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My pet peeves

GAYS MILLS - This seems like a good time of year to list some pet peeves.  We all have them, little things that bug, bug, bug us. There are those that don’t seem to be irritated by peeves, but don’t you think they are annoyed deep down inside and are just too evolved to show it? 

So here are a few of my peeves, by category:

Driving. People that don’t signal annoy me. I think I remember from Drivers Ed (57 years ago!) that you are supposed to signal at least 100 feet before you turn.  I know, I know, people in small towns don’t need to signal….because everyone knows where they’re going. But when we get out of our local habitat, people we don’t know don’t signal and it’s rude. It does keep you on your toes and attentive however.

And that brings us to inattentive driving. There are many more interesting ways to be inattentive now with cell, excuse me, smart phones and other devices. Occasionally, and not often enough, I walk to the store which is a half-mile away on a state highway. It’s one of the riskiest things I do; it seems that half the people I see whooshing by are “on the phone,” some of them even texting. Sheesh! 

Talking. People that get into my “bubble.” We all have a personal space that feels comfortable for us and right for general conversation. Some ethnic groups have very small spaces, they get right up close when they talk to each other. Being half German, I have a large space requirement. My bubble has a radius of about two-and-a-half feet; anyone closer than that and I find myself backing up.

Also in the talking category are open mouth food chewers and eating talkers. Besides being potentially messy, witnessing these habits is gross. If you’re lunching with someone, your chance to talk is when they are eating and vice versa. Makes for a fairly even give-and-take way to talk and eat.

Packaging. I have a pair of peeves here. One is the possibly bombproof packaging that things come in these days. I’d like to see sometime just how products are sealed into the tough plastic, form-fitting packages manufacturers use.   I suppose the packages cut down on shoplifting but I often have to resort to using some tools to get at what I got.

The other packaging gripe is overly roomy shipping boxes.  We get quite a few packages in the mail. Recently, there were three UPS-delivered boxes sitting on the porch when I got home. The stack was three-feet high and about two-feet square. I didn’t remember ordering that much stuff. Picking up the boxes, they felt empty, and they almost were. One box was mostly filled with one piece of wadded up plain brown paper at least two-feet wide and 30-feet long. Down in the bottom, taking up an estimated three to fie percent of the box, I kid you not, was what was ordered. Another box was chuck full of those air-filled bags that have become common. The big box contained another lonesome product taking up maybe four percent of the plastic nest it was in. The third box was similar. The entire net yield of cargo from these three boxes could have been put in a shoebox. I can’t believe this is a good way to do business, but it does stimulate a possible future column. Where does all that new, pristine cardboard go as it enters the recycling stream? It’s time for some research.

There, I feel better having vented a bit.