Sunday, February 04, 2007

Curmudgeons Unite: 100 Things I Hate

They say that hate is a strong word. I don’t know. Maybe it is, but I can think of a lot of other words that carry more weight, harbor more emotion and are behind more motives. I’m not going to argue it either way (consider the word “love,” nowadays a mostly meaningless four-letter word people use to get what they want…see 15 and 49), but what I will submit to you is a list of 100 things that really twists me into a frenzy, the random sort of things that makes me weep for the future of this world and some of which makes me weep for little old me today.

Maybe you do some of the things on this list; if you do, I don’t want to know about it, because you’re probably already skating on thin ice with me as it is and I wouldn’t want another excuse to cross your name off of my Christmas list.

Remember, nobody likes everybody or everything all the time. Some days you just want to punch the first person in the nose who greets you with a cheery smile and a trite little cliché phrase about what a wonderful day it really is. I hate mornings and those that love them…but I digress.

Without further ado, my 100 most hated things (in no particular order):

1. I hate it when non-Italian people kiss their finger tips in that Italian way and say, bellissimo, especially when I know damn well that it’s the only Italian word they know. It usually involves food that mostly isn’t Italian.

2. I hate the word “enjoy,” especially if it is used in the imperative form, telling me to enjoy something by merely using the word enjoy as a single-word sentence. A waiter places a plate of food in front of me and bows away. “Enjoy,” he breathes, as if what I am about to eat is the culmination of all that is good and holy in this world and he was the one that brought it to me.

3. I hate that clothes shrink when I wash them. It isn’t as though I’m getting fatter, but when I find a shirt that I think I look good in and it’s comfortable, I know that it has a shelf life maybe 20 to 25 cycles through the washing machine before an XL becomes merely a L.

4. I hate the bandwagon. You know what I mean, people who support a football team merely because they are nearing the Super Bowl, or those that get involved in a cause because it is suddenly the cool thing to do. Be independent; the flavor of the month, the fad of the week, the cool thing to do today will always end and you’ll have nothing.

5. I hate a politician’s smile. I don’t even like looking a picture of a politician smiling. It doesn’t matter who the politician is or what the circumstances are. What do they have to smile about? If they’re smiling, it means they’re not doing their job, as they should be knee deep in the trenches taking one for the little guy, who, by the way, rarely smiles if you’ll notice. Plus, a politician’s smile is usually fake and I can spot that a mile away, that tell-tale shine of Vaseline coating their teeth.

6. I hate bumper stickers. All they do is force me to either try and figure out what sort of menial cause the idiot in front of me believes in or they offer me too much information into their lives. I don’t care what you think of democrats or the current situation with global warming. I don’t like to see any form of “honk if you…” sticker, because if I honk at them, they’re evidently going to flip me off. But I especially don’t care that your kid is among the best in his school.

7. I hate celebrity editions of game shows, like when they trot out other game show hosts to play "Jeopardy!" for charity or "Wheel of Fortune." Not only are the celebrities complete idiots and the questions disturbingly simple, but the whole thing ends up feeling like a cornier version of Hollywood Squares.

8. I hate people who litter, regardless of the circumstance or the size of the trash. Find a trash can you lazy jerk.

9. I hate people who drive slower than me and people who drive faster than me. George Carlin says it best: “People who drive slower than me are morons and people who drive faster than me are maniacs.”

10. I hate people who fall in love with a modern song and have no idea that it is a cover from a much better version first recorded long before they were born. Same thing goes for movies.

11. I hate people who write letters to serial killers in prison and ultimately fall in love with them to the point that they desire to be married. Desperation and a captured audience aren’t grounds for matrimony.

12. I hate rattles, squeaks, rustling plastic bags or any barely noticeable repetitious noise while I’m driving. It’s like someone drumming their fingers or tapping their foot.

13. I hate Ebonics. Speak English or don’t speak English. I don’t care either way, but I don’t do both at the same time. Furthermore, something that doesn’t really exist in that legitimate way shouldn’t be capitalized; it’s a social-economic dialect, not a language.

14. I hate sensationalism in the news for the sake of shock value. “Storm Watch 2007” is a good example, as if we’re all on pins and needles because it’s going to sprinkle a little.

