Sometimes, vexed by the simple irritations of life, one must give vent to them, despite knowing they are trifles hardly worth airing in a world of hurt. Because irritations, like itches, still beg to be scratched.
So here is a sampling of the indignations we must endure, the absence of which would make things much more bearable in this vale of tears we call life:
• Being asked your birthday instead of your name at pharmacies and health care offices. To them, your birthday is your name. Anymore, I just approach their desks and, unsolicited, state my birthday numbers in a flat, monotone voice, like a convict at attention before a prison guard in a Hollywood movie.
• Shampoo bottle pumps that won’t open unless you do a Google search to figure out how to do it.
• Several open containers of the same item in a refrigerator. (This tends to be an irritation my wife suffers due to a husband who doesn’t always check before opening something new).
• The Empty Bite, where a juicy morsel of food falls from your fork just as you lift it to your mouth. Your teeth close on thin air, giving you a desolate feeling.
• Listening to a recording of your own voice. It sounds like an alien being. What happened to that mellifluous voice you hear inside your head when you speak?
• Zip lock bags that don’t zip. You can run your squeezed fingers along that unwieldy seam until we land on Mars, but since the seam won’t line up, it’ll never work. You’re better off using a worn-out bread bag with a ragged twist tie to store food.
• When you relay something controversial another individual said, and the person you’re talking to starts arguing with you as if you were the originator of the contentious words.
• Paper towels crammed too tightly in a dispenser, resulting in you ripping off a postage stamp-size piece of paper on which to dry your hands.
• Nonstop health commercials during news shows. Hey, we’re not dead yet.
• Pants pockets that have a small pocket inside them. Who thought this lame idea up? It was probably conceived as a brilliant way to corral change or keys inside your pocket, but all it does is keep you from getting to them.
• When you can’t figure out from the diagram on a stovetop which knob goes with which burner.
• Spelling out a complicated email address over the phone. You try to use radio lingo for the letters, like “A as in alpha” or “T as in tango” but then you can’t think of any more words to use and just feel dumb.
• Christmas and birthday cards that are the exact size of the envelope they come in and refuse to be wrestled out. You end up shredding everything in a mad frenzy to retrieve the card.
• People who say, “If you don’t like the weather in Montana, wait 15 minutes,” and then guffaw as if they said something hilariously original, not knowing every state in the country uses the same expression.