Thursday, July 21, 2011

Just Line 'Em Up

Today's question is not one I'm planning to take seriously. It's a dark question and conjures up all sorts of unpleasant scenarios. So ... let's stay on the light side. Let's talk about people (non-heavy-duty criminals) that we'd like to kill--if only momentarily--or at least make go away, like some Twilight Zone episode (except without the twisty ending where we repent our misanthropic desires).

Herewith is a grouchy top ten list of some of the most annoying people in the world ...

10. Automatic Robot Voices Named Cheryl (or something). OK, this isn't a person, and I'm not sure if it could be killed, but I'd like to pull the plug on all those automated voices that make you tap dance through a menu for half an hour before ever, ever reaching a live human being.

9. People who smoke in public places. If I'm at a bus stop, it's because I have to be, not because I'm a public transportation groupie. Breathing second-hand smoke from someone who thinks being outside means he can light up like a chimney makes me crazy. If I want second-hand smoke, I can go back to 1940 and breathe Miranda's, thank you very much.

8. Car stereos that make your internal organs tremble. I think there's an inverse ratio between IQ and bass level in car stereos. Oh, yeah, dude, I'm so impressed.

7. People who say "like" too much. Like, it's like, and he was like ... where was I?

6. People with Bluetooth headsets or earbuds who walk around smiling and talking to themselves. What, they can't hold a damn phone? Or do they just like to think they're Secret Service?

5. Tailgating drivers. DO NOT try to make me move my car any faster, just because you think life is a video game. I only go slower when I'm pissed. And say hello to the nice Highway Patrol officer I'm calling on my cell.

4. Litterers. I think anyone who throws their garbage out a window or on the street for other people to clean up needs to wear one of those little orange jump suits for at least six months while scouring toilets at the local Denny's. While wearing ankle chains.

3. Unhelpful "customer service" agents. We've all met 'em. They make life miserable for us when we need to call ... and make "Cheryl" seem much more palatable.

2. People who text and drive. See #8 about IQ ratio.

1. OK, this one I'm leaving blank for you to fill in. Who's your number one irritation? Who have I left off on the America's Most Unwanted List? Comment already--you'll feel better!

25 comments:

Joshua Corin said...

Great list, Kelli. I agree with all your choices.

The one I would add:

People who see a lit call button for an elevator and push the button anyway. That drives me crazy. Do these people not understand that machines, unlike people, cannot be nudged into expediency?

Lois Winston said...

You've pretty much covered it, Kelli, but I'd add people who never bother to respond to emails or voicemail messages. How rude is that?

And then there was this guy yesterday who pulled halfway out of a parking space and stopped, totally blocking the entire parking lot access while he sat there texting. Then he gets all road rage on me because I had the audacity to complain that he was blocking my way! Him I'd kill without regret. Oh for want of a light saber!

Meredith Cole said...

Your list is awesome, Kelli! I'd also add to that people who answer their cell phones in movie theaters and any other kind of theater, and then subject everyone to their conversation. Grrrr....

CPatLarge said...

Turn signal AT the intersection, or not at all. It's an advance warning device, people, not an optional accessory!

Kelli Stanley said...

Ah, Josh. It's the obsessive-compulsives that get you, huh? Yeah, lit elevator button pushing is irritating. People who have trouble with impulses can be a little scary to be around ...

Kelli Stanley said...

Rude, rude, rude, Lois ... people seem to live ever-more in their own invisible bubble of behavior, unconscious and uncaring of the existence of others.

And that guy in the parking space? Methinks a light saber up a certain orifice is the way to go.

Kelli Stanley said...

Thanks, Meredith! And thanks for reminding us of the pernicious loud-mouth and oblivious audience member, who--despite warning after warning about shutting off a mobile phone--continues to receive calls or texts from the fifth row.

Oy!!

Kelli Stanley said...

CPat, you are SO right!! When people play fast and loose with punctuation (you know, the vastly irritating misuse of quotation marks for emphasis, etc.), it's offensive but not dangerous. When people misuse their signals, insurance rates rise. To them I hand a DMV book and say "RTFM"!

Robert Browne said...

My #1 is/are inanimate objects that don't seem to want to cooperate with me. The headphone cord I keep getting tangled up in, the car door that won't close, the chair leg I just stubbed my toe on--you get the point.

It's all their fault. I know it. I hate it. They must die.

William Simon said...

#7. More than once, I've looked at someone talking into their Bluetooth and said, "You are NOT in an episode of STAR TREK, take that damn thing off your head."

Kelli Stanley said...

The inanimates are in league against you, Rob!! Foil their dastardly plot! :)

Kelli Stanley said...

William, I hear you! And I've actually thought someone was addressing me and have made reply before I realized that they were carrying on a pretentious and obnoxious conversation via Bluetooth.

Hell, my Fischer Price phone made me feel important, too ... when I was five. ;)

Daisy said...

This question is near and dear to my heart, because I am nothing if not easily irritated. In my role as a citizen of Cubeland, I would rank highly loud chewers, people who microwave fish and people who put callers on speakerphone. (I even wrote a poem about that last one.)

But if you really want to see my eyes pop out of my head, just ask me about people who use leaf blowers at seven in the morning. In California! Where we don't even get that many leaves on the ground! And you're not even doing anything, you're just moving them around! It would be about as effective, and carbon-efficient, to take a can of gasoline and set it on fire.

On the plus side, as you say, it does make it more fun to write their horrific death scenes.

Terry Shames said...

Totally agree with Daisy about the speakerphone thing. I am irritated by people who end every sentence with an uptick, as if they were asking a question. I hate that? It's irritating? It sounds stupid?

Kelli Stanley said...

Daisy, I LOVE your poem!! :) Thanks for sharing!!

I agree, cubicle life is hell. I hate cubicles. I think personal tolerance is in inverse proportion to the size of one's immediate environment.

As for leaf blowers, figure out a way to make one lethal!! ;)

Kelli Stanley said...

LOL, Terry!! :) Upticks are almost as irritating as "like"!!

Daisy said...

Kelli-- Actually, what I've come up with is a scene where a person's cries of pain and terror as he is attacked by an underground monster are drowned out by the leafblower he was using, so nobody comes to save him.

I'm finding it very satisfying.

Nora said...

Living in San Francisco just a block and a half away from an Academy of Art, I totally hear you on the second-hand smoke thing.

The people who top my Most Wanted list are the people who walk 3,4 & even 5 abreast down a public sidewalk and completely force others out into the street or flat against the buildings rather than move over. This is particularly annoying to me, an ex-NYer. But, as an ex-NYer ('cause you can take the girl out of NY, and all that...), I've decided to remedy the situation with the good ol' NY practice of shouldering. Works like a charm.

Kelli Stanley said...

Nora, you are inspirational--and a testament to why I adore New Yorkers! :)

Go to it, and shoulder those sidewalk bullies aside!!

Kelli Stanley said...

Daisy, I think you've invented a new genre ... leaf-blower noir!! :) I love it!!!

Shane Gericke said...

Hey, everyone, this has nothing to do with today's comment, but I MET LOIS WINSTON IN PERSON AND SHE WAS COOL!! At AgentFest at ThrillerFest, as she is also a literary agent. And, I roomed with Professor Corin, an equally delightful experience, as he is considerate, fun to talk with, and did not trash the bathroom like a rock star. Cool beans.

Also glad I did not make your irritations list, Kel. Lord knows I try.

Kelli Stanley said...

Shane, I'm just bummed I missed Thrillerfest this year. :( I'd been hoping to go, but the timing (mainly the timing of financials) wouldn't work out. I MISS YOU!!

I missed out on seeing the very cool Lois, too ... and I adore Professor Corin. If we were trapped on Gilligan's Island, I know HE would figure out how to get us back!

Anyway, darlin' ... if you're trying to be an irritant, please keep it up, 'cause I loves ya!! :)

Jeannie Holmes said...

People who drive for miles with their turn signal on. It's especially annoying when going over bridges. Where the frak are you gonna turn!?!

On a personal note, people who automatically change the pitch of their voice as if they're speaking to a child and suddenly start using small words when they hear my Southern accent really tick me off. I may add an extra syllable here and there or drop my r's and g's but I'm not stupid.

Kelli Stanley said...

Oh yes, Jeannie ... not to mention the drivers that sweep over three or four lanes to jump in front of you--with no signal. Or the ones that pass you when it's not safe so that they can turn into a driveway on the next street. Or ... gee, we could have a whole subsection just on driving. :)

And anybody who acts like you or your beautiful accent are anything short of brilliant should definitely be on Daisy's "death by leaf-blower" list!

Daisy said...

Have Leaf Blower, Will Kill