Remarkably, I have only ten pet peeves, which is about 28 fewer than the average middle-aged American’s and 143 fewer than the average German’s. Here they are, ordered according to the extent to which they rankle me:
1. When able-bodied people use wheelchairs in airports, park in handicapped spots, or use carts to get around a supermarket.
2. Daylight Savings Time.
3. When fans do the wave when the home team is losing.
4. When people use direct-object pronouns as subjects, as in “Me and Cara went shopping.” (Would you ever say “Me went shopping?” Then don’t say “Me and Cara went shopping.”)
6. When people mechanically tell me to have a great day. (I’ll have whatever day I’m going to have, thank you very much. I would suggest instead “I appreciate that you spent money here because that keeps me employed” or “There’s a traffic jam on I-70 so you may want to take the local roads home” or “Sir, you need to zip up your fly.”)
7. Anyone who farts on an airplane. (I mean, come on now.We are strapped in all around you.)
8. Phrases like “It’s all good” and “No worries.” (Are you kidding? It’s never all good. And there are always worries.)
9. Whatever the person in front of me is doing when I’m driving.
10. Stupid national holidays based on things we have no need to celebrate anymore (e.g. Columbus Day, Labor Day), but no day off for Election Day.
And there you have it! My Ten Pet Peeves. It feels good to get them off my chest. And yes, I understand that these are very trivial matters, and there are far more important things to be angry about, like government subsidies to oil companies; teacher salaries; the fact that Supreme Court Justice Scalia gets all his “news” from talk radio and my students get theirs from Facebook; presidents who let Monsanto representatives determine our agricultural policies; CEO salaries that are hundreds of times higher than that of their employees; Congress sanctioning unjust wars that have cost taxpayers trillions of dollars (and have made about $40 billion for Halliburton); no increase in the minimum wage since 2009; our refusal to do anything about gun violence; only one banker indicted for the appalling rip-off of millions of Americans; the cancerous toxicity of the water at Camp Lejeune (and the Supreme Court’s ruling against our Marines and their families who were poisoned by it); food that contains pesticides in every bite; laws forbidding criticism of the meat industry; the haunting reality that our country has become an oligarchy instead of a democracy; and that galling gift shop at the 9/11 museum.
But remember, I called them pet peeves, not Shit That Really Pisses Me Off.
Feel free to add your own pet peeves in the Comments section below. And have a great day!