15. I hate gold diggers, men or women, anyone who marries someone three times their age and then has to bite their cheek until they cry just so they look sad when they put the guy in the ground so they can cash his big check at the bank.

16. I hate people who talk during the movie. It’s a given, but also under this blanket lies people who eat too loud, put their foot on the back of my chair, laugh excessively (some can’t help it—they’re idiots—but I still hate them for it), slurp the last bit of soda through their straw, stand in the aisle while the movie is playing and leave their trash on the floor when the movie’s over.

17. I hate it when people use foreign phrases to say hello or good bye to me because they’re trying to be cute or creative or clever. Ciao is probably the worst offender, followed closely by hola and aloha.

18. I hate people that don’t say “excuse me” when they bump into me. This one is a double, as I hate it when people bump into me because they’re too self-righteous to allow space for another person, but I hate them twice as much when they don’t acknowledge the contact. Say excuse me even when it isn’t your fault. This is society. Keep it polite and quit thinking everything is a personal attack against you. You’re not that important.

20. I hate paper cuts. You least expect them and they hurt forever. The one saving grace is that you can squeeze the cut together and make it look like a mouth talking. It’s funny, but it still hurts.

21. I hate sore losers, those that are so devoted to the game that the very thought actually not winning for once in their lives is so horrifying, so outside the realms of possibility, that when they do lose it is the end of the world as they know it and they have to take it out on the next person they see, showing and telling all that they deserved to win regardless of the fact that they didn’t have what it took to cross the finish line first. Then comes the conspiracy talk: “He cheated.” “The ref’s an idiot.” “My hamstring is sore today.” Anything, as long as they don’t have to admit they’re not the best player in the world.

22. I hate drunk people when I’m sober. They’re usually stupid, loud, obnoxious and belligerent. Conversely, I hate sober people when I’m drunk; they’re so judgmental.

23. I hate celebrity gossip and the industry that has developed around it. Why is it important who is dating who, how long it has been between husband number three and husband number four and what kind of expensive accessories they’re buying to go with their impossibly-priced potato-bag dress. I don’t care what famous people do, don’t do, should do, have done, will do, have been doing, should have been doing, and are going to do. Fame and fortune lately have been wasted on those that don’t deserve it. What happened to the glamour of Hollywood? All I see is a freak show.

24. I hate stubbing the same toe twice. I always seem to stub my toe in pairs, and if the first time it didn’t hurt enough, the second time it surely will do the trick.

25. I hate screaming children… more than that is that I hate the parents that don’t do anything about them, whether they’re in the mall, a store, walking down the street or in some public place or even thousands of miles away from me on TV. Screaming babies, fine, they don’t know any better… but we should start fining those parents that allow their kids to carry on like infants.

26. I hate people that stand too close to me in line. Nothing is more irritating than to have my personal space invaded, especially when I’m stuck in a long line. I don’t want to turn around and come face to face with some guy who feels that his sphere of personal space should be limited to approximately two and a half inches. If I can hear you lick your lips, you’re too close.

27. I hate the inequality of the law, whether it is some celebrity who gets caught driving drunk and only gets a fine and a few hours of community service or the murderer who repents his sins because he found Jesus and is born again! They always fail to mention that he found Jesus just a few minutes after the cops found him. I also hate temporary insanity as an excuse; just because you’re partially imbalanced for a brief moment in time, that doesn’t change the fact that you committed the crime. I hate the guy who gets away with it. Conversely, I love vigilante justice, as it is usually brutal, precise and quick.

28. I hate the beach. It’s dirty, smelly, polluted and filled with people that should really reconsider wearing a two-piece in public, especially when the bikini bottom keeps getting lost in the folds.

29. I hate tattoos, specifically the ones on the lower back. I have never even seen my lower back, so who are those tattoos for? I think the people that see them from the proper point of view aren’t the ones you need to impress by your commitment to a symbol, artistic character or ornate and meaningless pictogram.

30. I hate children who know that they are being cute in the same way that I hate it when people know they’re good looking. For kids it is an innocent conceit, but for adults it is an annoying and blatant smugness that borders on arrogance.

