Friday, September 12, 2008

Is It Just Me?

Picture this peaceful scenario:

I'm relaxing upon my sofa (or couch), in my serene living room, TV on, muted (as always), watching my beloved Red Sox as they battle for the pennant, my faithful laptop warming my lap (and transmitting God-knows-what variety of electrons and microwaves and unspeakable potential doom into my nether regions), enjoying the fruits of my (and my lovely wife's) labor. Ahh, nothing like living the American Drea--


A car. Moving very fast. Speeding along my street. A street, by the way, that has a speed limit of 25 mph. A street, I might add, that stretches not much longer than the size of five house lots. (This being California, the Golden State, otherwise known as the state-with-postage-stamp-sized-lots, those lots are not large.) A street, if you will allow me to continue, that is situated between two stop signs, with my house smack-dab (I have never used this expression before, but it sounds so good here, doesn't it?)...ahem...smack-dab in the middle of those two stop signs.

My point being (and I DO have one, you know), is that one (and when I say "one," I'm talking about dozens of [add your favorite expletive here]) would have to really, really WANT to seriously exceed the 25 mph speed limit to buzz so fast past my house--AFTER STOPPING (sometimes) at one stop sign, and then seeing (and knowing) that they need to stop again (rarely) at the next sign, a mere 100 feet (give or take; I've not measured it...yet) away.


Or are these people (using the term very loosely) who are speeding through my neighborhood, to get to their neighborhood, not really people at all? But some as-yet-named (or discovered) species of animal (apologies to the Animal Kingdom) that feel it is okay to disrupt (and possibly endanger) my quietude (and solitude and, more importantly, my RED SOX GAME!) so they can practice their Indy maneuvers just so they don't miss a minute of Wheel of Fortune.

I am confused. (Guess I should be used to it by now.)


I've talked about this before, and still have not come up with a solution that would keep me out of federal prison, so I shall move on to the next scenario.

You're sitting beside your lovely spouse, inside a swanky restaurant, maybe holding hands (or a shrimp, recently dipped in tangy cocktail sauce; me: a limp carrot stick), enjoying the ambiance. The background music is perfect, just loud enough so that you barely notice it, while not too much that it becomes a distraction. The service has been stellar, your beverages chilled just right and working their magic (hers, an appletini; mine: bottle spring water...with a twist). Your salads arrive..."oh, yes, please, some fresh ground pepper would be wonderful, thank you--"


No, it's not.


Or should people (call them what you want) who loudly yak on their cell phones in pubic places (especially restaurants!) be:

a) tarred and feathered
b) placed in stocks and be publicly humiliated

c) hog-tied and forced to watch as you delete the memory from their iPhone
d) dragged into the restaurant's kitchen and stuffed inside a:

1) dishwasher
2) deep fryer
3) Turducken
4) all of the above

Where was I?

Right, enjoying a very complicated, yet incredibly rewarding, daydream fantasy.

My point is:


The utter gall and deluded imagination involved in thinking that ANYONE other than your mother (and she's vacillating a bit, too, I might add), wants to listen to YOUR conversation while they are trying to enjoy a nice dining experience is beyond comprehensible, well past ludicrous, and speeding right past ridiculous.


I mean, really? Is it--

Hold on, I gotta take this.



Until next time...




Anonymous said...

The Lion rushes to the sidewalk and waves at the yahoos roaring down the street to SLOW DOWN. They never do, just roar past him, but he insists on doing it. He is dreaming up a device that will toss balls into the street as cars zoom by. I thought this was silly, because I was envisioning cars skidding on giant marbles right into our house. No, his intent is to make driver's think a kid is rushing out after the ball, to MAKE THEM THINK of what could happen. My Lion has a very active imagination, not to mention high hopes. Bottom line, he would back you up on this rant.

Ms. O. D. said...

oooooh that's a pet peeve of mine... the cell phone! one time i was in the movie theatre and some guy answered his phone, and went on to have a conversation too in a packed movie theatre really annoying! another guy stood up and shouted and somewhat politely asked the guy to hang up... and he hung up, but then another call came in and he answered that call too. the other guy stood up again and really went berserk shouting and demanding that he hang up or take it outside... it got really intense as they went back and forth, nobody said anything... that's the only thing i remember, i've forgotten what movie it was...

anyway, cell phones are really annoying.

Lux said...

I have only this to say: no, it's not just you.

My mom has some other pet peeves so don't get her going! :)

Paul Eilers said...

We live in a college town, in a nice neighborhood with quite a few kids. We also live near the university.

Well, when class lets out, so many college kids were using our street to cut through, that some of the older residents decided to put up a stop sign (as opposed to a speed bump - thank goodness!). A cop will sit hidden about the time the college kiddies race through, so that helps too.

But boy, it sure seems like a lot of trouble just to get folks to slow down.

I'm getting old.

neferiti said...

No it is not just you! I truly enjoy reading the recounting of your was as if I was in the room with you!

The use of cell phones in restaurants is a huge pet peeve of mine!

This verbal intrusion seems to me to be about Self importance.

Catatonic Kid said...

Definitely not just you. They keep installing roundabouts near me to try and get people to stop speeding like that. Doesn't work, of course.

Oh, and the cell phones! Just turn the dang thing off! How hard is that? Seriously? Bah.

Thank you for introducing me to the concept of a Turducken. Wow. Curiouser and curiouser. Lol

Anonymous said...

No, it's not just you my friend. We live in a quiet neighborhood, as well, with the exception of the occasional jerk who zooms by completely ignoring the 25 MPH signs. I have developed a nasty habit of screaming "Slow Down" when disturbed, while tending to my yard. My wife on the other hand, handled the situation in a slightly more direct manner a couple of summers ago. She was in the front yard, minding her own business, when a car streaked by at 40+ MPH. She did a kind of double take and continued watering the flowers. Pass number two and she yelled "Hey slow down". A few minutes later my wife caught this sub-human approaching out of the corner of her eye. What happened next, I don't recommend anyone try at home. My wife is a professional "freak". Which I mean in the most endearing way. :) She firmly gripped the water "gun" in her left hand, switched the dial to "cannon" with her right hand. Almost instinctively, she raised her arms, taking aim where the car would pass. I tried to say something like "Hey honey, what are you...." But couldn't get it out in time. As he flew by, she let him have it with a steady flow of ice cold well water from her new found anti-speeder bazooka. All the while yelling "SLOW DOWN!!!" Good idea? Probably not. Effective? You bet! He immediately slowed, without stopping. He glared at her over his shoulder in what looked like total disbelief for a few seconds. He then slowly pulled away at about 15 MPH, finger waving in the air. We continue to laugh about that one to this day!

Thanks for sharing your pet peeves. Great post!

Daisy said...

I think everyone needs to just have more manners and stop being so rude. I do not mean manners like which fork to use for which course, but just common decency and consideration for others.

Debbie said...

Clearly, it is not just you!

I live on a Cul de sac, near the end. Why does anyone need to race down to take the turn? Children play on our streets!

Loud music that hurts my body coming from their vehicles.

Breathing now, letting this go......

Anonymous said...

I hear car screeching down our street from time to time. If'n I'm lucky enough to be outside, you can bet your sweet bippy that I'll be tossing a few rocks their way when they pass. I'm antagonistic like that sometimes, but they really don't need to be speeding down my street and putting people in jeopardy either.

It's not just you friend.

Faisal Admar said...

Nah! Its not just you pal. I hate people who drives recklessly and speeding at the wrong place especially our neighborhood! I just accept them as brainless creature. They could hit kids who playing around the neighborhood or pets that happily running here and there. If they really need to show their speed… go to the race circuit!

About talking loud on cell phone it always happen in my country too. I accept he/she is talking to someone deaf (or he might be deaf too?).

It’s really irritating when these peoples are around you!

DanO said...

If you haven't seen it, this might appeal:

Eric S. said...

You certainly are not alone. I have a number of similar pet peeves, and the speeding takes the top. I have been tempted to throw things, but thought better of it at the last minute. Our street is about 1/4 mile, and the speeds get seriously ridiculous.

As for the cell phone, what about texting while their driving, how stupid.

Karen and Gerard said...

Crazy drivers like that need to get their car taken away!

People seem to totally forget about being courteous with a cell phone in hand. Talking on one at a table in a restaurant is very rude to everyone around.

On the bus, although it is public, I only use mine very briefly just to let my husband know I'm almost to the bus stop so he knows when to leave the house. If buses ran on time consistently, this wouldn't be necessary, but they don't. Well, come to think of it, mine has been pretty consistent lately on the return trip. Anyway, then there are others who carry on long conversations for everyone on the bus to hear.

Anyway, Go Red Sox! Interesting that you are a Red Sox fan but live in California. My husband is a Boston fan living in Ohio.

Anonymous said...

I added yours too now... :)

Lance said...

It's not just you....

It's me too...

Unknown said...

Urban Panther--tossing balls, yeah, that would work...water balloons would be better

Ms. O.D.--hard to imagine, but, sadly, not that hard...glad there were no fisticuffs

Lux--won't get mom going, but how about you, Lux? Any cat peeves?

Paul--we discussed a speedbump, but they are a pain...I still like my stocks and public humiliation idea, just gotta catch 'em

Neferiti--it kind of FELT like you were in the room with me...

Catatonic Kid--we have one of those roundabouts and they are worthless...but you get a gold star for mentioning my Turducken reference (this was supposed to be a tongue in cheek kind of humorous post, but I think I've touched a nerve with this topic)

John--your wife sounds like a pistol...a water pistol!

