Monday, August 18, 2008


A List of Grievances

The people of this world, despite their differing races, nationalities and creeds, have at least one thing in common: There are certain things about other people that annoy them to no end. I certainly have a few of those, and know that I clearly don’t share them with everyone, or else they wouldn’t be there to irritate me. I imagine, however, that some of these problems are widespread. For example:

The Insert Key – Whose idea was it to make this standard on practically every English-language keyboard manufactured worldwide? Yes, I’m aware that it serves a function, which is to enable users to replace a certain amount of text by typing over it. However, this has been proven by countless frustrated typists through the years to be secondary to its main purpose, which is to be hit accidentally and not reveal its activation until the user needs to add text in an earlier passage, at which point he or she will succeed in typing over something that had been there for a purpose.

The solution: Someone should find out who it was that invented the insert key, or at least who decided not to make it optional on electronic keyboards. Once discovered, we should track down this person, or the executor of his or her estate should we find that he or she is deceased, and proceed to type over his or her most treasured documents.

Unnecessary Elevator Button Pushers – When one stands at bottom floor of a building (or at least the floor above B2, where only people who couldn’t be bothered to show up on time for work have parked), waiting for the elevator to come, why is that roughly every other person who arrives subsequently chooses to push the “up” button? Do they think that their secondary or tertiary pushes are going to make the elevator realize that it really, really ought to hurry? Do they think that the “up” button is the only one glowing red because of some obscure post-modernist interior decorating trend? Furthermore, do they think that those already standing and watching the elevator are doing so because, since The Wire went off the air there’s just no other suitable form of entertainment to be found?

The solution: From the time an elevator’s “up” or “down” button is first pushed until the moment it arrives, all unnecessary pushings of said button should be rewarded with a severe electric shock; a suitable punishment for insulting the intelligence of all those also waiting for it.

The Way Women Show Disapproval – Women’s grievances are, for the most part, every bit as valid as those of their male counterparts. What is much less defensible is one of their favorite ways of expressing such contentions: by saying that we’ll “talk about it later.”

The typical man lives his life in patterns, which spiral outward in the direction of a long-term goal or long-term consequences, not being interrupted until some manner of pleasant surprise/unpleasant disruption comes along. He will not change these patterns until forced or convinced to do so.

Female significant others of typical men, however, rarely choose to convince him to change in a truly constructive matter. Instead, they choose to grow quieter or less friendly than normal at inopportune times. This prompts the typical man to ask, “What’s wrong?” at which point the female significant other says, “We’ll talk about it later.” It would be much more honest – or at least much more observant – for her to instead say, “Now’s an inconvenient time to talk about it, but since you’ve noticed there is a problem, you can think about all that you’ve possibly done wrong until a convenient time arrives.”

The solution: If you can’t tell us what we’re doing wrong before it reduces you to abject sullenness, please try to contain this feeling until you can explain the problem. We’ve got things to do, and thinking about the possible collapse of our personal life while doing them does not make us into better people; it merely makes us less effective when going about our duties.

Undecided Voters in America – Unless you think both Barack Obama and John McCain, based on their shared chromosomal patterns, would make a fine president, there’s really no reason to be undecided at this point. It should be pretty clear what the differences are in their ideas and what they plan to do in office. To be “undecided” at this point indicates that you’re either not really paying attention, or you can’t decide which of the two is worse.

The solution: If you plan to vote but you’re having trouble deciding who the lesser evil is, you’ve got a real dilemma. After all, it’s been proven that all the third party candidates are on the ballot purely for aesthetic purposes, and that the blank for write-ins is an option only employed by people who live alone in Montana compounds surrounded by barbed wire.

Column Endings – There are too many hack writers out there who can generate enough space for an opinion column, but not all of them have the wit and panache the end one in a suitable manner.

The solution: The what?

Excelent. Back to form sir. I am glad that "button pushers" are not just on my list of people to strike with blunt ojects.
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