Catholic commentary on culture, media, and politics.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I can't take it

Some irksome things of everyday life drive you mad, don't they? Call them pet peeves. Most are non-lethal and banal. But they force you to fight the urge to blurt out, "I can't take it."

I'll probably think of more, but, for now, I can't take:

* Long-winded, needlessly verbose phone message recordings. "You have reached (then it repeats the number you dialed). I'm sorry, but the person at that extension is unavailable." By now I'm close to yelping, "No kidding, genius!"

But it's just getting warmed up.

"If you'd like to leave a message, press one. To page this person, press two. Or just wait for the tone." So, hoping to provoke a swift return call, you opt for the page. It drones on, "You have entered (then they repeat your number -- all ten digits, thank you very little -- and by now you've lost the will to live). "If this is correct, press one." Blah blah blah. And then, they tack on a goofy option at the finish? "To end this call, please press pound, or simply hang up." So for jokes and fun, you press pound. "Good-bye," it says, all smarty pants.

Someone could become a zillionaire by figuring out how to create a snappy, 10-second version of this insufferable ritual.

* People in Southern California who insist on wearing shorts when the temperature drops below 40 F. I'm thinking they must either be tourists trying to get their money's worth, or just moved from Wisconsin and want to fit in.

* Bill O'Reilly's inscrutable use of the term "the deity" for God, and his infallible certainty as to what Jesus would do. Go here for my extended take on Mr. O'Reilly's bloviatory yet anorexic Catholicism.

* The phrase "it's all about..." As in, "Here at Bob's Wrench Emporium, we're all about service," or, "You know, Jennifer and Nick were all about honesty." When I hear it, I secretly wish the person saying it was beaten up as a child.

* The irritatingly cocksure Bryant Gumbel, who, faithful as Big Ben, ruins the end of every episode of HBOs Real Sports with his smarmy wrap-up comments.

* Drivers who've taken blood oaths never to use their right turn indicator.

* Twenty-minutes of super-loud movie trailers in mallplexes.

* Any more photos of -- let's be charitable -- the repellent Paris Hilton. I resent knowing that she has a dog and a line of zhi-zhi purses. I have that information in my head.

* Hollywood train-wreck marriages that steam forward to their inevitable dooms in super slo-mo. Start the list with: Tom and Katie; Julia and what's-his-name; David and Courtney; Harrison and Calista; Brad and Angelina. Why not arrange a conference call and spare everyone the wait by just breaking up on the same day? (Christina Aguilara's marriage to what's-his-name [no relation to Julia's husband] is an exception; it will last unto eternity.)

* The phrases:
1) "You go, girl" (Hey, spunky female, I publically encourage you in your outragous venture);
2) "Don't go there" (You are inappropriately verging on explicitating a topic that is inappropriately bawdy or embarrassing yet we both consider humorous);
3) "No worries" (I have experienced no significant burden by handing you the Sweet N' Sour sauce pouch you requested.")

All three went stale around 1997.

What can't you take?


Blogger Rick Lugari said...

Entertaining post. I don't think a person in the world could defend the phone menu issue, including those who have designed them.

Just the thought of the USCCB, and the reality of what it is, ticks me off.

I hate that people, in particularly the MSM and some pols, give a damn about what Hollywood celebs have to say about current events and 'causes'. Not that they shouldn't have a right to have an opinion like the rest of us, but just because they got rich and famous by pretending to be something they aren't, doesn't mean their ideas and causes have any merit.

I also hate to hear celebs discuss their 'work' or 'craft'. They are getting paid a lot of money to play pretend. They know this and feel the need to embelish what they do, so they try to make the whole thing seem like it is a philosophical exercise in which only the best and brightest can really do. In reality, most of them are just shallow narcissists.

6:52 AM

Anonymous joe said...

Very funny!

I'll think about this and get back to you.

8:06 AM

Anonymous justine said...

Oh, now Joe's trying to show me up by THINKING about what he writes first. Great.

I say "no worries."

Patrick, I feel slapped in the face.

8:36 AM

Blogger Patrick said...

Rick: Good to have you. The "Actor's All Holy, All Important Craft. I'm with you there. Or maybe they're just misuderstood geniuses...and we really are pleebs.

Joe: It's not like you to refrain from shooting from the hip. Come. Back. When. Meds. Wear. Off.

Justine: "Slapped in the face?" No, no, I was aiming for "jackbooted in the soft tissues that surround the carotid artery."

Great. Now I feel guilty for enjoying writing that.

8:51 AM

Blogger Patrick said...

