Posts Tagged 'When spaces collide'

We’re really still doing this?

As some of you may know, I work from home most the time. I only have to commute into cesspool city once a week, and for that I am grateful every day.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have shit to complain about on that one day, though.

Significant Other and I normally catch the same train home, which leaves the station a little before 5pm. Recently, the company that runs the trains has instituted a quiet car during commuting hours in the morning and evening on weekdays. It’s only ONE CAR out of the five or six that make up the trains at this time. ONE CAR. And usually the conductor will announce it, but it’s always the same: the first car when heading in to work in the morning, and the last car when heading out in the evening. IT’S NOT THAT FUCKING HARD TO REMEMBER. Especially if you ride the same damn train and sit in the same damn seat every day.

But for some reason, on the train SO and I usually catch, there is a group of teenagers stuck in adult bodies who act like they’re still in goddamned high school. You know the people: they always have to sit in the same seats, they have to save seats for their friends, they will talk THE WHOLE HOUR RIDE HOME, and the rules do not apply to them. If I described that, would you not assume these were teenagers with no regard for others? But no; all of these people are old enough to be my fucking parents.

There is only one fucking quiet car on the train, and I like to sleep on the ride to/from work, because I’m a tired Anger Ball from raging all day. Now, the quiet car is supposed to allow for people to talk, QUIETLY (sensing a theme yet?), but nobody seems to have an indoor voice on this train. SO and I have sometimes caught the train after this one, or even the train AFTER that one, and nobody on those trains seems to have this goddamn problem. Everyone on those trains is quiet or able to talk in a whisper.

NOT THESE ASSHOLES, THOUGH. I know EVERYTHING about their fucking lives. Things that I never needed or wanted to know about ANYBODY. Breaking news: There are at LEAST four other cars you can sit in if you want to talk. GO TO ONE OF THEM, BEFORE I THROW YOU ONTO THE TRACKS.

The worst part is that if SO or I try to get the conductor involved, these people just up their teenage antics. They see us talking to the conductor or calling him/her over, and they immediately shut the fuck up. Then the conductor looks at me like I’m fucking crazy, maybe repeats the announcement that it’s the quiet car, and leaves. THEN THESE ASSHOLES START TALKING AGAIN.

Oh, and apparently sitting right next to the person you want to talk to automatically makes you gay with them or something, because these assholes sit across the aisle from one another, which means they have to talk louder to have a normal conversation.

I’m sorry, but in the fucking quiet car I should not hear your conversation over the noise of the train moving. THAT IS NOT WHAT THE QUIET CAR IS FOR. Let the people who want ACTUAL QUIET enjoy the goddamned quiet car. Don’t just continue sitting in it because those are your seats or some shit. Breaking news: We’re not in high school; there are no fucking assigned seats. GO. SOMEPLACE. ELSE.

The other thing is that on this train, there are about three stops before the first major stop, where most people, including SO and I, disembark. These assholes also get off at that stop. The moment we pull out of the station before our stop, they all stand up, and for some reason decide it’s no longer the quiet car at all. People come up from further back to stand and wait by the door and are talking to people sitting four rows away, over the tops of people who ARE STILL SLEEPING OR TRYING TO READ. BECAUSE THEIR STOP IS NOT THE NEXT ONE. I don’t know, as far as I fucking understand it, the quiet car rules are not “only if the train is in motion” or “only when you feel like being quiet”. THEY ARE FOR THE WHOLE FUCKING TRIP. SHUT YOUR FUCKING MOUTHS FOR TEN SECONDS. Just because your stop is next doesn’t mean it stops being the quiet car.

I’ve never seen a bunch of adults act so consistently like children. I mean, this happens every goddamned week. The people who appear to have assigned seats (I roll my eyes every time I type that, but it’s true; they sit in the same place every day and save seats for their friends. I want to barf just thinking about it) are generally tolerable, which means I can sleep through their incessant chatter. But the other day there was some asshole talking loudly on his cell phone, although luckily after an announcement from the conductor he put that shit away. I haven’t confronted anyone yet about their intolerable noise, but only because by the end of the day (we don’t have this problem in the morning when everyone is so tired they pass the fuck out) I’m so fucking frustrated from work that I’m worried I won’t be able to control my rage and ask politely but sternly. I’m worried I’ll just curl my hand into a fist and beat all these people to death. So generally I just simmer in my rage until I pass out from exhaustion and wake up just before our stop.

HOWEVER.

That does not make this shit okay, and, as with the movie theater and cell phone use thing, where I hit my limit and now I ask people immediately to put their phones away instead of giving them three strikes, I feel that I’m reaching the breaking point with this, too. The problem, though, is that the noise level is relative to where you are to the people talking. If they’re sitting behind you, they’re going to sound louder than people sitting eight rows away, even if both are speaking at the same volume. So my problem is if I want to tell one pair of assholes to shut up, suddenly I have to get up and tell forty pairs of assholes to shut up, because everyone in that car for the most part is a goddamned child who will say, “Why are you yelling at me when 38750398461 other people are talking?” Well, asshole, if you’re sitting right behind me, I can hear every detail of your pathetic life, whereas I cannot hear all the inane details of the conversation in the back of the train. THIS SEEMS OBVIOUS TO ME, but people are selfish assholes who can’t think of other people for ten goddamned seconds.

