A few days ago, we would have added anyone who voted for Donald Trump to our list of people who simply must go. But today we are practicing our reconciliation skills. So who are these people who are annoying us to pieces? A version of this post appeared in 2014 and we fear these kinds of people have simply multiplied.
We all share the same planet and for that reason alone we should be aware of spilling our crazy into the personal space of others, right? So with that in mind, I would like to call out a few folks who, to my way of thinking, broke some planet rules.
1. The guy who takes advantage of the ambulance.
We all know to pull to the side of the road when an ambulance needs to pass, right? We pull over to the right one-by-one and then, after the ambulance passes, we all stay in line and merge back to the left one-by-one. Brain surgery, this isn’t. So why is there always one driver who thinks the merge back is an opportunity to pass a couple of cars. Yeah Guy In The Black Mercedes, I’m talking to you.
2. The Cell Phone Talker walking down the street who can be heard from 50 yards away.
I was outside our Beverly Hills office with our two summer interns, talking about how to write with “voice” when a loud CPT walked by us on the street. The interns actually couldn’t hear me over her — that’s how loud she was. I hope she closes her deal, tells her mother-in-law what she really thinks of her interference, and I agree with her best friend that those pregnancy kits are worthless. (Note to interns: See the voice I just used?)
CPTs are first cousins to Constant Phone Checkers. Don’t be a CPC.
3. The ant exterminator.
In Southern California, this is ant season. Now in previous years, I would have argued that to hire an exterminator for ants was akin to using a Bazooka to shoot a gnat. This year is different. This year, ants have invaded not just our kitchens and bathrooms and kid’s rooms where said child stashed their Halloween candy last October and then forgot about it, but the ants also have invaded our couches, our beds, and even the inside of our refrigerators.
Now you may be asking yourself, “Why haven’t I heard about this major California ant invasion on the news?” The answer is simple: Property values. We in Southern California are obsessed with what our homes are currently worth and ants are our dirty little secret. If word got out that homes in Los Angeles are built on a foundation of ants, people might not be willing to pay many millions of dollars for them. So we hire ant exterminators who charge a small fortune to spend six minutes in our homes while we walk our dogs around the block in complete innocence and then we come back to an ant-free house. Don’t judge me.
Why is my ant exterminator on the list of people who misbehave? Since you know we prefer to operate in secrecy, what’s with the truck with the big bug logo and a giant ant ― legs up ― on the roof?
4. Repairmen who blame the victim.
No, I did not use the “wrong” detergent in the washing machine that caused it to suffer a premature death. I also did not stand over the shower drain forcing my loose hair down it. Further, who actually ever cleans out the pipe behind the clothes dryer that vents it outside even though it can catch fire if clogged (because nobody ever cleans it)?
Blaming me is an unseemly response from someone to whom I am writing a large check. It is especially unseemly since I have a Yelp account and am not afraid to use it.
5. The woman who was seated behind me on the airplane.
I am very sorry you were sick. I am also very sorry that you ran out of tissues mid-flight, spent the full five-hour flight coughing and sneezing and apparently don’t believe in over-the-counter medications that relieve your symptoms for up to eight hours. I am also very sorry that you declined the little surgical mask I offered you (more on that later).
I understand that the airlines don’t make it easy to change plans. And I also understand that even if this woman could have delayed her flight, she may not have wanted to, figuring that whatever she had would pass in the next 48 hours and leave her the rest of the week to enjoy her stay in Los Angeles. But I would like to let her know that she managed to infect both my kids with her germs and probably about a dozen other people. Considerate? She wasn’t.
I’d point out that the very next morning I visited a large medical building in Santa Monica that had a huge sign at the entrance asking anyone who was sick to please just turn around and go home. If all those doctors think that’s a good idea, why not the airlines?
And on the face mask thing? Yes, I carry them with me on planes every time I fly precisely because the airlines don’t.