Friday, August 12, 2005


The way most people are atrocious photographers. I am frankly more than a little surprised that we have raised a society of people who take consistently bad photographs. Let me break it down: Are you tired of getting photos taken of you where the smiles look fake? Where 2 people have their mouths open? Where everyone just looks crappy?

Worse yet, are YOU the person taking these photos?

Here is a simple remedy that defies social norms but is a good way to get great smiles and photos that don't make me want to jump off a building backwards (might as well check my reflection on the way down):

Usually, when people are taking pics, people say something like "Smile! 1...2..3" and then either (1) THEY DON'T HOLD THE BUTTON LONG ENOUGH, SO NOTHING HAPPENS, LEADING TO THEM LOOKING AT THE CAMERA CONFUSEDLY WHILE EVERYONE'S FACES ARE TURNING TO STONE (anger) or (2) they just take a crappy picture where everyone looks fake.

Listen up people. There is another way. Get the people gathered. Get them warmed up. Tell them a nice joke. GET THEM LAUGHING NATURALLY. Then Take The Picture!! It's ok if they don't expect it!! REMEMBER!! You don't really have to count "1...2...3" in order to take a picture!!

People forget this and look stunned when I suggest it. Yes, it's true. Try to get a natural laugh out of your audience and the pictures will look great. And hold down the god damned camera button.

Cold showers

Sorry, but I have even more camera hatred. What is with the people who you ask to take a picture of you/friends and they look at the camera like it's a foreign weapon? "Uhh...I'm not really sure....(bewildered look)" and they refuse to take the pic because they don't know how to use a camera. Now, I very very very rarely get mad at someone for not knowing something, or make fun of them for that. After all, you can't really mock someone for not knowing something--maybe they just didn't have the opportunity to learn, etc.

But there are some cases I feel very comfortable mocking people: when they don't know something that any functioning human being should know in the course of breathing oxygen and living on this planet. For example, if you're under 85 years old, you should have dealt with a camera. So when I hand it to you, PLEASE DON'T RETURN IT TO ME LIKE IT'S KRYPTONITE. TAKE A PICTURE AND PLEASE POINT IT THE RIGHT WAY.

Another thing: Learn how to pump your own damn gas. (People that live in NJ etc, yes we know that you're legally not allowed to pump yours, so thanks.) There is absolutely no excuse for not knowing how to do this, people. My parents were so smart that they made us think we were LUCKY to be able to pump gas. Meanwhile, they chilled in the car and listened to the radio!! Brilliant!!! I will be fortunate enough to pass on that wisdom as soon as my toddler child can walk.

Interesting sidenote on the gas thing: In high school, I had a friend who didn't know how to pump gas. So one day we were driving somewhere and I had to get gas. Remembering that he didn't know how to do it, I made fun of him and then made him get out and pump my gas. I was feeling very good. Then he got back in the car and we continued driving. It was a cold night, so I had the windows rolled up and the heater on. By the time we got downtown, all of us mysteriously had POUNDING headaches. Upon further investigation, it turned out that my friend--the one I Was so happy about making pump gas for me and learn how to do it for himself--spilled gasoline all over his shoes, which then seeped into his sock. Apparently the smell of gasoline in an enclosed space for a long time is not good.

And finally, this is the last hatred (for now) about people who don't know something. I am CONVINCED that if you take a sample of top college students--say 100--some surprising amount will not know how to put the toilet paper on the toilet-paper roll. THIS IS MY GREAT CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY!!!!!!! I call it the Toilet Paper Hypothesis. Let me explain: See, these are people who have never really had to learn how to do it. When they were at home, their mom always put the toilet paper on. And when you get to school, there are maids who do it. So really, when would there be a necessity to learn this? And if you're a top college student, it's even more likely that your mom did it at home and you had maids at school.

The interesting thing is that when I tell people this, they scoff as if it's the most outlandish thing in the world. LISTEN, I WILL PUT MONEY DOWN ON THIS. Here's the bet: You get 100 people, take them into a bathroom one-on-one, and say "Ok, fix this"--and there's a new roll of toilet paper sitting on top of the toilet. The subjects have to put the new toilet paper back on the roll within some reasonable amount of time (say 30 seconds or whatever). If they can't, they fail!!! I bet that at least 3% of students have never done this in their lives.

