The Things I Hate

by Rob Gregory Browne

Now that we’ve had our season of joy and happiness and good tidings for all, let me tell you about some of the things I hate. 

I’m not normally a hateful guy, but there are things that just bug the crap out of me, and after an incredibly bad day recently, I began channeling Denis Leary and came up with this list:

10.  Standing in line at the grocery store, with one item to buy, as the person in front of you pulls out a checkbook and proceeds to take five minutes to write a check for two dollars and fifteen cents.

Get a freaking bank card, will you?  Checks should be banned.

9.  Going to the home water color and discovering that there’s not enough water left to make your morning coffee.  Those five gallon bottles are heavy, awkward and a giant pain in the ass.

8.  Water cooler again:  using the hot water spigot.  Because they don’t want to get sued, the manufacturer makes you push an extra button and hold it down as the water comes out at half-speed.  Fuck you.  I want an opt-out for this mechanism.  What do I look like, the McDonald’s crotch coffee lady?  I’m not an idiot, thank you.

7.  Ants.  Especially ants in your kitchen after you’ve cleaned it so well you could do heart surgery on the friggin’ counter (assuming you have counter space — see #5) 

The other day, I discovered that the inside of my sugar bowl was crawling with ants.  And this was when it was SITTING IN THE DISHWASHER and HAD ALREADY BEEN WASHED with soap and scalding hot water.  WTF? Do I need a new dishwasher? Industrial strength ant spray?

6.  Piece of shit dishwashers that won’t let you put a decent sized pan in the bottom rack because they get in the way of the rotating spray mechanism.  Douchebaggery at its finest.

Advice:  take your dishes with you when you buy a dishwasher.  Make sure they fit to your satisfaction.  DO NOT leave this one up to chance.

5.  Not enough counter space in your kitchen.  Don’t buy a house in a hurry.  And if you must, make sure that kitchen has PLENTY of freaking room. 

With the day’s dishes on one side, the multitude of appliances I’ve collected on the other side and a big fat stove top taking up the rest, where the hell am I supposed to cut my tomatoes?

4.  When someone asks you to do something for them, then stands over you and tells you how to do it. 

If you have time to stand over me and give me instructions (although I’ve done the task a billion times), then you can friggin’ do it yourself.  Don’t like the way I’ve mopped the floor?  Put that tongue to better use.

3.  Lame television commercials.  9.9 out of 10 commercials are inane, annoying and a waste of TV watching time.  Which is why I now buy DVDs of my favorite shows, or record them to my DVR. 

2.  When some idiot makes a right turn directly in front of you, and proceeds to drive at a speed at which no human should travel on FOOT, let alone in a car, forcing you to ease off the gas or even hit your brakes to avoid a two-car pile up.  AND THERE’S NO ONE BEHIND YOU. 

If they had waited three seconds more, they wouldn’t have you riding their assssssss.

1.  People who use cell phones while driving. FUCK YOU.  FUCK YOUR KIDS.  FUCK YOUR FAMILY.  AND all of your friends.  Especially the ones who call you while you’re driving.  Oh, and get the hell out of my way.  I’m trying to get somewhere, not make a doctor’s appointment.

And a special bonus hate:

*  Hypocrites. The do as I say, not as I do crowd. 

I once worked with a woman who was very strict about company policies and rules — except when it came to HER and the people she liked.  Then all bets were off. 

If you pointed out to her that “rules are rules,” (as she always loved to say), you jumped immediately to her shit list and she’d do everything in her power to screw you.  Behind your back.  While smiling sweetly at you every morning.

Okay, that’s it.  Rant over.  

Now it’s your turn.

 

46 thoughts on “The Things I Hate

  1. Chris Hamilton

    I hate it when the heater breaks. During a cold snap.

    Yeah, I know it’s Florida and I’m not getting a lot of sympathy, but when you move to Florida and out up with a flippin sauna outside six months out of the year, grass that’s a giant weedvine, and hurricane watches and warnings, part of the deal is that it should never, ever, be 56.4 degrees in the room you use to write in.

    Dammit.

    Chris

    Reply
  2. Dru

    people who constantly text while having a face to face conversation – meaning the person has to stop talking mid-thought while the other person responds to the text.

    Reply
  3. Vicky McAulay

    I have only one to add to your list: people who describe the most mundane things as "amazing" or "awesome". Please find another word to butcher.

    Reply
  4. Alafair Burke

    Wow, I suddenly feel stressed out and cranky. My current annoyances are uniquely urban. High on the list currently are pedestrians who text on busy NYC streets while walking at a slow diagonal.

