Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's That Time of Year Again--The Top Ten (Nine?) Pet Peeves of 2014

I don't do New Year's Resolutions. I never keep any of them anyway. Instead, this year there will be two posts--this one, on my top pet peeves for the year, and one on Thursday of a more serious nature: reflections on the things I've been most grateful for and what I've learned in the past year.


As usual, occupying the number one spot--public restrooms. I'm still amazed--or maybe that should be dismayed--by how filthy people can be when they don't have to clean up their own mess. Real pigs, most of them. Scratch that last part. Pigs are cleaner.

At number two, we have booth hogs. What are booth hogs? you ask. They can be found in their natural habitat, any fast food restaurant, at the busiest times of the day. They're easy to spot--one person in each of the largest booths, reading their newspapers or working on their laptops, while parties of four and five people are forced to crowd around the smaller tables and booths. Memo to restaurant managers: Do something, for crying out loud! Years ago, I heard a McDonalds manager tell a man he'd have to surrender the booth in which he was working on his photo portfolio when the lunch rush started. That's just fair. Restaurants lose business if their customers can't find a place to sit. 


Number three is a four-way tie: annoying TV ads. The winners are:

1. A local used car dealer with multiple locations and (apparently) money to spend. They buy five-minute blocks of time to push their vehicles. Judging by the reviews on their Facebook page, they don't have too many happy customers. And the guy who does the sales pitch in those TV ads has to be the owner. No business would hire somebody with that monotone to do their ads. He could prove to be our country's new secret weapon. Put him on the air for hours at a time and he'll put an entire nation to sleep simultaneously.

2. The furniture store ads featuring a woman rolling around on a chaise lounge, repeating the word "chaise" over and over in a voice that sounds like she's doing phone sex. Watching this one brings me closer to God. I always say a prayer of thanks for the mute button on my remote control!

3. I'm also grateful that someone must have convinced the "Granite Daddy" that sleazy is NOT the way to go to get people to spend a lot of money on granite countertops. "Who's your Granite Daddy?" Seriously? Who writes this crap, anyway?

4. Last but not least, the nationwide carpet cleaning company that features the CEO and his wife in some of their ads. I used to think the ads were perfectly understated and genuine--until the wife seemed to disappear, replaced by a woman who, at first glance, looked much younger, with long, blonde hair and trendier clothes. Did ol' Phil trade the wife in for a younger model? Nope. Business must have been good to pay for all that upgrade work the sixtysomething wife had done. After everyone had already seen her on TV, it was a little late to try to convince us she's a thirtysomething.That ship had already sailed, hit the iceberg and sunk!


In the number four position: spammers and trolls. Is an explanation really needed here? Sadly, morons will never be an endangered species. For the record, idiots, I don't care what Nigerian royal family you belong to, I'm not sending you money! (Does anybody really fall for this BS?)

As for trolls, they only do what they do because they can spew their hate while hiding behind their computers, tablets and smartphones. Face to face, most of them would keep their mouths shut--and those who didn't would be knocked on their butts. This is one of the reasons I left Goodreads. The Goodreads Bullies are well known, and while I never had any problems with them, I figured it was just a matter of time before somebody took a shot in my direction. I don't have the time or the patience to deal with that sort of juvenile behavior and would probably have said something  that would have gotten me permanently banned from the site. Call my departure a preemptive strike.


Number five: my neighbors. I was in favor of immigration reform until I got acquainted (sort of) with the people next door and their kids. The kids have no regard for anyone else and don't respect the rules of the apartment complex. In short, they're a nuisance. But then, I'm guessing they don't have the best role models in parents who entered this country illegally. Obeying the law obviously isn't high on their list of priorities.

Number six is a longtime peeve: traditional publishing. Every time I hear a horror story from an author who's been screwed over by his or her publisher, I'm more convinced than ever that self-publishing is the way to go. Years ago, when my agent and I parted company and I was talking with other agents, I got myself into a bind with an agent of dubious character. I should have known better, but I was in a bad place at the time (long story, one I'll save for my memoir). I was rescued--literally--by a group of writers I only knew online. I promised myself then that I would do the same for any writer who needs help. 

Traditional publishing would do well to remember that they can't survive without writers, but we can survive--and thrive--without them.  *raspberry*

Number seven: soap operas. Where do I start? Recycled plotlines...revolving door actors...making one female character the object of every man's lust (Brooke Logan of The Bold and the Beautiful, I'm looking at you! You're a grandma, stop behaving like you're still a hot young babe! When they did the rape storyline I was scratching my head and thinking, "She actually said no to someone?")

Number eight: pro-wrestling. See number seven--I think they use the same writers. And they spend more time on wrestlers and their loudmouthed managers with microphones in their hands than they do in the ring actually wrestling. What's wrong with that picture?

Number nine: Stephen Colbert. I used to be a fan until he got involved in the Amazon-Hachette dispute. Then I lost respect for him. The man is rich, and about to get even richer as Letterman's replacement, yet he was urging everyone to boycott Amazon when he felt the dispute was costing him money. Nevermind that Amazon is the only source of income for a lot of self-published authors. It was all about him. *raspberry for you, Colbert!*

Number ten: I actually don't have a number ten this year. Is this a good thing? Oh, I hope so!



36 comments:

  1. That's quite a list of pet peeves!

    Soap operas baffle me with their endless storylines, lack of consequences for people (oh, I'm really sorry, this time I mean it, just let me off with community service which'll never be mentioned again), and villains coming back from the dead fifty times.

