The Seven Stupid Habits of Highly Annoying People (a disenbrained rant)

August 15, 2011

Some people are OK. For instance, you are seven months pregnant and you just boarded the bus or train. The moppy-hair kid with the PSP takes note, invites you to have his seat while he disembowels opponents on Mortal Kombat, standing. He’s not so bad and chances are you won’t spend the next 30 minutes developing increasingly vile scenarios by which he meets his inevitable doom. A win-win situation for the both of you.

However, many (most?) of the people you encounter throughout the rest of your day are probably less palatable. The world we live in has spawned a race of people who bond together in silent accord over a set of behaviors (habits) which are the topic of this week’s posting. It’s not that these people are malicious (although some certainly are), rather, this subsection of humanity has devolved into a sort of self-unaware conglomerate of energy consuming cells seemingly bent on creating a less habitable world for us all. By consciously choosing not to be cognizant of their actions (or more importantly, the impact of their actions) they have laid the foundation for a society which progressively cares little for the common good in preference for a type of F U Individuality that increasingly defines our societal fabric. Some of these habits are merely a nuisance. Others generate the sort of vitriol that, over the long stretch of history, may effectively Darwinesque them into a forgotten oblivion. The reader should feel free to parse the following habits into appropriate buckets, and, if a responsible citizen, should feel a sense of obligation to call out offenders when they act in such a manner. Together, we the denizens of a better future, hold strong under a flailing banner of optimism and the prospect that tomorrow can be better if we manage to wash the following patterns of behavior from civil society. I present to you , in no specific order, The Seven Stupid Habits of Highly Annoying People:

  1. Obsessive Social Media Updating – The inane details of your pathetic life are readily available to every poor sot who felt obligated to return the favor of a connect (be it a circle inclusion, a friending or a Twitter connect). What prompts you to think that it is a good idea to share, with several hundred people, useless nuggets of trivial data about your sad little world? Your “breakfast tasted great” huh? Do you think I really give a shit? Did I make that breakfast for you? Are you complimenting my culinary skills? No, to all of the above. You simply had a little extra time on your hands and thought it would be appropriate to share this micro revelation with the world. Are you bored? Do you simply need attention? Are you in search of confirmation? Are you fishing for information about other peoples’ breakfasts because you have absolutely nothing better to do? Did your decision to make this announcement cause you to bump another task into the ‘incomplete’ pile? If yes, I’d love to know what profundity played second fiddle to this announcement. Actually, no I wouldn’t and neither would any of your ‘friends’, jackass. Next time you are in a restaurant and decide it’s a good idea to share your feeling about the meal, stand-up and announce in a big, bold voice to all restaurant patrons your thoughts. Consider the looks they return and assume that people on the other end of the social media continuum are expressing the exact same response to your update. Bon Appetite.

    pointless facebook update

    Ms. Ham, I'm surprised you even know what pants are

  2. Honking Immediately at the Start of a Green Light – I’m still unclear as to why this isn’t against the law. Oh, wait, it is and for a reason no doubt. Do you think that the people in front of you are intentionally not moving because they want to sit idle in their car wasting petrol? Are you concerned that other drivers may be blind, or perhaps just as stupid as you are? What if everyone participating in this behavior? Wouldn’t that be enjoyable where every time a light turned green a 100 decibels of screech raped everyones’ eardrums. Maybe you would even prefer to extend this brilliant methodology to stop signs? Did it not occur to you that it takes a least a fraction of a second to remove one’s foot from the brake in order to place it on the accelerator? Are you capable of executing two mutually exclusive tasks in the same point along the space-time continuum? No? Then why do you expect that a queue of five drivers in front of you are simultaneously capable of this impossible feat? Next time you ask this of me, I’m going to put my car in park, get out, rip your antenna off with my teeth then beat you senselessly with it. Fair Warning.
  3. Saying Something, Anything During a Meeting – Silence can be golden. An opportunity for thoughts to simmer, to marinate. A chance for next level thinking to take root and blossom after deliberate consideration of points. Unfortunately for you, the half-second of silence provided ample opportunity to reveal to everyone that you do in fact have a functioning pulse (often to the dismay of many). It’s not as if your contribution added anything valuable to the process, you simply felt it necessary to be heard even if what you said was a mere reconfiguration of the words in the previous utterance. Your aim is not knowledge-expansion, bridge-building, clarification or empathy, rather, it is simply a ploy to register your physical presence in the room. A fart, burp, groan or smacking noise as a result of a self-punch could have been registered with the same effect. Nobody in the room gained anything from your decision to speak, instead, you have managed to (at least minimally) derail thought processes as people now must take a brief pause to consider why it remains advantageous for society to permit you to consume limited oxygen resources in these times of creeping over-population. Next time you are in a meeting and a moment of silence descends upon the participants, do yourself a favor by picking up your laptop and smashing yourself in the face effectively registering your presence to all. This way, instead of people fretting for a their ration of limited oxygen, they can ponder the prospect of you hitting yourself too hard, rendering yourself unconscious and unable to continue your participation in the current and possibly (hopefully) future meetings.
  4. Leaving Long, Instructive Voicemail Greetings – Thomas Edison first applied for a U.S. patent for voice recording technology in 1877. Fastforward 134 years and it is fair to say that, as a civilization, we have had ample time to understand the purpose for and methodology of leaving a voice message.  If your incoming caller is in anyway confused about what to do and requires instructions on how to leave a voice message, you should reevaluate who you keep in your circle of friends, and perhaps even consider administering selective jockpunts. I think it would be prudent for us all to cut down the VM greeting to a simple “Thanks for calling, pls leave a message”. If the person on the other end gets confused and suddenly decides to eat his handset instead of leaving a message, consider yourself a useful societal filter, effectively weeding out communication from people who have less sense than a Raisinet. If you choose not to shave down your greeting message, I’m going to have to assume one of two things: (A) You think I enjoy wasting my time listening to stupid instructions from you and your automated lady friend (B) Your decision to leave said message is a calculated assessment of my intelligence level. In either case, I will take the following action to remedy the situation (and to further mitigate stress upon my system): contact everyone you have labelled as a mortal enemy and do my best to become a sincere companion of theirs. We will then pool together and develop a program which reroutes all your calls to Miss Cleo’s line discouraging anyone from ever trying to call you again.  
  5. Setting the Car Alarm to Hyper-Sensitive  –  Nobody wants to steal your 1989 Honda Civic with chrome rims and a broken exhaust system. The fact that you adhered the rear spoiler to your trunk with twine and duct tape should have tipped you off that you drive a worthless piece of crap, unjustified for any level of protection. Why do you feel it is necessary for your car to make a noise when the garbage truck rolls by? Are you in some way competing? I’d like to propose a benchmark, a sort of threshold if you will. If your car alarm is worth more than 3% of the value of your car, you should really take a good, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are capable of making judicious financial decisions. More importantly though (for the rest of the hearing public) please ask yourself the following question: “Is there a direct correlation between the marginal volume of my car alarm and the increasing impetus for a random citizen to intervene should that same car alarm sound?” If you don’t understand this question, research has told me that the best method of car security for your particular situation would be to leave a half-dozen king cobras on the dashboard of your car as they will certainly be a more effective deterrent. I hope those subwoofers destroy your hearing rendering you one step closer to complete biological failure.

