- People who rush to get the ‘first’ comment on Youtube videos, Facebook posts and websites. I’d understand this more if there was some sort of reward system for typing FIRST!!!! Before all the other idiots, but there isn’t. Perhaps people get a little rush from being the first person in recorded history to post a reply on Facebook to their favourite band’s announcement that they’re going on tour on the other side of the world. But the problem is that you get about a hundred brain-dead cretins all shouting FIRST!!! At the same time. And THEN you get some scathing ironic burke who decides to be witty by typing ‘tenth’ or ‘three-hundred-and-forty-sixth’. There’s a special section of Hell reserved for these people.
- People who appear on Embarrassing Bodies. I know this isn’t saying anything new, but… imagine this. Bob has a very rare condition where his man parts are roughly the same size as those little cocktail sausages you get at rubbish parties. He’s troubled by this. He fears the possibility of sexual encounters and daren’t confide in any of his mates. So what does he do? He goes on Channel 4. By definition, he also appears on Channel 4+1, the inevitable re-runs on More4 and is immortalised forever on 4OD. The only thing I can think of to explain why people willingly appear on live television with lopsided danglies and infected nooks and crannies is that they’re being paid obscene amounts to do it. Or maybe they’re all exhibitionists as well. Who knows?
- People that have a seizure when I tell them I haven’t seen a particular film or TV show. So a film comes up in conversation. I mention that in the course of my day-to-day life that I haven’t got round to seeing it yet. The other person chokes a little bit and looks at me like I’ve murdered a puppy. “Ohmygod what do you mean you’ve never seen The Sixth Sense???” I mean, there’s some films that you’d be hard come by to have never seen, but the question is phrased in the same way that someone might say “What do you mean you’ve never eaten a sandwich?” It’s not so much the surprise, but the drama that gets shoved into it.
- People who wee on toilet seats. I’m not an expert, but I imagine this is a problem restricted to guys. I’m guessing , though, that after many, many years of having wees fairly regularly, a guy will know whether he’s any good at ‘aiming’. If you’ve got a dab hand for getting it where you want it, then that’s great. No problems there. But if you objectively know that you couldn’t hit the ocean if you pissed out of a boat, it might be a good idea to put the seat up. Just a thought.
- Cold callers. I’m particularly passionate about this one, for a very good reason. Somehow, somewhere, some telemarketing company managed to get our home phone number, and now we regularly get about five calls a day. We don’t get many calls as it is, so the chances are that whenever the phone rings it’s Mr. Patel from New Delhi trying to sell us some volcano insurance. Once, as an experiment, I let the phone ring to see how long it would keep on screaming without being picked up and disconnected. After four minutes I gave up and answered. And you know what? They put me on hold. Fuckers. As well as being annoyed as hell, I genuinely don’t understand how they can make a living from this. Who actually talks to them??
- Cashiers that hand me my change on top of the note. Maybe I’m just being picky here. But I’m sure you’ve been in the situation, right? You buy something and wait for your change. Instead of being handed the note first and then the change (or vice versa), like a civilised human being, you’re handed the change on top of the note and have to balance it like you’re playing a fucking egg and spoon race as you walk out of the shop, desperately trying to cram it all in your pockets before it falls down a drain. I dread to think what this must be like at a drive-thru. The Owl and the Pussycat may have seemed content to wrap all their money up in a five-pound note, but I’m sure as hell not.
- People who spend the entire fucking film asking me what else they’ve seen one of the cast members in. I don’t know. I haven’t seen the exact same films as you have. I appreciate that your need to find out what other parts the main character’s cousin’s wife has played overrides your need to actually watch the film, but everyone else just wants to watch it. Shut up. Either they do, which is forgivable, or they get their phone out in the middle of the cinema to check IMDB. And everyone knows that the light from a phone in a pitch-black cinema is blinding. The most annoying thing of all is when they find out and then have to inform you. “He was one of the guys in the restaurant in Pulp Fiction. You know the one? The one who tried to rob Samuel L. Jackson at the end?” That’s great. Fancy checking IMDB again to tell me what just happened in the film we’re currently watching? I missed it.
- People who order a large Big Mac meal with a McFlurry and Chicken McNuggets with extra dip but get a Diet Coke. I mean… this is exactly like snorting crack cocaine all day but turning down a pint. I’m not exactly sure who these people are trying to kid; themselves or the cashier they’re ordering from. I’d be tempted to ask them if they wanted a Diet Cheeseburger as well and give them two slices of bread.
- People who fish for compliments on Facebook. You know what I’m talking about. Everyone knows that one empty-headed girl who posts a photo of her looking her absolute best with the caption ‘ugh, so ugly’ or something of that ilk. Ten times out of ten you get a slavering army of sex-starved guys ‘liking’ the picture and trying to convince her that actually babes, you’re well fit in this one. It’s blatantly obvious this was her intention in the first place, or why would she upload such an ‘ugly’ photo? I wish I was brave enough to reply with a ‘yep’ the next time I see a photo like this.
- PeOpLe wHo TyPe lIkE tHiS. I mean, sure, replacing the word ‘you’ with the letter U is quicker and easier. As is usually the case when substituting syllables for numbers: 2nite, 4ever, all that jazz. But aLtErNaTeLy CaPiTaLiSiNg EvErY wOrD carries so much bloody hassle that I don’t understand why people do it. The stress of actually typing that out was immense. My Shift key’s never seen so much action.
By Dan Peacock
Dan Peacock is a student and writer from York. He writes poetry and prose, and his works have appeared in Gumbo Press, Streetcake and FlashFlood, among others. His short story, ‘Entropy’, was recently selected for this year’s 8×8 anthology. He occasionally writes articles for The Student Review, and spends his spare time staring hopefully at blank Microsoft Word documents. You can find him tweeting as @Danye_West.