Pet Peeve Week? This complainer could use a whole year

October 10, 2005|By KEVIN COWHERD

FOR THE MOST PART, I DON'T PAY attention to all these phony national "weeks" that are always being trotted out.

No, you can have your National Up With Poetry Week and your National Appreciate Pasta Week and your National Bald is Beautiful Week, and who cares about any of them?

But National Pet Peeve Week, which is this week, well, this one's right up my alley.

In fact, I have so many pet peeves stacked from floor to ceiling in my brain, it's like a Sam's Club of peeves up there.

Where to begin?

How about with:

People who don't say thanks when you hold a door for them as you go in or out of a store. Or the ones who waltz right through while you're holding the door without even acknowledging your presence?

What is the deal with you people? You're royalty or something, is that it? Others were put on this Earth to serve you?

Drivers who don't use their turn signals. Here's a bit of automobile trivia: Buick invented the turn signal in 1938.

Why do I bring this up? Because 67 years later, we still have millions of American motorists who seem unaware of this exciting automotive breakthrough, because they never use their turn signals.

Unfortunately, these millions of motorists always seem to be driving in front of me when they suddenly decide to slam on the brakes and turn without signaling.

The whole "live report" thing on the 11 o'clock news. Why are they always going "live" to some reporter standing in a darkened stadium, or outside an empty courthouse, or a deserted theater, when it's obvious that whatever event the reporter covered ended hours ago?

Is this just so the reporter can show off his new trench coat and they can use the term "live"?

Hey, TV execs. Instead of leaving that poor reporter shivering in the gloom waiting to do a standup, would it hurt to let him or her do the same thing from a desk in the newsroom with a nice hot cup of coffee?

The viewers won't mind. Honest.

Please, don't get me started on trendy chain supermarkets that pretentiously display 400 varieties of cheese.

Because that would really set me off.

Middle-aged guys in face-paint and outlandish team costumes at NFL games.

We're seeing this more and more, aren't we? Every time the TV cameras scan the stands and these guys hold up their beers and scream "We're No. 1!" it's like the bar scene in Star Wars.

Disclaimers at the end of commercials that run longer than the commercial.

I don't know, does this give anyone a comforting feeling about the product? Hearing a disembodied voice speed-read all the things that can go wrong?

And if it's a commercial for medication, once it's mentioned that "possible side effects include death," is it really necessary to list any other side effects? Don't headache and nausea pale in importance to no longer existing?

The 9/10ths prices on gas-station signboards.

Isn't it bad enough that the price of regular unleaded is still around three bucks a gallon?

Is it really necessary to tack on another 9/10ths of a cent, just to make us all feel even more depressed?

What if this kind of torture catches on in other businesses and walks of life?

What if the IRS starts demanding an additional 9/10ths of a cent from its already browbeaten taxpayers?

Or what if they start charging an extra 9/10ths of a cent at tollbooths all across this great nation, causing the howling masses without E-Z Pass to feel even more disenfranchised? Is this going to help the national morale?

I don't think so.

Fantasy-league football geeks.

It's official: These people have now become the most annoying people on the planet.

They have become even more annoying than people who want to tell you how much the value of their house shot up in this boom real-estate market.

Fantasy-football geeks will sidle up to you at a cocktail party and, with a dab of crab dip glistening on their chin and their eyeglasses askew, will say something like: "Willie Parker is just killing it for me right now."

This automatically assumes that:

a) you know who Willie Parker is (rookie running back, Pittsburgh Steelers) and

b) you care that Willie Parker is having a good season thus far.

Do not humor this person.

You should immediately tell him to go away and leave you alone.

Otherwise you're in for a long, long night.

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