Saturday, 7 August 2010

Things That Piss Me The Fuck Off, Part 5

So, it's my 100th post, and I've not done one of these in a while, so what better way to mark the 100th post than with another edition of what would have been my first blog post, had it not originally been on Facebook.

41. Cramp

Pain is one of those things that's something of a necessary evil. We don't like it, but it's useful. It serves a purpose in our lives. When you stand on a plug, and it hurts like an absolute bitch, that pain is your body's way of telling you to stop being a retard and to take your foot off the plug before it does some proper damage.

Cramp, however, does not fall into this "useful pain" scheme. Cramp is complete bullshit in terms of actual use. It's your body hurting like a bastard for pretty much no fucking reason whatsoever. Not only is there no obvious reason for why a random part of your body is in a lot of pain, but there's fuck all you can do about it. It's the most useless form of pain because that's all it is. Pain. Stupid, useless, unnecessary pain.

What's really dumb is that most of the time when you get cramp, it's after excessive exercise. Which, in some ways, means that cramp could be perceived as your body's way of telling you that you probably shouldn't exercise as much. Which I'd be fine with, but this would apparently contradict the popular belief that exercise is good for you, and something you should do more of. And it's not like exercise doesn't tend to be painful at the time either. You go through something that ranges from uncomfortable to pretty painful, and then frequently your reward is a ton more pain later in the the form of cramp.

And to make it worse, you can feel it coming too. There's always that little warning twinge, those tiny uncomfortable feelings you get that are just to let you know that you're about to fucking hurt some in a minute or two. And that you'll be totally helpless to stop it.

42. Unnecessary Big Cars

SUVs and 4x4s, basically. Not all of the time; just when they're owned by someone who has absolutely no fucking use for a car that big. Which is pretty much all the time. I could be wrong, but I'm fairly sure most of the people driving stupid fucking huge cars on the road are people who never drive over anything more taxing on a vehicle than the gravel drive to their front door.

They're stupidly big things to have on the road, they're massively inefficient and unfriendly to the environment, and most of all, they're fucking dangerous. Whenever I hear someone say they drive one because they "like to feel safe" I want to fucking slap them, because that statement is the most selfish and inconsiderate reason for owning something like that, ever. Because yeah, you are safer driving a fucking huge car. That's because, by default, you're making every single other person on the road less safe. You're ensuring that you come off slightly better in any crash by making the other party involved come off much, much worse.It's basically saying "I don't mind killing a few people if it means I come out of a nasty crash with nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises instead of a broken limb".

Modern cars have plenty of crash zones, meant to help absorb forces in an impact, and ultimately keep the people inside the car safe. SUVs and 4x4 cars completely flout these safety devices, because they're so damn fucking big that they fly straight over the top of them. Because when an SUV/4x4 crashes into a normal car, you tend to get stuff like this:

See the... car? Or pile of wreckage that used to be a car? Crashes between normal-sized cars usually don't end up that badly unless they're at a really high speed, but when they're hit by an SUV all the crumple zones sort of go out the window when it flies over the top and rips through the passenger canopy. My bet is that the people inside the car are most likely dead/seriously injured when they would otherwise have been mildly injured/unscathed. All because some douchebag wanted to "feel safe" and bought an SUV.

The SUV in the picture is worth noting too, given it's upside down. Because yeah, they're pretty good at that. They actually showed on Fifth Gear (I'd link to a vid but I couldn't find one, either way they've got a few nice crash tests) a few years back that it's possible to flip them over just by swerving at 25mph. The idea that you're necessarily "safe" in a SUV or 4x4 is definitely not a forgone conclusion. You're also still pretty fucked if you crash into another vehicle of a similar size as well, as they tend to be built with pretty rigid frames that don't make crashes particularly pleasant unless whatever you hit is fairly easily crushed.

So they're not that safe for the occupants, and they're dangerous as hell to other road users. If people need to drive across fields on at least a semi-regular basis, then fair enough, but you mostly see them in suburbs driven by middle-aged women who clearly don't need a car anything fucking like that big,

43. Hot Weather

Not something that poses too much of an issue up in t'North, but I still absolutely despise it when things get properly hot. When it gets so hot that you can't not notice the fact that it's absolutely fucking boiling.

