I would like to wish a very Happy New Year to all of my faithful readers and their families. What first column of the year would be complete without your weekly columnist writing about some of those things which annoyed him in the past year?
So the first thing which really annoys me is a certainty all men have faced at least once in their lives.
Being expected to carry something for another person because they won't carry a purse, or don't have pockets in their pants/shorts. The most brazen request is uttered while extending a hanky, "Would you carry this for me? I might not have a problem initially, but the mind races to the eventuality it might then be used. Do I still have to stow it in MY pocket then, or can we just toss it aside?
People who will wipe dirty or greasy hands on the hand towel BEFORE they use soap and water annoy me.
How do seemingly inert items like hangers in a closet get tangled? You know what I mean; there is a row of empty hangers, you're hanging up a shirt, and when you reach for one of the hangers you have to wrestle with several of them that have become entangled.
I think some half witted person attempted to solve that problem by making those really wide plastic hangers. They don't tangle amongst themselves, but become the queen of tangles when rubbing elbows with lowly wire hangers. I've banned those plastic hangers with the clips in the middle from the laundry room. They create a colossal snarl!
And on a more serious note: Have you ever been in a hurry to get home because having to use the bathroom has become an emergency, and you have to sneeze or cough, knowing full well you had better do neither? Maintaining bodily control and vehicular control during those moments can be quite testing.
Rolling suitcases with too narrow of a wheelbase. Usually they are fine on smooth surfaces, but try to roll them over bumps or a surface leaning one way or the other and they will tip over. I once had one of those tip over at an airport inside one of the wedges of a rotating door. Talk about scrambling to get the suitcase righted and me exited. I think I made a revolution and a half during that episode while dragging a downed suitcase around and around.
Every house has one; that crazy little "catch-all" drawer with various nuts, bolts and assorted unknown cords and power bricks. What you're looking for is seldom in that drawer, and the collection just keeps growing until the draw either won't close, or horror-of-horrors, won't open again because something has worked its way above the opening.
Sink knobs which don't turn on/off the water when turned the traditional way. Or, horror of horrors, a sink where a dyslexic plumber or do-it-yourselfer put the cold on the left and the hot on the right!
People who don't use their turn signals properly are more than annoying. The ones who turn short without a blinker cause accidents. Actually those who use them and then don't turn them off when they don't cancel on their own are bothersome too. Have you ever followed a car for miles wondering when they are going to turn, and been afraid to pass them because of that turn signal? Do you turn you blinker on, then off, on, then off in hopes they'll see you in their mirror and cancel that blinker? I do.
Those people who install a new roll of toilet paper so it unwraps from the underside of the roll. We have an understanding at our house that the paper must unwrap from the top. Every once in a while the timber gremlins will turn it around the other way.
I hate call waiting. Those times when a friend or relative puts me on hold because they have another call coming in, I hope they're surprised when I'm not there when they get back. I have never seen a call waiting feature that didn't also come with a caller ID function. For crying out loud, see who it is and call them back!
People who spit out their chewing gum on the ground. It is one of life's great annoyances to feel that sickening squish and know your shoe is sticking to the pavement because you've just stepped in someone's gum.
Television ads for drugs I've never heard of before, and where they tell you to ask your doctor if the medication is right for you. Heck if they don't at least tell me for what malady the preparation is intended, how can I add that to the list of medical conditions for which I have to worry?
If you notice swelling of face, mouth, throat or a rash, you're supposed to stop taking it. You're not supposed to drive or operate machinery after you're taken it. A straight razor is dangerous equipment to me! Maybe I'd have an excuse to quit using a chainsaw if I took one of those medications.
I was watching one peculiar ad that at first convinced me I must have that malady. But then they warned me it could lower my ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis and infections that could spread through the entire body. Needless to say, I talked myself out of that one!
Newspaper columnists, who because of lack of anything better, write about their own personal annoyances.
Newspaper columnist readers who think everything written is about them. Usually it's about nobody in particular, but all of you in general. Relax!
I am annoyed I only have a thousand words or so each week in this space when there are SO many things which annoy me!
Until next time--
You can read past columns by visiting tamatoledonews.com and clicking on "view all" next to "Local Columns."
In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2012 Mike Gilchrist. Readers, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA 52342.