Annoyance 14: backseat whisper-singers
This only happens with women. I've never in my life heard one single male do this. A whisper singer is someone who clearly knows the words to a song, as well as the melody, but doesn't have the voice to actually sing along, so they kind of whisper the song. So quietly that you can only hear the sharp consonants. Other than that, there is this slight drone interrupted by S's, T's, and P's that stick out and jab the other listeners directly in the eardrum. My sister was famous for doing this all the time and I was equally famous for yelling at her to shut the F up so I could enjoy the F'ing song!
You've quite clearly realized that actually singing at full voice would be inappropriate and very annoying, so you substitute this muffled crap instead. Please for the love of God and all things holy, SHUT YOUR DAMN MAN-PLEASER! Public singers are bad enough (see previous rants for more of my opinion on that) but this is a whole new level of annoyance because clearly you see that your behavior is annoying but you seem to think you have mitigated the typical reaction by bringing the volume down so low that only the sharp sounds escape. This has the opposite effect, Chichi. Either sing or don't F'ing sing. It's really that simple.
And if you're in a car that I'm in, just DON"T F'ING SING AT ALL!!
And if I run into you and your significant other at the mall, scuffling your merry way along the isles while whisper singing along to the Muzak, be prepared for a flogging of epic proportions.
Annoyance 15: taking the dog EVERYWHERE
I see it constantly, from driving around to shopping at the mall. Some people have to take their little mutts with them every-friggin-where they go! Fido has a shopping list for Target, does he? Really? What exactly is on that list there, Chachie? I'm guessing it goes something like this:
- A butt to sniff
- Someone to rub my belly
- Dryer sheets
- A place to drop a deuce
I get that the family pet is…well, part of the family and all, but for the love of all things SENSIBLE, leave the dog at home! Does it gross anyone else out when you're in the produce section and a golden retriever saunters up behind you and buries its nose squarely up your split side? I know there's one or two of you saying "No. Why? I don't get it…" and frankly, that's a cry for help that I simply don't have the patience or psychological credentials to deal with right now. Sick-o. I bet Peanut butter is on your dog's list! For the rest of us, however, it's really kinda gross. Dogs are not very sanitary animals and you can spare me that whole "Their mouths are cleaner then ours are" argument, because I brush my teeth and gargle Listerine while your dog eats its own poo. Advantage: ME! Game, Set, Match, MoFo! These same people would probably be horrified if someone put their cat on a leash and brought it to the shop, but somehow that bulldog that's been rolling around in your compost heap gets the invite?! Simply put, if you can read this blog, you're not blind, so I'm retracting your pet-pass! Rover's just gonna have to wait it out in the Land Rover (which is pretty cruel in and of itself and is yet another argument for leaving the mutt at home).
For the record, no one (and I mean NO ONE) cares a damn about your dog to the degree to which you believe they do. There are people out there who aren't "dog people" at all, and having a smelly animal sniffing them up at Bed Bath and Beyond out is downright offensive. You can't force someone to be a dog-lover any more than you can compel someone to become a nudist! And I promise you, you'd have a really tough time refraining from a magnificent chunder if you were picking out bananas when someone sashayed your way with their junk out, swinging like a pendulum!
Annoyance 16: Rap music
Back in the day, rap music was amazing. From ICE-T to Rakim, these were street poets, word smiths, and (dare I say) musicians. Nowadays, it's become formulaic to a sickening degree (never mind the fact that rappers only perform about 20% of their own songs anymore!). Find a phrase and repeat it 40 times. Done. Where's my money? I haven't actually done a "Party like a rock star" tally to see how many times the phrase gets repeated, but I bet it's just short of the number of times a two year old says "Why?" in any given month!
Wanna be a rapper? Here's all you need to talk about:
- all the money you have
- the car(s) you drive (which must be from the following auto makers: Bentley, Rolls Royce, Mercedes, Jaguar, Lexus, and BMW)
- the size of your rims (must be over 20" so you can use the word "Dubs")
- your "bitches" (no room for chivalry here, fellas)
- the VIP room or strip club
- your jewelry (or "ice", for those of you up to date on the lingo)
- the brand of champagne/alcohol you're buying for the whole bar
- the expensive brand of watch you own (Rolex, Cartier, or Breitling are all acceptable answers here)
Rap used to be a reflection of the reality of the streets (from what this white-bread, Indiana boy would actually know about that reality, which isn't much). It was raw, real, articulate, and pretty damn well-crafted. Now it's turned into this complete and utter fantasy, where poor kids from the streets brag about all the things they don't actually have but assume would give them "cred" if they really did.
