Annoyance 1: Wrist injuries.
Somehow, someway, in complete defiance of my puma-like grace and dexterity, I have busted up my right wrist something awful. Don't know how I did it, but I've been dealing with it for almost half a year now and it just won't friggin' heal! I have bone bruising, micro-fractures, strained tendons, and a slightly torn meniscus. Not cool. It just won't heal and there's no way to give it a rest because….you know, hands are, like... important and stuff. Have you ever tried tying one of your hands behind your back (more specifically, your dominant hand) for an hour, a day, or even a week (what a twisted little S&M freak you are if you answered "yes" to that final qualification!!!)?
It won't heal and it makes just about everything fall somewhere between uncomfortable and down-right painful.
(…and just for the record, for the millionth time, I didn't hurt my wrist "flogging the dolphin"! The right hand is the mouse hand, the LEFT hand is the hog hand! The internet changed everything!)
A short list of everyday tasks that hurt like a SONOFA:
Turning the key to start the car
Getting a loaf of bread off the shelf
Scratching my bum
The list goes on. Suffice it to say, if you ever have the opportunity to injure your wrist, I would strenuously advise you to find a different course of action.
Annoyance 2: Oregon drivers.
Ever heard of the left lane?! Yeah, it's for PASSING and EMERGENCY VEHICLES! These friggin' people camp out in the left lane for days even though they're only going 2 mph over the speed limit and only a ¼ mph faster than the retard in the right lane! So when someone with a bit of a lead foot, not unlike myself, who also happens to have a bit of a temper (road rage? Me? Surely you jest!) comes up on them and has to disengage the cruise control, naturally there are utterances of profanity. Sometimes I break out the bird. Mostly I just wait for an opening, pass them in the right lane and glare at them with that "WTF" look in my eyes, darting sharply back in front of them and go speeding about my not-always-merry way.
Did you not take the same drivers test that I did? Have you never been on a highway before today? Do you not understand that I could get to my chosen destination at least 15 whole seconds quicker if you weren't putzing along like a wounded, sedated, and elderly wildebeest on a mountain trail? GET THE "F" OUT OF THE WAY AND LET DADDY DRIVE!!
Annoyance 3: Cell phones in the restroom.
Yeah. I know. Friggin' sick if you ask me. If I'm on the other end of the line, do not (I repeat, DO NOT) continue to converse with me while you go to "the office" and drop a deuce. Do not (I repeat, DO NOT) swagger up to a urinal and proceed with your watering activities while working through an anecdote or story about work. Do you not think the person on the other end can hear ambient noises? Truly, I don't care who you are, we're not that damn close! I'm not comfortable with that. At all! A simple "I'll call you back" is all that is necessary here. It's part of bathroom etiquette. You don't plop your split-side down and start having a conversation with someone in the next stall. You just don't do it, it just isn't right. A restroom should be as quiet as a church or a library (although, people get really uneasy when you "drop trow" in either of those venues!). It's a place to reflect, a place to be alone with your thoughts, and a place to poo. It is not your local pub, it is not a phone booth, and it is not the place where great minds meet to solve the worlds many problems. People need to concentrate and if you can't be mindful of other people's shy bladders, then you, Sir, are a piece of sh……
Annoyance 4: Pissy people's blogs.Oh….. Yeah. Sorry.
Annoyance 5: People who sing in public.
You can be at the store shopping for… well, whatever the hell you're shopping for and inevitably there will be some donkey who thinks that ABBA's original version of "Dancing Queen" was missing something, namely their own vocal stylings. Off pitch? You bet. Off beat? All the rhythm of an epileptic seizure, thankyouverymuch. But somehow, someway this jerk-off has convinced him or herself that everyone around them is entitled to their rather liberal rendition; whether they asked for it or not.
"Who sings that song?"
"Let's friggin' keep it that way!"
Your singing has all the musical qualities of Siamese cats mating. I've heard better harmony out of vacuum cleaners, for crap's sake!
Sing in your house, sing in your car, sing in church, sing in a damn phone booth (if you can actually find a phone booth these days), or sing at a karaoke bar (where sucking as fantastically as you do is not only tolerated, it's ENCOURAGED!). Just make sure I don't have to hear you, because here's the thing: we all sound SO MUCH better in our own heads than we do in other people's grapes!
You aren't Xtina, you are NOT Mariah, you do not in any manner resemble Marc Anthony or any other artist. And, both sadly and honestly, there's only one thing separating them from you: talent.
Reality is harsh. You know what else is harsh? Your rendition of "Miss Independent". Making it even more creepy: you have a penis. Yikes. Some issues there, dude. Might want to get that checked out.
Annoyance 6: Pedestrians in the mall.
Look, I know you're distracted by all the lights and shiny things but do you think you could adapt the generally implicit "rules of the road" to walking down a friggin' hallway? People walk in malls the same way the drive and, generally speaking, people drive like crap! Why does every moron strolling along in front of me have to stop on a dime in the middle of everything for no reason whatsoever?! Why the F are you stopping? What the hell? Pretend you have hazard signals, move off to the side of the isle, and light a damn flare!
If you're walking out of a store, how about trying this: look both F'ing ways! I'm so tired of people walking over or through me because they assume (wrongly) that no matter what, they have the right of way. It's akin to running a red light or merging without even checking your mirror. Stop that, you arrogant prick!
There is a tacit understanding among most people that the halls of a mall are like a highway, and when you are going to exit (to go to a store) or merge (coming out of a store), you should WATCH OUT FOR OTHER FRIGGIN' PEOPLE!!! I'm tired of damn-near tripping over people who walk against the grain, plow through the crowd, and continue about their moronic way without so much as a "Pardon me." Like it's MY responsibility to watch out for your oblivious, self-absorbed ass! Screw that! I'm insured, so watch the hell out! We're turning this mug into a demolition derby! I've got sharp elbows and a surly disposition. I am NOT to be trifled with!
Annoyance 7: People with wireless headsets for their cell phones.
First of all, you look like you're either talking to yourself or to me and somehow I end up feeling like an ass-hat when I answer and you give me that "WTF?" look. If your phone is so damn heavy that you can't lift it to your bean, then get another phone or join a damn gym, Gumby! Secondly, none of those damn headsets seem to either a) pick up voices with any clarity nor do they b) transmit the other party's voice with any volume. This, of course, defeats the purpose of a phone conversation; as it very quickly denigrates to an endless cycle of repeated sentences.
"What? Sorry I didn't catch that. ….WHAT? No, I just can't hear you very well….WHAT?!"
The above continues for about a half a month or so.
"Yeah. No. I said, the rash cleared up fine. No, the rash cleared up….THE RASH CLEARED….no, not 'cash'.
RASH! Yeah. No, I'm walking fine, not bow-legged...what?...no…FINE! ….No, I said 'FINE!!'"
The point is, I don't care about your life and I certainly don't care to gain half an understanding of it because you're carrying on with your half of the conversation at excruciating decibels. Either quiet the hell down, or raise the damn phone to one of your blow-handles. No one thinks you're important just because you have some little piece of crap strapped to your ear. Repeating everything you say about 12 times doesn't add to the romance either, it just makes you sound more and more like Corky from "Life Goes On".
Annoyance 8: Local television commercials.
Any ad rep at any ad company should be drawn and quartered if they lay down a story board that includes a group of employees clumsily saying ANY phrase in unison. Hey, here's a plan: why not get a professional voice-over guy to provide narrative or hire a couple of trained thespians? This way, viewers at home can ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND what is being said!
Inevitably, local businesses (who must be writing their own material, because these spots are just…well, spotty!) parade out a group of employees who have that wide-eyed look of public speaking-induced terror (very similar to when Chris Hanson comes out of the pantry to play a little "How old do you think she is?" with some befuddled perv). It's that deer-in-the-headlights panic that makes any kind of true, collective unity utterly impossible for a group of pasty car salesmen and women. They aren't going to get it together any more than a 4th grade orchestra will be able to nail the "1812 Overture".
How about doing something classy like the big boys do? How about you get away from parading out the acting-impaired owner of Schitlipz's Daihatsu and KIA Emporium; clad in a Cupid outfit claiming "You'll fall in love with our low prices!"
