Friday, June 20, 2008

Favorite Annoyances...

...also known as Pet Peeves.

I think what annoys you tells a lot about who you are so what better way to let you into the inner-thinkings of myself than to confess my pet peeves to you all.

The term pet peeves originated around 1919 with the coupling of peeve, which means to annoy or irritate, with pet, which gives ownership and implies your "favorite" peeve.

I was pretty clever and actually found a pet that peeved me to express it visually. I always hated that STUPID dog in Duck Hunt because you've already missed the ducks, which is frustrating enough in a game that simple, then this stupid dog, which supposedly you own, pops up and laughs at you. Man's best friend? More like man' Yeah, what up now Fido? I swear I wasted half of my ammunition trying to shoot that obnoxious dog.

Well, I guess we'll just jump right into the official Top 10 list of Bobby's Pet Peeves:

#10 - When you're eating at a place that you order and pick up your own food and there is a blank on the receipt for "Tips"

I'm doing all the work (for the most part) and hardly any responsibility is on the person taking down the order yet there is just that little hint of a guilt trip. Sometimes I even emphatically draw a line through it as if they will see it and say "Wow, he means business". It just seems so pointless. I actually ate at a Fazoli's (Italian fast food) the other day and I ordered and sat down with my food and drink and a woman came up to the table and introduced herself as my waitress. That's like going to Alaska, digging for gold, finding gold, then some old prospector coming up to you and asking if you need help cashing it in. I already did all the work!

#9 - When someone (usually a girl) starts to say something then says "nevermind"

You have probably all done this, I probably have too, but it drives me up the wall. Someone starts a sentence then cuts it short and says "well, nevermind". I probably wasn't paying attention before they said that but now that they did I HAVE to know. It's the lure of the unattainable. You know before, when you were just going to tell me, I didn't care, but now that you're withholding I absolutely must find out. This one is probably unique to me but for some reason it just gets me every time.

The next 3 deal with people trying to convince me (or others) of things

#8 - A person is absolutely sure that the college* they attended is the best

Now I have my school pride, don't get me wrong, but I'm not going to try and convince someone that the school I paid a ton of money to go to is better than the college they paid a ton of money to go to. It's not as if I say "Hey, Baylor has a beautiful campus and is getting better in sports" and then that person will say "You know, you're right. I am wrong." That's not how it goes, ever. Why can't we just be content to cheer FOR the school you went to or that you like and everyone just agree to disagree.

*This also applies to states. Everyone likes their state. That's fine. Let's stop trying to convince people that our state is better than theirs. It's not as if states can fight and determine which is better.

#7 - People trying to convert me to liking country music.....gross

This is especially annoying. I know I grew up in Abilene, Texas where it is unusual to not like country music but please, don't think that after 26 years of disliking country music, YOU will be the one to convince me to like it. Many friends, family members, and ex-girlfriends have attempted to this and I still hate it. Let's just leave it at that.

#6 - I'm a picky eater, stop trying to expand my taste buds

I am a very...."particular" eater. I know what I like and what makes me dry heave. I know that you might like this food group or think that someone must be crazy to not like it but please refrain from attempting to get me to "try this". I am perfectly content not eating chinese food, onions, mushrooms, guacamole, tomatoes, fish, sour cream, artichoke hearts, any salad, sweet potatoes, and countless other delicacies. So let me enjoy my meat and potatoes and stop trying to be a food pusher.

#5 - Abbreviations
So these are especially troubling. We must weigh the options: On one hand you can save time and say stuff faster, on the other hand you can talk normal and not get punched in the face. It is so annoying when someone text messages you OMG, it is even more annoying when they SAY OMG. Horrible. And even abbreviating places and things. "Oh yeah, you'll BRB, well not if I kick you in the throat!". Don't worry, I'm just kidding....or is it jk?

#4 - When driving, the people who wait until the last possible second to merge into your lane

This one has been recently applicable in my recent commutes to Dallas on I-20. There are a few portions of the highway where they are doing construction and it breaks down to one lane. Normal people get over fairly close to when the lane closure happens but then some cool guy comes flying in as the cones close down his path with his turn signal on. If these yokels would just get over when it says then everyone would go through the construction much faster instead of everyone having to wait in line to let the Mercedes in. I just wish I could coach them on how to navigate through construction AND not be a moron.

The next two involve movies...