    Reply
  5. TerriMolina

    Aww Robert, I feel like I should give you a hug…although I was thoroughly amused by your rant. 😉

    My only strong dislike (hate is such an ugly word) is TEENAGERS! I really really do not like teenagers!!! with exception of my own three…although they get on my nerves from time to time. ;-P Even when I was a teenager (which I never really was, just jumped right into adulthood when I was 13) I didn’t like teenagers. Especially the high school juniors and seniors who think their shiney new driver’s license means they can do 60 in a 30 mph school zone, or they don’t have to look when they back out of a parking spot because you should bow down to them and let them cut you off or make you slam on your brakes, or the ones who think they are so invincible that they can play chicken with a car and not die–yeah, tell that to the 16 year old who ran over and killed her own brother this past weekend in Mesa. I also despise their smartass, arogant attitudes and lack of originality or style with their appearance. If you want the world to see your boxers or briefs, why bother with the pants at all??

    Reply
  6. Dana King

    I can’t begin to tell you what a pleasure it is to find someone else willing to show the full range of his expression over these annoyances. I consider these to be part of the International Conspiracy to Piss Me Off, and react accordingly.

    My Corollary to Number 10: When I’m in line to buy just one thing in the grocery store and the person in front of me has too many items for the express lane, then acts surprised when the checker asks for money and has to open her purse (sorry; ladies, this is almost always a woman), dig out her wallet, then meticulously count out every goddamn penny for the exact change. By the time she’s done, my milk is sour.

    If I sound cranky, it’s because I’m operating under King’s Corollary to the Golden Rule:
    I treat everyone as I would like to be treated myself, and grant all other the same privilege. Therefore, when I encounter someone who is an inconsiderate asshole, I can only assume that’s how they would like to be treated in turn, and it would be impolite of me to treat them any other way.

    Reply
  7. Gar Anthony Haywood

    Man, that was the funniest post I’ve ready in YEARS! As soon as I stop laughing I’ll come back with some of my own favorite hates, but in the meantime, Rob — wow. Way to drop the f-bomb to full comedic effect, homie!

    Reply
  8. Becky LeJeune

    Oh there are way too many things in life that I hate to even begin to list here. But I am totally with you on the dishwasher thing! It is impossible to maximize the effectiveness of that awkward space.

    I’ll add to that the fact that every sing appliance in my house is just slightly under standard size. Nothing fits in the fridge, which happens to have a design flaw that causes the freezer to leak water into the fridge, making the top shelf almost unusable. And standard sized pans do not fit in my oven. At all. Store bought cookie sheets, nope! I barely got the turkey in for Thanksgiving.

    Oh, and we rent so there is no option of replacing. Meanwhile, the house is leaking gas like a sieve (they say our usage hasn’t leveled, but when it’s growing exponentially for only two people, I don’t see that happening) while I keep the heater at a frostbite-inducing 65 and I’m going too broke to even save to make these headaches my own by buying a house.

    Reply
  9. Louise Ure

    Whew! You’d think it was a Monday with all this crankiness going on. I can identify with all of them Rob and I’d add a few more but I’m working on a zen-like state today to deal with the medical and insurance communities.

    Reply
  10. Zoë Sharp

    Aw, Rob, sounds like somebody needs a hug …

    Here we are, with tsunamis making people homeless, snow up to our … snowballs, financial meltdown armageddon, and being whipped up to a frenzy about climate change, and it’s nice to find someone who worries about having bought too much STUFF to fit into his kitchen … ;-]

    So, eyes closed, breathe in through the nose, out through the mouth, and … relax.

    Oh, an try bicarbonate of soda to get rid of the ants without poisoning yourself in the process.

    (Alafair – there’s a special name for those sidewalk wanderers: Meanderthals.)

    Reply
  11. Chris

    I hate this practice, which seems to be a Midwestern thing, of slicing pizza into tiny little squares. The fuck is that all about? Who wants to eat a little 2" x 2" slice of pizza? Pizza is meant to be sliced into big pie slices. Hell, I’d rather see one sliced into four enormous pieces than forty dinky ones. That’s just bullshit.

    Eating every slice of pizza should be a journey that starts at the narrow, pointy end, moves up through the greasy and topping-loaded main section, and ends in a glorious length of delicious crust. One should be able to take anywhere from two to four swigs from the beer clutched in the opposite hand while working one’s way through a single slice before having to reload the dining hand. Anything different from that is a goddamn travesty.

    Reply
  12. Gar Anthony Haywood

    I hate end-of-year Best Books lists that list truly Godawful books. Not just mediocre books, but dreck. Shouldn’t be that hard for some people to differentiate between "great" and "terrible."

    I hate terrific books burdened by lousy covers.

    I hate book "reviews" that tell you nothing whatsoever about what worked in a book and what didn’t. If I want a plot synopsis, I’ll read the book jacket. A book review should be a subjective analysis, not a regurgitation of the catalog copy. Book reviewers afraid to offend are in the wrong line of work, period.

