Archive for July, 2010

People aren’t the only idiots on the planet

Lucky for us.

I decided to take a little break from the human bashing, since I assume most of my readers are human, to point out that animals can be pretty idiotic too. And any form of idiocy gives me conniptions. Sure, I might be kind of misanthropic, for reasons I think are abundantly obvious, but I don’t give animals a break either. I go a little easier on them, mostly because of their incapacity for higher thought, but sometimes they incur my rage too.

Like my cats, for example.

I have two cats, and right now we have a third that we’re taking care of for a friend while her living situation gets sorted out. So we have three cats right now. Oh, the shenanigans these assholes get up to. But I’m going to talk about one particular shenanigan today.

Every weekday, I get up at 5:45 AM to drive Significant Other to the train station. Then I come home and get ready to work. The litter box is in my office (I don’t know WHY I decided this would be a good fucking idea), so usually I clean it in the morning so it’s not stinking up my office space for the rest of the day.

So earlier this week I come home from the train station, come into the office to start my computer, and see that one of the cats has taken a huge dump right next to the litter box. Literally not a foot away from where the actual litter box is (and it’s been in the same place since we moved in, so it’s not like I moved it to fuck with them or anything). What the fuck, cats?

I have no idea which cat did this, but boy was I fucking pissed. At 7 AM, the last thing I want to be doing is cleaning shit up off the carpet. And the litter box wasn’t a disaster, so I can’t figure out what compelled one of my cats to do their business on the floor instead of in the litter box. Did they have to go so bad that they couldn’t walk the additional six inches to their fucking box? Was one of the other cats taking too long in the litter box? Or did one of their tiny little brains just malfunction? It’s additionally baffling because one of the perks of cats is that you really don’t usually have to litter box train them. They just know that’s where they’re supposed to go. And none of these cats qualify as tiny kittens anymore, so I can’t write it off as inexperience or something. The youngest of them is at least over a year old, probably two, and the oldest is three. I KNOW YOU FUCKERS KNOW HOW TO USE THE LITTER BOX. I SEE YOU DO IT MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY.

If I’m going to be cleaning up their shit every day anyway, the least they could do is keep it in the designated area. Seeing as I also provide them with food (one of my cats is definitely too stupid to be able to fend for himself) and shelter, and they basically have the run of the place, ALL I WANT IS FOR THEM TO STOP SHITTING ON THE CARPET.

I can’t decide if it’s admirable that it was so close to the litter box, like they almost made it, or if it’s more infuriating because they were too fucking lazy to cover that extra six inches. Right now I’m leaning toward the latter, though.

One of the reasons it’s more enraging when an animal does something stupid is because there is no form of retribution. It’s not like with a human, where you can point something out to them directly, either politely or not, or do something passive-aggressive to get revenge. With animals, you just have to let it go (and in case you didn’t notice, I’m not in the habit of doing that). In most cases the animal is too dumb to remember, and even if they remembered, you can’t do anything in retaliation unless it’s immediate. My cats are terrified of the sound of canned air, for example. But since by the time I got home, the shit had already happened—literally—and there was no culprit in sight, chasing the cats around with canned air would have accomplished nothing. They might have been terrified, but they wouldn’t have known why, and that would be worthless, although amusing.

So I was stuck scrubbing the carpet, and then emptying and rinsing their whole litter box, just in case it was offending their delicate sense of smell or something, and muttering curse words under my breath the whole time. Not satisfying at all. Especially not at 7 AM.

I guess pets of any kind are just lucky that we crave their companionship, because otherwise when something like this happened, there’d really be no reason not to just send them out the door. Then they could shit wherever they wanted!

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I have my own super-wonderful and interesting life, thanks

The Internet is great in many ways. For example, it allows you to read this blog, and that is obviously excellent. However, it also sucks in a lot of ways, too. For example, it allows people to think every tiny event in their life is earth-shattering. Or maybe they don’t think that, but it allows people to write about common events in their life as though they are earth-shattering, and that might be more annoying. I can’t decide what makes me more angry: a person who thinks that everything that happens to them is epic, or a person who wants everyone else to think everything in his or her life is epic.