Yes. I used the word "cred". If the anchors on ESPN can, so can I (I am, at the very least, as "street" as Trey Wingo!!!)!
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if you are a 19 year old from the projects in D.C., it's something short of plausible that you actually own that $250,000 Bentley with the 22 inch rims that you so prominently display in your very first music video. I'll go further out on that proverbial limb and say that it's rented and that the "bitches" in bikinis dancing around you are PROBABLY rented for the video, too. They probably wouldn't spare a cup of piss to put you out if you were on fire if they weren't bought and paid for. Just a hunch.
Where, oh where have you gone, Young MC? We miss you.
Ok. Not really.
I've never been a particularly sound sleeper. I generally lay there, eyes splayed open, staring at the ceiling for hours (literally) before I finally relent to slumber. Don't know if I just have too many thoughts swirling through my noggin (which seems highly unlikely even as I type it out) or if I have a case of the "crazy legs", but I have never been one of those people who's asleep before my head hits the pillow.
I hate those people.
…And envy them, but mostly it's hate.
With the best of intentions, I go to bed. After a long day, tired and ready for the sweet relief of slumber. Ready to fade off into dreamland, ensconced in reveries starring Christina Aguilera, cowboy boots, a kiddie pool of butterscotch pudding, and furry handcuffs. Yeah, I know. Don't judge me.
I've brushed my grill, turned out the lights, and I slip under the covers and then….
Nothing. Nothing at all.
Wide awake. Instantly; regardless of just how tired I might have been.
Then the games begin.
"Well, if I get to sleep in the next half hour, I'll get a good 6 hours of sleep." As soon as that thought crosses your mind, you are screwed. This is the exact and polar opposite of a Self Fulfilling Prophecy. You aren't going to get 6 hours of sleep, Billy. Huh-uh. Nope. Might want to trim that prediction by at least 50%, but don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to retool those numbers while you're NOT SLEEPING!
Seemingly minutes later, "If I get to sleep in the next fifteen minutes, I can get a solid 2 hours of sleep." Instead of thinking this, you would be better served to just accept that "I'm going to be a cranky SOB tomorrow; drunk on Red Bull, with all the personality and patience of a cornered badger." There's something to be said for truth in advertising, after all.
Then you get angry (actually physically upset) at yourself for not being able to sleep. This spirals downward faster than Michael Richards' career post-"Seinfeld". You start considering any and every possible solution to your problem, from cranking one out to taking a couple of shots of Whiskey (not always a viable solution when you have to get up for work in two hours, but you'll consider just about anything at this point).
Count sheep? I'm at 147,328. How much longer should I count?
Warm milk? What am I, like 5? Maybe warm milk and Whiskey?! Isn't that how alcoholism starts? I bet if I went down to the overpass and bugged one of the residents of the cardboard condos, they would trace their sour lot in life back to insomnia. I'm sure the PTSD didn't help either.
And the best news of all: you get to do this all again in less than 24 hours. Sweet dreams, Skippy!
Annoyance 18: Cartoon characters with foreign accents.
Let me start by confessing that this is more about jealousy and envy than anything. You see, I’m terrible at foreign languages. Beyond awful.
I took a year of Spanish for a couple of years in college.
Still can’t ask where the bathroom is. The translation of my sentence is something like "Beer bathroom please the beach." Must sound like a crazy person to a native Spanish speaker. The fact that I’m wearing nothing but a sailor’s hat and a jock strap might be part of the confused looks as well.
Digress, Dave. Dammit, man, DIGRESS!
So Pepe Lepew speaks fluent English, but with a French accent, eh? Bi-friggin-lingual?! This would mean French is his native language and he DABBLES a bit in English! And you wonder why we hate the French, even their skunks are elitists!
So a friggin’ cartoon skunk is smarter than I am? Dammit! Does he have a PhD in Astrophysics, too? Maybe he’s a Rhodes(kill) scholar!
Like how I did that? Rhodes(kill)….like road kill…because he’s an animal….and they get run over by...ok, screw you if you don’t get it!
You’re not my real mom!
…Anyway. Even Speedy Friggin’ Gonzalez has a Spanish accent. I could have been tutored in college by a friggin’ rodent, who is apparently more linguistically advanced than I am. So I’m smarter than Stimpy, but Ren could hold a conversation with (I suppose) Speedy and I would have no friggin’ clue what they were talking about!