Because that's what I really hate. The fact that there's no escape from the heat. You sit around in the day panting because it's too fucking hot, and then at night it's exactly the same. It doesn't matter if you're sleeping naked with no covers on and all the windows open, it won't make a fucking bit of difference. Once it starts getting above 25°C, which is generally a pretty nice temperature, and into the uncomfortably hot range where you can't do anything productive because you basically feel like you're going to melt, that pisses me off.

It's not so bad abroad, where it tends to be quite a dry heat, but here it just gets humid and shit, and there's not a great deal that can be done about it. You're limited to basically sitting around inside or outside, trying to keep cool, and any attempts to do something better will just leave you sweaty and bothered. Especially in London. There are places that get hot, and then there's the muggy, sticky, intolerable heat you get in London. The sort of humid heat that pushes temperatures up towards 45°C or more on the tube, and that basically makes sleeping impossible. I had it last year for the TC meet (which is when it was the most fucking ridiculous heat wave ever), and I had it this year as well for the UK Mahjong Open. It was just stupidly hot, and I hate it.

44. People Who Misuse The Term "OCD"

I swear "OCD", which stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, has now basically just become something of a modern synonym for "slightly obsessive/compulsive". If people are actually telling the truth, then I'm fairly sure that pretty much every single person in the country actually has OCD. Except they don't, it's just used in a fairly ridiculous sense whenever anyone talks about something that they do that's vaguely unusual.

Except most of the time it's not even that fucking unusual. Most of the time they're really mundane and fairly typical things. Almost the same sort of thing as saying "I'm OCD about turning off the light before I leave a room empty" or "I'm OCD about brushing my teeth twice a day". Which all could be OCD, if said person would refuse to leave the room empty if they couldn't find the light-switch, or would refuse to go to bed having not brushed their teeth for a second time, but I'm fairly sure in most of these cases they actually mean "I pay special attention to".

I admit that I'm probably guilty of having said something like this myself, but it's still annoying. It's just blatant disregard for what OCD actually means, because you can't really have partial OCD. It's either obsessive or compulsive to the point of being a mental disorder, or it's not. Washing your hands after touching anything you didn't sanitise in the last 24 hours is OCD. Having to weigh out your cereal and milk separately to the nearest gram before you'll have breakfast is OCD. Having a tendency to archive shows that you download onto an external hard drive is not. And it's fucking retarded and somewhat insensitive to say it is.

45. Tourists On The Grass At Downing

There's a few people who will have already had this rant, but I know it pisses a lot of other people off too. I had a lovely view across the college from my room in M Staircase last year, and I also had a good view whenever some asshole tourists were just standing around or sitting on the grass. It always seemed like a bit too much effort to actually go outside and tell them to get the fuck off the lawn, so I'd just be able to see them out of the corner of my eye for the whole duration they were there, and it'd slowly burn away at my soul.

Part of it is jealousy. Part of it is the fact that I'm a fucking student at the college, and I'm still not allowed on the grass. And I know this, and (aside from after DCBC dinners) I respectfully keep myself off the grass. It's for fellows and porters to walk on, and their guests, and nobody else. Except apparently for fucking dumbass tourists. They don't know the rules, and as a result they walk on the grass willy-nilly, and the people who do know the rules don't get to, which is fucking irritating.

Another huge part of it is the fact that there are signs. Not massive signs, admittedly, but there are still signs. And it's fucking Cambridge. Pretty much every single college in the entire university has signs to say you're not allowed on the grass. It would be a sensible assumption, having been to most colleges, that you probably shouldn't be on the grass, especially given that there are plenty of people around and none of them are on the main lawns either. There were even some tourists who not only wandered over the grass, but went over to the flowers in front of the chapel and started walking through them and picking them.

This will seem like a silly thing to even mention for anyone who isn't at Cambridge, but I reckon most of the people who are will get where I'm coming from. Because the tourists in general are an absolute fucking pain in the ass in general, especially in exam term, and seeing a group of them out of my window spend fucking ages on the grass trying (and failing hard) to successfully get a photo of each other jumping into the air and actually being in mid-air when the photo is taken... it's just that extra bit irritating when they're not even allowed to be on the grass in the sodding first place.