    snakes on a car

    pythons are good, but cobras are more effective

  6. Not Getting Out of the Way  – Perhaps the KING of HABITS for the completely self-unaware individual, and, unfortunately, one which makes an appearance in multiple aspects of daily life. Be it at the grocery store, on the road, in a parking lot, on a sidewalk, the supremely self-unaware individual is just that; unaware that they are blocking many other people with their ignorance. They clog up the fast lane, they’re blind to the fact that their shopping cart is preventing anyone else from moving in the aisle, and they can’t seem to grasp the concept that other people move at different paces along the sidewalk. It’s frustrating. It’s rampant. It should have some penalty attached to it. For God’s sake, have some sense of self or at least be cognizant of the fact the you are not the only person occupying space on planet earth. This mentality (or lack thereof) even extends to things such as not stunning your phone at appropriate times (in a movie theatre, funeral, during a speech, etc). Is it really possible that you haven’t quite learned how to properly use that electronic device, or are you simply just the kind of asshole that put his singular interest above the collective interests of impacted hundreds? Either way, society would be better off without you. Your penalty? Each time you block or otherwise disturb more than 2 people at once, the blocked/disturbed people are permitted to set fire to whatever object has assisted you in the offense. Your cellphone? A couple squirts of kerosene and a match. Your car? Molotov cocktail. Your grocery cart? Lighter fluid in aisle 5, matches right next to it. We should all take notes from this man as he is truly and innovator:  
  7. Littering – Yep, good ‘ol fashion littering. The sort of misdemeanor crime which screams “I’m still several chromosomes shy of 46 and I advertise this to all by revealing my inability to delineate where I should shit from where I should eat.”It is nothing short of amazing that there are seemingly so many people in a civilized society that haven’ t grasped the importance of separating these duties. I think stiffer penalties should be employed (and aggressively enforced) which not only impact the wallet of the littering offender but also create a perspective which can be used to teach the ignorant person. Specifically, a law proposal: one room in the offender’s home shall be filled to the ceiling with rubbage from the local landfill. The refuse must stay in place for a period of 30 days after which, the garbage is to be extracted by a clean up crew at the litterer’s expense. We can’t (yet) improve the biological condition of these criminals (they will remain chromosomally challenged for the foreseeable future), although, we can take steps to increase their awareness by providing them with some practical experience in the impacts of their stupidity.
    penalty for littering

    penalty for littering

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    I wrote a book. At $2.99, it’s a freakin’ bargain. Click the image below to learn more:

    debut novel Where's Unimportant

    Fortunately, the book is an Indie project, so your hard earned money won’t further enrich media-controlling assholes like this guy:

    Sadly, for many, Murdoch controls what media you consume

    Sadly, for many, Murdoch controls the media you consume...do you know how expansive his empire is?? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_Corporation

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Extreme Fire Escape Gardening – Part II

July 11, 2011

This Part II post is a continuation from the Part I post on Extreme Fire Escape Gardening. It’s been about 1 1/2 months since the bulk of the garden was planted and things are growing, well, a bit unevenly:

uneven growth

uneven growth

The cayenne plant pictured above has been a real asshole. He produced two small peppers then proceeded to halt growth and drop all of his leaves apart from one brownish-yellowish thing dangling from one side.  As a contrast, many of the other plants are doing well, as evidence, I present the Thai Chili above. To teach the cayenne pepper a lesson, I ripped it out:

Game Over, I Win

Game Over, I Win.