Breaking news: Your life isn’t that exciting. Yes, this applies to everyone. Sometimes exciting things happen in an average person’s life, like signing a record deal or winning the lottery or graduating college. These are events that are exciting for you, and are probably even life-changing and thus world-shattering. For you. But the rest of the world doesn’t care, even when the events are legitimately momentous to you.

So it’s even worse when people insist on sharing all the mundane happenings in their life as if they’re the first person these things have ever happened to. OMG, you had oatmeal this morning?! INCREDIBLE! HOLY CRAP, IT’S RAINING WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW? Unbelievable! Your pet just did something adorable?! HOW INTERESTING!

People seem to think this is an effect of the Internet and things like Twitter and Facebook. Hate to break it to those people, but it’s not. People have always been like this. Those websites just make it more fucking annoying. BUT you have the ability to unfollow or hide people who are like this, thank goodness. So I actually find it way more annoying in face-to-face interactions. Clearly if you’re talking to a friend, you guys will talk about things going on in your lives, and you will each care about what the other says. But there’s a difference between talking about the mundane things in a normal way and putting extra importance on them. Because when people try to emphasize these things like they’re earth-shattering, it starts to sound like they’re trying to compete with other people, like their life is so much more exciting or important because of all these things that are happening. When really, they are the same things that are happening to other people around the world all the time. In the end, these people sound like tools. Next time someone does this to you, feel free to punch them in the face. You have The Anger Ball Seal of Approval for this action.

A corollary of this is people who try to act like these everyday events are not only momentous but also more impactful for them, or that they understand these things on a deeper level than us plebeians. Like the person you know who sees a movie that most people agree is awesome and thought-provoking (Inception, for example) and has to say that it meant more to them for whatever dumbass bullshit reason they come up with. Uh…right. Fuck off, okay? Breaking news: You liked a fucking movie that a million other people also liked. Get over yourself.

I call this Special Snowflake Syndrome, and many other things I’ve ranted about on this blog fall into this category. I understand the urge to distinguish yourself from the 6 billion other people on the planet, but it just enrages me after a while. If you have to constantly remind other people about how special you think you are, odds are you aren’t all that special. Just like how people who are inherently talented in some way don’t have to constantly remind others of this talent, so it should hold that people who are truly special in some way (which sometimes has to do with talent) probably don’t have to constantly talk about it. And by constantly talking about it, you actually draw more attention to the fact that you aren’t special. So shut your damn mouth.

I’m not saying that things can’t have a deeper meaning for some people based on past life experiences. But people who are usually genuinely deeply affected by a book, song, movie, etc., again don’t generally have the need to rub it in other people’s faces, and that’s why it’s easy to spot a bullshitter from miles away. Someone suffering from Special Snowflake Syndrome is going to try and lord that supposed deeper understanding over you so they feel superior and, thus, special. Someone who is genuine might mention how it meant more to them, maybe “I was really moved by that book, I think partly because of the relationship I have with my mom,” but they aren’t going to try and belittle your experience of the same book or repeat the fact that it was so much more meaningful to them.

Usually I just walk away from people experiencing Special Snowflake Syndrome so I don’t accidentally murder them in a rage-induced blackout, but I think instead I’ll start trying to out-special them by getting progressively more ridiculous. “I feel like they wrote that song just for me because I had a really bad break-up with my boyfriend once!” Oh, really? How interesting and unique! Try this rebuttal: “I know they wrote that song for me because if you play it backward it is word-for-word a journal entry I made in 1998!” Oops, suddenly I’m more special than you! And if they try to say it’s too ridiculous to be true, you can point out that their reason is too mundane to be relevant. Oh, I’m sorry, did I just shatter your self-importance, Special Snowflake?