31. I hate the fact that the receipts from Best Buy are so long. I’ve never read all that’s on them, so I don’t have any idea why a receipt for a single ink cartridge needs to be three feet long. Seems like a lot of unnecessary paper wasted just to prove that I bought some ink for my printer (which now costs more than the printer did…and I hate that bit of irony too).

32. I hate people who find it funny on dry days to scuff their feet on the carpet so they can shock me. I don’t mind the shocks; I just think that it’s juvenile to be that annoying.

33. I hate people who play the race card. Being a white 33-year-old male, I don’t get to do it, so I don’t think anyone else should either. In this day and age, being a different color only matters to those that are a different color. The rest of us could give a damn. This isn’t 1962 Mississippi anymore.

34. I hate low-rise jeans. They’re usually worn by women who don’t own mirrors, at least honest mirrors that show the lobes of flesh hanging over the sides of their pants.

35. I hate when people don’t own up to their own responsibility. If you’ve done something wrong, don’t hide it, because someone will find out about it.

36. I hate flipping through a magazine only to be “fast-forwarded” by the subscription inserts (a.k.a. blow-in cards). It makes it nearly impossible to thumb through a magazine if you’re looking for a particular article.

37. I hate it when people are proud of the fact that they are overweight by saying: “Fat is beautiful.” No, it’s unhealthy. In this case, your soul is beautiful. Your personality is beautiful and your character is beautiful. But being unhealthy and not taking care of yourself is not necessarily beautiful.

38. I hate people who are overly passionate about a cause, whatever it may be. They’re usually an A-type person whose whole life has become this particular cause, like those that chain themselves to trees or risk their lives to stop an oil tanker on the high seas.

39. I hate the words “whimsical,” “dot” and “dollop.” I’m not even sure why but every time I hear them, I cringe in disgust.

40. I hate it when people dog-ear a book in lieu of using a bookmark. So, you’re going to forever damage a book because you’re too lazy to find a bookmark? Nice going.

41. I hate emoticons and Internet-inspired text messaging (sometimes called text speak) that lack most vowels and proper sentence structure and grammar (i.e. “no mater how yu labl it, if yu wer born pre-internet era, odds ar yu dont undrstnd it”). If you speak and write like an idiot, people are going to assume you are one.

42. I hate people who talk on their cell phone while they’re buying something at a store. Like that call is so important you can’t hang up for a few minutes while you pay for your purchase.

43. I hate how society has inflated young people’s sense of entitlement. They haven’t earned anything, yet demand everything to be given to them without working for it.

44. I hate it when I don’t notice that my zipper is down, especially after realizing that I last went to the bathroom before I left the house, then I went to the bank, the store, Target, Kara’s school, work, the gas station and a shoe store. I saw roughly 312 people and none of them either noticed or had the guts to tell me that my zipper was gravitationally challenged. Always tell someone when their fly is down; they’ll thank you.

45. I hate yielding on the freeway, not that it is especially difficult or taxing, but only because most people don’t know how to be gracious and instead will drag race the oncoming car for the space. Dovetail folks, dovetail. One from the left, one from the right. Don’t be a jerk and speed up so someone can’t get in front of you. This isn’t the Daytona 500, it’s the 91, traffic will suck just the same with one more car in front of you than it will without.

46. I hate grown men on small bicycles, and I don’t mean those that are riding them for recreation or fitness; I mean those that use them for transportation because they either don’t have a car or don’t have a license. Get your life together.

47. I hate adults that run to their parents for help when the situation gets rough. I don’t mean turning to them for advice, but instead turning to them for money, a hand out, etc. Be self-reliant.

48. I hate people that beg in vain for something there is no way ever they’ll get, a promotion, a special deal, no speeding ticket. For God’s sake, have some self-respect.

49. I hate women who use sexuality to get what they want. Yeah, I know, it works wonderfully nine times out of ten, but I hate it because it isn’t fair. A naked woman streaking through Denny’s, get the camera. A naked man, get the cops.

50. I hate listening to the stories told by the contestants on Jeopardy! just after the first break, during the interview period with Alex. They so painfully and uncomfortably lack interest. Sometimes they try to tell a funny story that ends up sounding sad, like the tales told by the lonely nerdy type who lives with a lot of cats. You have one thing to say to millions of at-home viewers and that’s what you picked?!? The most interesting thing that has ever happened to you is that you mistranslated a menu and ended up with escargot instead of a Caesar salad. That’s what you want to share?