MODIFICATIONS

Since the last blog post on the fire escape garden, there have been some additions & expansions taking place. After a pretty successful dumpster-dive in a skanky nook of Bush Terminal, I scavenged a decorative metal wire thing which I clamped to the fire escape ladder. Inside it, I planted the newest addition: 2 tomato plants bringing the total garden to 50 plants (also includes 2 lychee trees currently being grown in tomato sauce cans from seeds):

tomato plants clamped to fire escape ladder

tomato plants clamped to fire escape ladder

Another modification made to the garden spawned from my father’s debilitative addiction to mitigating what he perceives to be safety threats. Convinced I would fall to my death from the fire escape, during his last visit, he spent an hour or so tying together a rather elaborate safety net out of rope, closing off the large hole leading to the level below. This netting was an excellent addition as it increased the footprint of the garden allowing me to replant some quickly growing plants in bigger containers. For the containers, I walked down to a construction site a couple blocks from my apartment and hit the jackpot: three 5 gallon paint buckets and some 2″x4″ scraps. Unfortunately, one bucket was clearly used as a toilet for the construction crew, so, there was a rather lengthy bucket cleaning process required, the details of which I shall withhold.  After shoving the 2″x4″ into the safety netting and cutting the 5-gallon buckets to size, the garden looked quite a big larger:

Fire escape garden

Fire escape garden

You’ll also notice there is now some sort of trellis thing sitting atop the two dresser drawer pots. It’s actually an IKEA chair I picked up on 40th Street and DORKTURPIDVAARTED to stabilize the growing plants. Working like a charm so far, and proving that IKEA furniture is not 100% useless crap.

WATERING THE NEIGHBORS

Unfortunately, my neighbor below me hasn’t been spending much time on the fire escape, so I haven’t been able to douse him with water. Pity. Instead, he appears to be using his fire escape section for a couple new purposes:

  1. dirty dish staging area – for several weeks I’ve noticed the same half-eaten burritos and sandwiches rotting in the summer sun on these plates (a half-dozen of them complete with utensils).
  2. large stuffed animal storage area – the kind of human-sized stuffed bear that I recall seeing (in my childhood days) being carried around in large plastic bags at Six Flags by dudes with wife-beaters and thick gold chains.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the trash gets taken out and new neighbors are inserted below.

SO, WHAT’S WORKING, WHAT’S NOT?

So, for the most part, things are taking off, peppers are coming in quickly and a few things have been harvested:
some of that sweet, sweet booty

some of that sweet, sweet booty

Ok, the harvest has been rather meager thus far, but many of the plants have a dozen or so buds on them and I’m expecting big numbers for the next post. Current harvest is at: 3 Banana Peppers, 1 Thai Chili, 6 Cayenne, 1 Jalapeno, 1 Cherry. Part of the problem I’m noticing is that the plants in the clear pots getting the most sun tend to be the bitchiest. I think this has to do with too much sunlight getting through to the roots. I’m planning to do a little re-potting this week if I can find the right kind of trash to fix the issue. I noticed a new dumpster at a build site over on 43rd, so I think I may go get vertical and see what I can find. The plants in the wooden and opaque plastic pots are doing the best…big dark-green leaves, lots of buds.

FUCK BASIL

So the basil plant has been a pain in the ass here lately. I’ve planted basil numerous times in the past and it always grows like a freakin’ weed. This year I had to pretty much ravage the damn thing just to cook up one pot of pasta sauce. It droops, it has brown spots all over, it’s not growing and my pesto is moving further and further away. I’ve tried threatening the plant and even showed it the lifeless body of the recent cayenne fatality as proof of my ability to execute on my threats.

Just last week though, basil and I had a bit of a breakthrough. When I replanted it in one of the 5-gallon buckets, it’s health started to improve and new shoots popped out of the top. We are in the process of rekindling our relationship, but until I see substantial progress I’ll continue to use the carrot and stick approach.

Join me next week as I’ll be in southern Utah scoping out the polygamist communities attempting to test-drive FLDS as a potential religion to immerse myself in next:

HERE IS THE POLYGAMY POST: https://danielshortell.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/one-wife-two-wives-three-wives-four-five-wives-six-wives-seven-wives-really-more/

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I wrote a book called Where’s Unimportant. It’s a literary fiction piece about one man’s failed attempt at the American Dream. For a mere $3 you can buy the ebook at your favorite ebook retailer. Or, for $11 you can buy the paperback on Amazon. Visit me at www.danielshortell.com.

Debut novel - Where's Unimportant

Debut novel - Where's Unimportant