Hold on, I need to head to ACME’s website to find a good solution to this.
What do you think? A giant slingshot, some rocket skates, and a butterfly net?
Annoyance 19: Fingernail clippers.
It isn’t that the clippers themselves cause me any real consternation, but I own like 20 of these little bastards.
…and I can’t remember EVER in my life actually buying one.
Chew on that a moment and I’ll get back to you.
"Ewwwww!" is the right reaction. That’s kinda gross! Where the heck did I get these things and what kind of crusty, yellowed, fungi-laden claws have these things been biting on?
Coulda been someone’s toenails for all I know, and that only heightens the chunder-ificence of this whole situation.
Maybe I can get reduced shipping if I tack a pair of new clippers on my ACME order….
Annoyance 20: The old man at the gym.
You know that crusty old fart at the gym with the prospector’s beard? Yeah, the guy that looks like ZZ Top’s great- great- granddad. One day, I finished up working out. I worked up a good sweat so I shuffled to the locker room for a shower and some fresh hair gel (priorities, folks, priorities!).
I push the door open and turn the corner only to find an image that will haunt me to my core for the rest of my days on this little pebble.
So there stands Father Time, buck-nekkid in all of his pasty glory, right leg perched on a bench, cheeks akimbo, towel gripped tightly in his veiny hands, BUTT FLOSSING!
I imagine at least a few of the people who read this will laugh hysterically at that image. I understand this reaction. You can imagine the old man, wearing his flabby skin like a raincoat. You can image a locker room (probably very similar to the one at the gym you attend, assuming you actually care about physical health ---though reading this blog attests to your utter indifference to mental health and acuity!). You can probably imagine the butt-flossing motion, comically over-exaggerated in your fruitful imagination. You might even be able to string all of these images together into a colorful mosaic of old-man-butt-flossing-comedy.
But you weren’t there, man! You have no idea the horror of having actually witnessed Old Man River in this tete-a-tete with a towel; looking like his arse picked a fight with a hammock and the hammock was winning.
It was one of those moments that seemed to go on forever and, having witnessed it first hand, I can tell you that it shook me to the very underpinnings of my existence.
…And not in a good way!
Worse yet, the towel. These are provided by the gym and taken off-site for laundering. I’m sure the steam cleaning sanitizes them. But steam doesn’t get hot enough to remove the image of Santa’s sphincter itching along that rough-grade cotton in super-slow motion! What if I use that towel in the future? Will there be some sort of butt-transferance that only Gil Grissom and his CSIs could detect? God help me!
Then comes the really disturbing part. Yeah, that’s right. We haven’t hit the really disturbing part yet. Here’s the really disturbing part:
We made eye contact.
There’s no coming back from that. It’s almost as bad as walking in on your parents having sex or Rosie O’Donnell at feeding time. There aren’t enough hours of psychotherapy in any given millennium to reverse that train once it’s left the tunnel. That ship has sailed and my innocence is listed on the manifest. One can only hope, at some point in the future, the brain cells I kill with 7&7’s will eventually include this horrific blight on my long-term memory. …Oh, and that time I won a car. You can have that back, too!
Until then, I’ll forever be haunted by the image of Uncle Jesse smiling the smile of child on Christmas morning, sans clothes and good taste, toweling off his O-ring with that poor, hapless rag…. Ugh!
Annoyance 21: Flying
It all starts with the airport. Could you possibly find a bigger cluster f*ck anywhere on the planet? You think malls are a pain in the kibbles and naughty bits to walk around? Airports are all of that madness to a multiple I can't even compute! People in airports walk with a single-minded purpose that precludes any and all common courtesy whatsoever! Hockey players don't get hip-checked as often as I do walking through an airport. The rules: THERE ARE NO RULES!! Seriously, carb up and chug a Red Bull before you hit this joint, because you're gonna need all the stamina and energy you can get! Sharks feed with more organization than people walking through an airport. Pinball machines have more predictability than this cacophony of foreign nationals, hillbillies, and tourists.
