I’m in a foul mood today, and feel like complaining. Here are 13 stupid things that piss me off.
Gas-powered leaf blowers: Has there ever been a more obnoxious and useless invention? Somebody, somewhere, at some point in time, decided it would be a swell idea to invent the loudest possible way to do the simplest job — a job that humans had been doing with rakes for centuries. Nothing imposes its misery on the immediate surroundings quite like a gas-powered leaf blower. It sounds like a Harley that’s been hooked up to an amp. And you don’t even need them anymore. A battery-powered leaf blower does exactly the same thing, much quieter, and with much less harm to the environment. Or, just buy a damn rake.
Saran wrap dispensers: I don’t believe I’ve ever gotten through a single roll of Saran or cling wrap in my entire life without it slipping a gear at some point, so that the wrap gets torn in half, and you end up pulling out one side of it while the other half sticks to the roller.
Crosswalks in London: Here’s how these things work here: You are on one side of the road, and the crosswalk signal turns green and tells you to cross. You get to the median in the middle of the road, and you immediately have to walk like six feet to the right or left to get to the crosswalk that takes you to the other side of the road. Meanwhile, the signal is red, meaning you are stuck in the median until it goes green. The whole concept is almost ingenious in its idiocy.
Cheez Whiz: I don’t know. It just annoys me.
The neighbor’s tree: See that photo? It shows the branches from our neighbor’s tree invading our yard. Now, I like our neighbor. He’s a very friendly elderly man whose name I can never remember — he can’t remember mine, either — and who will corner you and chat your ear off for 30 minutes if you don’t hatch an escape plan. And I have no quarrel with his tree. It’s a lovely old tree, and provides a fine home to about 357 pigeons. But its branches are encroaching on our 8-foot backyard basketball goal, which is disrupting my jump shot. And this, I cannot abide.
Phone chats: Text messages and email are the best things ever because they eliminated the need for the alternative.
Airlines: What an amazing business model they have, right? If you cancel your reservation, they pocket the money. If they cancel a flight, they still pocket the money. Even when the COVID-19 pandemic caused a whole shitload of flights to be cancelled – including flights we scheduled within the U.S. last year during a planned trip there – the airlines basically said, “Sorry. We’ll give you a voucher for future flights, the itinerary of which we will control. But we’re keeping your money.” Assholes.
Book sales not involving “Voodoo Hideaway:” You can go ahead and pre-order “Voodoo Hideaway,” my upcoming novel due for release from Atmosphere Press on June 20. So why are you fiddling around with another book? Go to your computer – now – and order “Voodoo Hideaway” off of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, or the Atmosphere Press website.
“Politically correct:” This tedious old grouch of a phrase long ago lost its meaning, if it ever had one.
Screw-down battery compartments: I can’t remember if this was the case in the U.S. But over here in the UK, when you buy a battery-operated toy, the only way to access the battery compartment is to unscrew the tiniest screws in the world by trying to find the tiniest screwdriver in the world.
Exclamation points: Exclamation points are relevant in maybe one out of every 10,000 written sentences – unless they are being used ironically. But you see them everywhere. Especially on the internet! Especially on social media! And do you know why? Because if you don’t end a comment with an exclamation point, it doesn’t have the proper degree of enthusiasm behind it. So if somebody posts a picture of today’s lunch on Instagram, you will write “Looks delicious!” instead of “Looks delicious,” even though the term “delicious” works fine on its own. But you and I and everyone else will still keep using them. All the time!
Fireworks fanatics: Look, I love fireworks on the Fourth of July, or on New Year’s Eve, or on Guy Fawkes night over here in the UK. But I don’t love hearing them every night during the weeks preceding and following the holiday, which is what some doofuses subject us to. Also: fireworks freak out the animals. Assholes.
Bitchy blogs: Man, the nerve of some blogs, pissing and moaning about the most insignificant little things, when so much of the world is teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Get up off your whiny hindquarters, Mr. Blogger Man, and go enjoy the sunshine. Be thankful for all the good things you have. Asshole!