    I HATE one-word book titles that any four-year-old could come up with. Talk about insulting your audience’s intelligence. If THE MALTESE FALCON were published today, some idiot would entitle it BIRD.

    Reply
  13. Gayle Carline

    Amen, Rob. You probably do need a hug, but I bet you’d rather have a baseball bat – to hit someone with.

    Not only do I hate the too-slow drivers, but the too-fast ones, too. If I can’t go faster than the car in front of me, what good does it do them to ride my butt? If you can’t get around the traffic jam, chill. BTW – two guys got severely injured in my town today because they COULDN’T WAIT for the train to pass and tried to beat it, to the point of driving around the crossing guards. Guess they can wait now.

    One of my worst peeves is advertisements on my windshield and my front door. I don’t want your pizza/Chinese food/frozen yogurt. I have my own masseuse/manicurist/lawn service. Yes, I’d like to make money while I sleep but I sense your business may not be a good investment. Do not – DO NOT – stick your flyers on my CAR. DO NOT make me pick them out of my garden. Don’t want ’em.

    Along that line, I also don’t want perky young people trying to earn a trip anywhere by selling me anything. It only makes me feel guilty to say no to their fresh-scrubbed little faces, but they’re not my neighbors, I don’t know them, and I don’t know anything about their organization. And I really don’t like the fact that they start out by wanting to "earn points" – just tell me you’ve got magazine subscriptions. Don’t con me.

    Thanks, Rob. I feel so much better.

    Reply
  14. Rob Gregory Browne

    Brett, as I recall, I was on speaker phone when you called me, or was saying, "Dude, I’m driving, I need to get off the phone."

    That STILL makes me a fucking hypocrite, because I hate speaker phones, too, but at least I wasn’t having a leisurely phone conversation about how much my boss annoys me, or whatever.

    No excuse, however. So you’re right. I’m an asshole and I hate myself.

    Gayle, I am soooo with you on the windshield ads. It’s like somebody handing you their trash.

    Dusty, I kindly post today in your place and you’re getting all uppity on me? Dude… 🙂

    Gar, I hate best of lists of any kind. WHO’S best? Some idiot I don’t even know? I’ll come up with my own list, thank you.

    Reply
  15. Rob Gregory Browne

    Chris, pizza in squares? WTF? Give me a SLICE, dammit.

    Zoe, if I talked about the REALLY shitty stuff that has happened to my family, I’d probably cry. So it’s best to limit it to petty b.s.

    Louise, my sympathy on the insurance front. Hell, I’m in a situation where my insurance company is actually being very kind — just give us the codes, they say, and we’ll clear this up. So I call the doctor for the codes, and THE DOCTOR WON’T GIVE THEM TO ME. Seriously?

    Becky, your comment has made me feel like a selfish idiot. But what else is new?

    Jake, quit whining and complaining about whiners and complainers. Jesus. 🙂

    Reply
  16. Rob Gregory Browne

    Terri, I confess, I love teenagers. When my kids were teenagers and they brought their friends over, I’d hang with them sometimes because I enjoyed talking to them. I think my wife and I were considered the COOL parents.

    Alafair, ANYONE who texts is annoying. Dru, ditto.

    Vicky, I actually thought your comment was awesome.

    Reply
  17. Eika

    I hate not being allowed to have friends over the house because my sister- who’s been fired from three jobs, flunked out of one college and almost kicked out of the community college- doesn’t get along with them, and ‘blood is thicker than water’.

    On that same note, I hate being given lectures about how family is the people who stick with you and should rank above the people who don’t treat you like sh**. (my emphasis, not the lecturer’s.)

    And I really, REALLY hate being compared to her all the time, because I’m the younger sibling.

    Reply
  18. J.F. Constantine

    I hate to deviate from all this hating, but I LOVE this post and all the comments that came thereafter.

    In particular, I am totally with Chris on the pizza thing, and Chris Hamilton when the beer runs out, and Gayle Carline on everything.

    So, I guess that’s my conglomerate hating, because I’m hating all that stuff along with ALL of you.

    Deep breathing now. Louise, good luck with healthcare industry – it sucks.

    Rob, (and all commenters) thanks for the laugh. I needed that. I was having a shitty day. 🙂

    Reply
  19. Catherine Shipton

    All encompassing statement that I love my adult children. I do not adore however their habit of telling me how to drive when they have not gone through the process of learning to drive themselves. They get extra annoyance points if they are in the car because I’m specifically driving them somewhere I would not normally go.

    We, (meaning me and they have since worked out what side their bread is buttered on) have come to an agreement that addresses this.

    The agreement is cunning in its simplicity. if you want to drive in my car, pray silently if need be, and let me concentrate on the road, or get the bus.