God I will mock these people until the end of time!!!

Movie theatre seating that is not staggered. Thank you, seat designers, for making me stare into the back of someone's head for 2 hours instead of simply moving my row 3 inches to the right. ANGER!!!!!!!!!! But to be honest, if I were the seat designer and I did this (whether intentional or just a stupid oversight), on the first day I would go into the theatre with a humongous hat and just listen to the whispers behind me. Might as well get some laughs out of it, I guess.

People who write out numbers like "two" instead of just writing 2. I don't care what MLA style says, it's harder to read.


Blogger Gabe Rosen said...

Costco Hatred: Being Jewish, I shop at Costco a lot. Normally it's a good deal, but today was a real aggravation. To wit:

I hate the Costco parking lot, where, even though the land is completely level, the parking areas are always slightly inclined so that you can't just leave a cart standing without it rolling into the next county in two seconds.

People who honk their horn at nothing at all. It's rude, distracting, makes everyone wonder what they did, and is usually noticed by everyone but the intended driver. Especially in crowded parking lots where no one can move fast because of all the old ladies and young children.

The asshole who was streaking through the Costco parking lot in his new Porsche like he was doing a time trial.

When they give me shit about using my parents' Costco membership card, even though I'm paying in cash. It's not like it's credit card fraud. Do you want my business or not, fucko?

Non-Costco hatreds:

Police officers and their precious, Pringles-box mustaches. The officer testifying in the court case I watched this morning had a mustache that made me sympathize with Ice-T.

Getting harangued based on information that the other person assumed was the case instead of just checking with you and being relieved as a result.

People who assume their experience negates that of thouands of others. Yvonne Ridley, a British journalist, was captured by the Taliban on an undercover assignment, and for some reason was spared and released. Now she devotes all her time to blasting the U.S. and Britain and being an apologist for theocracy. I bet you all the women doctors and lawyers and professors who were forced into hiding and slavery there might disagree. Also, this arrogant insect of a woman took her 12 year old daughter to Afghanistan "on holiday" when all British nationals were advised to leave the country.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Somewhat related to the original post:

Toilet paper dispensers that consume standard-size rolls but _cannot_ be reloaded in the standard way. (If you've been in a few office building bathrooms, you've probably seen at least one breed of this awful species.) I mean please, people! How freakin' hard is it to buy a standard toilet paper dispenser? They sell them at every hardware store in the country. And they don't force otherwise competent people to solve an intractable disassembly puzzle while they're squatting over the john.

3:35 AM  
Blogger Gabe Rosen said...

I hate when a perfectly good product is modified so as to be less useful, less convenient, and more expensive. This happened to my university throughout my four years there, but more tangibly, how about my calcium supplements? I take calcium supplements because I'm allergic to milk, and, as Ramit says, because I'm an old man. Anyway, my old supplements required three pills a day, each containing 1/3 of your daily calcium, vitamin d, magnesium, and zinc. Apparently, that was too convenient, so the jerkoffs who design these things replaced them with a new version, where 2 pills contain 50% of your calcium, but only 20% of your magnesium, but 66% of your zinc and 62% of your vitamin D. WHYYYYYY? I'm old! Stop confusing me! And yes, I know I could shop for a different brand, but where else besides Costco am I going to find 300 tablets for $9?

1:42 PM  
Blogger HKagan said...

i hate single ply toilet paper. secondly, the female way of the paper coming from the bottom not from the top (this is a proven fact)

3:32 PM  
Blogger Gabe Rosen said...

I hate people who call me on the phone, don't introduce themselves, and sullenly demand who I am when (the horror!) it turns out I'm not my little brother. Attention rude teenagers: I know it must be terribly disappointing to get someone other than him on the phone, but learn some manners. They'll take you places. As will bathing and removing that car muffler you seem to have confused for an earring.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Chips Whitesugar said...

I was pleasantly surprised when I moved to New Zealand, to discover toilet paper holders that were simple and elegant. Just slide the roll on the assembly - no screws, no springs, no puzzles. It's about the only thing more advanced than here than in the USA.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

I find "two" easier to read than "2".

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Ava said...

your parents sat in the car and listened to the radio while you pumped the gas? i don't get it ~ so did they have the engine on??

... and has no one ever questioned that to date?

1:59 PM  

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