Frankly, what the trains SHOULD do is make the quiet car completely quiet. No talking at all, no cell phones at all, nothing. COMPLETE SILENCE. I’m blissing out just imagining this right now. If there are FOUR (or more) other cars in which to talk, at any volume you wish, why can’t we have one for the actual adults who don’t have problems keeping their mouths shut for an hour? Let me tell you, the quiet car is ALWAYS full, too. I’m sure it would be full even if they changed the rule to complete silence. And everyone in that car would be a lot fucking happier if that were the case.

Maybe I’m expecting too much from adults. I mean, I can sit still for a long time, and I don’t have to fill silence with bullshit. But apparently few others are capable of this. I mean, these people who talk for the whole train ride aren’t ever talking about anything interesting or important. Now, look. I don’t think every single conversation has to be profound. But if you’re going to talk for an hour in the quiet car of a train, it better be fucking worthwhile and interesting, because EVERYONE IS GOING TO HEAR IT. I don’t want to hear about your kid’s little league game. I bet your fucking friend doesn’t even really want to hear about it. So shut the fuck up.

But it just blows my mind because it’s not like the entire train is a quiet train. It’s just one fucking car. And yet these people are so oblivious or inconsiderate that they just continue to do this shit every day instead of moving to another car to have their vapid conversations. Like…I just can’t wrap my brain around being that big an asshole.

You would think I’d be used to this shit by now. But people just find new ways to be bigger and bigger assholes every day. I guess once I reach my limit and snap at them all, maybe I’ll finally get a fucking hour of peace and quiet. But more likely, since their maturity level is that of teenagers, I’ll just have to deal with passive-aggressive bullshit instead. Hooray, something else to look forward to!

Bumper stickers are like an early warning system…

…for stupidity. This way I can tell without even meeting someone if they are, or are related to, a moron. Gauging intelligence is just about the only benefit that bumper stickers offer. And let me tell you, from reading some of the bumper stickers on the cars in this area, I’ve discovered that Significant Other and I unwittingly moved to Conservative Crazypants town. Hooray for us.

I’m just going to go one by one in convenient list form to avoid getting so worked up that my brain explodes. I’ve linked to images below, but they are not necessarily the exact bumper sticker I saw, although the phrase is exactly as I saw it (I may or may not have copied them down the minute I saw them. I ADMIT NOTHING).

  1. Keep Christ in Christmas.
      Significant Other can attest to the fit I threw when I saw this bumper sticker. This is just one of the most asinine things to come out of public discourse in years. It ties into my pet peeve of people in a majority acting like they’re persecuted. Breaking news: If you’re in the majority, you cannot be ostracized. It doesn’t work that way. So, Christians, sorry to burst your bubble, but nobody is trying to take “Christ” out of “Christmas.” 

      FIRST OF ALL, he wasn’t in Christmas to begin with. Let’s be serious here, okay? The only assholes who don’t know by now that “Christmas” used to be a Pagan holiday that was appropriated by the Christians are just in denial. So you can’t really take something out that wasn’t there to begin with. But for centuries now, Christmas has been what it is currently (maybe not with the crazy gift giving, but with the Christian religion, I mean), so even if we’re throwing the appropriation factor aside, there are still other issues.

      SECOND, nobody is trying to take “Christ” out of “Christmas.” If my memory serves me right, this fucking hoopla started when people wanted to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” to be all inclusive and not assume that the person they’re talking to is a fucking Christian. BUT FOR SOME REASON BEING INCLUSIVE IS A TERRIBLE THING! May we be struck down if we want to acknowledge the fact that there are other holidays that occur near the end of December! IT MEANS WE ARE TRYING TO PERSECUTE CHRISTIANS!

      Okay, read that paragraph again and then try to explain how it makes sense. You won’t be able to, because it DOESN’T. Trying to be all inclusive is just that—INCLUDING EVERYONE. “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” ENCOMPASSES ALL THE FUCKING HOLIDAYS, ASSHOLES. THAT MEANS CHRISTMAS TOO. So take your “Keep Christ in Christmas” bullshit and shove it, because it’s ridiculous.

      THIRD, and last on this topic so I can get through the other bumper stickers before I have an aneurysm, the people who want to say “Happy Holidays” in a department store just want people to have a happy fucking holiday regardless of their religion. Nobody is trying to remove the Christian religion from the sentiment of their version of Christmas. I never see bumper stickers that say “Keep Christ Out of Christmas.” It’s a non-issue. NOBODY IS FUCKING WITH YOUR HOLIDAY, OKAY? SO STOP ACTING LIKE THAT’S WHAT’S GOING ON. In other words, get the fuck over yourselves.

  2. Protect the Unborn. (Google images failed me on this one.)
      Ugh, this one. THIS ONE. I haven’t gotten around to writing my rant about abortion rights, but I’ll give you the short of it up front: I am pro-choice. Anyone who is not pro-choice is ANTI-CHOICE. They are not pro-life. If you’re pro-life, that should mean you are pro-letting people do whatever they want with their lives, meaning other people can get abortions if they want. But if you are anti-abortion, you are ANTI-CHOICE. You are trying to restrict other people’s lives and choices. 

      Now that we’re clear on terminology, this bumper sticker boils my blood. Mostly because the people who want to “protect the unborn” don’t give a shit about the billions of people who are already on the planet. Protect that lump of cells in some random woman’s uterus, but don’t provide universal health care or expand welfare or unemployment! Don’t help people who had that baby actually take care of it! These assholes don’t give two shits about the already born. They just care about imposing their personal beliefs on everyone else. Breaking news: Just because abortion is an option doesn’t mean you need to choose it. But it means that someone else can choose it if they want! FANCY THAT.

