How Do I Irritate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

There’s a book available now called “14,000 Things to be Happy about.” Now, normally of course I am a very happy, optimistic person, but this book makes me physically ill. FOURTEEN THOUSAND things to be happy about?!? As far as I’m concerned, anyone that happy needs to be shot.

Anyway, in response, here’s my list of Things to Be Irritated about.

  • People who call me “Bud.” Do I look like a flower to anyone?

  • When I’m waiting to turn right but a car is coming so I have to wait, but then they turn onto the street I’m turning off of, so I didn’t have to wait, but they didn’t have their turn signal on until they were actually making the turn, so I didn’t know they were turning, and I wind up wasting six, sometimes seven valuable seconds sitting there waiting to turn when I didn’t have to wait.

  • People in movie theaters who yell “Ka-boom!” or some equivalent phrase everytime someone in the movie gets killed.

  • Old women who own those yappy little rat-like dogs, only instead of leaving them at home like normal dog owners, they carry them around with them everyplace they go, as if the dog were quadriplegic or something.

  • TV sit-coms that are described by TV Guide as being “zany” and/or “wacky.”

  • So-called “private communities” like Canyon Lake that whine and whine like Pinocchio about how they want to be Real Live Cities someday, and then, when they finally become cities, they still try to act like private communities and keep “undesirables” (that is, anyone who doesn’t live there) out. I mean, if Canyon Lake is a city, why doesn’t it take down its stinking walls and barbed wire, put up a sign that says “Welcome to Canyon Lake,” elect a city council, and start tearing up its downtown area?!? (I guess first it’ll have to GET a downtown area.) It’s now easier to go from East Berlin to West Berlin than it is to go from Lake Elsinore to Canyon Lake!

  • When my friends and I sit down in an empty movie theater, and the next group of people to come in sit right next to us, as if to share body heat or something.

  • When MTV and VH-1 both have commercials on at the same time.

  • People who shamelessly plug their own books. (Mine, by the way, will be available in November at Bits, Bytes, and Books, located near Thrifty in Lake Elsinore. The title is The Unedited Eric, Volume II: Delusions of Adequacy. The cost is $5, but if you buy volumes one and two together as a package, you can get them both for only $8. Of course, if you don’t buy either of them, you save a lot more, but that’s beside the point.)

  • People who say “shall” when they mean “will.” You never hear bad guys in the movies say, “If ya don’t tell us wheah da drugs is, we shall blow yuh brains out,” do you?

  • People who can’t think of anything to be irritated about, particularly when their friends need help thinking of things because they have to finish a column that they never should have started in the first place.

  • When someone tells a joke that’s really dumb, but you have to laugh anyway so as not to offend them. (By the way, I, personally have never been on the joke-telling end of that situation.)

    "List" columns really don't work, and that's all there is to it. I've never seen anyone do it effectively, least of all me. A few of these are good, but not enough of them.

    Ah, Canyon Lake. Canyon Lake is pretty much the way I described it here. For a long time, it was a "gated community," meaning there was a fence all the way around the city, and you couldn't get in unless you lived there or had been specifically invited by someone who lived there. It sounds outrageous and un-American to me, but that's how it was. People who lived there couldn't paint their houses certain colors, and everything had to be done a certain way, as determined by the Residents' Board that governed things. No businesses were allowed to operate in Canyon Lake. There were no schools, churches, police departments, or grocery stores. You had to leave your precious little Oz land to get to any of those places.

    But for years, Canyon Lake was not officially a real city. It was under the jurisdiction of the county, I think, in terms of police and fire department and stuff. Finally, just before I wrote this column, Canyon Lake became a real city -- and yet they continued their snooty practice of keeping out everyone they didn't like. It was very annoying to me how they tried to have their cake and eat it too, and I was pestered all through grade school by Canyon Lake kids who thought they were better than the rest of us because of where they lived. I remember the first time someone was murdered in Canyon Lake, and the whole gated community went NUTS. They thought it was the end of the world, that a murder should be committed there in their safe little fantasy land. Oh, if only there had been a few more....