As part of my weekly challenge to straighten up, fly right and smile more, I’ve listed my all-time, top 40 most petty pet-peeves. By declaring them here, I hope to begin the process of purging my malevolent minutiae and starting on the road to being a sunnier, better person.
Warning: here be dragons
Some of these will apply to all of you, so beware, no one comes out unscathed and you’ll probably be finding a big stick with which to beat me amidst this lot
I don’t like your sort
1) Younger people
With your crap music, funny sayings and poor social skills, you annoy me. I didn’t even *want* to be in your gang when I was your age, so stop acting so sparky, you’ll be dead sooner than you think.
2) Backpackers who aren’t backpacking
I’ve already spoken extensively on this issue: come on people, stop boring me at parties with stories of living on 10 pence a day, sleeping in a hammock and travelling by inflatable rubber tube. I don’t care, it isn’t a good story and your pictures are crap.
3) Wilful technophobes
If you’re holding out against the Internet, computers and other tech because you think your life is better, easier, cleaner without what the modern world has to offer, you’re wrong. Do yourself a favour and get on board, the world is not flat.
4) Brits on tour
You stupid, stupid people, don’t you realise that demanding televised football, fry ups and the general British hegemony wherever you go is giving us all a bad name. I cower when I see you.
5) People who complete tasks more slowly than I do
As far as I’m concerned, if you can’t learn something, work out a problem or generally catch on at the same speed as I can, you’re going to drive me up the wall. This includes flat pack furniture assembly, using the bathroom and seeing stuff with your eyes.
It mightn’t bother you but it’s killing me
I’m sorry but if you really think that you’re being ‘pacific’ about something, or you’re totally in favour of ‘nucula’ power please don’t speak in my presence. Speech impediments, accents and sounding yoof are all fine, but don’t wilfully mispronounce, you idiots.
7) Fast food eaters
Seriously, it’s a no brainer. Something that costs £1 and takes seconds to reheat and provides an even-shorter afterglow is not food you should be eating. If you don’t want your insides to resemble toxic waste and your outsides to look like pigskin, just leave off.
8) Bad manners
If I do something for you please ALWAYS thank me, unless you’re eating, in which case NEVER speak. Simples.
If you keep me waiting longer than a minute, you’re a swine. I don’t care what that attitude makes me, you’re the late one. Deal with it.
10) Other people’s hiccups
You weak-diaphragmed people really get on my wick. Hiccups should be confined to drunkenness and spicy food. Any other excuses will not be tolerated.
Personality traits you can do without
These next few speak for themselves don’t they? We all do all of these and we all should stop, especially you.
11) Lack of ambition
12) Self importance
15) Ingratitude – especially where gifts are concerned
18) Not taking a hint
The modern world is here, stupid
19) Call centres
Why major global companies will spend gazilions on developing sophisitcated brand experiences only to torch all their good work with cheap outsourcing of customer services is beyond me. Don’t script it, in-house it and train your staff.
20) Roadblock advertising
Stop trying to hit me over the head with adverts on TV. I record everything and skip the adverts. And stop giving me pre-roll ads on YouTube as well, it doesn’t work. Look, I know advertising WORKS, but it’s much more sophisticated now and so is the consumer, so maybe dump all roadblock ads?
21) Asking a stupid question when Google is available
If you have smartphone or computer in hand, for pete’s sake don’t ask me a question you could look up in seconds. It’s insulting to both of us. Let’s exercise the power of conversation on things Google can’t resolve like how homing pigeons work and what Stone Hemge was for.
22) Facebook whores
No one has more than 100 real friends in real life. Unless you use Facebook for work, stop being such an attention seeker and defriend anyone you would hide from if you spotted them in the supermarket. Do it now, or I will defriend YOU.
23) Comment trolls
Esteemed film critic of The Guardian Peter Bradshaw once wrote, in an article about blogging, that the comment conversations that appear at the bottom of blog posts are only over a few steps from invoking Hitler or the Third Reich. I admire witty remarks but please stop it with the blatant hateful trolling, you’re spoiling the game for the rest of the class.