      I’m a big fan of the “it’s none of your damn business” concept. It’s none of my fucking business who gets abortions. It’s not going to affect me or my life, but it may help improve the life of the woman getting an abortion. So it really pisses me off when people try to stick their nose into someone else’s business pretending to be all concerned about health or safety or whatever, when really they are just self-righteous assholes who can’t stand the idea of someone else, anywhere, doing something they don’t like.

      And I’m sorry (no I’m not) if I think the life of the already-existing woman is more important than the current non-life of her (not a person yet, sorry folks) fetus. I’m sorry (again, no) if I think that a woman shouldn’t be punished for having sex by having to birth a child. I’m sorry (getting the sarcasm point now, I hope?) if I think women should have complete control over their reproductive health and use of their reproductive organs. I’m sorry that I don’t think there should be a law that interferes with women making their own decisions.

      Breaking news: Women are completely capable of making their own decisions and weighing their own pros and cons in any situation, including when considering abortion. And one woman’s pro and con list will differ from another’s! GO FIGURE; WOMEN ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS.

      So fuck off with your “Protect the Unborn” shit. Let’s first take care of the teeming mass of people already on the planet, and then we’ll talk. We’re not in danger of going extinct of our own volition any time soon.

  3. I Don’t Believe the Liberal Media.
      HOORAY FOR YOU; WOULD YOU LIKE A COOKIE? So what media do you believe, then? Because I was ALWAYS taught that taking everything I see on any news channel or in any newspaper at face value is AN EXCELLENT IDEA! So do you believe everything Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly spout out of their putrid mouths? THAT SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT PLAN. 

      Look. I’m not going to argue if the media is liberal or conservative, because it’s a futile argument that cannot be won. If you watch a news program and a comment is made you don’t agree with, you’re going to call them the opposite of what you are. Ideally the news would be fair and balanced, but anyone with half a brain knows that’s not true no matter WHAT program you’re watching. But taking what pundits say at face value without doing your own research and investigating to form your own opinion is just idiotic. Breaking news: Use your own fucking brain to form your own fucking opinions. CRAZY, I KNOW. Because pundits are paid to get ratings and cause drama, basically, and spout their own opinions. And a lot of them have opinions that aren’t based on facts or logic. And then that idiocy spreads like wildfire and people like me with an iota of intelligence are left to weep in the corner.

      So while I think saying the media is “liberal” is just laughable, my real problem is that the people who would put that bumper sticker on their car obviously didn’t think twice before doing so. Because guess what? FOX news, Glenn Beck et al., are PART OF THE MEDIA. So how can “the media” be “liberal” if THESE KNOWN CONSERVATIVE PEOPLE/STATIONS EXIST. Just…just something to consider, there. It’s not like FOX is an underground, unpopular station. It’s one of the highest-rated news stations lately. So, uh…hm. How can I put this politely? Your fucking logic fail is showing.

  4. Born Free. Taxed to Death.
      Boo hoo. You like to enjoy things like libraries and highways and public education and the fire department, but you don’t want to pay your damn taxes in order to get these public services. Woe is you! Your life is so hard! You have to pay taxes like every other fucking adult in America! 

      Suck it up, asshole. Pretty much by the time I was 12, before I even had a job, I knew that taxes existed and that someday I would have to pay them. Nobody LIKES to pay taxes, but some of us understand it’s a necessary evil. Because while I hope I never need my local fire department, I sure as hell want them available to me if I do. Or the police, for that matter. And I went through public school and came out just fine (not to say improvements couldn’t be made). And I like having libraries and paved roads. And I don’t mind paying a school tax even though I don’t have children. HOLY HELL, I MUST BE A SOCIALIST BECAUSE I DON’T WHINE AND COMPLAIN ABOUT A REALLY VERY TINY FRACTION OF MY PAYCHECK BEING USED TO BENEFIT SOCIETY. BURN ME AT THE STAKE IMMEDIATELY!

      People who complain about taxes are immature assholes who have no idea how any level of government works. If we took away everything that taxes pay for, these assholes would be the first to complain about the disrepair of all the roads or that they can’t afford to send their kids to a fancy private school and there’s no public option available. Part of being an adult is paying taxes. And America’s tax rates aren’t the worst in the world. Why don’t you complain about politicians who waste the tax money on vacations or private jets instead? Maybe if they didn’t guzzle this “free money” down, it could be used to improve things that really need it, like education. STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT THE WRONG ISSUE, ASSHOLES. ARGH. Taxes do SO MUCH to make our lives easier, and people would rather whine about it than use their brains to think about it. And the only thing that makes something bad worse is when people complain incessantly about it. It’s like being stuck at the airport security line behind the guy who has to complain THE WHOLE TIME about how inconvenient it is to have to take off his shoes. Yeah, we all know it’s inconvenient. But your complaining DOES NOT HELP.

      Breaking news: Everyone thinks taxes, in general, suck. But they are necessary (no, really), so the fucking mature adults among us have learned to let it go. If you value your life, you will stop complaining about taxes, because I have about reached my limit when it comes to hearing (or reading) people complain about this. Do a little research into what your fucking taxes pay for, and then think how often you or someone you’re related to or someone you don’t know uses and benefits from those services, and then think how much harder everyone’s life would be without them.

      If your brain survives that little mental exercise of THINKING ABOUT SOMEONE OTHER THAN YOURSELF FOR TEN SECONDS, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE LEARNED HOW TO THINK LIKE AN ADULT.