People in Southern California who insist on wearing shorts when the temperature drops below 40 F. I'm thinking they must either be tourists trying to get their money's worth, or just moved from Wisconsin and want to fit in.

I believe it was you who mocked me when I went on a tirade about this some years ago. Remember my complaint that people in SoCal think it's their "right" to wear shorts 365 days a year? Shorts, like spandex, are a privilege, not a right. I believe you might be turning into a "native," Patrick.

Twenty-minutes of super-loud movie trailers in mallplexes.

Uh, hello? That's the best part of many movies these days. What’s a mallplex? :-P

What bugs me? You really shouldn't ask someone like me that question. I will list a few.

1. Smog spewing work trucks crammed with illegal aliens with work equipment teetering precariously over the edge and threatening to fly into my windshield. What makes this worse is that they THINK that because they have more than two people in the truck they MUST drive in the fast lane or carpool lane. No senors, that is OPTIONAL.

2. Chain link fences in front yards.

3. Elaborate masonry walls and excessive planting of palms trees around a house that is about 800 square feet with broken windows and cars parked on the lawn and squawking parrots left in a cage hanging in front of the house.

(I need to work through my illegal alien issues apparently.)

4. People who complain out loud about the wait in line at a store as if we’re not all in the same boat.

5. People who STILL write checks at the grocery store.

6. People who wait until their items are rung up to begin digging for their debit cards. (I mean, she was having an important discussion about her ex-boyfriend’s new gal on her cell phone so I guess it was important enough to hold the rest of up.)

7. Pedestrians who cross against the light making a left turn impossible.

8. Motorists who forget that some people are actually walking.

All of this points to NARCISSISM. Narcissism is destroying our culture.

I’ll stop. I could go on forever.

10:11 AM

Anonymous Joe said...

Okay Patrick and Justine. The pressure is on. Where’s my zoloft? Two antivan! Stat!

Here goes:

Rick’s comment about actors made me think of that show “Inside The Actors Studio with James Lipton.” It really is the high watermark of pretentious blather. Sorry Julia Roberts, but you don’t have that much insight into the human condition.

Remember those Budweiser commercials with the guys greeting each other saying ”Whazzz uuuuuup?” For months people at my office did it incessantly and I was starting to have fantasies of kicking them in the face and throwing them down the stair well.

People who think having dogs and cats are the same as having children and call themselves mommies and daddies.

People who say “Happy holiday” when they know you’re Catholic and celebrate Christmas.

Like Patrick, I hate knowing who Paris Hilton is and that our popular culture could make someone celebrity whose only accomplishment is a home made porn video.

People who post comments on blogs when they should be working. Ha Ha!

10:36 AM

Blogger Patrick said...

PDP: I don't rememeber mocking you on that. I do remember mocking you about your tirade against the concrete pillars that inconveniently populate strip mall parking lots.

A mallplex is a movie cineplex shoved into a mall. Give me the old Majestic Theatre days or give me death.

And stop hating the brown man. Besides swamping your hospitals, sucking from the educational and social teat of Nanny State, exporting cop killers, stealing jobs from un-degreed Americans, and cluttering your Home Depot foyers, what harm has he done?

Joe: *Whazzup* earned my wrath the second I heard it the first time. But to endlessly repeat it like it's hip, funny, or endearing. That is diabolical. Worse than the open enjoyment of David Haas music (sic).

Will Farrell does a killer parody of Mr. Lipton.

10:56 AM

Blogger Scarlette said...

1. Having to pay a company to advertise for them by buying their clothes with their logos on it.
2. logos on shirts
3. PETA members who are also pro-abortion. (I can't figure that out.)
4. Guys in nightclubs who think that making a rose out of a napkin is a turn-on. It's lame and effeminate.
5. People who sigh first before answering a question. When that happens, things tend to get ugly.
6. Televisions that are turned up too loud.
7. Movies with no real endings.
8. Next door neighbors with snow blowers who only do their own walk. Selfish.
9. People who converse in church.
10. People who take Communion in the hand and PLOP it into their mouth like it was a mint or something.

Wow, that's 10 and I was just getting warmed up. I didn't even mention the Baby Boomer generation.

I'll stop though and give someone else a chance. But, that felt great. Are we on a limit? I might like to come back and add on. :)

8:21 PM

Blogger Patrick said...

Scarlette: You're on a roll!

What about making a logo out of a napkin and wearing a rose on your lapel? (Sorry, I can hardly hear myself write because of the TV.)


10:40 PM

Blogger TCYM Lounge said...

My pet peeves:

People who drive up my a** esp big semi trucks who have been traveling behind me for oh, 8-10 miles and then drive right up behind me on an icy highway.