46. Programs That Take Ages To Start

Until recently when I moved stuff around, I had something of a Murphy's Law of desktop shortcuts on my laptop. The Law would basically state that anything I click regularly must be surrounded by shortcuts for programs that take years to load. This would mean that if I was trying to open, say, my "To Watch" folder, or a text file, I would invariably click on Adobe After Effects or Counter-Strike (which has to load Steam as well before it can load), and I'd then have to sit around waiting for this program to start up just so I can fucking close it and get my CPU back.

This doesn't always apply to my desktop either. I've been meaning to change it and haven't, but Adobe Fireworks is my default program for opening .png files, and Photoshop is the default for .jpg and .bmp files. Which means that frequently all I actually want to do is view the picture in the MS Photo & Fax viewer, and instead I accidentally end up opening the picture in a program that takes a good fucking age to get itself going.

This used to apply to Word documents too, but MS Word 2010 actually has the function to close it while it's still loading itself with the splash image, so it's not so bad. It'd be nice if the Adobe CS4 stuff had the same deal, but it doesn't, so I'm forced to wait for the splash screen to appear, tell me it's loading shit, and then, to make things worse, when the main program appears it always makes itself on top. It doesn't matter if I've since gotten some other program to be my active window; Fireworks or whatever will make itself my active window once it's loaded, which is an absolute pain in the ass when I'm trying to play mahjong or something while doing whatever made me fuck up and click the wrong thing in the first place.

47. People Who Have The Wrong MSN Status

This one really pisses me off, and I know so many people who do it. On MSN, if you're online, fucking mark yourself to be online. And available too. Don't set yourself to be marked "Busy" or "Away" if you're perfectly free to talk, because that's also a fucking pain in the ass. The whole damn point of those statuses existing is to let me know whether you're free or not, and when people just have whatever status they fucking want it completely defeats the point of them.

If there's someone you're trying to avoid, just fucking block them. Why the fuck would you appear offline to everybody, when you could just block that one person, appear offline to them only, they won't know the fucking difference, and you're not going to inconvenience everybody else who might want to talk to you.

Because it's a pain in the ass talking to someone who has set themselves to appear offline. I have no fucking clue if they're actually still there or not, unless they've just said something. It could be that I'm not currently in a conversation with them, but want to talk to them and don't think they're online. To set yourself to appear offline when you're not is basically just having a "don't call me, I'll call you" philosophy for MSN, which is just an asshole thing to do.

Same for people marked "Busy" or "Away". My general tactic would be to not speak to someone marked "Busy" or "Away", because hey, they either don't want to be disturbed or they're not there. Why would I talk to them if it wasn't to just say something vaguely important and let them get back to me. Yet I've come to realise that quite a lot of people are just permanently marked "Away" despite the fact they're actually there. Which is a pain in the ass, because it basically means that to start a conversation I have to throw out a comment and then wait and hope that they're there.

I can accept people will forget to mark themselves back and stuff, because I do it occasionally, but it's different if your status is just permanently wrong. It doesn't make any sense. And it's not like Windows Live Messenger doesn't specifically have support built into it so that it'll mark you as "Busy" when you've got something running full-screen and "Away" when you've not done anything on your computer for so many minutes.

48. Pineapple On Pizza

There's only room for one fruit on a pizza, and that's tomato. It has an established place in the pizza recipe. Any extra fruits are just breaking the laws of decency when it comes to food. Pizza is a savoury meal, and fruit is usually sweet. You don't mix that shit. You don't put pineapple on a pizza, because it's flat-out wrong.

Same applies to mango, apple, banana... any other fruit. Stop it you crazy bastards. It's not right. You make a basic pizza, and to improve it you add sensible, manly shit. You add meat, you add cheese, you repeat until you've created something glorious. Maybe you put anchovies on. It makes you fucking weird, but it's at least an acceptable, savoury addition to compliment the taste (except not really because they're horrible). Man up, take the shitty pineapple off, stick some meat on there and have yourself a proper fucking pizza.

49. People Playing Music Through Phones

This one is twofold. The first aspect is that playing your music in public is always one of the most fucking irritating things you can do, especially when your tastes are absolutely shite. Because they almost always are. If you're going to show off your music tastes to the world, then pick a decent song or don't fucking bother. I don't ride a bus or a train to listen to your shitty fucking chav music, and I doubt anybody else does either.

