Monday, April 14, 2008

220 Annoyances

201. Movies that have adult characters puffing away on asthma inhalers as a cheap way of making them interesting.

202. Restaurants that refill their ketchup bottles. Do they at least rinse them?

203. Someone doing an English accent just to be cute.

204. I don't like not knowing whether or not I'm going to get the whole coke can on the plane. Will it be the whole can, or just that little plastic cup? I can actually handle not getting the whole can, so long as I'm prepared. But there's no standard. There's no universal policy. Sometimes, seemingly at random, you get the whole can. Other times, just the very small cupful of coke and a wan smile. How am I expected to manage my thirst?

205. Old couples at restaurants who sit in total silence for the whole meal.

206. When you mis-enter one line on a long, tedious online form, and you submit it, and then the site points out your error in red, but then - surprise! Every line has been erased and you have to retype the whole damn form from scratch.

207. These "people" who "submit reviews" to the Zagat Survey, who use the same "annoying quotation mark style" that Zagat does in its capsule review, "not seeming to realize" that there is "no need" to do this, as they themselves "are not summarizing" fifty other reviews.

208. A guy in front of you at Starbucks unfolding a list.

209. Friends, family and coworkers: Do not email me things that require me to sign up for some bullshit in order to view whatever it is you're sending. I have to register with some site to see your photo album? I have to give my name and email to view your party invite? I have to create an account and password to open your animated holiday card? I ain't doing it. Why are you trying to get me to invite even more junk mail and spam into my existence? Why are you trying to put me on yet another marketing database? Why do you even need the help of a third party website to show me some photos anyway? Just zip them and send them for Gods sakes.

210. Slot machines that are programmed to give you a lot of close calls.

211. Thomas Friedman's incessant attempts to coin phrases.

212. No sugar added ice cream.

213. I am now officially tired of seeing the lower case "i" and "e" in front of products, services and companies. I give Apple a pass, because it's a market leader, and it already had that reputation for whimsical names. But every crappy tech product being called the iThis or the eThat - it's starting to get on my nerves big time. I was recently on a website where I could buy an eFridge, and if I clicked on it it would go in my eBasket. Look I understand that new words and concepts arrive naturally in the language. I accept that we need an abbreviation like I-Banking to refer to internet banking. But I don't see any reason why we have to spell it iBanking. What worries me is that run of the mill shitty companies are using the iSpelling technique as code for "Please have confidence in this product. Clearly it is on the cutting edge." This is a recipe for trouble, people.

214. When you enter a restaurant with one half clearly empty, and you're told there's a wait.

215. Deaf people who want their children to be deaf.

216. Failing, for the millionth time, to match that two-digit number at the end of the pinball game. Has anyone ever won the match game?

217. Websites that rely on spelling mistakes to get your traffic.

218. People on the left side of the moving walkway who aren't walking.

219. You know what I don't like? The first time you go skydiving, you have to be harnessed to another dude. The instructor. This is terrible. The very first time you skydive is probably the most exhilarating. The most emotional and crazy and adrenalin fueled. No jump will probably ever give you the rush that the first one will. And the first jump has to be the one where a leathery old skydiving instructor is mounted on you. Isn't there some skydiving instructional school somewhere that can train you so well that you don't need a guy on your back on the first jump? I don't mind the dude on the 10th or 20th jump. By then it's old hat. It's just another jump. But the first time - give me some freedom!

220. You know, when I use my hands to illustrate a concept to someone I'm talking to, I always defer to the listener's perspective. Like, if I wave my hand when I say "from beginning to end", I'll wave it right to left. If I'm describing a headline or a marquee title, I'll sweep my hand right to left. If I say "to the left" or "to the west", I'll point right. Basically, if there's any kind of timeline, or directional significance to whatever I'm explaining, I defer to the perspective of the person I'm talking to. And I apparently AM THE ONLY ONE ON EARTH WHO DOES THIS. Just saying.

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