Thursday, September 29, 2005


Fake smiles like Kristin on Laguna Beach does. Other offenders: Julia Roberts, Lara Flynn Boyle, basically every female celebrity who, as a reaction to having to smile all day, have developed this singularly annoying technique. It's an entirely fake type of smile that makes it seem that they are amazingly amused and goes like this: The girl leans her head back, opens her mouth so widely that no rainwater within a 2-mile radius can escape, and gives some fake-sounding laugh. Listen, I have told some funny jokes in my lifetime, and I have never evoked a reaction so amusing that they literally had to lean their head back to contain themselves. STOP THE FAKE SMILES

Cold fries at fast-food restaurants. These alone are enough to enrage the common man. But looking beneath the surface, I hate one thing even more: the poor saps that take these fries and don't complain at all. And the finger-pointing ends on one group: the stupid American consumer.

I'm constantly amazed how dumb the American consumer can be when it comes to getting what they want. In other countries, retailers and customers lie to each other, insult each other, and blow them off. But you know what? And in this seemingly laborious exchange, each side gets what it wants.

The American model is a different, stupid, top-down approach: The retailer offers some good, sets a price, and the consumer accepts it. EXCEPT THAT THEY DON'T QUESTION ANYTHING AT ALL, EVER. WHEN YOU GET COLD FRIES, YOU ASK FOR HOT ONES. I cannot COUNT the number of times when my friends have gotten cold fries and, when someone (me) pointed this out, they turn into Stockholm-Syndrome-afflicted consumers, shrugging their shoulders and saying "'s not that bad" (thousand-yard stare).

PLEASE, FRIES EXIST FOR ONE REASON: TO SERVE AS HOT, NOURISHING SUSTENANCE FOR YOU. If they're not hot, they're not FRIES. And seriously--ask for what you want. If your fries are cold, they'll make them hot for free. If the pants you're buying have a button missing, ask for a discount. If you're not happy with the service, tip less. If DO I REALLY NEED TO GO ON?! JUST ASK YOURSELF THIS SIMPLE QUESTION: WWAID? That's short for What Would An Indian Do?

Forbes gets in on the action:

When newspapers use this stupid style: "Acme Corporation downsized to 13 employees from 18 and will continue to tighten business..."

Why oh why do they put "to X from Y" when ANY normal person in the world would say "from Y to X"? Try it--read it out loud. This is done by some of the most prestigious newspapers in the world, including the Wall Street Journal. Why?

What is it with blogs that don't have contact information or a simple biography? I was doing some research yesterday and wanted to get in touch with blog owners, but less than 50% of them had ANY WAY TO CONTACT THEM. What is your email address? Phone number? ANYTHING!!! This is slightly ironic considering that I accidentally messed up the code on this site, erasing my email address and picture. Oops.

People who confuse doing something for a long time with being good at it. I swear to god, if I hear another middle-aged person look condescendingly at someone else and say, "I've been doing this for 15 years," I am going to jump off a bridge into an alligator pit wearing nothing but a steak necklace and alligator boots (they still miss their uncle). Doing something a long time doesn't mean you're good at it. Look, I cut onions for 6 months before my mom saw me doing it, laughed at me, and then told me the right way to do it. I could have been doing it my old/wrong way for 15 years, and I still wouldn't have been GOOD. JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE WORKED SOMEWHERE OR DONE SOMETHING FOR A LONG TIME DOESN'T MEAN YOU ARE GOOD. (I repeated this 3 times because sometimes old people take a long time to get it.)

People who read a book and take it WAY too literally. A friend of a friend read "He's Just Not That Into You" (a great book for the most part). Anyway, she was going out on a 2nd date with this guy, and he didn't call the exact time he said he would. So when he called (A FEW HOURS LATER), she told him, "Sorry, you're not taking this seriously enough so I don't want to waste my time" and that was that. SHE ENDED IT BECAUSE SHE DIRECTLY APPLIED A BOOK'S TEACHINGS TO HER LIFE. PLEASE, PLEASE SELECT YOURSELF OUT OF THE GENE POOL


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the waiter/tress tries to force the free side down your throat.
"No fries, thanks" "You sure? Maybe the mashed potatoes?" "Yeah, no fries or mashed potatoes, thanks" "But it comes with the meal!"

Why the hell are you so insistent on wasting food!?! I don't want them! Quit trying to make me feel like shit for growing out of my American born gluttony!!!

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

An unrelated vexation to those posted above, but worth being said:
When you are in charge of a general email address for a company, and are told to forward interesting emails to the appropriate people in the office, which you do. When the appropriate people - who are senior to you and thus theoretically have more experience in the working world - are incapable of realizing that you CANNOT JUST HIT REPLY TO AN EMAIL SOMEONE FORWARDED AND EXPECT TO REACH THE PERSON WHO WROTE THE EMAIL. You will reach the person who kindly forwarded you that email, and is now being cruelly spammed due to your stupidity. The real vexation comes after reminding the same people not to do this over and over and over again.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Gabe Rosen said...

I hate when you try to read a website and it's clogged up by stupid promotional games that you don't want to play, that obscure the content, and that you can't get rid of without playing. This is the worst marketing concept ever: play the stupid promotion or we won't let you read what you came to read.

People who shoot themselves in the foot to try to save a buck at my expense. I had this FOB email me about editing his MBA applications. I quoted him a price commensurate with my skills, experience, and success as an editor. After dicking me around, he kept asking if I could just edit the grammar only and not provide any criticism, and how much would that cost? Mind you, if he gets into any of these places, we're talking $50,000 a year. NEWS FLASH, Malcolm McForeigner: You don't get points for having correct grammar. You're supposed to have correct grammar. If that's the best thing about your application, have fun going to business school in Kazakhstan.

