Yesterday evening I was reading Serina Hope's blog in which she listed ten things that get on her nerves. It got me to wondering what kind of curmudgeon I was if I couldn't do the same. So, with thanks to Serina Hope, here is your list of ten things guaranteed to get on Bilbo's nerves (not listed in any particular order):
1. People who get into the supermarket express lane with more than the allowed number of items, then get belligerent when you point it out to them.
2. People at the supermarket who let the cashier finish ringing up their merchandise before suddenly realizing that payment is expected...and then fishing around at great length in the cluttered depths of a vast purse in search of a checkbook or debit card...or digging out a mass of crumpled bills and loose change and laboriously trying to count out the exact amount.
3. Blocking traffic in a parking lot while waiting to get a space as close as possible to their destination...while there may be several vacant spaces just a short distance further on.
4. Loud cell phone conversations in public places about private topics. The rest of us don't need to know about your fight with your girl friend.
5. People who come to my door wanting to convince me that their religion is the one true way. I'm glad you've found your faith. Enjoy it. Now, please go away.
6. Rudeness, in person, on the telephone, or via e-mail. It doesn't take any additional effort to be nice.
7. People who smoke in restaurants or enclosed areas. I appreciate your right to smoke...but smoking is optional for you, while breathing is mandatory for me. And I don't like my clothes to smell like your smoke.
8. The use of loud, vulgar language in public, particularly around children. You know it's gotten bad when you find a town (Virginia Beach, in this instance) that has to post a sign like this:
9. The practice in the United States over the Labor Day weekend of firefighters collecting donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association by flooding major intersections with men carrying large firefighters' boots and encouraging you to "fill the boot" with your loose change. While I applaud the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and think it's a worthwhile cause, I don't appreciate being shaken down while stopped at a traffic light...and besides, it's very dangerous to have firefighters in orange vests walking down the lines between traffic lanes waiting for the next red light while traffic is actually moving.
10. People around the world who'd rather blame "the West" in general or the United States in particular for their problems, rather than looking for the solutions at home and working together to solve them. Having someone to blame for your misfortune is easy...taking the steps to solve the problems is hard. It seems that everyone - particularly in the Middle East - wants the easy way.
Well, that's a representative list of ten things that get on my nerves. Again, thanks to Serina Hope for the idea. And because I tend to be at heart a positive and cheerful person, tomorrow I'll post the opposing viewpoint: ten things that never fail to make me feel good.
Until then, take note of the list above and remember the immortal words of David Banner, television's "Incredible Hulk": "Don't make me angry...you wouldn't like me when I'm angry!"
Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.