51. I hate listening to interviews given by pro-sports athletes. Sure, they’re great players because they play the game well; don’t let them speak, as it only proves that they spent more time in the gym than in class. What role models.

52. I hate it when I see an old car get wrecked in a movie. It makes for a great scene when the car chase blows through an antique car, but I can only see a classic car being senselessly destroyed for no other reason but a half-second on film. What, you couldn’t find a late-model Ford Taurus to destroy so you settled on a 1962 Plymouth Belvedere?

53. I hate it when I lose something, like a jacket or a book, etc. It rarely happens, as I am usually very protective of my belongings, but sometimes I leave something somewhere and it gets lost. It leaves me with such an empty feeling.

54. I hate laws based on safety. Car seats, seat belts, helmets, and warning labels. Darwin wanted the weaker members of the species to die for the sake and strength of the community, and I don’t like it that the government tells me how to behave. Safety laws are for idiots who don’t care about self preservation. I call it cleaning out the gene pool.

55. I hate it when my car unexpectedly breaks down. I lose all trust and faith in its loyalty.

56. I hate buying something and having it break after the first time (or open the box to a broken item). It’s known as the Walmart Effect, because of the fact that they are so bent on cost-cutting that they disregard getting their products from companies that have good quality control.

57. I hate it when my food mixes together on the plate. Since I like to eat one thing at a time—for example, I eat the whole hamburger and then the fries, never both of them at the same time—I don’t want to taste all of the foods in all of the bites. Mashed potatoes and Jell-O usually don’t make for good bedfellows.

58. I hate the Lifetime Network. Every movie is the same: A woman is cheated on by her husband and she either: A) seeks revenge and kills him which is somehow justified by the end of the movie; or B) runs away and has a crazy adventure that ends in the love of a perfect man; or C) spirals into a self-destructive quagmire until she is rescued by an unlikely woman who experienced the same thing. Ugh, I get it, men suck.

59. I hate seeing a woman’s thong poking out the top of her pants, regardless of the situation. It’s not sexy, as all I picture is an uncomfortable piece of spandex crammed up the crack of someone’s butt, and I just want to hook my thumb under and give it a smart snap. Don’t ya know your underwear’s showing?

60. I hate warning labels; they’re for idiots… no, wait, they’re for the idiot that the idiots call an idiot. Don’t play with plastic bags. Always have adult supervision. Not intended to be used as a flotation device. Not a toy. Small parts may be swallowed.

61. I hate it when my fingers wrinkle up in water, and I hate when my skin gets dry an itchy during dry weather.

62. I hate the first scuff on a new pair of shoes.

63. I hate it when grass makes the back of my legs itch. I also hate it when the grass seems dry when you feel it with your hand, but ends up wet, leaving a giant wet spot on the back of your pants.

64. I hate seeing someone wearing sandals and socks. This is one that I know I shouldn’t hate, but for some reason, it is akin to someone not using a machine correctly because they don’t want to bother reading the directions. In the Life Manual, it clearly states that you’re not supposed to wear sandals and socks at the same time. You look stupid… or foreign.

65. I hate it when someone offers an opinion on a topic they know nothing about. For example: Summers in Greenland are brutal. Cows cause more greenhouse gases than all the cars in the world. Have you ever been to Greenland, and have you measured the flatulence of cows lately?

66. I hate it when people are late. What I hate worse is when I’m late, which is rare, but I still hate it. It causes much grief and anxiety. Hands down the worst is that I hate it when someone doesn’t show up at all.

67. I hate waking up in the middle of the night for no good reason and then not being able to go back to sleep for a couple of hours. Worse than that is waking up the next morning exhausted. If my body knew it was going to be so tired the following day, why didn’t it go to sleep the night before?

68. I hate how governmental policy is a series of knee-jerk actions usually hyped after the incident occurred that spurred on the policy to begin with. Full-blown terrorist alerts that turn out to be an absent-minded person’s laptop left on a park bench come to mind.