All in a day’s work.

The Anger Ball vs. Wednesday: Pt. 10

I have vanquished Wednesday once again! But a good warrior always admits when help was had, and oh, did I ever have help this week. First, Tuesday, turncoat that he is, was on my side this week (although I know better than to expect this every week). Monday, who tends to remain a neutral party, also decided to join the side of good instead of evil.

This should have been sufficient, but Wednesday had a trick up her sleeve this week: she manipulated time. This was by far the most excruciatingly slow day I have ever experienced, and just when I was worried I would fail despite the help of Monday and Tuesday, Significant Other entered in the clutch with the most powerful of all assists: a cupcake.

Yes, that’s right. With the help of a cupcake, I was able to conquer Wednesday even as she slowed time to a snail’s pace, trying to wear down my resolve to emerge triumphant. I daresay without SO’s help this week, Wednesday would have managed to scrape a win. But, as always, SO is dependable in a tight spot.

And so, yours truly wins again! But not every week can be sprinkled with cupcakes, and so now I must make preparations for next week’s battle.

The Anger Ball: 5
Wednesday: 2

Don’t worry, I’ll just wait here all day while you finish

There are few things on the planet more torturous than shopping. And I mean any kind of shopping. Clothes, groceries, household items, electronics—doesn’t matter; shopping sucks. Because unless you’re shopping on the Internet, you’re basically willingly subjecting yourself to other people. And most of those other people are going to be self-involved assholes who left their manners at home.

But let’s face it: shopping is necessary. Most of it can be done online now, thank goodness, because I’m pretty sure that’s what keeps the homicide rates down.

I find grocery shopping to be the most annoying, personally. And of course I’m going to tell you why! Everyone needs food. Our new grocery store is gigantic and is literally a two-minute drive away, so it negates the potential usefulness of using Fresh Direct or some service like that. So we go shopping in person, once a week, because we need food, just like everyone else. And every week I want to die in the middle of the grocery store because people are so oblivious to their surroundings.

The aisles at our store are pretty wide, but they have some displays and things that make it so only one cart can pass certain areas at a time. So when someone’s perusing the aisle, guess where they like to park their cart? EVERY TIME. Right in front of the fucking display. So NOBODY CAN GET AROUND. Because clearly their time and convenience are all that matter; not the fact that they’re fucking blocking the aisle as they meander around like a drunk looking for exactly the right type of bread. Breaking news: This isn’t your fucking personal grocer. Move your damn cart before I ram mine into your shins.

And you can’t even imagine the clusterfuck that is the butcher’s section. People just leave their carts scattered around that area like it’s a war zone, and there’s no way to get around them. I usually take my cart and wait in a completely different aisle while Significant Other picks out various types of meat because it’s impossible to navigate that area without either hitting another cart or hitting a person. It’s like all the other shoppers got ADD as soon as they arrived at the meat section and just left their cart wherever it was when they wandered off to look at something shiny.

However, the most frustrating part of shopping, and I’m sure you saw this coming, is checkout. The invention of self-checkout is glorious, but most people are too fucking stupid to use it. There are about 6 self-checkout aisles at our grocery store. I think two of them are clearly labeled “25 items or fewer” (which, to me, is still too many items for a self-checkout, but whatever). And then the rest are just for whoever wants to use them.

The problem is that WITHOUT FAIL the people who want to use these lanes are IDIOTS. They have a cart that is literally overflowing with food, they can’t read the screen or work the machine, and they take their fucking sweet time doing everything. Also, apparently most the people in this area are illiterate because every time I’ve gone shopping, I’ve seen people using the “25 items or fewer” lanes who quite obviously have more than 25 items. Breaking news: Those are supposed to be express lanes, for people like me who ran in to buy three items and don’t want to wait five days to check out because you don’t know how to spell “peppers” on the machine to look up the price. Go to a regular checkout line and save yourself from the dirty looks people like me are going to give you for being an idiot.