Compounding all of this is the rolling deathtraps of luggage people are dragging behind them. Really, that laptop case needed wheels? REALLY?! Are you taking Big Blue for a tet a tet with Kasperov? Packed an IBM mainframe in that friggin' backpack, didja? How damned lazy are we as a society when we can't even be bothered to carry a damn backpack? That's just sad! Sad on levels that defy description! But it can be funny to watch the trail of carnage as people are laid to waste behind one of these morons, swinging this masterpiece of death behind them, clear cutting and plowing down women and children with Mussolini-like abandon and disregard for human life.
Then comes the inevitable congestion in front of the gate. As soon as one single section (usually the first class customers who can't be bothered for a warm cup of piss to put you out if you're hair is on fire) is cleared to board, the rest of the cattle mosey up to the fence, blocking the line off from those people who have actually been cleared to board while they chew on their cud. Seriously, you can't just sit the F down and wait patiently? Do you really expect the trip to be expedited in any fashion whatsoever by crowding up by the gate? You probably think honking your horn in a traffic jam will clear the way as well, eh? Idiot.
Then the fun of boarding the plane begins. There's always some genius who has to try and stuff a friggin' Subaru in the overhead bin. Not gonna happen, Slappy! I'm glad you were clever enough to smuggle the ENTIRE mini-fridge out of your hotel room, but that crap ain't gonna compress enough to wedge it that 2' by 2' space. But seriously, take another ten or fifteen minutes to wrangle with it while your rudimentary understanding of simple friggin' geometry continues to confound you. We've got time, it's not like we have a flight to catch.....oh...wait...
So, after these chuckleheads have stowed their crap and taken a seat, you get to sit as well. Seems like you're in the clear now, right? Not even close! Inevitably, you'll get sardined into a seat next to Elbows O'Spreadeagle and Mary McBackfat, if you aren't lucky enough to get pinned against the fuselage by Jaba the Hut. Engineers, in their infinite wisdom created 3 seats with 2 interior armrests. I'm not great at math, but something about that equation makes me think there might be some friction. Unfortunately, the safety pamphlet outlines what you can do in the unlikely event that the plane crashes into an ocean and anyone actually survives, but they failed to establish a simple guideline for who gets the pleasure of extending their elbow an extra 3 inches. Thanks for that! So I get my midsection worked over like a welterweight while the oblivious bastard next to me fiddles around like a 3 year old on a sugar buzz! Four flippin' hours of being poked and prodded mercilessly....and no "happy ending". Fantastic.
Eventually the plane leaves the ground, the flight attendants pass out the requisite mini-pretzels "Thank you Heather, you are a life saver indeed. I was minutes away from a swollen belly and flies circling, but you saved the day with these 3 mini-convections. Prior to this, my tummy was making more noises than a VW Vanogan! Bless you, kind woman. Bless you!" In the isle seat? Expect a reflex test on that funny bone (not so damn funny when a metal cart is driven into and through your arm, is it Chuckles?). In the middle seat, expect to be pummeled from both directions by random elbows. I have the song "Kung fu fighting" going through my head and I know there's a joke there. Just can't get the bat off my shoulder. Hmmm. The window seat is the ideal one here as you get the pleasure of causing discomfiture in other's but you don't have to make any crucial adjustments yourself. Well played, grasshopper!
Eventually, after every extremity has cramped up, seized up, or been beaten up by your fellow passengers, the plane will finally land. Now we're in the clear, Padre. Right? Wrong!! Now comes the funniest display of human vanity and arrogance. Almost at the very same millisecond as the wheels grab asphalt, people have to whip out their cell phones, as if the entire world has been watching with bated breath, anxious for your safe return. Never mind that you won't be able to hear squat over all the other arrogant jackholes in this aluminum tub, but please continue to repeat the same sentence ad nauseum in increasing increments of volume. That's helpful.
Of course, deplaning is not in any way organized either. Before the ship has come to a complete halt, half of the occupants have stood up, in the middle of the isle, opening up the overhead to try and finagle their mini-fridge back out of the compartment (no, seriously, don't worry about dropping that on the head of the 4 year old directly beneath that carry-on-of-death, she's from Minnesota so she doesn't have that much to look forward to in life.). Then, once the door has been opened, the stampede begins! This is fantastic because the faster you get off the plane, the faster they route your luggage to you. Really. That wasn't sarcasm. Ok. Yeah it was. But some people act like getting out of there is more important than the elderly couple you turned into mulch while disembarking from the plane with all the care and dexterity as the Cool-aid man making his famous entrance.
For now, that will have to do. I'm sure I'll find some material that grates on my sandbar in the future, so stay tuned and I'll stay angry!