Boy, That’s Annoying!
By Patrick F. Cannon
It’s a rare day that something doesn’t annoy me (and you too, I bet). Just the other day, I was at the grocery store. Ahead of me in the checkout line was a woman who was paying cash – a rare occurrence these days – and didn’t have enough dough to pay the bill! Normally in a situation like this, the customer will give back sufficient items to have her purchases match her cash. Not in this case. She actually made us all wait while she went back to her car to get more cash. She had money in her car!
I watched her through the window as she shuffled to the far reaches of the parking lot, then shuffled back with the cash. All of this took 10 minutes or so on a busy day. During the interim, there was much rolling of eyes. Needless to say, she didn’t think to apologize.
On a more intellectual note, I’m reading a book on movie directors. It’s an interesting and well-written book, but the author generally gives only the titles of the films in their original language – French, Italian, Spanish, etc. – but not the English version for which they are better known to the likes of me. French director Jean Renoir’s La Regle du Jeu is better known to most of us as The Rules of the Game. It’s a deserved classic, as is Renoir’s other well-known film, La Grande Illusion, which fortunately ends up being Grand Illusion in English.
Why did this writer assume everyone knows several languages? As it happens, I’ve taken both French and Spanish in school and can often make a decent translation. Fiction writers are also guilty of inserting foreign-language dialog in their stories, forcing the reader to either haul out a dictionary (which they are unlikely to have) or make a guess. I find this both annoying and arrogant. If there’s too much of it, I simply stop reading.
I have to admit this is partially my fault for even watching, but the local news programs in Chicago spend a considerable amount of their air time pretending that the happenings of their network’s entertainment programs are actual news. While most viewers probably don’t know it, the Chicago outlets of CBS,NBC and ABC are owned by the networks, as are the outlets in New York, Los Angeles and a few other cities.
A 30-minute news program actually has about 22 minutes available for news, weather and sports. In that 22 minutes, there will be at least two endless weather forecasts and a briefer update. After a sports report, and an exciting feature on who has been chosen to appear on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, there is hardly any time left to cover the latest shouting match between Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago Teacher’s Union’s perpetually whining Jesse Sharkey.
I wish I could say that most politicians are just annoying, but they’ve gone beyond that. Many of them are actually scary. Donald Trump only heads a very long list. We know he’s a pathological liar, but what are we to think of the hundreds of Republicans in Congress who amplify those lies in order to get reelected? Lying with a straight face has been elevated to a high art! And before you Democrats start smirking, would you care to count the number of Democrats who have been convicted of public corruption, just in Illinois?
And please don’t get me started on the dwindling number of free parking spaces on the streets of cities, towns and villages across our great land. They’re almost as numerous as the politicians and bureaucrats who wallow in the revenue. And as my dear daughter reminded me, how about the knuckleheads to whom a stop sign or even a stop light are mere suggestions? How annoying are they?
Copyright 2022, Patrick F. Cannon