Friday, December 16, 2011

Five People I Hate (and How They Make a Living in Today's Economy)

5: People who say "I like the one where Ross and Rachel argue" when Friends comes up.

Or "I like when he meets that one girl" when someone mentions How I Met Your Mother, or "I like the episode when they sing" if someone says they love Glee.  I get it, har-har, every episode is interchangeable and they're pablum.  You only watch Breaking Bad and The Wire, or The Office when you're in the mood for a chuckle (the British version, of course).   

These phrases are so self-consciously witty and glib, so wanna-be sophisticated.  This is a person who wishes they could get more enjoyment out of life, a person bitter that they can't escape the prison of their harsh judgements and who must therefore piss on the things others enjoy.  They either become critics or waiters at TGI Friday's.

Fuck these people.  And while we're at it, fuck...

4: People Who Think Out Loud

Because I usually don't know how I feel about something until I write about it, I'm automatically prejudiced against folks whose minds work this way.  Even if you don't process the world by writing about it, I think we can all agree that being used as someone's sounding board is... exactly as fun as that phrase sounds.  I talk to myself but I'm not cruel enough to expect people to listen (unless you count Sweet).

Professionally, there is nothing more annoying than co-workers who have no idea what kind of help they want but who somehow have all morning to slather you with blather about it.  They say things like, "I got this paperwork with your clearly detailed notes on what I need to do with it but I just wanted to be sure..." or "I just sent you an email but I thought I should call..."  Needing help is one thing; keeping me trapped while I get a terrifying window into your thought process is something else.

Outside the workplace, there are few things as beneficial as a friend who's willing to listen to your problems.  But to people whose every thought and emotion needs to be verbalized before they can make sense of it, and who think nothing of spewing forty-minute monologues over coffee or beer, there's a word for the kind of friend you're looking for: a psychiatrist.  

Unfortunately, if you work with these people, you probably work for these people.  Parcelling out when their outer-inner monologue suddenly requires a response from you is the unwritten part of your job.

If they aren't your boss, chances are they work part-time, freeing more hours in their day for jabber.

3: People Who Don't Know How to Act in Parking Lots

When I lived in Syracuse and Virginia, this niggling annoyance centered around shopping carts - when you're finished with your shopping cart, you bring it back to the store.  It's just good manners; you took it out so you put it back.  But living in Miami, poor parking lot etiquette has become a full-blown pet peeve.

Miami is series of neighborhoods joined by population growth rather than urban planning, so cute little lots which should accommodate the attached buildings have become slices of hell where drivers are doomed to circle forever.  To compound the problem, every lot here seems to have been designed by the same dude: Stuffspace McCrammer.

McCrammer saw the hairs on his chin and thought, "I can do this with cars!"
McCrammer's mission is to fit as many spaces as possible into every lot he designs, making spaces so narrow and corners so close that matchbox cars couldn't fit in them.  Keep him in mind while I list these problem people.

Lazy fuckers leaving carts wherever they please?  We got em in droves.  Fucktards who don't pull in all the way and turn the aisles into obstacle courses?  Got those, too.  Dumbasses who miss the space and accidentally take up more than one?  We could fill a stadium.  These are clueless assholes barely paying attention to life.  We forgive them, for the most part, because they know not what's going on while they're on their cell phones.  We don't forgive the domino effect one person parking like this creates.

Also, some winners dump trash in parking lots.  What better place to dispose of that old diaper, or the packages on the toys you just purchased, or the doggie bag you thought better of taking home?  Go ahead and drop it right outside your door and drive away fast, because once one person sees trash in the middle of the concrete, another one thinks, "Oh, so that's where this empty soda bottle / cigarette pack / fast food container goes."  Then the fast food container fucks the dirty diaper to make trash babies, and you can't pull into the space without 1) overlapping the space on the other side, or 2) double-parking, getting out, and removing the offending pile.

We don't forgive litterbugs.
Then there's people who say "fuck it" and double park their car where it lies.  What the hell is up with that, anyway?  "I've looked long enough.  I'm stopping the car right here, right now, and the world can deal with it."  That's a kind of psychosis, isn't it?

And luxury car drivers.  You're really something, aren't you?  Your car is too nice to risk the narrow confines of the parking lot, so you deliberately park your Jaguar / Lexus / Mercedes at an angle?  Not only are you so much better than me with your money wheels, I'm not even good enough to park alongside you.  Fuck right off.

The deliberate angle parker is a successful business person or the housewife / househusband of a successful business person.  Their bank accounts are full but they are living at the very edge of their means.  The only difference between them and the working poor is that the business person stands to lose more stuff if their job gets downsized.  Hence, the angle park.  It says, "Check out the lovely vehicle I can afford, but don't cause any damage because I can't afford to get it fixed.  You see, Johnson is gunning hard for my job and if I took a half day to bring the BMW to the garage, I know he'd make jokes with the boss behind my back while I was gone.  He'd be all, 'Where's Bob hiding out these days? Heh-heh' and the boss would laugh, but inside he'd be wondering."  Or words to that effect.  The house husband / housewife is so overwhelmed with keeping this stressful endeavor of a marriage afloat that they need to stop the car before they burst into tears.

If you are one of the "fuck it I'll stop the car anywhere I want and call it parking" service people bringing the angle-parker his lunch, please keep their sad lives in mind before you make it a sneezer.  Sure, they're assholes, but they're people too.  And who are you to judge with your issues, throwing the car into park at the last second so your head doesn't explode from anger?  Get a grip.

In addition to servers, business people, and housewives, "fuck-its" can also be Post Office workers, lawyers, or athletes.

Dumbasses and litterbugs come from all walks of life.

2: People Who Text While Driving

Having a death wish is one thing.  Take up sky diving, mountain climbing, or any other activity where the gun is pointed at your head and no one else's.  The text-driver thinks he's just living his life, but subconsciously he's no different than the pyscho who brings a gun to a public place and shoots a bunch of people before killing himself (or committing suicide by cop).  The text-driver isn't happy putting his own life in danger, he's got to go out in a miraculous blaze that takes as many with him as possible.  

While waiting to cross the street, I used to count how many passing drivers were on cell phones for fun.  Now, I look for people with their phones in the text position.  It's amazing how many people think they can get away with this.  Take your eyes off the road for one second in the city and you've travelled 44 feet.  More likely you're only doing fractions of second, but a lot can happen in a few feet.  And people do it all the time and think nothing will go wrong.

Why aren't cops and legislators working on this?  Because they're too busy busting people for photography?  If waving loaded guns around in crowded places suddenly became a thing, I think cops would react.  Is texting while driving not equally dangerous and irresponsible?  I guess they get a pass on the rarely invoked "everyone does it" rule.

By that rationale, it's okay to listen to this.
Some driving texters are over-scheduled moms.  They have a job teaching or instructing aerobics but they're also shouldering an unfair portion of the child rearing.  They started out trying to be hip by communicating via text to the young people in their lives and it all just kind of snowballed.  We pity their  struggle, but it will be tough for her to bond with her children when she's dead.  Ditto whoever she mows over.

The other texting drivers are high school and college students.  As we all know, God is making an exception for them and they'll live forever.  

1: Jeff Bezos

Jeff... fucking... Bezos


  1. Vintage!

    That's a proper bloomin rant!

    Welcome to the curmudheon club Aaron. It's all down hill from here........

  2. Thanks, Al!

    I see the future posts - "The Music I Grew Up With is Better Than the Crap on the Radio Today: A 5-Song Comparison," or "Five Punks Who Need to Get Off My Lawn."