The other day I ran in to buy one thing that we had forgotten during regular shopping, and I got on line at the self-checkout behind a woman who appeared to be almost done with her stuff. Her cart was fucking full of bags of things already scanned, and she was finishing up. Little did I know she had actually been there for two days because of the pace of her scanning. It was: Scan….beep….pause to examine the item in her hand….look at the price on the screen even though the screen SAYS the price when you scan it….look at the item again….stick it in a bag….take the next item….scan…etc. After two fucking items I wanted to shove her out of the way and do the rest of it myself. It was unbelievable. It took her 15 minutes to scan like 6 items. How is that even possible? It’s possible when people don’t give two shits about the other people around them or when they don’t want to admit they need help. Look, there’s no shame in having (or wanting) to go to the regular checkout. Plenty of people do it. So leave the self-checkout for people who know what the fuck is going on around them.

Then two days ago, I again had to run in for something (what can I say, SO and I are shit at making grocery lists) and I got behind a woman who was scanning her last item. Then she goes to pay and realizes she forgot her credit card. I can’t even fathom the idiocy involved here. My credit card is always in my wallet. Where the fuck else would it be? And if I’m fucking going shopping, I’m certainly going to check that it’s there before I leave the house, especially if I have a penchant for doing ridiculously moronic things. But I guess that requires forethought, which most people seem to lack. But on top of this act of stupidity, the woman then had to turn to me and be like “I forgot my card!” There was a minute where I thought she was going to ask me to pay for her groceries, no lie. Asshole, I don’t work here. I don’t care if you forgot your card, and I certainly can’t do shit about it. Go get an employee and ask them what to do. Next time, try using the one brain cell you have to remember before you get to the store that you need some form of money to buy groceries.

I don’t know what it is about the self-checkout that attracts the most idiotic of all the shoppers, but this has got to stop. I think we need to start giving people IQ tests before they can use the self-checkout aisle. It might sound like an inconvenience, but I bet it would actually make things go more quickly. At the very least it would stop me from wondering if starvation would be preferable over food shopping.

Higher thought is only useful if you utilize it

This morning, driving home from dropping Significant Other off at the train, I saw a dead bear that had been hit by a car.

It was a giant fucking bear, and seeing it made me angry.

On the way home from picking SO up from the train, I saw young kids being allowed to play near the side of the street. Their mother was right there, and the kids were about half an inch from actually being in the street, and yet the mother didn’t seem to give two shits. This also made me angry.

One of these things knows better than to play in the street, and yet if you hit it you go to jail. The other has no fucking idea what’s going on, and if you hit it and your car still works, you can just go along on your merry way. Not to mention that there are way more people on the planet than bears of any type. Now, I’m not a vegetarian by any stretch of the imagination. But it doesn’t mean I like watching animals die and it doesn’t mean I enjoy the sight of roadkill or that I like destroying habitats, etc., etc. I like eating meat, and I like animals. I suffer no cognitive dissonance. If you think that’s impossible, just stop reading right now.

But back to the point of this post. I think we need to make a new rule and that is: either anything in the street is fair game or nothing is. We all think we’re so fucking special because we’re capable of higher thought, and everyone thinks they or their children are super special geniuses who are going to find the cure for cancer and save the world. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again now, and probably in the future: the odds are against you. There are 6 billion people on this poor, poor planet. There are significantly less of every animal species I can think of. So maybe instead of mowing them down with our cars, we should be a little more fucking careful. After all, we’re the ones who took over their fucking habitat and they’re the ones that are confused by what’s going on.

And you know if a new species evolved, a species more intelligent than even the smartest human, we would be enraged when they started running us down with their flying cars and jet packs and knocking our houses down to build whatever the fuck they wanted. How unfair! We were here first! We might even try to rebel, but their superiority in every way would assure our inferiority. It’s OK to destroy everything with complete abandon when we’re the superior ones, but if we’re not anymore, I bet we wouldn’t like this policy so much. Breaking news: That’s pretty much the epitome of a hypocrite.