69. I hate women comics. They’re not funny, and I can’t think of any that are.

70. I hate it when you visit a person’s house and their dog does nothing but sniff your crotch. Sure, once or twice is to be expected. He’s saying hello. But there comes a time when you go from just saying hello to going to third base with a dog. Enough is enough, and I just know everyone around you is thinking that you were smuggling fish in your pants and forgot to take a shower. You resort to saying, “He’s just smelling my dog,” when you know you don’t even have one.

71. I hate fancy hand greetings: knuckle bumps, high fives, those “right on!” hand clasps, and Spartan-like forearm grips. Just shake my hand like a human being and stop trying to be unique.

72. I hate showboating, especially on game shows, but mostly anywhere. Stop jumping around and pumping the sky with your “I’m Number One” finger. The question you answered right was easy, so quit thinking you’re a genius because you know Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio were both married to Marilyn Monroe. Related to this is my hatred for those that concoct elaborate end zone dances. You look like a turkey in heat.

73. I hate it when the elastic on my socks fails. I’m usually out somewhere where I can’t do anything about it but repeatedly pull them back up, knowing they’ll just fall down again. And I hate not knowing what causes SEF (Sudden Elastic Failure) or how I can fight it.

74. I hate running out of dip before I run out of chips.

75. I hate the fact that I can never properly spell February, as it is one of those words that isn’t spelled how it’s sounds. That first R throws me every time. Same thing with restaurant, and I always use an S in hence instead of a C. Idiocy…I can spell that word.

76. I hate people that use trite quotes from tough guy movies, anything from Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger. For example: “Do you feel lucky, punk?” and “I came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum…and I’m all out of bubblegum.” They’re usually out of context and by no means have the same impact as they did in the film… plus, they’re so overused that they just sound silly.

77. I hate getting whacked in the back of the ankles with a stroller or a shopping cart, but that’s pretty much a universal subject of hate. But specifically, I hate double-wide strollers; they’re 12-feet across and take up the whole sidewalk, aisle…everything. Do your kids really need to be side-by-side?

78. I hate being preached to and I hate talking with overly zealous religious types. Everything is God… “Well, after Jebediah found his car keys, we got right down on our knees and prayed to God Almighty for showing us the light. Halleluiah!” Having strong ties to your religion is great, but not everyone shares your level of faith, so respect my spiritual space and don’t try to convert me.

79. I hate hearing a parent yell at their children in public. It’s disrespectful to the human race, so please have some decency and threaten to beat your kids to pulps in private.

80. I hate it when my shoes squeak on certain kinds of floors, like tile or marble. It’s not that the sound bothers me, it’s more of that I feel everyone’s looking at me, and if nerds make sounds, they’re shoe squeaks.

81. I hate kids on skateboards and the mentality associated therein. They’re slackers and loafers, all of them, and riding a skateboard is just one step shy of being a good-for-nothing punk. “Skateboarding is not a crime.” Yes, it’s a disease, a mental disorder that kills brain cells and impairs good judgment.

82. I hate the fact that when I’m putting on my shoes and socks I have to put on my right sock, then my left, then my left shoe and then my right, and if I, by accident, pick up my right shoe first, I’ll put it down and get the left one. If not…and this is the neurotic part I hate most… if not, if I put on my shoes out of this order I’ve somehow developed, I’m absolutely positive something bad will happen that day. 9/11, that was my fault.

83. I hate graffiti, of any kind, mostly because it is absolutely meaningless. It’s like dogs marking their territory, but I think if graffiti said something that everyone could understand, I’d be okay with it as a form of free speech. Paradoxically, I love seeing the scribblings of older generations, probably because they are in English and they make sense. Check out Independence Rock in Wyoming, and I’d like to see the graffiti inside the Pyramids in Egypt.

84. I hate missing out on things, movie previews, parties, money making opportunities. During all the years in school, from Kindergarten through 12th Grade, I missed less than 10 days, half of which was during my senior year (we could write our own excuse notes).

85. I hate throwing up. Again, that’s pretty universally hated, but specifically, I hate those five seconds right before I throw up, that short moment from when you’re confident your next move will be vomiting until you actually empty out your stomach.

86. I hate flip-flops. More so, I hate the sound they make (from which they’ve earned their namesake), as it sounds like people shuffling their feet. I could never wear them because of that sound, and the fact that I don’t like things jammed between my toes. On top of which, I hate people that scuff their feet. Pick up your damn feet. What it really boils down to, I guess, is that I hate feet in general. They’re all gnarled and calloused, and I have never met anyone who has beautiful feet. I don’t think that person exists.