Daisy--I agree, kiddo...why can't people be more like cats?

Debbie--deep breaths, one, two, three...exhale...

Wayne--sounds like we have ourselves a Laugh-in fan...sweet bippy, cool!

Faisal--what can we do? Sick John's wife on them!

DanO--I will check it out, thanks, man.

Eric--texting while driving...what next? Playing the piano?

Karen/Gerard--I grew up in New England half my life, out here in California for 25 years, but always remained a Sox fan. GO SOX!!! Paul agrees...

Leo--nice blog, Leo...check it out!

Lanceman--join the club...



Anonymous said...

That was funny Mike, I had to laugh at the end,and I had thought you'll castigate the violators severely....(smiles).

Thanks for that interesting post, Cheers.

Anonymous said...

I can relate on all of these. Some folks are so tied up in there own lives they never think they could possibly be disturbing anyone else.

GroundedFitness said...

I live next to a middle school, so during school hours both sides of the street are full of parked cars, leaving only one lane for traffic. My favorite is when people play chicken with you and then throw up their hands and yell when IM BLOCKED IN AND HAVE NO WHERE TO GO. there are roundabouts to slow people down, but instead of going around them, the cut the opposite direction, and then again yell when they almost hit me head on. i need to move.

Kelly Turner

Brenda said...

I'm with Daisy. We all need to be more mindful of others. It came as quite a shock to me when -- at age five -- I had to learn, it's not all about ME! Sometimes I think our society has regressed to just that age and needs to be reminded this same lesson!

The Fitness Diva said...

Hey, Mike...

Just want to let you know that you are one of the blogs I chose to receive the Brillante Award.

Stop by my blog when you get a chance, and if you like, you can pick it up.
I know you've done the award thing a few times before, so don't feel obligated to pick yet another 7 people! lol

Hope you are enjoying your day! ;)

tahtimbo said...

This was Spot-On. I have encountered this alien life-form on many occasions and I feel that they should be eliminated. They have no regard for anyone but themselves. They are selfish and arrogant. I have no interest on what they are talking about and, if I may go out on a limb here, don't believe anyone else in a five-block radius is interested as well. As for the speeders, we get them all the time too. What I love, is when the police are sitting down the street and nab them...oh, that makes my day:)

Unknown said...

Jena--glad you found humor in my plight...actually, I was going for laughs about a touchy subject

Debo hobo--so true...we need to look past self, at times

groundedfitness--sounds like moving may be your best bet

brenda--you mean, it's not all about me? Doh!

fitness diva--wow, cool, thanks for the award! Enjoy your day too!

tahimbo--maybe ask them to return to their alien planet? Man, wish the cops would sit and wait in my neighborhood, I would really like that...



Anonymous said...

I've nominated you for the "I Love Your Blog" award! If you want to join in, pass this award along to 7other blogs and link to them on yours.

Anonymous said...

Thanks GUYS for providing such a marvelous article, this type of article are rare to find in the Internet
Once more thanks.

Anna said...

Our particular speed racer likes to not only race up and down the street in his car, but also his ATV (this being highly illegal)and his motorcycle. If you attempt to call the cops, he conveniently disappears...they have a scanner, so he is never caught in the act!

As for the cell is annoying when you're trying to enjoy your meal, but it's also a real pain in the behind when you're trying to wait on them!!

Anonymous said...

I vote for c)hog-tied and forced to watch as you delete the memory from their iPhone. I'm definitely going to do that next time I'm in public and someone starts talking on their phone nearby. Will send pictures. (Not from my phone, though ... I'll wait until I get home.) :-p

Anonymous said...

Great post and I am with you on the Indy racers in your neighborhood...just ridiculous and dangerous!

Now on the cell phone thing, I am going to be in the minority here-and before people want to tar and feather me, hear me out. I have a problem with loud inappropriate talkers not cell phone talkers. What is the difference really if you are sitting next to someone who is talking to a live person or on the phone when the conversation is intrusive it is just that?

Just my take on I said great post!

Goddess said...

My favorite suggestion for slowing down speeders on a residential road is the old novelty police siren. When that thing goes off, they instinctively slow way down. Of course, you've got to be there to catch them at it.

As for my pet peeve, I've got all the usual ones, but can I add this? Cars that roll through the neighborhood with their radio cranked and the bass jacked up so high that the windows rattle.

Unknown said...

Reg fife--thanks! Will take a visit and check it out...

jane--Glad you enjoyed it

anna--all I can say is: aaaarrrrggggghhhh!

passionategreen--if you look like that huge green guy on your avatar, then I pity the fool who chats on his cell while you're trying to enjoy your dinner...yikes!

getsmargal--I totally agree with you--loud talkers, with or without cell, are just as bad. May I just add: what is wrong with some people?

goddess--right with ya on those loud, bass-driven cars!

thanks for all the great comments!!