Pebbles in your shoe. Mosquito on your back. Bee in your bonnet.
Some people say they come to this column on Mondays because there's usually a "feel-good" story here. Well, it's true. But is it good to be so predictable? It's time to throw a change-up. To toss a ball in the gutter of life.
Yes, life is beautiful. The world is awesome. But sometimes you step in dog poop.
So today is all about things that bug us. OK, because it's my column, these are things that bug me. You see, I observe the world from journalism's ivory tower, so I have the license to be smug, arrogant and condescending. I will use that license today.
Out of the wide world of things that irk me, I have pared the list to just a couple of the most currently egregious.
We'll start with a couple of easy ones.
- True, this is the 21st century, but it still startles me when I'm walking past a parked car with no one inside and it honks at me. It's those newfangled remote keys locking the car. That's annoying.
- I gather my wits and keep walking and notice an idling car, again with no one inside. The owner is keeping it warm or cool or whatever. Seems a little decadent to me.
- TV and radio commercials can be extremely irritating. If you listen to the Colorado Rockies on the radio, you now have heard the absolutely most annoying commercial ever. It's a Coors Light ad featuring Foreigner's 1978 song "Hot Blooded." Every time the word "hot" comes up, the word "cold" is dubbed in with a man's monotone voice. Like this:"Well, I'm (cold) blooded, check it and see.
"I've got a fever of (like 34 degrees).
"Come on baby do you do more than dance?
"I'm (cold) blooded, I'm (cold) blooded."
See, you're already way annoyed. Tell me you're not.
I guess the first time you hear this it's sort of funny. When you hear it during the next half-inning break, after the Rockies quickly have gone down swinging, you realize it's going to be a long season.
Now when I recognize the first couple of notes, I race to turn it off before it can infect me. Usually I fail because I'm washing dishes or scrubbing the floor or up on a ladder changing light bulbs.
Four Corners Broadcasting, which airs the Rockies on KIUP-AM (930), claims no responsibility.
"We don't have a choice," explained Kristin Dills, Four Corners' business manager. It's an ad they're contractually bound to run because it's part of the Rockies' network package.
She also said I was the first one she'd heard complain about the ad. I guess the rest of you have more important things to do. I can't imagine what that would be. I asked if she'd go ahead and yank the "Hot Blooded" ads.
"Then I'd get in trouble," she laughed, obviously not taking me seriously. (A common occurrence, I might add - very annoying.)- Why can't people just do what they're doing, and be content with that?
It bothers me when I'm on the Lion's Den trail early in the morning, getting in tune with nature and all that, listening to twittering - of birds, not that Internet thing - and I perceive a chatty voice not far away. There's a person a couple switchbacks below having a loud conversation on a cell phone. It's disquieting both to me and the cute little chipmunks.
I barely use a cell phone (it's sitting in a dresser drawer right now), which puts me in the minority, I realize, but the other end of this spectrum is that folks walk and drive and even bicycle and skateboard with a phone clamped to their ear, not really knowing where they are in real space at any moment. Kind of dangerous, if you ask me.
- And maybe, just maybe, it's possible I do something that annoys others.
I sensed some irritation the other day, for instance, when I came across a guy fly-fishing along the Animas River. I splashed into the water next to him and yelled to the fish, "Swim away, swim away. Those flies aren't real. It's a trick!"
Maybe people don't appreciate it when I pay for my sub sandwich with the pennies and nickels I've saved.
Oh, and this is a fun thing to do: Shift a couple of one-way signs around so you get vehicles going both ways on Narrow Gauge Avenue. Horns honking, cars trying to back up. It's a lot of fun. But I could see why someone might be aggravated.
And people might complain that having the song "Hot Blooded" stuck in their head would qualify as annoying.
Sorry about that. Next week we'll get back to normal, feel-good stuff. I promise.
[email protected] John Peel writes a weekly human-interest column.