87. I hate meetings. When I worked in an office, we’d have nothing but meetings every week and I hated them all. I hate going to them, I hate calling them, I hate talking during them, and I hate the results that come from them. Remember this, if there is a problem in the office and your boss is having a meeting about it, it is because he doesn’t know what to do.

88. I hate little toy dogs that have become all the rage lately. Well, I guess I shouldn’t hate the dogs; it’s not their fault they’re tiny and annoyingly jittery. I hate those that own them and treat them as a fashion accessory, like a tiny furry bracelet that vibrates with nerves at the slightest provocation… and poops.

89. I hate hypocrisy, especially when it is found in two places: religion and politics. Politician A pushes a bill through Congress that makes drunk driving in a school zone a felony and then gets arrested for, you guessed it, driving drunk while in a school zone, or Religious Person A condemns any form of adultery as the greatest sin in the eyes of God, but then gets caught in compromising situations with Jessica Hahn.

90. I hate helicopter parents, and how they feel it is their job to constantly run interference for their children by making sure that they don’t have to atone for their mistakes, especially after the kid has left for college. Let them run their own lives, and if they don’t learn how to do it by now, they’ll never be able to do it later.

91. I hate the comic strip “Cathy.” Every time I read it, I just want to scream at her to shut up and seek help for her blatant mental disorder. We get it, you’re neurotic. It’s not funny anymore. It’s a serious problem. And yes, you’re fat—Cathy Guisewite draws you that way—quit harping on it.

92. I hate disorders. It seems that everyone’s got a disorder these days, and they’re used as an excuse for a wide variety of problems. A guy drinks too much… he has a drinking disorder. A girl doesn’t eat enough…she’s got an eating disorder. Someone has to turn the light switch on and off three times before they leave a room… they’ve got an obsessive-compulsive disorder. What ever happened to just plain old crazy people? Now we have to label everyone from Crazy Type A to Crazy Type Z, and then we must treat them with kid gloves. I say, get over it and get on with your life.

93. I hate it when people tell me what to do. It sounds stubborn because it probably is, but I have always been an independent decision maker, and usually the kind of people that insist on offering unsolicited advice have very little invested into the outcome and nothing particular to lose if they’re wrong.

94. I hate stepping in gum, only because it makes me hate the lazy person who dumped it there in the first place. See Number 8. I hate people that smack the lips while chewing above said gum, and I hate it when they pop it, not when they blow the big bubbles, mind you, but when they blow tiny ones in their mouth and then snap them. I hate people that chew with their mouth open… or those that talk with their mouth full.

95. I hate that some restaurants automatically add an 18 percent gratuity to the check of parties over a certain number of people. I think the policy is haughty and arrogant, and usually the service isn’t that good to deserve an automatic tipping.

96. I hate rolling up to a stop light next to some jerk who thinks that the whole world wants to hear his crappy music. Usually, the bass is so loud that parts of his car are rattling, and of course, the windows are down and it is at that particular part of the song where it is nothing but a sustained drum line.

97. I hate packaging, especially when it comes to toys. It is usually three times the size of the toy and I always feel so guilty throwing it out, such a waste. Remember jewel cases for CDs when they first came out? They were twice the size of the CD because they had to fit in the shelves made for records. Well, they were a waste too, and I hated that then.

98. I hate children entertainers (clowns included). They’re overly animated human cartoons who have yet to grow up. Plus, every one I see seems a little creepy, slightly on the McMartin Preschool side of things.

99. I hate people that cut in line, like they’re too good to wait behind the rest of us. Whether it’s for the bathroom, to get on the freeway or at Disneyland, cutting in line is the best way to show disrespect to the most people in the quickest time.

100. I hate long lists.

I know, that’s a lot of hatred coming from just one person—almost disturbing, isn’t it? But we’re all full of it. Everyone has a list similar to this, a collection of things they despise, and I’m not, for a second, going to consider myself the first one to hate with such impunity or on such a large scale. The only difference between you and me is that I wrote it down.

In spite of this, I will leave you with one thing I love: I absolutely love to complain.

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