It seems we can’t get enough of all things list-ish because they are not only online but invading our TVs as well. Just this week, I watched Top 100 Olympic Moments, Top 100 Celebrity Meltdowns and Top 100 Pop Songs. I realise that this window into my tawdry little life is quite possibly off-putting but, in my defence, I didn’t watch them in their entirety. Does anybody? Is that even possible? I can only imagine that you would never be able to leave the house, glued to the TV for 24 hour marathon stretches.
Much as I love a list, I have been unable to find any that match my own. Only this morning, until I realised that I was in fact bordering on list lunacy, I was reading list after list of pet peeves and, annoying as some of the things on the lists may be, I can’t say I would elevate many of them to peeve status. I don’t care how long I am standing in a queue or how slow the cashier may be and, little did I suspect, how other people care so greatly. Queues and waiting, it would seem, are most people’s number one pet peeve.
Studying these lists has made me realise why I am so intolerant of other people; I think it’s because my pet peeves don’t mesh well with those of others. Most people are all about efficiency and speed whereas my own peeves are the antithesis of this. People rushing around like maniacs and behaving as though their time is somehow more precious than everybody else’s can put my hackles up like nothing else.
Efficiency, in my opinion, is the enemy of civilisation and, what’s more my friends, I will tell you why. I like nothing better than idling my time away in cafes and bars. Now I understand that people want to get home, I have worked in bars and cafes and know that you are only paid for the hours that the establishment is open, and that lingerers are your worst nightmare. My argument, however, is this: Why when a place is open until say 7pm, do employees start putting chairs atop tables and mopping
around your feet, from as early as 5? I’ll tell you why, it’s because some bright spark of a manager has come up with the idea of efficiency in the workplace. The idea that during the quiet late afternoon periods, workers might reap the benefits of having nothing to do, is so alien to the modern work ethic mentality, they would rather drive customers away with irritating industriousness. And there you have it – my number one pet peeve.
My number two is a source of great mystery to me because it seems this is the one that I do share with the rest of the world. People who talk and text in the cinema. I have done a lot of research on this subject and compiled some pretty conclusive evidence. This problem is almost exclusively a drawback of multiplexes; independent cinemas tend to avoid such inexplicable behaviour. Groups of youths are invariably loud but, if you don’t have the sense to avoid films and times that appeal to the
teenage market, you are a fool and deserve all you get. There is also a gender distinction as women are much much worse than men. I have been seated behind women who have talked non-stop throughout the entire film, begging the question, why not meet in a cafe if you want to have a chat? The real question that should be posed, however, is one to which the answer eludes me completely; if it is on everybody’s list of pet peeves then who are these people who are talking and texting and ruining films for the rest of the world?
The rest of my list predictably is far too long to detail. I fear that if I enlighten you any further, there is a strong possibility that you could find yourself featuring at number 17 or 72 for behaviour that you had no idea could cause offense. Just speaking to me and expecting a coherent response before 10am, not to mention looking at me the wrong way when my nerves are frayed or worse still telling me in a rational voice that I am being irrational. I know, I know, I will stop now but list studying is not a bad way to waste a couple of hours if you are so inclined.