Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Annoyances in Public

Today, I thought I'd write about some types of typical annoyances encountered when out in public, some with particular examples.

One common annoyance for many people is encountering loud or rowdy kids in public. I don't mean children who are merely talking loudly. Indeed, the parents who hiss "SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" every time the poor kid opens their mouth is usually ten times more annoying than the kid could ever be. Many times I've said to such parents, "Your kids aren't bothering me". In other words, quit with the damned shushing, because YOU are the one being annoying.

On the other side are the apparently deaf and oblivious parents to kids who are being annoying. There was one time years ago that I was browsing in a bookstore and a woman and a boy about three years old came in. From the moment they came inside, the boy was saying in a loud, insistent voice, "IwannadrinkIwannadrinkIwannadrink", over and over and over and over, barely pausing to breathe. The mother totally ignored him, acting as if he wasn't even there. Finally I couldn't stand it anymore. I turned to the mother and said, "For fuck's sake, give the kid a damned drink already!" She gave me a dirty look and immediately left the store, much to everyone's relief.

I don't mind kids talking loudly, or even being whiny, but one thing I can't abide is a kid who SHRIEKS at the top of his lungs. It goes through my head just like a nail. Usually the parents of shriekers are the oblivious types, unfortunately.

Another annoyance is parents who let their kids run inside a store, getting in the way of people trying to shop. More than once, I've nearly tripped over such anklebiters when they've suddenly darted out in front of me.

Now, on to the adults -- children aren't the only or even the main offenders out in public. One thing I hate in places like Wal Mart or the grocery store is someone who stops dead in the middle of a narrow aisle, oblivious to others who want to get by. They do this either to carry on a conversation with someone they meet or they're simply confused on where something is located. Sometimes, I'll just stare them down, my arms crossed, not saying a word, until they get the hint. Other times, when I'm in a particularly foul mood, I'll suggest they go off to the side to chat or be confused.

At the movies, I hate people who talk during the movie, either to their companion or on their damned cell phones. Just because you have a cell phone doesn't mean it has to be constantly in use. Before you had a cell phone, you didn't spend every waking moment on your landline, so why do you think you have to constantly be on the cell?

But one of my main movie peeves are people in the same row as you who can't stay seated; who get up 900 times during the movie and squeeze by you, blocking your view, on the way to the aisle. And the worst is when you have someone sitting directly behind you who cannot sit still and spends the movie kicking the back of your chair.

Another place where I typically encounter fidgety people is a diner. You know, the kind of place where the booths have double seats facing opposite directions with a table on either side. I invariably get an antsypants who couldn't sit still if their lives depended on it, on the other side of the double seat from me. They either keep swinging their legs around or jog one leg up and down compulsively so that I spend my meal being jiggled to death. If I wanted a fucking earthquake with my meal, I would have ordered one! I've gotten to where I try to take the booth closest to the wall when I go into a place with seating like this, so as to avoid these morons.

What are some of the typical public annoyances you love to hate?

No comments: