What grinds your gears?


It’s been said that everyone has a grumpy old man living inside who begs to get out every now and then.

Enter my local newspaper with a new column entitled “What Grinds your Gears?” It provides a soapbox on which to unload on all those things that chafe and annoy us every day. Readers are not being shy about their ranting, and I’m amazed how universal most annoyances seem to be.

My number one all time irritant is those milk advertisements where some celebrity is wearing a ridiculous milk mustache. Despite its being touted as a requirement for a healthy body, the beloved bovine excretion is being manhandled in my opinion. The one featuring Donna Shalala is particularly off putting. I have given up milk entirely because a calcium tablet is guaranteed not to give you a mustache.

And the Jimmy Dean ad in which some man is dressed up like a big sunbeam. He’s a grump to boot…complaining about having to get up early to light the world. Did a second grader come up with that concept?

The scooter commercial with that elderly lady singing off key “you made me love you… I didn’t wanna do it” – oh so bad. I kind of want to shoot myself so I will never have to shop for a “Hover Round.”

hover round

“Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get Up.” That one bothers me too – probably because I knelt down in church the other day and the man standing next to me had to pull me up.

And don’t get me started on marketing calls. I’m thinking seriously of getting rid of my land-based telephone because all I get are marketing calls. I was out of town last week, and when I returned I had 32 messages on my answering machine. All but four were telemarketers.

So here I am paying $90 a month for these telemarketers to have a job and invade my space. The Woodmen of the World call every day along with a company wanting to renew my auto warranty. I sold that vehicle five years ago and they still call several times a week.

The rub is that these aren’t even real people calling anymore…just recordings. So you can’t yell at them, but I do anyway. I say horrid things, then have to go to confession.

I actually got a real person today. When he asked for Emily Jones, I told him with a catch in my throat that we had just completed her funeral. Bet you money he calls back today.

The pilot calling from the cockpit of an airplane telling me I’ve won a trip to Hawaii is pretty irritating. You can hardly hear him for the motors running on full speed. He must be flying one of those old prop-driven puddle jumpers from Southern Airways. Do you really want to fly to Hawaii in that?

I got one today from some man informing me that he heard someone in my family has diabetes. The nerve! That’s just none of his “bidness.”

I don’t like those slip and fall, ambulance chasing lawyer commercials, either. “Did you trip on your own untied shoestrings while in a store? We can help. We’ll do our best to put these honest businesses OUT of business while getting you five percent of their assets while we take in the other 95 percent.” You know the ones.

Apparently many products buy into the philosophy that people often purchase products that have annoying commercials because they are the only ones that stick with you just for their awfulness!

Here are a few other items that grate on my nerves:

* People with opposing view points who interrupt and shout at each other on cable news. Is decorum out of style these days?

* Plastic, shrink wrapped items that require a flamethrower or the “Jaws of Life” to get into. You can count on breaking a nail every time you open a new package of “you name it.”

*What’s with those thingies that hang down in the middle of a pair of specks or sunglasses. You look ridiculous walking around the store trying them out. Couldn’t they hang them in a more discreet location?

* People who don’t put the cap back on toothpaste, and that old crusty hard toothpaste forms around the rim, slowly decreasing the diameter of the hole the toothpaste can come out of. Who’s the culprit? I accused Rebel Dawg, but he blamed it on Lucky Dog. Oh, Gee. Could it be ME?

I also regret that people have to die before we show any honest appreciation of their lives. Tony Snow and Tim Russert come to mind. Better late than never, I guess. But I’m thinking Tony and Tim would have enjoyed seeing a few clips of the glowing memorials delivered by the media upon their demise.

2 thoughts on “What grinds your gears?

  1. Hi Emily,

    You may find it irritating, but my all time favorite commercial, thus far, is the one where the camera’s focused on a lone roll of toilet..er ah…tissue that just sits there and does nothing long enough to get your attention.

    Then, as if by magic, somebody off camera gets a white mustache of a thicker variety, to get some…welllll…relief, if you get my drift, and presto chango, that sucker, t.p. roll takes off for a spin.

    What’s your all time favorite commercial?


    Just love subtle humor like that!

  2. My current favorite is a jeep commercial with a handsome young man driving down the road singing “Rock me Gently, Rock me Slowly” when a bird flies in and begins singing it with him. Soon,a squirrel and assortment of other animal jump in. Finally a wolf jumps in and swallows the bird but coughs him back up and the choir continues the song. Love it! Makes me want a jeep.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *