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Pet Peeves

By Tom Waters
April 16 , 2004

Maybe I was sick the day that they taught the world to fall in love with the comedy of Mike Meyers. I can't manage to watch any of his movies without building up a quivering, seething rage at his stupid, cheeky personality.

I really despise landscapers. And what the hell is up with that phrase? Landscaper! A politically correct term thatís been around before the age of political correctness. Youíre not a landscaper, youíre a lawn mower! You cut grass. Thereís no art or talent involved in yanking the rip cord on a lawnmower and moving it back and forth on your yard. I canít stand these people with their faggy little trailers that block up half of the side streets with antiquated tilling and mowing equipment. They drive ten miles an hour on the main roads, they scowl at you when youíre driving by one of their job sites, and they swindle old people for fifteen dollars and hour to cut the goddamned grass. They make me sick. Nothing gives them the right to scowl. Get a real job and then you can project an air of condescension. Get a job that doesnít involve bagging leaves into an orange halloween pumpkin and then you can talk to me. They all look like Sammy Hagar and theyíre so red from UV exposure that they should roll around in butter at five a.m. before they tear off in the landscaping mobile for the day. Iíve never seen one that doesnít have intentionally ripped, white wash jeans from 1982. Losers!

Scratch off ticket junkies who hold up the lines at convenient stores should be repeatedly beaten with their own severed arm. The whole point of going to the local sunoco or what have you is to get in and out of their expediently, and they muck up the entire process by standing at the front counter, ordering thirty lottery cards, and whittling away at them so that they can turn them in and get more. Meanwhile, normal customers who have lives and things to do tap their feet patiently and try to make the person spontaneously combust through telekinesis. ‚ÄúIíll have a happy 7s, scrappy 2ís, Screwy Wednesday, Pot of Gold, and thirty seven Skedoos.‚ĝ They have company policies that force the employees to serve these mongoloids first because theyíll keep coming back and pissing more money away on cards with no net return. Regular customers who can get in and out of the store in less than twenty minutes will come back frequently too, corporate America! They should either make segregated convenience stores for gambling addicts only or make the clowns wait at the end of the line until everybody else has paid for their gas, groceries, and contraband. Youíre not gonna win, youíre never gonna win, skippy. How can you lose fifteen dollars in the span of ten minutes, turn in the one dollar winner, and throw away more money on more cards? Itís retarded.

Atm newbies. Nothing drives me out of my mind like waiting twenty minutes behind someone in the ATM machine lane while they ham-fistedly punch out numbers slowly and randomly, looking at the terminal like itís an alien probe. Iím a real quick-draw withdraw when it comes to taking out money, clocking in at two minutes per transaction, and I always get stuck behind an eighty year old woman whoís never even used a keyboard before. To make matters worse, these people compound the time spent next to the machine by pulling up to it in their cars, putting the car in park, rooting around in their purses for the card, getting the money out, filing the receipt away in a folder, placing their money neatly in a billfold, and FINALLY getting the hell out of the way so I can get my money. Itís very simple. Punch in a code, get your cash, drive on. It shouldnít take a half an hour for such a simple chore.

5 oíclock traffic. It doesnít just encompass an hour, does it? In Buffalo, drive time traffic raises the blood pressure and incites insanity from 4 p.m. until about 7:30. Bumper to bumper pricks who pull all sorts of dazzlingly retarded stunts in the effort to screw the cars behind, in front of, and next to them so that they can get home earlier. Thruway drivers in the fast lane who drive 40 miles an hour with their hazard lights on. People who change three lanes to the right without the benefit of a blinker. Motorists who interpret a yield sign for acceleration. What bothers me the most about the 5 oíclock rush is the conformity of it all. Iím not stuck in it often, but I feel like a goddamned puppet. Iím marching in step with the rest of the automatons. We all go off to pedal and polish our widgets, punch our time clocks, and rush on home like Fred Flintstone to get stuck in traffic at the same time. It infuriates me to think that Iím in a box step with the rest of the cattle. The fucking humanity.

Maybe I was sick the day that they taught the world to fall in love with the comedy of Mike Meyers. Heís Canadian, so heís already got one strike against himself. I canít manage to watch any of his movies without building up a quivering, seething rage at his stupid, cheeky personality. In every scene of every movie itís obvious that the man is his own biggest fan. Heís in love with himself, and it beams out of his pores during every joke and bit. The ďAustin PowersĒ movies, the ďWayneís WorldĒ movies, and ďSo I Married An Axe Murderer.Ē How you can make a career out of turning two dimensional characters from five minute sketches on SNL into ninety minute films is beyond me. In a gesture of irony, Iíd like to break a hockey stick over his fat hoser head.

Anybody in a movie theater who isnít me. If I had enough money, Iíd buy every goddamned seat in the house so that I wouldnít have to deal with cell phones, seat kicking, gum chewing, horse laughing, heads in the way and other distractions from the feature that completely drain the movie of any enjoyment for me. It baffles me as to why people feel the need to cluster around me in a five hundred seat theater when thereís plenty of room elsewhere. It never fails. Even if I show up half way through the previews, ten people will march up the aisle like a herd of buffalo and situate themselves in front of, to the side of, and behind me. I hate people, pure and simple. I am not a people person even in the loosest sense of the word. What friends I have are still around because of toleration, and because they know better than to piss me off most of the time. This is why I hate having to deal with ill mannered jackanapes in theaters. Find somewhere else to sit or youíll have to have your cell phone surgically removed from your temple. Letís all go to the lobby to telephone for a medical emergency!

Sure itís cliche, but anyone in a coffee house. I love coffee. I didnít used to, but these days Iíll drain a pot of joe on a day off faster than Rush Limbaugh can spike up. Itís a real conflict, because I canít stand coffee house patrons or the staff. The staff are pretentious and uppity for no reason. You make five dollars an hour! You sling coffee! Itís not a difficult vocation. Insert nose ring, major in some useless art in college, fill out one page application at Beans ĎN Cream or what have you. And the clientele. Maybe it goes back to my disdain for high school friends who would spend an entire weekend in a corner booth at Dennyís, smoking cigarettes and pissing the waitresses off drinking coffee and making a mess of the place. Coffee is a beverage, not an activity in and of itself. I canít see spending an entire day, or making a night of sitting around in a coffee brothel swilling beans and discussing fine art. Lose the scarf or beret, shut the fuck up about Sartre and go do something meaningful with your life, you useless bipedded ass! Then again, it could have something to do with my prolonged exposure to these losers during my public performing days during open mics. Itís anybodyís guess.

Light salad dressing. Iím all for eating healthy, but give me a frigging break! Thatís insult to injury, is what that is. Youíre eating a salad so itís patently obvious that youíre being healthy. Thereís no reason to go overboard by using fat free Caesar dressing and draining the meal of any flavor or guilty pleasure of any kind! Itís too much! Nobody needs to eat that healthy. Except for people so fat that they canít fit out of their houses, but they generally stick to large, greasy meals and rationalize said meal with a tanker of diet cola. Thereís plenty of room in everyoneís diet to cut back on fat and calories, but not when it comes to salad dressing. Iíve said my peace.

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