I sat down at the laptop with a thoughtful look on my face (well, what I use as a thoughtful look; feedback from friends, families and frankly very rude passers by would seem to indicate that this expression actually resembles the inner struggles of a man with the most chronic case of constipation ever documented. I find it troubling - nay, disturbing - that so many people agree on this, but I feel obliged to concede that they may have a point. I may, indeed, have the countenance of a man concentrating upon sh*tting himself. Hmmm...
So; there I was, apparently trying to do the first poo in weeks (at least as far the outside world is concerned*), wondering what to put in the list. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when only a few minutes later, I looked down at a several-pages-long 'Word' document filled with items which drive me into uncontrollable fits of rage. That may be overstating the level of annoyance a bit, but bear with me; I'm trying to hold your interest.
The result of this...um....result...*embarrassed cough*....was a rapid editing exercise, and an executive decision. The executive decision part wasn't easy; I argued very persuasively with myself for some minutes, but in the end I convinced myself that this was the correct route to take. Taking into account my opinion and perspective that the whole thing was a waste of time, I rallied, and after a brief arm wrestle (my right arm always wins) threw myself into the corner and kicked myself in the ribs to teach myself a lesson I certainly won't forget in a hurry. I showed myself who was boss. Perhaps unsurprisingly...it turned out to be me.
What I've decided to do is offer up a small, bite-size chunks of the list. This is so that you may find the reading experience more convenient, also so that I can post individual posts within a reasonable time while still having opportunites to include fresh reasons for sub-homicidal rages, and also partly because I like to include the word 'chunks' once in a while. That makes twice in one post, which constitutes a record.
So, here we go then; a snippet - if you will - a tip of the iceberg, a drop in the ocean, a fragrant nosegay of my daily grumbles, complaints, whines and under-reported rages.
1. The phrase: "What is clear, is this;...", so frequently starting, as it does, the response of a politician to a specific question. Why does this phrase annoy me? I'll tell you (otherwise what the hell am I doing here?); this phrase is a lie in itself, and is the precursor to a seemingly inevitable stream of lies, nonsense and misleading bullsh*t. This is what it actually means - imagine the questioner has just finished talking and the politician begins his/her reply with the phrase above -
"F*ck off with your annoying question, you equally annoying sh*t. I don't like your question because it highlights one of the many shortcomings in my and my political allies' strategy on the issue at hand. It even makes me question the wisdom of my own thinking and the position I have taken as a result of it. Unfortunately, however, I've sold my integrity to the highest bidder and so there's no way I'm going to admit that anybody else might possibly have a valid, different perspective on the issue. So, I'm going to talk complete bullshit for a while, head off on a tangent well away from whatever you asked me about and divert everyone's attention from the actual subject under discussion, and about which I feel so uncomfortable. I'll accuse my opponents of some stuff, start a bit of an argument and therefore side-step the issue almost entirely by hopefully inducing you to say something that I can pretend to take offence to. SO, as I said earlier, f*ck off."
...I can see why they use the shorter phrase though; being specific would take up so much of their allotted time for a sound bite. The more experienced politicians achieve exactly the same effect with one word at the start of their responses, namely; "Look...". Keep your eyes and ears open, listen for these responses, and don't vote for anyone who uses them.
2. The word 'economy' - specifically in relation to seats on aircraft. Thanks to my quite extensive flying experiences, 'economy' has now come to mean a myriad of different things.
It means, of course, pain; physical, lasting pain, mostly in my back and my knees.
It means being unable to straighten my legs while sitting down, and it means having my kneecaps pressed against metal.
Economy has come to mean inhaling the rectal gaseous expulsions of complete strangers, together with their aerosol sputum and breath vapour - over and over again for hours.
It means watching a tiny TV screen that is just about at exactly the right distance from my eyes to make focusing upon it - with or without my spectacles - entirely impossible.
It means having had the previous occupant of my seat having programmed and locked down the in-flight entertainment system to use only the Icelandic language.
It means being entirely unable to use the system (in any language) when the stupid person in front of me reclines their seat so far that their hair is in my face.
It means having the back of my seat grabbed and violently jerked seven or eight times by the old lady behind me who has a weak bladder and an inability to stand up without pissing me off.
It means having a fold down 'table' cunningly designed to be the perfect size to accomodate absolutely nothing of any use.
It means trying to force four or five items of moderate size (sandwich, chocolate bar, water bottle) into a seat pocket obviously intended to hold only a single moist towelette.
It means being offered 'food' which resembles no other forms of nutrition known to science - other than perhaps that whcih was offered to the very earliest soviet cosmonauts, who doubtless rejected the goop as unfit for sons of Russia to ingest.
It means paying for a 'plus' service which offers many promises for a delightful experience but which actually merely provides the opportunity to drink myself out of my physical and/or emotional pain, for free. Since I always have to drive once I leave the airport, this is a pointless offer...
Economy means always sitting underneath an overhead storage locker which contains a scruffy bag belonging to the world's smelliest and most confused man sitting twelve rows behind me.
It means having a close up view of his trousered crotch area on each of the seven times he visits the locker to look for the doohickey that he thought he had in his pocket, but which might also be in his bag.
Economy means that this man has in fact always left whatever he is looking for back at home next to the teapot which still contains last week's mouldy tea bags - not that it prevents him from shoving his crotch against my shoulder every thirty minutes or so.
Economy means having my shoulder knocked an average of 378 times each flight, either by big-hipped flight attendants or even bigger-hipped aged women who have a bad cough and a need to visit the loo every 13 minutes.
It means that I am forced to share a toilet with at least forty people, one of whom manages to beat me to the toilet every time and leave pee on the seat, traces of poo in the toilet bowl, paper towels spread around like confetti and liquid soap on every surface above waist level.
It means that, with an impatient silver-haired and enormous-hipped woman hopping about outside the door, I am forced to clean up someone else's mess to avoid the accusing eye of the wobbly haridan as she carefully dislocates my shoulder on the way back to her seat.
Finally, economy means the unnerving knowledge that the flight attendants hate me. No matter how bright their lipsticked smiles, how fluterry their eyelashes, I can see the simmering contempt in their eyes as they welcome me on board, offer me a complimentary drink of toe-may-toe juice or slide a tray of unrecognizable nutrients onto my postage-stamp sized tray table.
Apart from these issues, I quite enjoy flying.
I was going to offer up another issue, but I just exhausted myself...I'll limit myself to a gratuitous use of 'chunks'.
That feels good.....more annoyances will follow (webhost permitting).
* For the record, I enjoy regular and fulfilling bowel movements.