Thursday, February 16, 2012

Irritating and Stupid spend an ordinary day together

         The other day I decided to see if I could document the number of things I encountered that were both irritating and stupid at the same time.  These six  items presented themselves in one average and ordinary day.

           One.  Speedway gas stations should never brag about their speed. Speedway has pre-programmed every single gas pump to go into the extra slow barely-dribbling-gas-into-your-tank mode exactly  sixty cents prior to pumping the amount you have paid for.

         So here's what happens. I pay for $20 in gas and when the pump hits $19.40 this extra high-speed modern technical device starts pumping at a rate slower than Goober used to pump it for Barney Fife.  

        Cynics will tell you that Speedway has done this so that impatient pumpers will hang-up the pump early and take off just to avoid the excruciating wait.

          Two. After my trip to the gas station I went to the dry cleaner where all my shirts are on these wonderful metal hangers. The proprietor informed me that I could not return the hangers for recycling because laws prohibit it as unsanitary.

        All that metal is going to waste while Mr. Lee buys new hangers day after day.

          Three. Next I went to the grocery store to buy some juice. The phrase 100% juice appears on the packaging for all kinds of fantastic juices, from pomegranate to strawberry to raspberry. With the exception of grape juice and orange juice, whenever the bottle reads 100% juice I've discovered that this phrase means that Apple juice is the majority component.

             Pomegranate 100% juice  is actually Apple juice with some pomegranate mixed in. Don't be fooled.


          Four. Still in the grocery store I encounter several fat-free products that still have some fat in them in the form of oils. The federal government says that anything with less than half a gram of fat per serving can be described as nonfat.

        This just means the FDA permits labelers to lie.


          Five. Watching a reality show later that evening  I noted that producers were bleeping out vulgarities in a  ridiculous fashion.

         The offending cast member puts her front teeth on her bottom lip and obviously lets out an F bomb. If you can tell exactly what she is saying, what's the point of the bleep?

         Watching bleeped out dialogue is now basically the same as actually hearing the words because of the bleeping technique. This is just bleeping stupid.


          Six.  Later that night the Starbucks menu board reminded me  how stupid things can get in the world of yuppie product franchising.

            A small version of a  drink is referred to as "Tall". The medium edition is called the  "Grande" which in Italian means "huge". And of course in keeping with this theme of  size names that have  nothing to do with size, the very largest drink is called a "Venti", which is Italian for "twenty", nonsensical since the cup actually holds 24 ounces.

            Language purists simply ask for a small, medium, or large  in order not to be sucked into this stupid highbrow Seattle Niles Crane affectation.

           So there it was. The day in which I kept track of things that were irritating and stupid  at the same time.

         If you've encountered some items that fit in this category yourself,  send them to me by going to my blog which can be found  at

           May  your day tomorrow not be irritating and stupid at the same time.

          It's really hard when you get hit with both barrels like that.


  1. Interesting and informative column. As a retired Sales Manager of a major gasoline dispenser company.. let me defend Speedway and all retail gasoline outlets throughout the country. Underwriters Lab and EPA required all dispensers to "slow down "prior to "shut-off" of a pre-determined "pre-pay" dollar amount. This was to prevent impatient customers from pumping at "full throttle" and then abruptly shutting off, thereby creating a hazardous "splash back" onto the customers clothes,and driveway. the "slow down" can be frustrating, however, it's for the safety of the customer.

  2. Dear Anonymous,
    Back Splash??!! Really? It's still irritating and stupid. I just stop it on a dime when I'm done pumping and haven't gotten any backsplash yet! Maybe the EPA doesn't know about this yet. So what's your take on the metal hangers, 100% juice, Fat free labeling, and the bleeping? Never mind, it would probably irritate me, just like the EPA. What in the world did we ever do without them? Oh Yeah, Prosper!