Out and about
I’m immediately suspicious of you if you go out but don’t drink. Unless you’ve a good reason, don’t sit around and watch me turn into an aggressive buffoon in your stone cold sober state. It’s embarrassing for all of us.
25) People who won’t split Restaurant bills evenly
Do I need to explain? If you’re out eating with a group, expect an even split. If you get the calculator out I will seethe.
26) Talking about people I’ve never met but assuming I know who they are
“…so John and Steve said I’d definitely have to try this bar out next time I’m in town…”
This is so presumptuous, to think that I either know or care who you’re talking about. Do us both a favour and learn how to drop introductory asides – John is your Mum’s friend and Steve is his lover – into your conversations.
27) Pubs and bars with bad acoustics
Wood floors are great aren’t they? And wood ceilings, and walls for that matter. BUT NOT IN A LOUD PUBLIC SPACE. Don’t make me shout small talk at my friends who are standing inches from my face. Instead invest in some soft furnishings and think about acoustics. Thanks to my friend Steve – a sound designer by trade – for introducing me to this phenomenon. Now it’s another thing I can’t stand!
28) Shitting on the walls of portable toilets
I have experienced this at every music festival and major event I have ever been to. Why must you people projectile defecate? You wouldn’t treat your own toilet like that would you? Oh, you would…fair enough.
29) Talking openly about porn and masturbation
These things are for people to look at and do on their own. I am English, don’t try to unstiffen (ooh er) my top lip with talk of yours – or your friends’ – exploits.
30) Personal space proprietors
I’m talking polar ends of the social greeter spectrum here: anyone who is all too ready with kisses and hugs and arm touches gets my goat. If you’re not my Mum or my wife, don’t do it. But equally, if the idea of a quick double kiss greeting or handshake brings you out in cold sweats, you can go away too. Anyone, basically, who causes discomfort at the moment of social greeting, needs to go away and not greet me. Ever.
Arts and culture
31) People who hold up camera phones at gigs
I paid to stand in this small sweaty space with a poor view of the band, I don’t need your chuffing iPad in front of my face too. You’re here to watch. Enjoy the moment.
32) Noise in the cinema
Nothing is tolerated. There are rules and I will enforce them…as long as you don’t look like you’re wielding a knife, in which case I will huff and puff.
33) Bad music, art, literature, TV
There’s so much good stuff out there, you don’t need to waste your time on airport-lit, forgettable pop, soap opera or predictably unoriginal modern art. If you keep buying it, they’ll keep making it. I name no names here, but will if you provoke me…
34) Music, art, literature, TV snobs
What makes you think you’re a music fan if you’re so stuck up you won’t listen to nor see any merit in *entire* genres. Rinse and repeat for every other artform. Yes, I see hypocrisy and conflict here (with the point above), but I’m still saying it.
And the rest…
35) Reading the Daily Mail
There’s no room for that amount of vitriolic right wing hatred, especially not on a daily basis. As a youngster I used to be infuriated when my elders would criticise my newspaper choice but now I am older and wiser. Right, Left, gossip, whatever, but not the Daily Hate.
36) People who wear sunglasses indoors
Unless you are famous or have a retinal dysfunction, you are a dickhead.
37) Religious pushers
Keep your spiritual beliefs to yourself unless I ask.
38) People who forget to eat
I’ve never missed a meal in my life and I can’t understand anyone who is so wrapped up in whatever they’re doing that they forget to eat. Food is life.
As a reformed snorer (my wife stopped my surprisingly quickly, though my kidneys now ache constantly) I have developed a real dislike for anyone who can’t curb their nighttime nordaling. It’s really very unsociable and you should just sleep on your side, eat better and DEAL WITH IT.
40) Companies which still require printouts
I know this might seem the most petty of all, but seriously, any car rental companies, shops etc who still need a printout of your online order are blithering idiots. It’s all online and we need to conserve our forests. Stop making me print.
Do this yourself, I promise you’ll feel better afterwards. It might look like a pathetic list, but I bet yours would too.