I like to observe people, which often leads me to become too easily annoyed. There are other times I find a silver nugget of happiness in life’s gravel pit.
But more times than not, the scales tilt toward exasperation.
For instance, in this age of the cellphones and social media, have you noticed the distance between some cars stopped at traffic lights? They are 20 to 30 feet from the next car. You can bet most of them are talking on the cellphone, tweeting, or on Facebook and Instagram. Their selfishness makes them oblivious to the fact that the great distance apart lessens the chances that cars at the rear of the line will make it through the light.
To make matters worse, they are slow to take off when the light changes because they are finishing a tweet. I wish I could say nasty things about them that could be heard in their cars.
I was enraged when I got the news that LSU basketball player Wayde Sims had been shot to death. I said to my television: "How could something …
There’s also the person in line at the grocery store complaining to someone on the cellphone that there was no soap in the bathtub that morning or using baby-talk, hopefully to a child on the end of the phone. It becomes extra aggravating when that person carries that conversation into the checkout counter.
Then there are the people who launch their fast-food bag, wrappers and leftovers out of the car window. Come on, aren’t you headed to a place that has a trash can, a dumpster or a trash bag? Give me a break.
Let’s go over to their house or apartment and dump crap on their doorsteps. I really like that idea.
I get annoyed by television anchors and reporters who like to say that after a hurricane or bad weather damages a location, that “It looks like a war zone here." No, it doesn’t.
It looks like a place where trees have been knocked over and houses have been damaged. It doesn’t look like a war zone where cars and houses have been blown to bits. There are no craters in the ground. Four-story buildings haven’t collapsed. Just stop that comparison.
Another annoyance are sports announcers and athletes who like to compare what football players are doing to military combat. “Yeah, if I’m in a foxhole, and the bullets are flying, I want James, the star linebacker, in there with me.”
There is nothing in football comparable to being in foxhole with bullets, grenades, bombs, and whatever landing nearby. Stop that. By the way, when bullets are flying, James might not be as brave as you think.
I don’t know what has become of what now passes for news at all of the networks: NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CBS, CNN and good Lord, what the hell is going on a Fox? All of these panel discussions are killing me. Give me news about is going on across the country. How much can you discuss about the actions of President Donald Trump? Okay, well a lot. But just give me an hour of that.
Trump is my biggest annoyance, but I digress.
Then there’s the thing with guys' pants hanging off their butts. I saw a guy appearing to limp down the street, not because he had a bad ankle, but because he had to hold up his pants and skip along so that he could keep up with a young woman with him. Stupid.
Here’s another. The fast food drive-ups where the person on the speaker tells you to pull over to the side because they don’t have their trademark burger or chicken or whatever ready when you drive up. Look, you are called “fast food,” not medium-to-slow food or wait-a-minute food.
Big time displeasure is caused by the robo phone calls about how someone can solve my chronic back and knee pain, save me money by giving them my money and how they can help if I fork over all of my personal information.
It bothers me big time that my two granddaughters take better pictures with my wife than they do with me. They laugh, giggle and play with me until someone tries to take a photo of them with me. They start to look all melancholy.
Yet when I grab the camera, they smile right through every attempt to take a photo of them with my wife. Maybe I look funny to them. And, yes, I am annoyed by that. Well, a little.
Email Edward Pratt, a former newspaperman who writes a weekly Advocate column, at firstname.lastname@example.org.