      If not, no one is mourning your loss. Trust me.

_____

Oh, my bad. Did my fucking logic just burst your Conservative Crazypants bubble? It’s OK to cry. That way I know I’ve done my job.

If you’re a bully, you’re an asshole

Anyone with Internet access or a television has probably heard about the recent rash of LGBTQ teens committing suicide as a result of intense bullying. A lot of you have probably also read opinion pieces on it, ranging from intelligent and enlightening to belligerent and idiotic. I’ve been keeping tabs on this issue, it being relative and important to me for various reasons, and now I want to add my two cents.

I think the title of this post sums it up nicely, but let’s just be clear: IF YOU’RE A BULLY, YOU’RE A FUCKING ASSHOLE.

I think we all can agree on that. But if that were true, then there wouldn’t be bullies. Because nobody likes to think of themselves as an asshole. However, as we all know, a lot of people are assholes. So there seems to be a disconnect, because if I say a statement like that, everyone would agree. Or if I say “NOBODY LIKES AN ASSHOLE”, everyone would agree. Yet that clearly isn’t true, because all these assholes appear to have friends and family. I bet the parents of some of the bullies that picked on those LGBTQ teens are assholes too, so they clearly found someone who likes them enough to have a little family of assholes with them.

So let’s clarify: If you pick on someone for being different than you in some way, you’re a bully and an asshole. You’re also a fucking idiot, because everyone is different from everyone else in at least one way (and usually more like one thousand ways). And instead of shunning people for being different, which as we’ve established is idiotic, we should be glad that even though there are 6 billion of us, we all manage to be our own person. But even ignoring the cheesy factor inherent in that statement, the point is that if you’re picking on someone for having different hair or eyes or skin or teeth or sexual orientation or religious belief….it’s you against the world, then, asshole, because every single person you encounter will be different in some way. So maybe instead of trying to get everyone to conform to your narrowminded idea of what is acceptable, you should just shut the fuck up and mind your own business.

Who someone sleeps with or what god(s) they worship (or don’t) is nobody’s fucking business, first off. And physical features are all unchangeable factors that nobody should have to feel bad about just because a bully wants them to. Really, the person who should feel bad is the fucking bully, for being an ignorant asshole, and I think society should do more toward making those people feel just as stupid as they really are. It’s not the responsibility of the victims to change something in order to conform or blend in (yes, I have seen this proposed on a handful of blogs); it’s the responsibility of society to let bullies know their behavior is unacceptable. Because frankly, what we don’t need in this world are more bigoted assholes. What we DO need are more people who are proud of who they are, including embracing any true idiosyncrasies. Trying to “blend in” or hide who you really are is NEVER the answer, no matter what asshole bullies think. They’re the ones who need a reality check.

So I’m just trying to make it clear that bullies are assholes. Pass the word around, please, so I don’t have to make house calls. Next time you see someone being a bully, tell them they’re a fucking asshole and to cut it out. Remind them that NOBODY LIKES ASSHOLES. If that doesn’t work, point them in my direction. I promise I’ll take care of it.

I know I spend a lot of time on my blog ranting about things that make it seem like I want conformity in society, but I want to state outright that that is untrue. My rage mostly comes from a general lack of decorum, respect and awareness. I do not want everyone to be like me (that would pretty much be hell, I think); I do not want everyone to dress the same or act the same. I think we can all be individuals and still respect one another, and that is the source of my rants on this blog. I do not want my rants to be misconstrued as an attempt to make people fit a certain criterion. They’re just my personal pet peeves, and a lot of times I exaggerate them for comedic effect. BULLYING IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE. Don’t be an asshole.

Too bad it’s necessary for survival

Most of the topics I write about on my blog are things I find to be somewhat avoidable. If people just paid a little attention to their surroundings, and the other people therein, instead of being self-absorbed assholes all the time, I think I would be at least 50% less infuriated than I am in the current situations.

But there are also unavoidable things that really tick me off too, and today I’m going to talk about one of these: eating. Specifically, eating in public. Obviously, ingesting food is necessary for survival. And, as I’ve covered before, I love food. So I’m not saying people should stop eating around other people, because that’s an impossibility for countless reasons. But it doesn’t mean I have to find it enjoyable.

Because let’s face it: people are fucking slobs. Everyone is. I have never seen ONE person eating in public that didn’t make my stomach turn. The act of eating is just inherently gross, and it doesn’t matter if you’re eating a salad or a big greasy burger. All the rest of us can do is try and avert our eyes and focus on our own meal, knowing full well that we also look like gross slobs. Some people are worse than others, but right now I’m just talking about the general act of eating in public. There’s always crunching or squishing or spilling or swallowing or any of a plethora of other disgusting sounds that accompany eating. And while we’re generally unaware of our own eating sounds (although not always, and man does that kill my appetite really quickly), it’s impossible to ignore someone else’s, whether they’re a friend or some stranger sitting three tables away.

