyone’s day. It makes you a moron who cannot manage the simplest of tasks without deliberately ruining everyone else’s lives.

#25 Txt spk is annoying enough in texts. You can’t say it in 140 correctly spelt and grammared characters? Phone me. But outside of texts – utterly banned. AN EMAIL HAS INFINITE ROOM. You, under no circumstances need to abbreviate anything. And here’s why: It’s harder for the person to whom you’re writing to read it. We learn to read, and we recognise word shapes immediately. Start encoding those shapes, and translation is required. It goes from seeing the word “to” without pause, to seeing that there’s the number “2″, translating it phonetically to all its other potentials, working out which one it must be in the context of the sentence, and then re-understanding it as “to”. IT’S ONE CHARACTER SHORTER. Stop it. You’re an idiot.

#26 You call people the name they tell you. If someone is introduced as ‘Nicholas’, then they’re ‘Nicholas’, and not ‘Nick’, until they tell you they can be. And by the way, this goes for countries too. What on earth is with this crazed renaming of nations into our own tongue? Really, we’re still not at a point where we can show enough respect to call a country by the name the people who live in the country call it?

England: No no no, it’s sweet that you think you’re called ‘Deutschland’, but actually it’s ‘Germany’. You know, as in ‘Germanic’.

Deutschland: Well, we’re doing fine with Deutschland.

England: Aw, how endearing. Well, that’s nice and all, but it’s Germany.

#27 If you don’t have everything with you that you need in order to smoke, you don’t get to smoke. Bring what you need for your ridiculous behaviour when you go out. Really – you smoke, but you don’t have a means of setting the thing on fire? Really?

#28 You leave a message on the second call. Any third calls in a row will now cause instant disease. If you need to get hold of someone, such that it would warrant needing to phone them three times in one half hour, you leave a damn message on the second failed attempt. What’s your plan? Wear them down? They’re not answering because they want to see if you really mean it? OR MAYBE THEY’RE BUSY AND CAN’T ANSWER THE PHONE.

#29 Don’t ask people, “Could you remind me to…” Just remember for yourself. Someone doesn’t become accountable for your continued possession of margarine simply because you said to them, “Could you remind me to get margarine?” Here’s who having margarine is important to: you. So stop passing the responsibility for running the minutiae of your life onto those around you, and just write it down on a piece of paper. Yourself.

#30 Which means it’s ok to make the lame-ass joke as follows:

Lazy person: Could you remind me to get more matches?
Innocent person: Remember to get more matches.

Yes, it’s not funny at all. But it’s punishment for breaking Rule #29.

#31 While using a mobile phone, you are never to discuss the mobile phone you are using.

#32 You’re not allowed to use the word ‘actually’ any more. You never, ever need it. It’s a wasted word, a waste of everyone’s time. Scientists have shown that the average person uses the word ‘actually’ over 70,000 times a year, wasting 45 hours which could otherwise be used to scream at people who say ‘actually’. I expect. As for ‘basically’… Are you using those toenails?

#33 Valentine’s Day is now a day on which people in relationships buy gifts for their single friends.

#34 Anyone who uses “110%” (or any number over 100) to imply a degree of effort will be charged with a month’s community service and a £1100 fine.

#35 No talking to people when they’ve gone into a stall/cubicle in a public bathroom/toilet. When I’m in a cubicle/stall, don’t talk to me about anything – especially if I don’t know you or we weren’t already having a discussion before I went in there.

#36 No whistling in public. I never thought this would be a controversial rule, until I proposed it to some apparently idiotic people, who protested. No, absolutely not. It’s the height of rudeness. If I’m standing in line in a shop, the last thing I want to hear is the moronic brainwrong musings of some halfwit, emitting in the form of tuneless, aimless, high-pitched whistling. If you’ve got perfect pitch, and can generate a beautiful, melodic, and most of all, purposeful tune, then please, contain yourself and wait for an appropriate moment. If you’re not capable of this, which you’re not, never leave your house again.

#37 Television and radio continuity announcers are not a part of the programmes they talk between, and thus are not allowed to add their contribution. You aren’t funny, you aren’t in their gang, and it’s not only embarrassing for you, but spoils the moment of the show we were just watching. Shut it. (There’s an exception, of course, which is when the announcer is scripted by the show’s writers, never better evidenced than by the otherwise dreadful Sofa Of Time on Radio 4, where the announcer dead-panned before it began, “Listeners are advised that the following programme contains an angry giant.”)

#38 NO ONLINE ACCOUNTS FOR BABIES OR PETS OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT ISN’T YOU.

Completely outlawed are Twitter, Facebook, Bebo or whatever else accounts for anyone that isn’t you. Your baby can neither read nor write, let alone comprehend what Twitter is. Your baby is a barely sentient parasite, and there’s nothing cute or endearing about pretending that he or she is writing your tired observations that you somehow think – despite there being almost 7 billion people are alive – are unique to your vomiting blob.

The same goes for pets. Your cat isn’t typing, is it? What is it doing? It’s ignoring you, isn’t it? Your cat has better things to do than you, which is why it’s not writing on Twitter about how much it loves its mummy. You are. So stop it, because good grief.