Now, the evolution of a new superspecies is unlikely to happen before a catastrophic event just wipes out everything on the planet anyway, but my point still stands. Maybe bears and other animals aren’t capable of higher thought, but I bet they’re real confused when they wander to a place that used to have trees and wildlife and see bright lights and pavement instead.

But if I wanted to, I could plow that bear down with my gas-guzzling SUV* and just keep on keepin’ on. But if I hit a person, oh HELL no. Even if that asshole was drunk and meandering in an unpredictable way, I’d still be held responsible for my actions. Which is fine; people SHOULD be held responsible for their actions. This includes idiot mothers who let their children play by the road when there’s a big fucking open green space ten feet away. I believe in natural selection. I think if you’re that stupid, maybe you shouldn’t be breeding. So yeah, maybe the bear did deserve to be hit by a car because it wandered into the highway, but if a human is capable of higher thought, why shouldn’t one who’s dumb enough to wander onto the highway suffer the same fate? Or, in the case of young children who really DON’T know any better yet, maybe their parents should be held responsible? For once? I know, I know, I’m crazy for even suggesting it!**

That’s my point. We all think we’re so fucking wonderful because of higher thought, and yet a majority of the people I see every fucking day don’t seem to want to use that capability. So what makes those assholes better than animals, again? And maybe we should use that higher thought to display a little compassion to things that are “lesser.”

I’ll take a giant, scary, rampaging bear over any stranger I see any day of the week. At least if I do something stupid in front of it, the bear will put me out of my misery and go on its merry way.

*I don’t actually drive an SUV.

**I’m not talking about the situations where the driver is clearly in the wrong (running red lights, speeding, drunk driving, etc.). Right now I’m just discussing situations like when idiot parents let their kids play near the road and don’t watch them, and other moronic things people do expecting others to make up for their stupidity.

What Form Rejection Means To Me

Dear [insert name here] The Rejectionist,

We want to thank you for submitting your [type of submission] essay topic, [title of submission]What Form Rejection Means To Me,” to The Anger Ball. Unfortunately, we don’t think it would be a good fit for our blog, as it does not fall into any of the topics we generally pursue. [insert personalized feedback] “What Form Rejection Means To Me” initially piqued our interest, but it failed to keep us as enthralled as we had hoped. However, the character of Lola Pants was intriguing, and with more development, we may be interested in future topics involving her.

We hope you will be able to find representation elsewhere, and please keep us in mind for future submissions.

Sincerely,
The Anger Ball

Clearly your time is more important than mine

If there is one thing I’ve gotten sick of quickly since living in the suburbs, it is people who think their time is more important than everyone else’s.

I mostly see this while I’m driving, but I also see it at stores or when I’m catching the train to or from cesspool city. In other words: I see it everywhere, and I am fucking over it. It annoys me the most when I’m driving because that’s where it’s most dangerous.

I have seen people do the dumbest shit ever recently, including someone trying to drive between the lanes on a two-lane highway when the cars in both the fast and slow lane were going too slow for their tastes. Luckily since this asshole was in a giant SUV (sorry, I have never met an asshole who didn’t drive an SUV. Just saying), their car couldn’t actually fit between the lanes and thus they had to pick one like the rest of us mortals. But can you even wrap your mind around that? Someone was trying to drive in the space that’s left between the cars in either lane. That space is barely big enough for a motorcycle on the BEST days. That’s even worse than trying to use the shoulder as a passing lane. What the fuck were they thinking?

I can tell you exactly what they were fucking thinking. They were thinking their time is way more important than everyone else’s. That they deserve to get to their destination faster than the rest of us because they are obviously the most important person on the planet. And they certainly don’t have time to waste being stuck in traffic like the rest of us!