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    1. Nobody's ever REALLY dead on a soap. The weird part is when they come back looking like somebody else. The only reason I still watch them is for the opportunity to shout obscenities at the TV. Call it a tension release.

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  2. We don't have TV so I've never seen any of there adverts. Have you considered dropping TV for Netflix or Amazon Prime? We love it. No adverts.

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    1. We gave up cable in favor of streaming months ago--why pay for 250 channels when we only watch 10-12?--but we do still get the local TV channels.

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    2. Ohhh, we don't even have local channels. Gotta say, don't miss 'em at all. Nopers.

      Wow, they were up to 250 stations? Yikes.

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    3. I'm curious, Ivy--where do you live?

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    4. Rural area. With zero desire for local channels or cable. We have a big screen in the movie room and play NetFlix and Amazon through that.

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    5. Norma - I just left a comment on your WordPress blog, but I think ... I'm locked in your spam folder. Not sure.

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    6. I'll go take a look. That blog requires moderation, so it may just be waiting for approval.

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    7. Got your comment posted, Ivy. I've had so much fun posting the excerpt there and at Facebook, it's likely going to become a habit....

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    8. Glad to hear that you're having a fun go of it. That's the best. So when is your next post the anti-pet peeve one, coming out?

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    9. Ouch! If that had been one of my New Year's Resolutions, I'd already have blown it, wouldn't I?

      Getting started now.

      (This is why I self-publish. I suck at deadlines.)

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  3. No number ten? I don't feel I got my money's worth!

    Just kidding. Maybe next year you'll only be able to come up with eight, and the next year seven and...

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    1. One thing I'm sure of, Cheryl--there will always be number 1, The others might be eradicated, but yucky public bathrooms will be discovered by archaeologists in the ruins of ancient civilizations!

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  4. When I'm not writing stories, poems or blogs I like to do some copywriting and I kind of wish I wrote the Granite Daddy ad. Ha, ha, ha. Last week I made a rain gutter ad sound interesting. At least that's what the lady said. LOL I love your pet peeves and I'm so glad you set them free!

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    1. What can I say? The end of the year is a great time to purge all the crap!

      You could do better than the Granite Daddy ads. They made me want to take a long, hot shower--lots of soap, lots of scrubbing!

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    2. I would love to see the rain gutter ad !

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  5. Agree with everything.
    #1.
    I try to never use a public restroom.
    Arizona had to close many of the restroom rest stops a few years ago. No Money,
    Then a big announcement they opened a few along I-10. I happened to be driving there and decided to stop. This was one day after the announcement. I can't even tell you how horrific it was. Never seen it this bad. And Arizona has/had some of the nicest rest stops ever.
    I can only blame stupid American who don't know any better because of busy parents to stupid to teach their children. And the mass amount of illegals and drug trafficking who travel this route. Awful !
    If you travel in Japan public restrooms and freeway rest stop from the big to small, the bathrooms are clean and in winter many are heated.
    As for your #10 I will add my x ! He just pulled off the greatest... I'm going to ruin Christmas for you again stunt ... I have been scrambling with conference calls with attorneys, financial and real estate lawyers on the 3 days before Christmas and contracts to be at the Bank by the deadline of the 30th. ARGHHHH !
    By the way after dumping this in my lap he is on a cruise somewhere in South America...fa lalalalalalalalal la

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Your ex gets the Moron of the Year award, Gayle!

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    2. Yes, he does but I had a wonderful Christmas and New Year will be fabulous !

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  6. The only soap opera I ever watched was Dark Shadows. I was really upset when that left the air. Otherwise, right on! You wouldn't believe the number of people out of work because illegals are getting paid under the table. Please don't think I am making that one up.

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    1. My mom LOVED Dark Shadows.Have you ever seen their blooper video? It's hilarious.

      Actually, I do believe it. There's at least one hotel here in our area that does it. That's how they get cheap labor.

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  7. Yep. I've seen those used car lot owners doing their own commercials. Monotone sells? Seems unlikely. Maybe customers come in to see if the guy really wears outfits like that at work!

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    1. I've been tempted to go to one of his car lots just to throw rotten produce at him!

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  8. Wow, we agree on everything, Norma. I've been meaning to post something about TV ads and public toilets for a while. I'm working on this today, and I've put in a link for your post today, as well.
    Have a good one!

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  9. All valid peeves Norma.. but here's a number ten for you and I bet you'll remember it as soon as I say.. you know when you're cruising facebook and you see something that says 'lose weight without working out, just by combining the right foods etc etc' and when you think oh ok maybe this time, and click, and some guy goes on and on without actually telling you anything.. and then about an hour later (if you haven't fallen asleep) they tell you how much it costs in monthly installments and you realize it's something so ridiculous and get fed up because once again you got suckered in... you know that sort of thing.. that's one of my pet peeves :) Hope your year has gotten off to a good start Norma, catch you soon.

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    1. Oh, I hate those! They also make those "offers" to help authors market their books--all a load of BS!

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  10. Your pet peeves are well thought out. Love the humor.

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  11. Awesome list!
    Bathrooms - I don't get how gross people are.. I also hate when people refuse to change the roll of paper. It's not that hard!

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    1. I used to wonder how awful their bathrooms at home must be--then I came to the conclusion that they aren't that messy at home. They only do it in public restrooms because they know somebody else has to clean it up.

      They're not pigs, just ignorant.

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  12. I just discovered that my all-Minion image post got 365 pageviews. Apparently, I'm not the only one who loves all things Minion....

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Disagreements are welcome; trolls and spammers are not. Any and all comments by either of the latter two will be immediately deleted.