Pet Peeves

Three Random Pet Peeves, #4

Heaven Or Hell. Near Cheyenne, Wyoming, 2016. Hell is where all manner of per peeves (as in the ones below) await you...to torture you for all eternity.
Heaven Or Hell. Near Cheyenne, Wyoming, 2016. Hell is where all manner of pet peeves (as in the ones below) await you…to torture you for all eternity.

 

And here they are…!

#1 – Those lotion bottles with the squirt tops that malfunction ALL the time–AND, even if they work properly they don’t reach the bottom of the bottle…so, for the last few weeks or even months, you end up banging out the last 1/5th of the total lotion volume by violent hand smacks as if the container were a Heinz ketchup bottle.

#2 – Hard plastic packaging that is molded tightly around the object you purchased (a small battery or a memory stick, say). It seems to be made of some extraterrestrial material and the jaws of life are required to open the damn thing up. You certainly can’t do it by hand. It makes me want to send the package back to the CEO of the company (C.O.D.) and ask HER to open it.

#3 – Pop-up ads. Have I already mentioned this one before? Can’t remember. Even if I did, I definitely wish to say it again…and again…and again. I HATE those things.

Three Random Pet Peeves, #3

Is that a VW in your rear-view mirror? Boulder, Colorado, 2016
Is that a VW bus filling up your rear-view mirror? Boulder, Colorado, 2016

 

How about some driving related pet peeves this time…

First…Folks who don’t pull over when driving excruciatingly slowly, especially up or down curvy canyons. I don’t like people on my butt, so if I am going slowly, or I am unfamiliar with the area, or I’m sightseeing, I regularly pull over (when safe) and let the faster traffic zip on by. How can someone possibly be comfortable when there are over a dozen cars lined up behind them in the rear-view mirror. Sure, they have every right to do so, but why not just be courteous?

Second…Folks who drive at inconsistent and illogical speeds. For example, they speed up on the straights to well above the speed limit (where you might safely pass them), but slow to a crawl well below even the recommended speed at the slightest bend in the road. And to top it off, as they enter town, they speed up again to bust through the speed limit by 10+mph.

Related phenomenon A: Drivers who drive 50mph, then 65mph, then 55mph, then 70mph (lather-rinse-repeat ad infinitum) along the nearly empty freeway for no apparent reason.

Related phenomenon B: Drivers who step on the gas pedal, then let off, then step on it again, then let off…going along in a series of surges rather than one constant velocity, managed by smooth pressure on the pedal. Sometimes its on the gas, then on the brake, on the gas, on the brake–constantly, with nothing in between.

Third…Folks with automatic transmissions who drive with one foot on the brake and the other foot on the gas at the same time. You can tell because the brake light remains illuminated for a bit even after they start accelerating. Not a very good habit.

And, God help me, there are actually drivers who do all three!

Three Random Pet Peeves, #2

Crowd at Jurassic Park. Cherry Creek Mall, Denver, Colorado, 2016
Crowd at Jurassic Park. Cherry Creek Mall, Denver, Colorado, 2016 (Careful kids, it’s a jungle out there!)

 

Three more for my ongoing, low-grade feud with the world as I sometimes find it…

1 – Audio ads at the gas pumps. You pull the nozzle to fill your car gas tank and it immediately starts blaring, “Did you know you could save as much as 3% on each fuel purchase if you stand on your head and whistle Dixie?”. I can’t find that damn mute button fast enough.

2 – Cigarette butts on the ground. Since when did cigarette butts get to be an exception to the litter rule? I have even seen them on belay ledges on the Northwest Face of Half Dome…and on backcountry wilderness trails, of all places.

3 – Hard, tasteless fruit at the grocery store. I saw some peaches at the local Queen Poopers advertised as “sweet and juicy” and they were as hard as a Yosemite boulder. To buy them is to take a risk–will they eventually soften? Or will they just turn to rotten mush? Even the softer fruits–blueberries, raspberries, and so on–are often completely tasteless, despite their plump appearance. Please, I don’t care if they look a little battered, just bring back the original taste!

Three Random Pet Peeves, #1

Crane on Coot Lake. Boulder County, Colorado, 2016
Longs Peak Peek and A Crane on Coot Lake. Boulder County, Colorado, 2016

 

Hmmm…Maybe I should start a collection of random pet peeves?

Well, here are three to kick off the series:

1 – Dog shit bags left by the trail. Folks around here hike with their dogs. No problem, I love dogs. I often stop and pet them. The vast majority of dogs are cool. But why, oh why, do some dog owners pick up the dog poop with a bag (so far, so good) but then leave the petite package sitting by the side of the trail to bake in the high altitude sun? I have to assume they think they will come back that same way and pack it out–but too often it is forgotten and so it just sits there, abandoned, contents gooey, goopy and broiling. Please, carry out your dog’s shit! (Or–great idea here–put a pack on your dog and have him/her carry it out themselves!)

2 – Fewer versus less. A sign by the checkout registers at the local King Soopers supermarket says, “15 Items or Less”. This is incorrect. It should say, “15 Items or Fewer”. Why? Well, here is the rule o’ thumb: when dealing with a fixed, singular, quantity of something, or something you think of as a singular contained unit, use “less”. When dealing with multiple items, or items understood to not be in a singular package, use “fewer”. Examples…

–My car uses fewer gallons of gasoline than yours. Or, my car uses less gasoline than yours.

–There were fewer people at the meeting this week.

–It costs less money…you spend fewer dollars.

–Beware apparent exceptions…I have less than $500. In this case the $500 is seen as a single unit. Though, if you were talking about the bills as multiple items (plural), you could say, “I have fewer than six 100 dollar bills”.

–I can help you at this register if you have fewer than 15 items!

–And so on.

3 – Air conditioning in stores and supermarkets in summer. We are approaching summertime and the mercury is climbing to new highs every day–so break out the jackets! Say what!? Doesn’t that sound a bit weird? It isn’t, really. Try walking in to the many, many stores, shops, supermarkets, offices, etc. in which the A/C is cranked down to Antarctic penguin levels. You walk in out of that fierce summer sun and you find you need to immediately put on a jacket before Happy Hypo T (hypothermia) steals your life and soul. It makes absolutely no sense when you consider that these same businesses are likely looking for ways to cut costs. It also makes no sense when you consider the fossil fuels that are burned to generate the electricity for that A/C. So, hey, why not turn up the thermostat a couple of degrees in summer!

Why do businesses do this? I have two theories…

First Theory: Cold A/C symbolizes the first world, modernity, and class. As in, “Yes, we have nice, cold, air conditioning–nothing but the best for our customers!”

Second Theory: As a general rule, the current crop of Americans are so highly blubber-endowed, they actually need that extra-cool A/C to avoid overheating–kind of like how arctic seals and walruses are treated at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas.

Anyone out there feel the same? Did I miss the mark on anything? What are your pet peeves, Jeeves?