Ross Perot, dieting woes and other societal ills

MIKE ROYKO

September 13, 1993|By MIKE ROYKO

I'm going on vacation, so it's time for another series of readers' gripes. It's my way of preventing this space from being filled with anything truly important while I'm loafing.

The gripes were plucked from more than 10,000 sent by readers after I started this occasional and slightly weird feature.

For those interested in the nation's pulse, the three single biggest sources of gripes are: 1) goofy drivers, 2) jerks in checkout lines and 3) politicians. Having said that, I don't have to print anything further on those subjects.

So let the grousing begin:

"Men who believe a younger woman will restore their youth. Hint: You're going to be six feet under in 25 years no matter how young she is."

"Rich people who act as if the poor got that way on purpose."

"People who give their kids pretentious, romance-novel names: Samantha, Alexandra, Tiffany, Victoria, Jeremy, Lance."

"Being told to sacrifice for my children's future. They have never suffered one second. Quite frankly, they should."

"The line, 'Wake Up, America' -- a favorite of nutcase, right-wing letter-to-the-editor writers."

"Men that say 'We're pregnant.' WE'RE pregnant? Hardly."

"It should be against federal law for clothing manufacturers to make knit pants beyond size 10. Also, anyone over 150 pounds wearing shorts in public should be arrested for indecency."

"Sleazy, bearded creeps with tattoos and earrings."

"A local weatherman who thinks he is Ed Murrow broadcasting from a rooftop in London during World War II."

"Ross Perot, who has his mouth going constantly and never says anything. He ought to be listed in the TV schedule as a comedy act. His doubletalk is great."

"The idea that Southerners are not bright people."

"When you have an illness or problem and tell someone and they say they had the same, but much worse, and they go on and on."

"Itchy-scratchy clothing labels. Help."

"Bank customers who feel they have the right to yell at you and want you to bend the rules because they have a lot of money in the bank. Thanks. I needed that."

"Guys who wear gloves with the fingers cut off."

"My gripe concerns women with long fingernails. These nails are a hazard. They harbor bacteria!"

"When I work hard on a tan and only old women and other men notice."

"Sexual 'harassment' hysteria. This is a uniquely American phenomenon. Very entertaining for the Europeans."

"People who give advice. Bug off. I'll fail on my own, thank you."

"Why do people, even newscasters and traffic reporters, say 'left hand side of the street,' 'right hand turn,' 'left hand shelf.' What on earth does your hand have to do with it?"

"City workers paid by my hard-earned tax dollars who hoot and holler at women walking down the street. I pay their salary to shut up and work. Period."

"The inanity of generic 'law and order' television shows where the cop suddenly spots the bad guy in the crowd a block away, immediately pulls his gun, assumes the stance and yells 'Freeze.' Naturally, the chase sequence follows. Why doesn't the stupe just quietly walk near the 'bad guy' first and then put the arm on him?"

"Working women who say to homemakers like me, 'What in the world do you do all day?'"

"Country-and-western singers who, in radio and television interviews, refer to themselves as artists. It's enough to make one puke."

"Auto mechanics that take advantage of women."

"Not being able to keep in good shape without having to diet all my life."

"People who do not know how to properly use an apostrophe. Some people may think I am picky just because I have a degree in English. However, not having a degree, in English or anything, is no excuse for the blatant misuse of an apostrophe."

"Foreigners who wish to force their language on our country."

"My pet peeves are that Morton Salt took the handy little shaker off the top of the box -- and Arm & Hammer baking soda took the neat little closer out of the top of the soda box. I really miss them."

"People who talk with food in their mouths, the pigs."

"Rapid City's Chamber of Commerce and tourist bureau frequently proclaims how friendly Rapid City is. In reality, it is a cold, hostile place. For example, a simple daily greeting will be answered with an uncomprehending stare or ignorant grunt. To be quite honest, I found the people of Chicago a lot friendlier."

"People who wear ballcaps backwards. Don't they realize how stupid they look?"

"Parents who have been unable and unwilling to make honorable citizens of their offspring, and when caught claim that 'the system has failed them.'"

"Hairdressers that don't cut your hair the way you tell them -- leaving you almost bald and looking like a squirrel."

"Neighbors that copy everything you do to your house."

"Trying to get off an elevator and everyone trying to get on at the same time."

"Schools giving out free condoms to students. Why? Are they planning to have sex in class?"

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