However, as I said, there’s nothing to be done about this, so I mostly just try to ignore it, for the sake of my sanity (hey, I never said all the things that pissed me off made sense). But then you get the people who are just over-the-top disgusting when they eat. One time, Significant Other and I were on the subway and a person sitting across from us was eating something gross (maybe fast food, I don’t remember) and belching loudly literally after every bite. AFTER EVERY FUCKING BITE. By the time we got to our stop I had lost my appetite for the rest of the night. It was one of the most disgusting public transportation encounters I’ve ever had (and I’ve been near people who don’t even try to cover their mouths when they sneeze. Hooray!). I understand some people have digestive issues, but I’ve never seen someone just blatantly disregard the people around them in order to wolf down a burger. If that were me, and that was an issue I had, you know I would fucking lock myself in my apartment before eating anything. But I understand not everyone feels such shame about these disgusting things (even though in this case the person definitely should have). And sometimes eating around other people, like at a restaurant, is unavoidable. BUT NOT ON THE SUBWAY. And these were not delicate, barely noticeable burps. They drowned out conversation and stank and UGH UGH UGH I think I’m having a terrible flashback, hold on.

Anyway, on top of the disgusting belching, this person also chewed with their mouth open. You could hear their lips smacking together and their teeth grinding and…okay, I have to stop now because it’s grossing me out just thinking about it again. My point is, if you HAVE to eat in public, maybe try not to be THE MOST DISGUSTING THING I HAVE EVER SEEN, OKAY? Ugh. It’s fucking public space, not your dining room, so learn a little decorum.

The other thing that drives me crazy is people who wolf down their food like they haven’t had a meal in three weeks and may never have one again. I’m a fast eater myself, but I still manage to have conversations during a meal and take breaks and BREATHE BETWEEN BITES, for example. I’m talking about people who are so focused on the food that it might as well be the only thing that exists in the universe. While that would be nice, it’s NOT TRUE. And eating that fast only seems to exacerbate all the problems inherent in the process (the noises, the mess, etc.), so it is EVEN LESS ATTRACTIVE THAN NORMAL, which is saying a lot considering how unattractive I consider normal eating to be. Now, if that’s truly the first meal the person has had in weeks, I won’t begrudge them the desire to cram it into their mouth as quickly as possible. But the odds of that being true are low, although not nonexistent. And if it’s at a nice restaurant, the odds are even lower. JUST TAKE YOUR TIME. Unless there’s something I’m unaware of, NOBODY IS GOING TO TAKE YOUR PLATE AWAY FROM YOU.

Luckily for the human race as a whole, but unluckily for me, this peeve extends beyond people and into the rest of the animal kingdom as well. You may remember Glutton Cat from my last post, and how aptly he is named. Well, watching him eat is almost as bad as being in a restaurant full of belchers and fast eaters would be. He pretty much inhales his food in about 20 seconds, making a huge mess that I then have to clean up, and making this gross smacking noise the entire time, probably because he’s sucking the food down so quickly. In that time, he also manages to get his bowl completely clean. I mean, it looks like it just came out of the fucking dishwasher. You would think I starve this fucking cat. So, he’s basically the worst combination of fast eater and noisy eater, my two most hated types. And I have to sit in the kitchen EVERY DAY and listen to/watch him eat, to make sure he doesn’t inhale the other cats’ food and the plates and possibly the entire kitchen in his haste. THIS IS SOME KIND OF TERRIBLE TORTURE and also why I don’t believe in God, because even a vengeful God wouldn’t be spiteful enough to do this to me.

Look. I know this is one of my personal neuroses, but when you stop to think about it I don’t think ANYONE could tell me that eating isn’t gross. Food is (mostly) delicious and I endorse eating it and enjoying it, but maybe SOME OF US (I’m looking at you, subway belcher) should keep to themselves when they eat. Nobody wants to hear your nauseating soundtrack.

I am going to punch you in the Face(book)

Continuing my theme of websites that drive me crazy, let’s talk about the one everyone loves to hate: Facebook.

But, akin to my gripe with FML, I don’t really want to talk about the site itself as much as the people who use it. I know everyone likes to complain about Facebook’s various privacy issues, but if you’re using the site you either need to stay aware of their changing policies or you need to NOT POST PERSONAL INFORMATION. It’s a non-issue to me.

ANYWAY. My problem with Facebook isn’t their labyrinthine privacy policy. It is the people who try to friend me when WE WERE NEVER FUCKING FRIENDS.

I willingly joined Facebook when my friends and I started to graduate from college, because some of them were a year ahead and I wanted an easy way to keep in touch. Even now I don’t use it with great regularity. I just check in to see what my friends are up to, but the ones I’m close to I always e-mail or keep in touch with in other ways as well. The problem with Facebook is when people from middle school or high school see my name pop up on a friend’s page and are like “Oh, Anger Ball! I wonder what they’re up to!” And then they friend request me.

Then I see this friend request and I think “What is this fucking asshole doing trying to friend me? Did they forget the part where they made my middle/high school life a living hell?” Apparently, they did. But it should surprise no one that I NEVER FORGET.

So I just ignore it, and usually it goes away. BUT SOMETIMES PEOPLE DON’T GET THE FUCKING HINT AND REQUEST ME AGAIN.

I’m going to break it down, then: If you friend request someone on Facebook, or a similar site, and they do not accept it, they either do not check their page with regularity or THEY DO NOT WANT TO BE FRIENDS. Either way, requesting them AGAIN will accomplish NOTHING. SO FUCKING CUT IT OUT. TAKE THE HINT.

I will admit that sometimes I’ve gotten a surprise request from someone that I was acquaintances with or I hadn’t thought about in years but would like to catch up with. But more often than not I get requests from people who seem to have amnesia and are living under the delusion that I want them back in my life. I don’t know if it’s the rising urge for people to feel like they have a zillion friends (hint: the number of Facebook friends does not equal the number of actual friends a person has) or what, but I’ve had so many people whom I’ve wished death upon be like “LOL LET’S BE FACEBOOK FRIENDS” that if I could, I would take them back in time to middle school and be like “REMEMBER THIS? WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I’D WANT TO BE YOUR FUCKING FRIEND, ASSHOLE?”

The other thing is that there is the ability to send a message with a request. So maybe if one of these assholes that suddenly thinks we were BFF sent me a message being like “Hey, I know I tormented you but my therapist says I should try and make amends and I’m sorry,” I could at least understand where the urge to friend me came from (although the answer would still be no, jackass). But 99% of the time I’m left in the dark about their reasons, with just a random friend request sitting there with no explanation. So the only choice I have is to assume that they just want to see if they’re more successful or better off than I am or something equally petty and stupid (and not indicative of happiness), and I am just not interested in that bullshit. ALSO I HATE YOU SO FUCK OFF.

The other annoying thing is when people you met once, at some random place, look you up on Facebook, sometimes months later, and try to friend you. This happened with me with someone I met at a competition whom I didn’t even particularly LIKE. But he friend requested me out of the blue, and I just laughed and laughed and laughed. I met him a handful of times (a yearly competition) and he was a complete pompous asshole every time, which, surprise surprise, is NOT A PERSONALITY TYPE I RESPOND WELL TO, so I just avoided him, and apparently he thought that meant we were friendly enough for him to look me up on Facebook. UH, NO. THAT IS NOT HOW THE WORLD WORKS. Breaking news: If someone is AVOIDING YOU, it means they DO NOT LIKE YOU.

I think there should be mandatory Facebook etiquette courses that people have to take when they sign up, because I hear about this shit happening ALL THE TIME to my friends. Like, if there could just be a checklist that was provided to the idiots, to keep them from bothering the people who only want to friend ACTUAL FRIENDS on Facebook, that would make it so much more tolerable. I imagine the checklist would look something like this:

    Do you know how to spell this person’s name?
    When was the last time you spoke to them?
    What was your past relationship with them like?
    Did you pick on them in school?
    Why the hell do you think they want to be friends with you or care about your life?
    Are you just lonely and want to feel like people love you?

I can think of many more things the checklist could say, but they eventually all devolve into: “DELETE YOUR PROFILE AND JUST GO SIT IN THE CORNER. STOP BOTHERING EVERYONE.”

I understand wanting to connect with old friends that you might have lost touch with for various reasons. But if half of these people have as hard a time in real life distinguishing between “friend” and “person who hates me,” I can only imagine how much fun their birthday parties must be. “Sally got me a box of razor blades again; I just don’t get it!”

Do us all a favor and stay home next time

Let’s talk a bit more about etiquette at a sporting event.

In a two-for-one offer, this post will also intersect with fashion! Hooray for everyone. Except for me, and my poor, poor eyeballs.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I attended three sessions of the US Open; two of them were back-to-back this past Saturday. Now, again, tennis fans are a different breed of enthusiast than other sports fans (I’m not saying they’re better or worse (okay, maybe I’m implying one of those)), so generally I find going to the Open to be a pleasant experience, and this time was no real exception. But we need to talk, people, about attire.

Flip-flops are the fucking bane of my existence. People wear them EVERYWHERE now, and they are almost never appropriate. Saturday was no exception. Significant Other and I were watching a doubles match, and some guy sits next to me on the bleachers wearing flip-flops. Okay, no real problem there; hundreds of people on Saturday were wearing them, so even though I think they’re only appropriate for the beach, I understand they’re socially acceptable for some fucking stupid reason.

But then the guy next to me kept slipping his flip-flops off and sticking his bare feet all over the place, and THAT IS NOT OKAY. He would cross his legs by putting his right or left ankle on the opposite knee, and his naked, ugly, smelly foot would be DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO MY KNEE and also to the backs of the people on the bleacher in front of him. NOT FUCKING COOL. NOBODY WANTS TO SEE YOUR FUCKING UGLY FEET ALL OVER THE PLACE.

On top of this grossness, the guy also was leaning all over the place like he was at home on his own couch. He would put his bag on the bleacher between me and him when there was NO SPACE THERE FOR IT, and then he’d lean on it and practically have his head on my shoulder.

Listen. I do not want some stranger’s dirty head leaning on me, especially not when I’m also trying to avoid their disgusting feet. Breaking news: This is public space, not your living room. Keep your fucking shoes on and sit up straight like the rest of us (or at least slouch in a such a way that YOU ARE NOT TOUCHING ME EW EW EW).

This is why I fucking hate flip-flops. People seem to take every opportunity to slip them off and be barefoot. Flip-flops are pretty much as close as you’re going to get to being barefoot in public without people thinking you’re homeless, but KEEP THEM ON YOUR FUCKING FEET. I don’t care if you just had a pedicure and think your toes are super cute or whatever. KEEP THEM ON. First off, the ground is DIRTY, so it doesn’t matter how clean your feet are—when they touch the ground, they will be DIRTY ALSO. But mostly, taking your shoes off in public is just fucking rude. You’re disregarding social norms (which sometimes are meant to be broken or challenged but NOT IN THIS CASE) and making people around you uncomfortable for the sake of your own personal comfort. Next time, wear shoes or sneakers you don’t mind keeping on your feet all day or JUST STAY HOME. Then you could fucking watch tennis naked if you wanted, and NOBODY KNOWS OR CARES.

It was especially sucky because I love watching doubles, and those matches aren’t really shown on TV. So I wanted to watch the whole match, which meant I WAS STUCK NEXT TO THIS ASSHOLE FOR LIKE AN HOUR. At one point I almost knocked his camera off the bench because he put it between us, as if he were at home and it was his fucking end table or some shit, and I didn’t know it was there. I should have picked the fucking thing up and tossed it into the trees, but I restrained myself. It would have been justice for having to deal with his disgusting feet all over the place.

Moving away from disgusting slobs and on to obnoxious spectators who act like know-it-alls, one of my other favorite types! Again this other asshole was watching the same doubles match. This match went 3 sets, which is the most sets doubles can play (2 out of 3 sets for the win, just FYI). At one point, one of the players got a medical time out, which is perfectly acceptable and within the rules. During this time, one of the spectators—an older, portly man (and yes, this is relevant)—took it upon himself to comment loudly on how the overall quality of the match just wasn’t that great. He just went on and on about how it really wasn’t that impressive and he could hit some of those shots back! BO-RING! Let’s get some exciting professional tennis out there, folks!

I wanted to punch this guy in the face so hard. Instead I just made snarky comments under my breath to SO. But this guy seriously needed to shut the fuck up. First off, there was no way he could hit any of these shots even a quarter as well as the players themselves. Second, the game was going to its MAXIMUM LENGTH, which generally indicates that the level of play is pretty good. Because if it wasn’t, one team would be CRUSHED by the other. So I have no idea what match this asshole was watching, but it certainly wasn’t the same one I was. And besides, this man couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a tennis ball from 2 feet away, so how could he even judge the quality of the tennis being played? He got winded just standing up to stretch.

Look, I know sports fans of all types loooooove to comment on players and strategies, etc. We all think we’re capable of being coaches when we’re watching our favorite sports being played. I do the same thing. But I only say it loud enough for SO or whoever I’m with to hear it. I don’t announce to all the spectators that this team or that player sucks so hard I could play better. Because it would be a lie, on multiple levels. Not to mention fucking annoying as hell.

So I’m not saying this asshole shouldn’t have the same right as everyone else to make comments about the sport he’s watching. I’m saying that he shouldn’t fucking talk so loud everyone can hear him, because some people don’t fucking agree and it made him sound like an idiot (or revealed him to be the idiot that he is, which is where I’m leaning in this). And I don’t mind when people say “Get it over the net!” or something like that, but I take issue generally when people start acting like they could have been the next McEnroe or Connors or Federer or whatever if only they were younger or in better shape or applied themselves more.

Breaking news: They’re all professionals at this sport, and you are just watching. So stop pretending you know better than the players and their coaches, because YOU DON’T. It’s one thing to be frustrated when your favorite player isn’t performing well and to yell things, but it’s another to “analyze” the play as if you know something. And if that’s something you like to do, then STAY HOME. Because as I mentioned in my last post, part of why I go to live matches is so I don’t have to listen to DUMBASS COMMENTARY. And if I’m going to listen to anyone’s dumbass commentary, it’s at least going to be from someone who knows what the fuck they’re talking about.

Anyway, time to stop ranting about tennis and go watch some instead, because ESPN2 and USOpen.org know the real meaning of a live video feed.

Your kid is the next McEnroe, but not in a good way

My attentive readers will already know that the only sport I care about is tennis. And the only grand slam (major tournament) I have easy access to is the US Open. So when the time comes (right now, for those who don’t know/don’t care), I like to try and attend at least one session.

This year, I’m attending three sessions. One was yesterday night—yep, I got to watch Roddick crash and burn. Oh, American men’s tennis. What happened to you? (Thankfully American women’s tennis isn’t doing quite so badly, hooray for the Williams sisters! And I guess we aren’t a complete embarrassment, since we do have the Bryan brothers in doubles. But anyway.) But that’s not what this post is about.

I’m here to talk about how fucking annoying going to a sporting event is. Now, my only experience is with tennis. But tennis is a bit of a different beast from other spectator sports. There are certain expectations from the crowd—and I don’t just mean by officials, I mean expectations by the crowd of the crowd. For example, if you’re in lodge section seating (lucky bastards), you are not allowed to enter or exit during a game because it can distract the players or officials. This means that everyone is fucking seated and enjoying and watching tennis.

If only this were true for the cheap seats, which are all I can afford. But no. People are constantly getting up and down and up and down and up and down. Right in the middle of points. Blocking people’s views of the exchange. Taking their sweet-ass time getting to their seat. What the fuck, people? Games in tennis aren’t generally that long (games make up a set make up a match, if you’re curious. I’m not here to explain the logistics; go use Wikipedia for that), so just wait until the fucking game is over. There’s usually a minute or so (or longer, depending) between each game. Use THAT time to get your fat ass out of the tiny seat to buy another fifty hot dogs. But if it’s the middle of a game, just keep your ass in the seat. And so help me if you get up in the middle of a POINT (meaning the players are in the process of HITTING THE BALL BACK AND FORTH). I will find you and kill you. Because unless it’s some kind of a medical emergency, there is NO REASON to get up in the middle of the action. People don’t do it at movies (usually), so why the fuck would you do it at a sporting event. You’re essentially missing THE BEST PART if you do that.

But you know what? Most of the time I deal with it without getting too outwardly cranky. People are compelled to drink beer and stuff their face with food (I don’t know WHY, though, since it’s all horrendously overpriced). And for some reason NO ONE can sit still anymore. Do you know how many times I left my seat during the Clijsters and Roddick matches Wednesday? Zero times. I stood up once during a change over (when players switch what side of the court they’re on) to stretch, but I didn’t leave my seat once. Now, I don’t expect everyone to marathon it like I do, but AT LEAST FUCKING USE YOUR BRAIN ABOUT IT. Breaking news: Maybe YOU don’t care about this particular point or game or even set, but I think a least one of the hundreds of people sitting near you does. SO DON’T STAND UP IN THE MIDDLE OF IT. Fucking hell. I mean, the tickets I get are the cheap ones, but they aren’t that cheap. I’m there to watch tennis, not to watch people stand and sit and stand and sit and stand. I get to do that on the train every week, thanks.

Trust me, if I could afford courtside seats, I would buy them. But I don’t have any spare organs to sell to finance that purchase.

But the reason I don’t get too annoyed is because I have to admit, most tennis fans are pretty excellent. As I was saying about the crowd expectations, the thing about tennis fans is that they’re quiet during points—even the fans who can’t sit still for them. Because that’s the expectation. And the US Open is generally considered the rowdiest of the grand slams, and even still I’m sure a football or baseball fan would be shocked at how a stadium of 23,000+ people will fall nearly dead silent when a player is about to serve. So I have to give props for that. And in fact, the umpire will request the fans pipe down if they’re being too loud. And instead of fans flipping off the umpire or yelling insults, they actually quiet down. Because other fans will get mad. I mean, in some ways, these are my people. Not in every way, though. Don’t get excited for me yet.

The Clijsters/Roddick matches were an evening session on Wednesday, meaning play started around 7:30pm. But sometimes this session can go to the wee hours of the morning (last night Roddick’s match ended at midnight, but if Clijsters had gone 3 sets and Roddick 5, we could have been there until 2 or so, I bet). Significant Other and I arrived around 7, bought some merchandise and were in the arena by 8. My dad and his girlfriend showed up shortly thereafter. And then a mother, father and kid sit behind us.

Now, I’m not against people bringing kids to sports. But this kid couldn’t have been older than 8 (I’m thinking 6, but I’m really bad at judging). I know school hasn’t started yet, but this kid’s bedtime has to be in the ballpark of 9:30, and that’s being generous. So they came to an evening session, which are known to sometimes run very, very late.

But I know that’s none of my business. What IS my business is when their fucking kid won’t stop loudly talking and narrating for THE ENTIRE TWO MATCHES. From the fucking minute they sat down (in the middle of the first set of Clijster’s match), the kid is asking what the score is and who’s winning and who won that point and what just happened. But more than that, he’s trying to keep score himself and is doing it wrong. There are GIANT DIGITAL SCOREBOARDS in the arena. So why didn’t his fucking idiot parents just tell him to look at those and shut the fuck up? Then he’s talking about how many people are watching at home and what’s the score? And what’s happening? And who’s winning? And what’s that player’s name?

ARGH.

Part of the reason I HATE watching tennis on TV is the commentators. The American commentators never shut the fuck up. And while I appreciate their knowledge and insight, sometimes I just like to WATCH A POINT HAPPEN without hearing what three commentators think of so-and-so’s new style or racket or outfit or personal life. The British commentators, for Wimbledon at least, are amazing. I listened to their radio feed while watching the matches online (no thanks to NBCSports), and it was blissful. They were quiet during points and then talked in the down time. THAT IS WHAT I WANT IT TO BE LIKE.

So I like going to live tennis when I can because I don’t have to hear the commentators constantly talking. I can just watch the tennis and make my own comments to SO or my dad or whatever, but since we’re all fans we really only talk during change overs. But last night I got to hear this fucking kid talk THE ENTIRE TIME. I’d actually choose John McEnroe’s commentary over that shit, and while I appreciate McEnroe as a tennis player and expert, I generally hate listening to his constant babble.

But the kicker about this fucking kid was that NOT ONCE did his parents tell him to just be quiet and watch the match. They sometimes stopped answering his questions, but the kid just KEPT TALKING. I mean, come on! I don’t usually mind young kids at sporting events, but this was insane. You shouldn’t be able to bring your child out in public if they can’t fucking keep their mouths shut for ten seconds. TEN BLISSFUL SECONDS WAS ALL I WANTED. Breaking news: Not everyone thinks that what your kid has to say is cute, funny or interesting. SO TEACH HIM TO SHUT THE FUCK UP.

The great thing, though, is that my dad’s girlfriend gets similarly annoyed by these things (and she’s not nearly as big a tennis fan as I am, so I feel a little more justified that the kid was just REALLY FUCKING ANNOYING), so her and I got to exchange looks and whispers about it. I try to avoid labeling kids as assholes—because I think it’s really the parents’ fault. But this kid came the closest. Still, the parents get about 95% of the blame for not even fucking trying.

The best part was at about 9:30 they got him ice cream. HE WAS QUIET WHILE HE ATE IT. I was about to run down to the concession stand and buy all the fucking ice cream they had just to keep the silence going. Because once the sugar was gone, he was babbling again. Thankfully, the Asshole family left at 10:30, so I got to watch Roddick crash and burn in blissful commentator-free silence.

So while I’m not opposed to people sharing sports with their children, I do think that they need to teach them some fucking stadium manners first. Or at least make a fucking effort to shut them the hell up. You might be able to filter out the incessant babble because you live with it, but the rest of us don’t have that ability. It was like a fucking drill going straight to my brain. And if I’m going to have an unnecessary lobotomy, I’m going to do it myself, thanks.


Monthly Raging

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