Monday, July 28, 2008

stephen's rants...

i wrote a column for my college's newspaper one time that got a lot of feedback. it basically was a half page article on things that got on my nerves, intrigued me, or that i had an unhealthy obsession with.

that was years ago, and my brain deems it time to vent... so i hope you grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. will forgive the lack of charlie pictures. i promise to tell him *you* are his favorite...

this week's list of things that give me a nosebleed if i think about them long enough

#1 - tip jars at every business

every coffee shop, diner, and lemonade stand these days has a jar that says something like "tips appreciated". i imagine that they are appreciated... who doesn't like getting money for doing what you are supposed to be doing and are already getting paid for??

i used to wait tables.. at 2 different periods in my life. both times my primary means of income was what i made waiting tables. i made $2.13 an hr. plus tips. it was understood that i would make tips to round out my pay. if i got stiffed (a highly technical term, but one that can be used on television) more than a few times a week it could seriously affect my ability to pay bills, buy groceries, etc.

i have had friends at starbucks that make more than i do now, who have better insurance than i do, and who also get A FREE POUND OF COFFEE EACH WEEK . guess who also has a "tips appreciated" jar? yeah.. every starbucks you've ever been to... and there are at least 20 million in north america alone.

i went in to pay $30 for less than half a tank of gas last week and there was a "tips appreciated" cup on the counter. i resisted the urge to tell the guy behind the counter all of the things that i would appreciate, including his telling me what he was going to do with the $0.39 , a toothpick, and some chewed fingernails in his cup. you cant even mail a letter with that (which is another rant for another day) .

#2 - people at the movies
christi and i went to see the new batman movie last week. if ever you need a reason to lose hope in humanity, go to the county fair. if there isn't one, go to the movies.

aside from the crowd's inability to form a line and maintain that line as a single unit while waiting to be let in to the theatre, the real fun came after getting seated.

christi and i have a seating arrangement at the movies. she sits to my left, and i protect her from any dangers that may come from the right. no danger comes from the left in a movie theatre. there is scientific evidence to support this, which unfortunately is too complicated to explain here.

anyway, to christi's left staggers in a preppy "i only tuck my shirt in at the front because that way you can still see my overpriced boxers" fellow carrying his own 40 oz. beer ("fo-dee" for short.) to his credit he was extremely polite (see.. no danger... he came from the left).

however, about 90 minutes in to this 2 and a half hr. long movie he passes out and drops his bottle, and begins snoring like a yeti with a sinus infection. i even put my arm around the top of christi's chair and smacked the back of his, after which he began to choke, then snore louder.

his social faux paus was only mildly irritating compared to the neighbors on my right. the gentlemen seated immediately next to me was more determined than mary kate olsen at a twinkie factory to not relinquish even one inch of the arm rest we shared. (shared...HA!)

his wife ( i assume) sat next to him, being under the impression that she had been given the title of "narrator". had i been struck blind by the "plumbers vertical smile" of the annoying teenage stick girls in front of us (something that i halfway prayed for), i still could have known everything that happened in the movie, thanks to chatty patty's uncanny ability to do audible english subtitles of everything that happened on the screen.

if you have seen the movie, i bet you didn't even notice that the batman was very upset while driving the "batpod" on the way to save rachel dawes from an untimely demise. i did know that he was upset, but i was also informed that he was probably crying, we just couldn't see it from under his mask. "holy oscar moment, batman!"

thank you, leonard maltin.

#3 - drivers

did the dmv stop requiring a test of basic automobile and traffic rules? did they just do away with them all together?

the most frequent "i have never been behind the wheel before and what on earth is this turn signal you speak of?" violations i have observed lately are of the right on red (unless otherwise posted), merging onto/off of an exit into/out of traffic, and four way stop varieties.

there should be at the very least a bi-annual, mandatory review that every licensed driver has to take to refresh these rules-complete with written test. failure to accurately answer correctly on the above situations results in that person having to wear an orange jump suit and hold the "stop/slow" signs at construction sites so the state stops paying people $20 an hr to look angry while they do it wrong.

i cant even begin to speak of the idiocy of people who nearly run you off of the road or into a bridge because, even while driving they still talk with their hands while on the phone-that, or completely forget that other people would even exist while they are trying to talk on the phone.

if you are under 25 yrs. old, it should be illegal to talk on the phone while driving w/out an ear piece. if you are caught texting while driving, you are taken out of your car, tortured like a kfc chicken at guantanamo bay and forced to trade in your cell phone for a pager from 1991 for the rest of your life.

*whew* i feel better.


christi said...

This is what I live with.

RonK said...

"i was also informed that he was probably crying, we just couldn't see it from under his mask. "holy oscar moment, batman!"

thank you, leonard maltin."


You made my day better.

Sunny said...


i needed a good giggle.

the orange jumpsuits and the strange angry constructions workers is my fave---so true!

Mike Gross said...

Too funny!

Funnier still, however, is the fact that I began getting worked up myself since I seem to rant about many of the same issues (just ask Michelle). I think I may have even yelled out "Yeah!" once or twice while reading.

Thanks for giving a voice to our cause:-)