Cheese alert, code red! DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!
Here are a couple of things to avoid if you are writing, casting, directing, or in any other way, shape, or form participating in the creation of a commercial for a local biz.
- No kids. Kids can't act and half the time they're just plain unintelligible. Their basically like squirrelly little drunk people and drunk people make lousy commercials.
- No talking in unison. I think I've covered this pretty thoroughly, but it's still sage wisdom, in my opinion.
- No costumes. Costumes lead to characters and characters lead to really stupid storylines and really stupid storylines lead to really cheesy ads. Basic addition here, folks. Basic addition.
Annoyance 9: Stretching
Don't get me wrong, I know it's a vital part of any well designed workout program. But dammit, people, can we show some life! It's just so boring. I'm single, I have a lot of "me time", I don't need to incorporate it into my workout! "Hey, we just got done running a mile and a half; let's sit here and play "This Little Piggy"… with OURSELVES!!!"
And yet I do it. Every day. Right after cardio. Wanna know why? Not for the increased flexibility. Nay. Not for the reduction in the likelihood of injury. No, my good sir. I will have none of that. Not even because my trainer told me to (read: ok, maybe a little bit).
Why, you must be asking or soon will after reading this sentence (…I'm in your head, man, in….your….head…)?
That's right. Prison is the reason I stretch, despite my distain for the "activity". One day I might find myself behind bars. Let's face it, nobody actually PLANS on being locked down, so that must mean it could happen to someone who does not, for any reason, expect to go to the ol' gray bar hotel.
So I find myself unexpectedly in prison on my first day of what is most likely a long sentence, having been traded for 4 cartons of ultra-lights and some wine brewed in a toilet. Because let's face it; I'm too pretty for prison. I wouldn't do well. Having witnessed the glory of supply and demand in action and the terror of realizing that I am now the "goods", it's likely that at some upcoming moment, I might be asked to grab my ankles.
What if I can't?
Won't the other guys laugh? There's really nothing more important in your first days of prison than making a good impression! It's literally "make or break". How are you going to get into any of the good gangs? You probably won't have a date for the prom. Who's going to do your DIY tattoo with an unsanitary, used needle? No one. You'll just have to ink the spider web on your elbow by your self, Johnny. None of this would have happened if you were just more flexible! And didn't kill that hooker.
Annoyance 10: Electric Razors.
Had a gift certificate to a large electronics retailer who shall remain nameless. I thought that an electric razor would be a superior purchace. After all, I could not find a single thing in that entire shop, that I actually wanted, for $35. My electronics and gadgets needs are pretty well satiated at this point. And I wasn't going to fork over any of my own cabbage, either, Spanky.
The electric razor seemed like a good choice as it lends itself greatly to one of my most passionate pursuits: being lazy. Shaving is a real pain, even if you have as little facial hair as I do. For those not familiar, I can basically grow a goatee as well as a tuft of hair on a mole on the side of my face. It looks like I'm trying to grow a little Don King off the side of my face if I don't maintain the upkeep. But that's it, no sideburns and no beard.
But here's the thing: electric razors SUCK! That thing must have been possessed by the devil himself. It chewed through the skin on my neck, leaving this awful road-rash- looking-thing. Which was really helpful, given that it MISSED ALL THE HAIRS!! Were the plans for this thing discovered in a Nazi bunker? No, really, I was specifically looking for a device that would leave my neck feeling like a scabby Chihuahua.
Dreams do come true, little Tommy. Dreams do come true!
I'm back to disposables.
Annoyance 11: Entertainment Shows.
If I hear that drunk, Pat O'Brian, use the term "baby-bump" one more god-forsaken time, I swear I'm going to cash in some air miles, fly to Cali, hunt his Irish ass down and beat him senseless with a rented Pulitzer Prize trophy. That was a shockingly long sentence.
And was it so friggin' lung-draining for these vapid blowup-dolls masquerading as television personalities (despite the obvious irony of a personality with no personality) to say the ACTUAL names, "Brad" and "Angelina"? Really? You had to fuse the two together in some kind of creepy, Jeff Goldblum loosing his ear in "The Fly" bastardization. "Branjelina"? Really? I hope against hope that right now, at this very moment, the person who came up with that stubs their toe.
