So here are a few more gripes – some more obscure than others – that we can gladly throw into Room 101. This is probably not what Orwell had in mind when he penned Nineteen Eighty-Four, but anyway…
- Men who go to the centre of the silver urinal trough when nobody else is in there. If the toilet is empty, just take a corner like any normal person!
- Keeping with toilets: men who don’t hold their business at the urinals, and instead, either stand there with their hands on their hips or – in one instance – text someone! What’s up with that? I don’t care if you can control your aim remotely. It’s weird and it puts me off my stream, so just do me a solid and hold yours next time, ok? Left hand or right, it makes no difference to me. Just do it.
- Women who answer with: “you don’t ask a lady that”, when you ask them how old they are; closely followed by women who respond with: “how old do you think I am?” to the same question. Either tell me the truth or lie. Just give me a number. I’m sure that telling me your age will not contravene any national security regulations, so please don’t make this whole song and dance about it. By the way, however old you are, you look older. Happy?
- People who get tattoos or strange piercings on their face and then get annoyed when you point/stare/laugh at them. It’s human nature. Society – quite rightly – says we shouldn’t gawp at disabled people, but there’s certainly no social rule about looking at you. If you insist on the ink and/or the jewellery and want to pass it off as ‘body art’, so be it, but this is the price you pay.
- Google Maps. Google is good for a lot of things, and I – like many people – use it every day, but the map application was obviously programmed by a) someone with a sadistic sense of humour, or b) a drunk monkey. If I was tasked to find my way to mainland China and had to choose between Google Maps and a blind homing pigeon, I’d take the bird every time.
I’d like to say that was the end of my list, but you know, what’s life without a few (hundred) moans?
Yesterday, someone asked me what – if anything – I would consign to Room 101. You know, stuff that annoys me; irks me. Things that make me want to reach for the nearest blunt object. For the few of you out there who are not familiar with the reference, read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. It’s one of the best novels you can get your hands on.
Anyway, I drew up a list which I was going to post in its entirety, but it turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would. So here, in no particular order, is the first clutch of those things that currently… make me want to count to ten.
- People who talk on their mobiles/cells at upwards of 127 decibels. You’re on the phone: you really don’t need to shout! If you want to do so please wait until I have vacated the area and am suitably out of earshot.
- And still on phones: people who find it imperative to tell the other person the minutiae of their every move: “I’m on the bus; yeah, I’m just passing the corner store now. Wait a minute, we’re stopped at the lights. I’ll just be a minute. Oh! I can see you now. Look, I’m waving. Can you see me? Yeah, I’m wearing my red coat. Thanks, I decided to treat myself. You’re right, I do deserve it. Ok, I’m just getting off now. Right, I’m hanging up…”
- People (usually teenagers) who play music on their mobiles without headphones (usually on a bus), with the express intention of making everyone else listen to it. Why do they do this? The quality is rarely crystal and it’s always an artist or band that makes you want to jam the phone down the user’s throat just to see if you can still hear it from the depths of their stomach.
- Adults who look to Harry Potter and/or Twilight for points of reference, disregarding the fact that these books/movies are aimed squarely at people no more than half their age. Minus one point for those who take pride in being able to quote these characters, and minus another point for the ones who attend fancy dress parties as either Dumbledore or Edward Cullen.
- Women who haven’t read a book since The Hungry Caterpillar at school, yet managed to get through all three volumes of Fifty Shades, which now serves as their benchmark for what is good or bad in the world of literature. No, reading one titillating trilogy does not allow you to have an opinion on anything else – it barely categorises you as a reader. You’re just a horny housewife who has read three shit books, that’s all.
…more to follow, once I calm down…
I think Orwell had it just about right.
…and with Life (capital ‘L’) accelerating in other areas, I think it is about time I cracked on with The Novel. I am always giving myself deadlines to finish this and invariably, always giving myself excuses as to why I haven’t done so when the date passes.
Well, this time, it gets done. This time I have a very definite deadline.
Once upon a time…