#3 - The movie question askers

This happens when you're in a movie, typically in the theater, and a very curious person is sitting next to you. They constantly are asking you what is happening, "Do you think he knows what she did?, Is he going to go in there?, Is she dead?, Do you smell that?". This always happens in a movie that we're seeing for the first time and I'm being asked questions as if I can predict the future. Now, I know that I usually have an answer for everything but why don't we both just watch the movie and see what happens?

#2 - The pre-quoter

This situation goes down when you're watching a movie many of you have seen before and it is "_____'s" favorite movie. This person feels compelled to demonstrate their expertise in movie knowledge by not only quoting the movie, but doing so 3-5 seconds before the line is said in the movie. It's like watching Tombstone in a huge cavern with an echo. It totally ruins all those great lines. So sit back, wait for the line to actually be spoken, say it along with Kurt Russell and then be content in your knowledge. Thank you.

And the Number One pet peeve according to Bobby Austin:

#1 - The neverending windshield wiper

So we're driving down the road and it starts raining. Inevitably, you turn on your windshield wipers, because no one likes to be blind when it's raining. Then it stops raining, yet you are wary of the rain and decide it might come crashing down again at any moment so you leave the windshield wipers the same speed.....for 5-10 more minutes. Are you that enthralled by the song/conversation/make-up touch up that you allow the worst sound in the world over and over again? I ask you, is there a worse noise than two windshield wipers going up and down on a completely dry windshield? I say no. So do me a favor, use the wipers when it's raining, but when it stops, please, please, please just reach your hand over to the other side of the steering wheel and make one simple click. Just for me.

So I'm sure many of you have done these around me and are now going to be self-conscious that you'll annoy me but don't worry. Awareness is the first step. And even though this comes across very angry, none of these have ever led me to commit a felony so no worries.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Duuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhh Dum....

Since it is summer, I am reminded of one of my favorite past-times.....Shark Week!

It's difficult to explain but I feel like I can't miss a day of Shark Week on The Discovery Channel every summer. It's not as if the shows are different, they're actually usually the same thing over and over again: "Shark Attacks: Up Close & Personal", "Diving with the Great White", or "Sharks: Predator or Prey?". None of those are actual names of shows, that I know of, but I wouldn't be surprised if all three made the cut.

The thing that makes it hard to explain is that I am absolutely terrified of sharks. Not terrified like "man, sharks sure are scary" but terrified like "are you sure this swimming pool doesn't have a direct link to the ocean?". I can remember when I was a little kid and we would go to the community swimming pool and there was this huge drain at the bottom, just like every pool in the world. Somehow I became convinced that underneath that drain there was a huge shark that the lifeguards let out whenever they wanted (but not the blonde-haired lifeguard I had a crush a 5-year old). I would jump off the high dive, which was impressive enough for a little kid, then swim as fast as possible to the side ladder. Sometimes, if I timed it just right, I wouldn't even touch the water. I would go so fast that I would literally fly to the side, like that crazy running lizard (I think it's pretty obvious at this point but you should know, I had a pretty big imagination as a child).

Things have improved considerably as I've matured. I can now swim in a pool without a harpoon gun. There is still a problem though involving large bodies of water; lakes, oceans, suspicious-looking puddles. You see, when I can't beneath me it lets my imagination run wild. I've tried to Wakeboard probably 3 or 4 times, never being able to get up. At times it is pretty frustrating but all I can think while I am holding the rope with my feet in the boots is: "how many natural predators live in this lake?", "what just brushed my foot?", "could i strangle a shark with this rope?".

It's an irrational fear of sharks. I know there aren't any sharks in lakes (allegedly...) but there will be just one time, in some freak occurrence, when a salt-water shark eats someone in a fresh-water lake. And you know what, that someone could be me!

I think that's where Shark Week comes in. I try to combat my irrational fear with education. If I know everything there is to know about sharks then when I'm confronted with a crisis situation I'll be able to slip right into survival mode. And if I'm educated enough, then maybe, just maybe, I'll pull a Crocodile Hunter* on the shark and have an awesome pet.

And to think, all this could have been avoided if I hadn't watched Jaws 2 as a child....

*It should be noted that when referring to himself trying to "pull a Crocodile Hunter" the author does not mean the time the Crocodile Hunter was killed by a sting ray but the infinite number of times before that he conquered the untameable beasts of the wild.