Just stay away from Nancy O'Dell. She's off the board. No one touches her. …Mine!
Here's the thing. I don't give two sh!ts and a Kit Kat bar about who Lindsay Lohan is dating. The person DATING Lindsay Lohan doesn't care who's dating Lindsay Lohan, for cripes sakes!! Not too concerned with who the latest B-lister, has-been is to check into detox, get a DUI, show their panties in a bar, or screw Denis Rodman (which for some reason, just about every chick in California has done). If I was that celebrity obsessed though, I might just sign up for rehab. Seems to be a good place to rub elbows with one or both of the Olsen twins or that guy that played Boner on "Charles in Charge".
(yes, I know the CIC reference was wrong, but I needed an excuse to shoe-horn a Scott Baio reference in here)
Annoyance 12: Valentine's Day
It shouldn't come as any surprise that I HATE this holiday (even more than that sonofabitch, Arbor Day!). I'm single and a guy, but even if I wasn't single, I would still hate it. It isn't that I'm not a romantic at heart, anyone who knows me knows that I'm a hopeless romantic at my core. But with this holiday, it's a lose/lose proposition for guys.
Have a woman (or more, I can't speak to what kind of game you have)? Better pony up the jack, Mister! Money equals love, Jobu, and don't you forget it! You didn't buy your lady a diamond tennis bracelet? You must not love her, or at least that's the message I take away from every one of the thousands of 30 second ads (read: propaganda) littering my sports broadcast. The underlying message is always the same: man buys woman diamond jewelry, woman realizes once again what it is about him that she loves. Thanks for that. And never mind how unlikely it is that I would receive an equitable package of gifts in exchange. A card and a shirt is all you get (if you're lucky, and I mean LUCKY!)? This might be the least even playing field in all of the major holidays. So let me get this straight, I just dropped something close to the gross national product of Uraguay on a diamond necklace that more closely resembles a disco ball, and you got me a Hallmark card and a mix CD? REALLY?! Better come with some BJ coupons or some sh!t, 'cuz that just ain't right at all!!
Don't have a woman? Better be prepared to be reminded of that, in no uncertain terms, everywhere you go. From commercials to the mall and everywhere in between there will be depictions of happy, loving couples, drunken with romance. Clearly, being single is a sign that there is something fundamentally wrong with you. You must be unlovable at the very underpinnings of your core. Walk around a mall as a single guy at this time of year and you will be constantly reminded by a stream of happy little couples that you are neither happy nor a couple. These happy couples, when they can be distracted from their wholesome bliss, will look at you as if you were a leper. You can almost hear the contempt in their stares; knowing they would point and laugh if they weren't holding hands and a bunch of gift bags. Just do yourself a favor and avoid shopping altogether until some time in March.
I can only remember a handful of times in my life that I was actually able to hold a relationship together long enough to go through the usual V-Day routine, but I can say this, the best way to enjoy this season is to be flat broke with someone else who is flat broke. Take the expectations of material goods out of the equation and play it by heart and this holiday can live up to its guiding principles. But once you have a little cabbage involved, be prepared for the day to careen out of control faster than a Mercedes with Lindsay Lohan at the wheel!
Annoyance 13: scuffling feet
For f*ck's sakes, pick up your feet when you walk! It absolutely drives me nuts when someone walks around dragging their heals loudly along the floor. Do your shoes not fit? Are they 4 sizes too large and you're just too lazy or stupid to ask for a little sizing advice from the pimply faced nerd working at the PayLess store? Did you not tie the laces; instead working some RUN-DMC action with those wing-tips?
If you turn your shoe over and you have perfect tread from the toes to the arch and a heel that looks more worn than Charlton Heston's nutsack, then you need to LIFT YOUR LEGS A LITTLE!! Or do you just enjoy the sound of your own footsteps so much that you thought it would be good to extend that aural pleasure for everyone within earshot to partake in? What are you, like twelve? Seriously? Professional cross country skier? I understand that this is inevitably the case with flip-flops and some sandals, but there's just no excuse for a grown person to scuffle their feet. None whatsoever.