    Love Zoë’s Meanderthals as a discriptor of urban texting idiots.

    Reply
  20. JD Rhoades

    I treat everyone as I would like to be treated myself, and grant all other the same privilege. Therefore, when I encounter someone who is an inconsiderate asshole, I can only assume that’s how they would like to be treated in turn, and it would be impolite of me to treat them any other way.

    Quote of the Day. Hope you don’t mind I posted it on my own blog.

    Reply
  21. Judy Wirzberger

    I feel cheap, petty, ungrateful, but I loved having someone voice my peeves. Better ants than cockroaches – not that I have cockroaches, I think my ants kill them before they get into the house. And I had to get a cat just to contend with the mice. How I do love a good rant. Gets the adrenaline flowing — now go write that chapter where the hero confronts his lousy boss.

    Reply
  22. Catherine Shipton

    Rob, in the sixth subclause of the rant …Dishwahers on your shit list…(and it’s not that I want to add to your shit factor)…but, do you have a dishwasher where the rack folds in on itself?

    I say this because I recently bought a dishwasher with this feature, and it’s supposed to ‘help’ you fit more pans and things in and not impede the necessary spits out hot water turny thingo….and it sort of does, but it also sucks up so much room I end up washing them by hand sometimes in frustration.

    Reply
  23. pari noskin taichert

    Well hello, Mr. Sunshine.

    Great post, Rob.

    1. I HATE smokers who throw their cigarette butts out of car windows or grind them out on the street.
    Even if the butts are small, they’re still covered with spit and they’re still an eyesore.

    2. I HATE people who feel superior to others because of their jobs. Really. This one irks me. Being rude to a waitress because you earn 10x what she does is just unforgivable . . .

    Ditto on cell phone users in cars.

    Reply
  24. Wilfred Bereswill

    I love NOT being able to see the headlights of the car behind me while hurtling down the highway at 70, uh 60 miles per hour. These fuckers don’t have a clue about safe following distance.

    Reply
  25. Becky LeJeune

    Aw, it wasn’t meant to make you feel selfish. I was simply commiserating and sharing.

    I’m kind of wishing I could just climb back in bed and start today all over — from bed. Today is definitely a stay in bed all day kind of day.

    Reply
  26. Jake Nantz

    Rob,
    Oh God, I know man. Don’t get me started on the people who complain about the complainers. I mean get a life you whiny little…hey, wait a minute…

    Reply
  27. Alexandra Sokoloff

    I am so with you on the FUCKING car phoners. Let them all die.

    But am also with Pari on the people who are rude to wait people. Biggest turnoff ever.

    I would love to rant but I’m too tired.

    Reply
  28. Jeanne in MN

    About the square Midwestern pizza… I grew up with the stuff. I was so ashamed. In the movies and TV the cool people always ate slices of pizza, not little squares. I so wanted to be like that. Now, of course, since all the pizza places have switched to slices, I totally fall in love with a pizza place that cuts the pizza into dozens of little squares! Nostalgia for childhood never goes away.

    Reply
  29. Sylvia

    I loved this blog entry!

    The small pizza squares… umm, no. Small squares only belong on two things – quilts or toilet paper.

    Reply
  30. BCB

    I hate lies and hypocrisy. And bullies. You want to see me rip someone’s head off (yes, literally), just point me in the direction of some jerk picking on a person who is smaller or weaker.

    Other than that, I’m all sunshine and happiness and I love everyone and everything. Really.

    Except shoes. I fucking hate shoes.

    Reply
  31. Janet Reid

    I really want to go with you when you shop for a dishwasher the next time. "With you" meaning standing back as you test-load various models, and laughing uproariously while taking pictures and emailing them to all and sundry.

    Oh, and I hate it when you don’t come to Bouchercon.

    Reply
  32. Susan Paturzo

    I found this because I just read your goodbye post and am really sorry I’ve come so late to the party.

    Re: #2 Cars should come with grenade launchers, imho.

    My addition: People who recline their seats in coach on an airplane. You only have four inches or so of room to start with. Why do the goddamned seats recline anyway? And what kind of moron doesn’t realize how intrusive it is to take the rest of those four inches of personal space? (Probably the same people who text and drive and make right turns in front of you.)

    In the spirit of revenge I offer this tip: When the person in front of you on a plane puts their seat back in you lap turn on the overhead vent thingie full blast and aim it at their head.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  33. Jayaeammbieyie

    TerriMolina, just so you know. I am a teenager, and I dont drive recklessly, destroy property, talk back, or walk around with my underwear hanging out. I am not smartass or aroggant- whereas, anyone with the audacity to stereotype and label a particular group in such foul terms, is. That would be you. So the next time you wish to call names and bash children, do so on your own, adult, site.

    Reply

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