When my Facebook profile shows six male friends.

People who think their convenience overrides their obligations. A "friend" asked me how much he owed me for gas, and when I told him $5, he said "$4 is what you're getting, cause I ain't breaking a ten". This is the same guy who, upon running into a really hot girl he went to high school with, snapped "You owe me a dollar!" - from a year earlier. I don't care about one dollar - but since you obviously up, fucko.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Generous said... going to fix the code? I seriously want your email address.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Ramit Sethi said...


12:37 PM  
Blogger Gabe Rosen said...

What is with the inability of 90% of automakers to make comofortbale headrests? Most people, when they lean their heads back, want some neck support and cushioning around the base of the head. Instead, we get headrests that give you no neck support, no base support, and are completely flat, so that you can't settle into them at all. How hard could it be, folks?

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Nicole said...

When people think the past tense of "drag" is "drug".

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This might have been said, but god damnit, I hate when people invert common sayings. A teacher of mine said yesterday, "When it's all done and said . . ." What the hell? Hasn't it been "said and done" for approximately 150 years?

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When drinking fountains either dribble out, forcing you to practically make out with the thing, or jump up, always managing to hit you in the nose or forehead. Were drinking fountains not invented many decades ago? Is there really a reason why a technological society with many brilliant people has not found a way to make predictably consistent drinking fountains?

4:13 PM  
Blogger Lever said...

Here in the UK there's nothing worse than Victoria Beckham's false smile except maybe her sacharin-sickly false pout!

10:16 AM  
Anonymous CoyoteUgly said...

I love what you said about the fake smiles. These are not just limited to famous women, however. I think the entire "Baby Boomer" generation was born with a fake smile gene. I like to call it the "Dead Cat Smile". C'mon...don't tell me I am the only one who has noticed that dead cats on the side of the road all have that same expression!

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When people get into YOUR car, and complain about the music, or do the oh-so-subtle "WHAT are we listening to?" What makes it worse is when you just drove an hour through rush-hour traffic to pick this person up with no benefit to you.

Friends who expect you to give them gas money everytime they give you a ride somewhere. This is absolutely horrid, the only time I'll ever accept gas money is if I am driving someone to work EVERYDAY for a long period of time, or it's a long road trip. The worst is when there is 4 other people in the car, and they expect everyone to pony up $2+ dollars. IT DOESN'T COST $8 TO DRIVE TO THE MOVIES!

People who always say they want you to speak to them when you have a problem with them, but don't really mean it. "Hey, So-and-so, your crap is all over the counter, can you clean it. And I've cleaned the bathroom the past 4 times, can you clean up the bathroom as well, you haven't cleaned up a single thing in the past month." Then they get all pissy and try to get back at you by not picking up a SINGLE thing of yours for the next 2 weeks. If your going to get pissy, don't tell me you won't.

People who "love" to go out to clubbing (dance clubs, not bars), then sit there drinking at the table the entire night. How fun can it be drinking by yourself for 4 hours while everyone else is dancing? What makes it worse is everytime you come back to them, they're asking "What time were you guys planning on leaving?" If you don't want to be there, don't come, or at least don't make the rest of us feel bad.

People who, after a test, ask you what you got. When you tell them you got an A/A+, their response is "Oh, that is because your so smart." As if being smart is this wonderful gift given to only a chosen few, and "smart" people never have to do any actual work. Regular people like them actually have to work super hard and will never be "smart". The insinuation that I don't work hard for my grades, or that I just magically learned everything is VERY insulting. You'd be amazed at how many people I hear this from. I GET GOOD GRADES BECAUSE I WORK FOR THEM.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe "x from y" is for a few reasons as opposed to "y from x". First, "X" is a general term for something unknown (albeit in the western culture - because I don't know if this is universal), i.e. the elusive "X factor." Therefore a problem put forth triggers something in the subconscious mind that we're dealing with unknown generalizations. Also because X precedes Y in the alphabet. I don't understand why you believe "y from x" sounds better, but maybe it comes down to aesthetics - personal preference.

While I'm sure I'm not nearly as smart as you, I'm confident enough that for me, the above would stand to reason.



8:44 AM  
Anonymous j said...

I hate "To $52 a share from $50" format as well. Every time I read it (and re-read it, and re-read it until I figure out what they were trying to say) I wonder why they write it that way. I can only assume it's because people MUCH more important than I am read ONLY the first part of the sentence and then IMMEDIATELY pick up their phone and yell at their broker. They can't be arsed to read the extra 2 words to get to the pertinent information - that could mean no champagne cooler in the new Bentley (the one for Tuesdays, to replace the previous one that got 6 months old). Meanwhile we plebes have to suffer through reading the same sentence four times to figure out what they meant. It's the man keeping us down.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah - and I don't know why the "time posted" line under comments shows a time of day and nothing else. (I.e., no DATE) This doesn't help me much, people. Maybe you can set that in which case I am hating unnecessarily (or misdirectedly), but I see it on a lot of blogs.

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not even sure what year these comments were made on, but I did observe gabe rosen's rant on grammar and his next comment on car headrests not being "comofortbale". That was the funniest part - his spelling error. :)

10:47 AM  
Blogger Sean said...

Thanks for writing. I find your posts delightfully enjoyable. Its good to know Im not the only one who suffers daily mental containment leaks at the remakable fools that abound.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you assume everyone who has a blog should want people to contact them? Not everyone has a blog for the same reasons you do! Some people just want to say what they have to say, and have no interest in feedback. Then again, I'm a total bitch, so what do I know?

2:37 AM  

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