I have decided to embrace my inner curmudgeon and, from time to time, provide a list of some things that are annoying me. If you disagree with my choices, then you are annoying me also. Here, in reverse order of blood boilage, are today's nominees:
5. High fructose corn syrup. Does it have to be put into everything? (Well, apparently, yes.) Is it possible that there are people who might not want the empty calories, or who, if they are willing to risk the calories, might want the taste of real sugar? Here in Arizona you can get Coca-Cola made in Mexico with cane sugar; it tastes like Coke did when I was a kid, before the company switched to corn syrup in the US. . . Try finding a barbeque sauce, or a salad dressing, or even a can of soup or loaf of bread at your average supermarket that does not have corn syrup in it. It will be a miracle, and you should build a shrine.
4. Muzak. The other day I was at the dentist’s office and heard, in treacly, instrumental form, “Give me the beat boys/And free my soul/I wanna get lost in your rock and roll/And drift away.” Could there be a more grotesque irony? Satan himself could not have conjured up anything "better" to play in the waiting room in Hell. This beat didn't get me lost in anything, except laughter and a certain degree of existential despair.
3. Hotels where the windows are sealed shut. God forbid anyone would want some fresh air, especially if the place has been renovated and the carpeting, paint, and luxurious particle board furnishings are outgassing their share of “sick building syndrome” fumes. What does the management think we’re going to do? Jump out the window when we get the bill?
2. Store loyalty cards. So now I have to carry a card for every supermarket I frequent if I want to get the sale price on merchandise at checkout. Ooh, I’m a member of the “Safeway Club.” How nice of Safeway to want to keep track of everything I have purchased, feed it into their computer, and target me with mailings. Why, it even tells the checker my name so they can add that "personal" touch and mispronounce it as they thank me for my purchase. (Sheesh, people, "Arenson" is not rocket science. It's "Air-in-sun," not "Arn-eson" or "Air-EN-son" or that pronunciation of people who just don't try, "Anderson.") Privacy? People have forgotten that one of the treasures of being an American is your ability to be anonymous. Think I'm paranoid? Read this and this and this.
1. Ads for TV programs inserted into other TV programs. Marge Simpson recently asked: “Can’t anyone just watch the show they’re watching?” Well, can’t we? It started with those jarring little logos that networks show on the bottom right of the screen. Now it has gotten way out of hand -- little people walking onto the screen amid flashing graphics to advertise their upcoming shows. Fans of Kids in the Hall will understand when I say "I want to crush their heads." Maybe in this age of multitasking and multimedia people are used to absorbing endless quantities of visual clutter. I want to throw a brick at the television.
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