08 January 2009

No Sir, I Don't Like It

Two writers from two blogs I follow recently named things they don't like. I like to know what irks people. It keeps me in their good graces. I have one friends who can't stand it when people refer to "pasta" as "noodles." She just can't take it, and she feels very strongly about that. I have another friend who does not like the "p word" commonly used to refer to women's underwear. It's not a bad word, but she really doesn't like it. So I don't say it around her. In the last two weeks, I've seen several things that irk me, things that make me want to scream, rant, rave, and pontificate. The list is growing. I decided to get it out, before I explode on a stranger.

Signs Reading "ATM Machine"
One such sign makes me shake my head. Several of them (as I am finding in this city) make me want to scream. "ATM" stands for Automated Teller Machine. "ATM Machine" reads "Automated Teller Machine Machine." Who thought that was a good idea? It's ridiculous and infuriating.

Angry Accosters, or Indignant Indigents
The next time someone who bothers me gets annoyed with my obvious annoyance, the situation may escalate. Jesse and I stopped to get gas in Fresno recently. As we got out of the car, a woman approached and started to ask for money. She stopped and waited when she saw I was tangled in all the typical passenger-seat, road trip garbage. Once I got out, she got closer, and asked for a "nickledimeorquarter." I gave her a curt "no."

How dare she lie in wait at a gas station. How dare she come up to me almost before I'm even out of the car to ask me for money. Did she care that I really had to use the restroom? Did she care that I was cold and irritated because this was the second gas station we tried?

She asked again. "You don't have a "nickledimeORquarter?" I went from curt, to snippy, and said no.

"Well you don't have to get nasty about it."

"I'm not being nasty." But I wanted to show how nasty I can get. I wanted to ask her who she was and why she - standing near a gas pump begging weary travelers for money on a Sunday night - felt she was in a position to tell me how to behave.

Fast forward a week or so, and I was walking home from work. Some older man on the street said something to me that I didn't hear. I looked at him, gave him a "I-respect-your-age" smile, and kept walking. And he got huffy.

"You don't have to walk faster just because I'm talking to you."

First of all, I didn't walk faster, I had just gotten to the top of the hill, and extra efforts translated into extra speed. Secondly, I might not want a lecherous man talking to me or thinking I have any interest in him whatsoever. Don't tell me how I should be, or what I should do. You just mind your business. Harrumph.

Joe The Plumber
Joe the plumber is a moron. I never once doubted that, but his interview with CNN's John Roberts proved it. The interview is here, and my favorite part is at 3:27. Joe clearly thought he could get in Sarah Palin's Nordstrom's Pantsuit, and when that failed, he decided to talk smack about John McCain. Now that no one's paying attention to John, Joe is going to Israel. He's going to report on the Average Jewish Joes, as their country obliterates Gaza.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say Joe doesn't know too much about this conflict. I'm going to also say he won't be next to Anderson Cooper on the border with Gaza. I don't know what Joe's function will be, other than to make a mockery of actual journalists. I hope they pay him enough to pay his taxes.