Fuck you. I don’t want to die because you don’t give a shit about anyone other than yourself. Because all it takes is one minor distraction while you’re pulling a stupid stunt like that, and suddenly my car is totaled and I’m in the ICU. Well, you can forget that shit. Look, I want to get where I’m going too. We all do. But it’s assholes like YOU that ruin it for the rest of us by doing this stupid shit, then getting in an accident and causing massive traffic. So cut it out.

Now granted, this incident didn’t happen directly to me; I just saw it. But I’ve had plenty of similar things happen. I’ve had people try to pass me at the last minute before their exit and then have to cut in front of me so suddenly in order to make it that I have to slam on my brakes. Really, asshole? You couldn’t wait a whole five seconds for the exit ramp to come up and just use it from the slow lane like everyone else? You had to almost kill me just to get around me and exit two second earlier? I hope every fucking light you encounter for the rest of your life is the longest red light ever.

I also had two similar incidents happen in the same day NOT on the highway. For the first, I was stopped at a light waiting to make a right (no turn on red, boo). The light turned green, and I’m making the right, when the person across the intersection from me blasts forward and makes a left, cutting me off and almost hitting me just to…be ahead of me at the next red light. Really, asshole? I was the only one making a right at the time, so it’s not like you would have had to wait much longer to make your turn. But no, you almost had to smash into my car because you’re fucking impatient. Breaking news: You’re not the most important person in the world. Get the fuck over it. Also, just for future reference, I had the fucking right of way, so if there HAD been an accident, you would have paid for everything. Luckily I already don’t trust anyone, so I was prepared for you to do something heinously stupid.

The other incident that happened the same day was after picking Significant Other up from work. We were coming up on a red light, so I was slowing down (I must be crazy, since I prefer to come to a slow stop instead of blazing up to the stoplight and then slamming on my brakes to just barely avoid hitting the car(s) in front of me!). I was going to pull into the left lane when I came up on it in order to make a left a the light. The guy BEHIND ME comes racing up and then tries to get into the left lane first when there was no left lane yet. He was riding on the double yellow line! Then I signal and move over, and he almost rear-ends me. Breaking news: Sorry asshole, but you were the one breaking the law. What possesses these people to do not only stupid but also obviously dangerous things? You can’t get into a lane that DOESN’T EXIST. And the light is RED, so what good does it do you to race ahead? Fuck off.

The only benefit was that I got to watch through my rear-view mirror as he ranted about me. To himself, since there was no one else in his car. Complete with gesticulating. It was kind of hysterical. But it doesn’t excuse his fucking poor decision-making skills. I’ve ranted about road etiquette before, but as long as people are going the speed limit and following traffic laws, they will be safe from my wrath. This shit is just ridiculously stupid.

But it isn’t just for people driving, oh no. The other day, catching my connecting train from here to cesspool city, coming down the escalator, some guy steps all over me and practically shoves me out of the way to catch the train. Let me clarify how fucking stupid and unnecessary this was: Connecting trains in that direction run every five minutes during rush hour. What the fuck, dude? I need to get to work just as badly as you do, and yet I am not stepping on people and shoving them out of my way. Get the fuck over yourself and learn a little bit of patience.

So I’m fucking sick of being almost killed on the road and crushed underfoot as a pedestrian. Everyone needs to get a damn grip on themselves. You are not so important that if you accidentally kill someone in a car crash, you won’t suffer repercussions. Is getting to the stop light ten seconds before me really worth risking your life and the lives of the people in the cars around you? Is catching the train five minutes before me really worth shoving me out of the way and knocking into people? Maybe you should try leaving your house five minutes earlier so you don’t have to fucking rush around like nobody else matters.

There are over 6 billion people on the planet. I don’t know why you think you’re the most special and important of them all, because the odds are not in your favor. So take a deep fucking breath, because your time is not more important than someone else’s life.