Semi trucks that cut me off. On an icy highway.

People who use the right hand lane (aka the TRAVELING land) to pass. Especially after they’ve just traveled on my a** for 3 miles, swerve around me and zoom up back into the left hand lane.

People who languish along in the left hand (aka the PASSING lane)

Clearly, idiot drivers.

Christmas decorations coming out the same time as Halloween decorations.

Stores who play Christmas music before Thanksgiving

Katie Couric’s persistent giggling (tho I think she has more personality that the other network morning chics)

Men who think chic flicks are always stupid and boring.

Women who can’t seem to watch anything but chic flicks

“Romance” novels. And women who read them. Constantly. PICK UP SOMETHING MORE BRAIN WORTHY!

Men who argue and get into pissing contests. Women who argue and get into emotional tirades. If you are going to present an argument and I’m listening to you, please use the intellect God gave you. Make an intelligent argument, not a personal slander.

Myself for getting bothered at such banal things when there are bigger things going on in the world. :-)

7:54 AM

Blogger Rick Lugari said...


Nobody's mentioned the spawn of Hell - telemarketers. I guess that one must be a given.

I have to second tcym's complaint about tailgaters. However, if there's one thing I can't stand more than someone riding up on ass is a slow person in front of me. ;)

8:10 AM

Blogger Patrick said...

Yes, yes, and yes. Hmmm. No one has complained about tailgaters who drive up your a** slowly. Guess it's a given..

I thought of another: soul singers (think Diana Ross) who start that dumb "talk-singing" in the middle of the song. "Ooh, why did you leave me and make me feel so bad, baby, you *know* how you make me feel when you call me on th' phone, baby..."

And how about that annoying vocal affect in which a singer will let his voice crack oh-so-slightly before the word comes out. Enrique Iglesias must die!

9:37 AM

Blogger Scarlette said...

Doesn't Enrique have a really nice coughHOTcough son?
Just wondering.

2:40 PM

Blogger Patrick said...

Scarlette: You sicko. I think he has a toddler. You're thinking of Julio's son, whose name is Enrique.


3:29 PM

Blogger Scarlette said...

omg! You're right. I'm probably going to jail now for saying things about a toddler.
The other inmates are going to make me get prison tattoos, I just know it.

4:35 PM

Anonymous Joe said...


-And how about that annoying vocal affect in which a singer will let his voice crack oh-so-slightly before the word comes out. Enrique Iglesias must die!-

Does that include Neil Diamond? I'd have to disagree there!

"Love on the raaawks
Ain't no surprise.
Just pour me a drink
And I'll tell you some lies."

Don't blasphem against the Jewish Elvis!

9:50 PM

Blogger Patrick said...

Joe: Neil let's it crack near the END of "rocks," not the beginning. So 100 years of Haas-Haugen duets for him, not death.

10:29 PM

Anonymous Michelle K. said...

I absolutely hate it when someone starts a sentence with, "No offense, but..." and then proceeds to say something offending, usually about a physical shortcoming. e.g. No offense, but you have really stringy hair! Grrrr.

9:44 AM

Blogger Patrick said...

Or how about when "I love you" is followed by a "but" that contains a harsh criticism?

Or on soap operas, just before they cut to a commercial, one character hears something outrageous or whatever and the camera lingers on their expression for about five hours -- waay beyond the natural time that humans take to process information.

Or how about when people don't say good-bye when leaving a phone conversation?

Okay, I'm done!

11:58 AM

Blogger Patrick said...

(I meant to add "in the movies" to that last one.)

11:59 AM

Anonymous Shawne said...

1. Bad customer service (insert a million exclamation marks). “Do you know where I could find {item name}?” Customer Service Agent, “Yes.” Conversation over. Watch as my head spins a complete 360. If you don’t like you job… quit. Don’t take it out on me. I didn’t force you at gunpoint to into this vacation so back off.

2. Illegal aliens pay cheaper college tuition in CA (and I guess several other states) then out of state residents. What? Hua? What???

3. People who let their kids, dogs, cats, husbands – whatever… climb all over you. This is my bubble, respect my bubble.

4. Those NASTY Calvin window stickers for cars. Nuff said.

5. People who pronounce the word ‘important’ with a D. Along those lines… “irregardless” is not a word.

6. People who think their kids aren’t capable of mischief. The worst thing is you don’t know who you are, you are so snowed! Your being played and everyone else sees it but you. “You’re kidding, in the office 3 times this week? That teacher is really picking on him. I wonder why?”

1:57 PM


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