Miss(ed) Manners

January 13, 2006

Miss(ed) Manners: Ground Gears

Filed under: Column,Humor,Life,Ramblings — missedmanners @ 2:22 pm

There are certain things in this world that annoy the ever loving shit out of everyone, for example: terror, hunger, drugs and poverty. They annoy the world so much that we actually wage wars against them. See, I have this theory that all actions are connected through a series of “Tolerance Levels.” Meaning, things only get done when the tolerance level to a certain annoyance reaches its Reeves/Swayze Point, or RS Point, or Break Point, you catch my drift.

Things like poverty, hunger, terror and drugs are such huge annoyances on the global level that the tolerance level was surpassed a long time ago and we as a human race totally went out to fix them. As far as I can tell, the effort is going swimmingly.

Then there are the things that are annoying on a personal level. These are the annoyances that drive us to get through the day. How annoyed you’ll be by your boss being mad at you for being late to work determines whether or not you’ll get to work on time. Whether or not your stomache annoys you enough to spur you into stuffing something nutritious down your gullet or how long your tolerance for stupidity will let you watch Laguna Beach are both fine examples.

But what about the things that just aren’t annoying enough to set your ass to movin’? These are the petty grievances that sour our mood, sprinkle sand in the old axe wound, piss us off. They’re annoying enough to make us complain, but not bothersome enough to make us want to do something about it. Listed below are just three of mine, why I hate them and why I won’t ever do a damn thing about them.

1) Mass Text Messages

Here’s two words everyone should know: Broadcasting and Narrowcasting. They’re pretty self explanantory, one means casting broadly, the other, narrowly. Some devices and forms of media are meant for broadcasting. For example, television, radio or a combination of alcohol and opinionation. Others were built with the idea of narrowcasting in mind. The telephone, for example, was supposed to be a point to point communications device. When Bell spoke those first words to his assistant over that wire he didn’t say, “Hey, everyone I know, come here, I need you,” no matter how sexy that sounds.

Now that we have text messaging capability on our cell phones, a whole new era of awkward and misunderstood communication has opened wide. While in the past it was only possible to talk to someone on the other side of the country, now you can spend ten minutes inputting single character after single character to let them know: “i lv u man@ c u l8tr!!#”

Somehow in the fanatical bloodlust that accompanies new technological revolutions it became alright to send one cryptic text message to everyone in your phone book. Imagine my surprise when, on Christmas morning, I received the following text message: HAppy X-Mas! It was from someone I hadn’t talked to in ages! Oh happy day! A true Christmas miracle, lost connections were being rebuilt, this person genuinely wanted me to have a HAppy X-mas!

Fast forward four hours and I’d gotten close to twenty text messages, some from close friends, many from numbers I didn’t recognize. The ugly truth set in. These people just typed in a message and sent it to everyone in their phone book, my cell phone’s innocence was lost. Not that a year of vibrating next to my balls hadn’t been losing a little innocence daily, but that’s besides the point.

Now, while this is certainly annoying enough to warrant a complaint, I’m not going to start blocking text messages. Mainly because I’m a sad and lonely person, and the validation that even a simple CC-ing brings is more than enough for me.

2) People Who Open Doors and Then Don’t Close them Even When They Really Ought To

Oh my God, this annoys me to no end. For two reasons, mainly. The first being that a door’s natural state of being is in the closed position. If doors were meant to be open all the time we wouldn’t have them. So when someone comes to my office, or a house party, or an underground lair and wanders in and doesn’t close the door I usually have to get up and go close that door. Why? Because of the second reason why this annoys me so much: The phrase, “Close that door! What, were you raised in a barn?”

I was raised near a lot of barns and I feel this really casts a negative light on all rural denizens. Why would you ever leave a barn door open? Then the goddamned cows would get out and then you’ve got cars running into them and then you’ve got to go to court for having your cows cause a three car wreck that paralyzed a little kid and you’ve got to sell the farm, stock and equipment to pay for the lawyer’s fees and you end up working at the local hardware store to support your crank habit. So, please close the door, for the rural crank heads.

and finally:

3) Cotton

Yeah I said it. Cotton sucks. Actually, as anyone who’s ever hiked anywhere will tell you, it KILLS. That’s right, this material is actually referred to as being a cold blooded killer. I’m assuming that’s because of its long association with America’s nefarious slave trade. It may also have something to do with how poorly it handles cold and wet conditions.

Wool is much better. Right before the holidays I picked up a wool sweater. It hasn’t left my back for more than a few hours a night since. I’ve worn it in the rain, in the snow, in the cold and in the warmth, and it’s awesome. Aaron Neville should be ashamed, fabric of our lives indeed. Fabric of our cold, damp and slavery accepting lives maybe.

Unfortunately, roughly 99% of my wardrobe is made up entirely of cotton, so as I mentioned before, this doesn’t seem to be enough of an annoyance to warrant change.

As stated earlier, annoyances are what life is all about. While the big ones like teaching evolution or missing white girls can incite change to happen, these little ones just go on happening. Maybe the world would be a better place with wool underpants and Star Trek style robot doors, but what would there be to get us annoyed enough to wake up in the morning? Robot bosses?

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