Pet Peeves 2K10

Following last year’s example, I chose to compile this year’s list of my least favorite things early. Let’s face it, I couldn’t wait until the end of the year, because there were just too many things to be peeved at. Anyway, it’s already November and it’s time we got these turkeys on the table. In the comments, I implore you to add your pet peeves. We can commiserate together.

1. Rich Politicians

Gee, I’m not rich enough to buy your country yet, so let me just try to run it instead. This year’s California gubernatorial race became a pet peeve for me after Meg Whitman’s personal contributions to her campaign overran the hundred million dollar mark. Think about where else that money could have gone—what worthy cause she could have invested in—basically anything besides herself. And that list starts with me.

2. Rabid Fan Bases

I was reading an article about KCET in the LA Times the other day when I came across this sentence, which I am excerpting here: “the station will repeat ‘Prime Suspect,’ the acclaimed British detective drama starring Helen Mirren that developed a rabid fan base during its initial run during the 1990s.” Helen Mirren. Rabid fans. For some reason, that doesn’t go together. Rabid is an adjective to refer to someone who has rabies, not a polite audience who enjoys a stellar performance from a gifted actress on their tellies on Sunday night. Wild dogs are rabid. Raccoons are sometimes rabid. To a certain degree, Juggalos are rabid. Let’s not overuse this adjective like amazing or awesome, or I’ll be forced to release the hounds.

3. Facebook Invitations to Events in Other States

Thanks for inviting me to the Oxford Mayfair Ball. Too bad England is 5,406 miles away. Because, you know, getting dressed up in fancy clothes and listening to a symphony is the first thing I think of when I think of fun. Inviting me to something in Seattle, Boston, New York City, or anywhere else you are and I’m not isn’t just careless, it’s hurtful. And enough of “Well, Jon, I don’t know where you live anymore.” If you checked my profile, it does say Current Location: Los Angeles. OK, Next!

4. Bad Parkers

Fine. I fit into this camp, but this is personal. I used to park haphazardly everywhere I could, only until I had to deal with my own medicine: a neighbor who parks his oversize Corolla next to mine every night. He gives me about an inch of wiggle room to get out of my car and always juts out just enough to make backing up and turning in the small lot a nightmare.

5. It’s on My Netflix Cue

The movie blow-off of our generation. Equal to saying, “I don’t really care about your choice of movies, but I’ll humor you by saying in the off-chance I up my subscription, I’ll make it to your choice, number 200, by 2014.”

6. Airports

Theme parks of soullessness and neutral colors. The new full body scanners are an affront to anyone’s dignity and yet we accept them like sheep. Almost makes you want to shop at Walmart.

7. “Smart” Phones

I’m tired of taking my buzzing blackberry in hand only to find another spam message or Groupon offer. Email used to be something I looked forward to! Some technology improves lives, most make lives miserable.

8. This Man

It’s a vacuum cleaner, James Dyson. Get over yourself.





9. Celebrities on Broadway

P. Diddy. Billie Joe Armstrong. Catherine Zeta-Jones. What do these people have in common? No, they didn’t go to the same rehab clinic—they’re all on Broadway. Makes me grateful I live on another coast—so I can see celebrities in their natural element—drunkenly barfing on Sunset street corners. Of course, I’m still waiting for the Tom Arnold biopic coming to Broadway next year. OK, kidding with that one.

10. Snotty Video Store Clerks

Look, I am not a tough customer, I just need a little help here. So sorry for interrupting your texting session or your six-hundredth watching of Zombieland, I just need to know where your new releases are. Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t know that Double Indemnity is filed in Paramount Classics and not Noir. Can you not give me that nasty look? Thanks.

With Netflix eating up any remaining market share independents may lay claim to, why not try a charm campaign guys, or am I just missing the point?

8 responses to “Pet Peeves 2K10

  1. Brendan Fraser is on Broadway performing Elling. Very funny : ) Would love to see that.

  2. “And that list starts with me.”


    In fairness, there ARE rabid fans. And they are scary. And they peeve me more than the term itself.

    As for #3, yeah, I hate that. I’m so glad you can now ignore invites from a specific person, because I find that the people who do that are ones that I don’t really know anymore.

    As for #5, well, I do that all the time with books, because frankly, there is too much to read and not enough time to do it. People have been giving me recommendations for years. Get in line. 😛

    As for #6, I must be weird, but I like airports…

    As for #7, sounds like your actual pet peeve is spam, not smart phones. 😛 (Me wants Verizon iPhone!!)

    LOL to #8.

    A lot of my pet peeves relate to bad driving… But one timely peeve is holiday commercials, especially those of the “Buy your girlfriend/wife/gay partner jewelry, they will love you forever!” variety.

    • In response to those insipid jewelry commercials: how many times do we have to hear these happy, well-adjusted people make each other more happy? No wonder the suicide rate spikes during the holidays.

  3. I love this. My big pet peeve is when you’re at the mall and you’re playing the “lava game” where you decide that the beige tiles in the floor are lava but the blue ones and maroon ones are safe and then someone walks in your path and you have to step on the lava if you don’t want to bump into them. Bastards!

    I really like numbers 3, 7, 9, and 10. There is a guy who works at the Blockbuster in Santa Monica on Lincoln Blvd (this was in my pre-Netflix days) and I would see him every other day and he was sooo cranky, and yes, I’m pretty sure he was watching those “Best of SNL” videos every single day behind the desk.

    I disagree about the airports, though; I get some of my best writing done waiting for planes and airports in other cities often have food that you can’t get where I live, i.e. Mrs. Fields, Jamba Juice, California Pizza Kitchen, etc. etc. Seriously, the next time you’re waiting for a plane, pop out your laptop and work on a script!

  4. Just double-checking….this is not in order from the most annoying to the least annoying, right? I would have expected Bad Parkers to top the list!

    As for #1, I’d be curious to see what the actual economic impact of Meg Whitman’s campaign was. She did create some jobs, she employed some editors to make her commercials, she created opportunities for caterers and rented private event facilities, and the networks received some pretty paychecks for the commercials. Not an ideal investment of that much money, but I’m sure she had some positive economic impact.

    My pet peeves…
    –Badly timed street lights. It’s so inefficient to get a red light, and then, and soon as you arrive at the next intersection, it turns red. You’ve heard me rant about this enough, though!
    –My beagle’s howl. I love you little guy but your barking drives me mad.
    –ATMS that don’t distribute tender under $20. I hate having to go inside the bank to get $5 and $10 bills just so the teller can try to sell me on a savings account that makes 0.00003% in interest.
    –Cashiers who don’t ask if you need a bag. I’ll admit, there are some good cashiers out there who ask if you if you want a plastic bag. But there are many, many, many more out there who will drop the tiniest purchase into a plastic bag and wrap it up while you’re distracted by making a credit card purchase. Just ask first…I’m sure most people will pass on a plastic bag if all they’re purchasing is a travel-sized hair spray!

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