Friday, June 19, 2020

Insight: List of pet peeves continues to grow

It seems the older I get, the more pet peeves I accumulate.

Just this past weekend, another one was added to the list while driving on a Maine highway. A driver in a SUV ahead of me stopped on the two-lane highway and signaled that he was turning left, so I came to a complete stop immediately behind him.

Traffic coming from the other direction made the driver in front of me have to wait and so I had to wait for him to turn left as well. However, two other drivers behind me decided to go around me, as well as the turning vehicle in front of me, by barreling on past us using the small gravel shoulder on the roadway to our right.

All at once the driver in front of me made his left turn and as I slowly hit the gas pedal to move forward, another car trying to race past me suddenly attempted to swerve back into my roadway lane. I braked and let that driver in, but why do drivers do that?

This happens a lot in Maine and in my opinion, is dangerous and risky operation of a motor vehicle. Where could these people be going in such a hurry that they couldn’t slow down and wait for a few seconds for the driver to turn?

That’s a personal pet peeve of mine and I hope that someday, a pedestrian walking on the roadside shoulder isn’t run over by an impatient driver choosing to pass other cars on the right.

That incident prompted me to think of other pet peeves that get under my skin.

Among those are smokers who throw their discarded cigarette butts on the ground or better yet, flick them out their car windows. I once knew a man in Florida who smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and he told me a story about driving on the interstate with the windows to his car rolled down one summer and he flicked his lit cigarette out the window at 70 mph. Some 10 miles or so down the road after doing that, he smelled smoke and saw flames coming from the back seat of his 1978 Buick. Apparently, the lit cigarette he flicked out the window landed on his back seat and caught the upholstery on fire. He said he immediately pulled over and watched as his car went up in flames before the fire department could arrive and extinguish the blaze.

Lately a number of social media posters have joined my pet peeves list. I understand the desire to post a selfie photo after a new hairstyle or announcing a new relationship, but why show the world basically the same photo only wearing different clothes every day for a week straight on Facebook in the same exact pose? Has your face changed that drastically in 24 hours that I wouldn’t notice?

Then there are the people who feel compelled to post photos of what they are about to eat for lunch or the lavishly decorated cake they are bringing to Aunt Martha’s 79th birthday bash. Aren’t those Spicy Black Bean Fish Tacos with Grilled Zucchini getting cold while you pose them so perfectly for all your friends to drool over on Twitter?

Lastly, internet photo gallery marketing ploys drive me crazy. These are usually placed below or to the right of the news story or article you are reading online and are intended to grab your attention with a catchy headline such as “See what the cast of ‘The Sopranos’ looks like today.”

Then you have to click through hundreds of “Then and Now” photos just to get to the cast member you originally wanted to check out. I usually give up after clicking through 40 photos or so without ever getting to view the actor or actress I thought would certainly be shown sooner. And why they would even include actors or actresses that died 10 years ago in a “Then” and “Now” gallery escapes me.   

I happen to fall for this scheme a lot, which is probably why marketers tend to use this tactic frequently, and I suppose it’s all about click-bait that can be used to promote internet advertising.

When I was young, I used to listen to my father discuss his current pet peeves over Sunday dinner and I vowed that I would never find myself becoming irritated over such little annoyances. Time sure has a way of changing perspectives. <

—Ed Pierce


No comments:

Post a Comment