Just a few little things that get on my tits but really probably shouldn’t.
KEY not kway
I have never pronounced the word quay incorrectly out loud but I do so EVERYTIME in my head, so it is only a matter of time before it happens with my actual mouth and I am quickly thought of as a moron.
People getting in the way
There are many potential examples, and one could make a good argument that the Rude Swimmers later in the article is an extension of this, but all three mentioned below are different versions of ignorant people getting in the way of those who actually want to make some kind of forward progress. This is a somewhat perfect, and thoroughly depressing, metaphor for life.
Standing still on escalators:
Some people actually run between escalators, presumably in a rush, only to stand stoically still when on them, as if it will be considered bad etiquette to use your own energy when the escalator has been kind enough to offer its own. Underground train and airport escalators explicitly advise people to stand to the right, so the non-lazy portion of the population can get on with their lives unhindered. However, on escalators elsewhere, you are faced with two undesirable options:
1) succumbing to the insane whim of the person(s) in front of you and remaining still like them or
2) saying “excuse me” which usually results in them looking at you as if you’re the insane one. “Walking…up an escalator??…witch!” is , presumably, what they all say in their heads, as they begrudgingly step aside for you.
How do slow walkers get anything done. They drive, presumably; or do, in fact, get nothing done. The preference to slow it down and appreciate the beauty of life around you when you go on a hike, for instance, is understandable but not when the function of walking is to get from A to B. What the slow walker also possesses is an inexplicable talent for blocking the whole pavement, whatever their size. It is like an optical illusion.
(Please note that for the above two examples, my scorn is not directed at less mobile portions of the population; just the lazy ones).
People needlessly standing on the bus:
Seriously, unless you are only going one or two stops, just sit your arse down if there are the seats to accommodate it. If you stand on a bus, you are – quite simply – in the way. A gratuitous obstacle for those of us getting on and off. A pain in our recently seated arses. An egotistical maniac.
They make it easy for us. Packaging and the actual bins tell us what is recyclable and what is not. In the office where I ‘work’, we actually have a food recycling bin for (you guessed it) food, and another for everything else. So simple. So easy. So not adhered to. Frequently, I find food packaging in the food bin. While I understand a smidgen of logic has gone into my fellow human’s tiny tiny brain to make this decision, the bin clearly states it is just for food and even goes as far to advise that doesn’t mean the packaging the food came in. These same people got a vote in the EU Referendum in 2016. Exactly.
Trying to push a locked toilet door open
Ah, the toilet. You should feel safe to do whatever needs to be done in there, without interruption or time constraints. But in public toilets there is potential for some douchebag to try and push the door open. Is it, for most toilets, that difficult to visually check whether it is locked or not? No. No, it is not.
There are three types of locked door pusher, each one as buttock-clenchingly disruptive as the other.
The Stroker: An almost tender, loving pusher of the door, like some sort of door whisperer is trying to get inside.
The Battering Ram: This type genuinely sound like they are going at the door with a run up and their shoulder.
The Sceptic: It genuinely takes some people two or three pushes before they believe that the door is, in fact, locked, as the ‘engaged’ on the outer part of the lock so cryptically suggested.
The main issue with this idiocy is that – just for that split second, fully aware of how vulnerable you are – you wonder whether you did actually lock that door or not.
Noise in the cinema
This problem, for anyone with any kind of intelligence, is obvious. Why people spend £10 (or whatever the over-priced going rate is in your area of the world) on a film they are going to just talk through is baffling. Talking is great, a beautiful thing, but there are places to do it – such as pubs, cafes, at home, in wide open spaces, and basically most places that are NOT A CINEMA.
Talk as much as you want through the adverts and trailers or make the odd quiet comment to your cinema buddy during the feature presentation (we’re not unreasonable, us film fan sorts) but you are not in your living room. Watch the fucking film.
In addition to this, stop with the loud food (yeah, we are looking at you default cinema snack, popcorn). These packets, and even some of the food items themselves, tend to remain undisturbed throughout the adverts and are ritually started/opened as the film certificate comes up. LUNATICS.
Approximately 75% of swimmers are awful awful human beings. Fact. And there are many different kinds.
The relief and satisfaction of claiming a clear lane at the pool makes it all worthwhile. You’re safe to do your thing until you cannot be arsed anymore. Until someone decides to align themselves within your path. Do they see that the pool is full and pick on the weakest looking person to push aside? In my case, that seems plausible.
Some people just cannot judge the space they and you require, and end up encroaching on the amount of pool you need to function as a swimmer. It is really bloody difficult to shake your head disapprovingly when in the swimming position.
Picture the scene. You are in the pool by yourself, swimming up and down – looking like a total fitty, obviously – and an incoming perfectly able-bodied human decides to use the steps to get into the pool (the steps you have been swimming past happily for the last few minutes) which forces you into having to swim around their awkward descent. Why not use the steps the other side of the pool or lower yourself in from any of the sides? The answer, no doubt, lays in the first sentence of this entry.
‘No Diving’ says the sign right behind the person diving into the pool, as you approach them. The sign is asking you to not do something for your own safety, and more importantly, for the sanity of the 25%. Please do as it says.
If you want to fanny around, splashing each other, giggling, or just idly chatting within a swim lane, well…don’t. Not if the pool is full of swimmers. Sit in a bathtub with each other or something.
Shower curtain touching legs
It isn’t the wetness of the curtain in itself, as some gust of wind somehow forces it onto your leg; for wetness in a shower is a given. It is its chill of the cooled down water compared with the fresh heated stuff hitting your skin from the shower head. It is uncomfortable and it is strangely creepy and it needs to stop immediately.
This is the Russian Roulette of the clichéd mindless saying world. Whether you say it to a glum looking stranger or a good friend in deep thought, there is actually a decent chance that someone has, in fact, died and your sarcastic and overly jovial comment will be well and truly regretted. Also, who has a resting face that includes a smile anyway? What. Is. Wrong. With. People.
Surfing the crowd at a gig is neither big nor is it clever. And, dickheads, it is actually rather dangerous – for the surfer and for us, as we are forced to support your entire bodyweight with our necks at a moment’s notice. The goofy grins of pure enjoyment on your faces are not even a slight consolation for suffering a tatty converse-clad sweaty foot smashing into our face as you tumble over and through us. Just stop it.
So that is the end of this rant about a few of the stupid and ridiculous things within the 21st century western world. You want more, you chant repeatedly? Well, ok, here we go…
This would only be a cool thing for a live band to do if it didn’t happen at (just about) every single one. The formulaic way in which (just about) every band/artist goes off stage and waits while the crowd cheer for them to come on again becomes just silly through the fact that it is expected. Just do all the songs you’re going to do without ever leaving the stage, and then we can all just go home and get on with our lives.
(Special mention to The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols who remained encore-less for their 2014 Nottingham UK Rescue Rooms gigs).