So, you're a little bit in love with London. You're a Downton Abbey freak (not really set in London, but they sometimes go there), your twitter picture is actually Benedict Cumberbatch, and that smile of Kate Middleton's makes you feel a little gummy inside. Then you set foot in London, and people a mile away can tell you're just a tourist. It breaks your heart a little, every time. If this sounds like you, then you need to read this article. Here are the 23 rules you need to know if you want to act like a real Londoner.
1. Scowl at tourists standing on the wrong side of the escalator when you are trying to sprint head-first down it at rush hour. Time is money, man!
2. Never, ever talk to anyone you bump into on the streets, or sit next to on a train. Don't even make eye-contact.
3. There is one exception to Rule 2. If there is a person on the tube talking to themselves, then look at the people around you and smile in an embarrassed fashion.
4. Get pissed at the funeral of a close relative, tie your pants around your head and dance in Trafalgar Square in the middle of the night, holding a can of Australian beer in your hand. Sing God Save the Queen.
5. Moan about how those Europeans keep getting all these state benefits. And the immigrants with those jobs. I mean, who's going to support the freelance blogging you do while you're waiting to get your big break as an actor? It's not your fault your artistic temperament doesn't let you hold down a normal job.
6. If someone asks you for directions, first look at them like you just know they're going to pull out a knife. Then unbend and give them a copiously detailed answer, interspersed with questions to yourself, such as Wait, is that right? Physically stop them from running off before you're done.
7. Curse the national football team. Then one day every four years when they play Germany in the World Cup, suddenly believe that they'll do it. They'll really, really do it. And then get depressed when they don't. Repeat Rule 4.
8. Cry tears of joy when you see Barack Obama make a speech. A black man is president, we've come so far...
9. Don't sit on top of a double-decker and shriek at landmarks seen in that Friends episode.
10. Grumble about American capitalism every time you get a latte from Starbucks.
11. Any time you see a council estate type, wearing a hoody, smile and nod enthusiastically to show your support - just in case they pull out a knife.
12. Don't go to Madam Tussauds and take a selfie with Kate Middleton.
13. Another exception to Rule 2. You can talk about the weather. In fact, you must. Say to everyone you meet: This rain, eh? Substitute rain with sunshine, snow, fog, as appropriate. If nothing remarkable is happening with the weather, say: So, this isn't going to last.
14. Moan about the weather, the monarchy, the economy, the food, the price of the beer, and about how those Europeans are always complaining about stuff.
15. Do an awful Boris Johnson impression.
16. Roll your eyes when someone gets on a bus with a stroller. Babies, women, jeez!
17. Every July, say Why do people all over the world get so excited about Andy Murray? Do this as you camp out at Wimbledon for three nights, just to get a spot on Henman Hill. (Secretly call it Murray Mount.)
18. Know the name of every Game of Thrones character, smile and nod vigorously at everything Jon Stewart says even though you don't know what he's talking about, and host an Oscars party.
19. Listen to Heart radio all day, every day, and complain how it's really for little girls.
20. Go running in the park in your most expensive Lycra. Talk on a hands-free set the whole time.
21. When talking on the phone on the tube, repeat everything you're saying 13 times, before moving on to the next sentence.
22. Push through the crowd of tourists milling outside Buckingham Palace, looking busy. You never look inside the gates. Wait, is that a car pulling out! Could it be, could it be...oh, it's just a driver.
23. When the tube doors open, aggressively get on the train, without waiting for people to get out.
Practice, practice, practice!