The second is the quality. Even if they were playing a song I loved, I'd still hate it, because it would sound like absolute fucking shit anyway. You don't need to be some sort of audiophile to understand just how horrific the audio quality is out of the shitty, tinny little speakers that phones have. I mean, really, it's that bad I don't know why the fuck anyone even bothers, because it just sounds that terrible compared to headphones. I'd rather listen to complete silence than have my phone's external speaker completely butcher whatever music I want to listen to. The same applies to my laptop, which is why I have external speakers, because the built-in ones are complete garbage.

So couple them together and you've got shit music played through a speaker that would make even good music sound terrible, and then you have to put up with it until whatever stop they finally fucking get off at.

50. Insects

Not all insects, just specific ones that I'll lump vaguely into the same thing, with sub-categories.

50.1. Wasps
I fucking hate wasps. They're loud, buzzy assholes, and they can sting. And you can't enjoy yourself eating outside without one buzzing around your face. It's like they fucking sit around hiding just to rush out the moment you have food.

Bees I quite like. Bees are fluffy (sometimes), they make honey, they generally mind their own business. There's the rapport you have with a bee, knowing that it doesn't want to sting you, and it'll only do it if you push it into it. When one buzzes around when you've having a picnic, the impression is more that it's looking for flowers and is just a bit lost.

Wasps don't have this rapport. Wasps just in general seem to be pretty angry, and the feeling with a wasp is far more that if it wants to sting you, it will, because it can and it doesn't give a fuck. The only remote consolation with wasps is that they're fucking slow and stupid, and if you want to kill them then it's not particularly hard. And usually you don't have much choice, because they're annoying, persistent bastards, and there's always that fear it might sting you just for lulz unless you get it first.

50.2. Moths
Like wasps, moths are another insect that have a sibling insect that I don't really mind. Butterflies are cool, everyone likes butterflies. Moths are not. Moths are stupid, fly into pretty much anything and everything solid, and just generally piss me off. They're not that different to butterflies, and I'd argue that half the time people will call a butterfly a moth, and vice-versa, because people tend to go with butterflies are colourful and moths are not, which I know isn't always the case.

I have my own definition, which is to say if it's outside, it's a butterfly, I will appreciated it flutter past. If it's inside my house though, it's a moth, and it's a fucking pain in the ass because it'll repeatedly throw itself into my lamp, the walls of my bedroom and myself while I'm sitting in bed reading or on my laptop. It's annoying as hell, and the shadows they cast tend to distract me quite a bit. Plus I really hate the way they move. I'm not particularly enamoured by something which seemingly can't tell the difference between empty air and a fucking wall.

50.3. Crane Flies
Aka 'Daddy Long-Legs'. There's just something about them that I find unsettling, whether they're alive and bumbling about against the skirting boards, or scrunched up dead on the carpet. It's not so much a fear as something I just find really repulsive. They're horrible looking insects, and they seem to have the exact same issues that moths do with respect to solid objects and empty space. And there's so fucking many of them in the summer. It's not so bad now that my house doesn't back onto a field, but it's still fucking ridiculous how many can find their way inside the house. I hate leaving my window open at night if my light is on just because it brings so many of the bastards into my room.

50.4. Flies
In many ways, Eddie Izzard says it better than I could. Flies are another pain in the ass. They get inside, they buzz around for an absolute fucking eternity and seemingly defy all efforts to try and get them outside.

They're fucking quick bastards too. Wasps, Moths, Crane Flies, all slow insects which are pretty easy to kill if you want to. I tend not to, because I don't really go with the line of thinking that it's OK to kill stuff just because it irritates me (it could be a slippery slope), but even if you want to kill flies they won't go without a pretty big fight. We've even gone to the trouble of inventing fly-swatters and those zapping light things just to nail the buggers, because a rolled up newspaper or magazine just won't fucking cut it.

Above all these insects just seem to serve no fucking purpose in the world. Do they play that much of a part in pollination of flowers or in the food chain (I guess moths do)? If we were to obliterate them all from the world would anyone or anything actually miss them? Because if not, please, lets do it. I'd fucking love it if I never had to come across any of them ever again.

And so another Things That Piss Me The Fuck Off is finished. There'll possibly be another one before the new term starts, though I'm not that sure. Either way, this is my hundredth post for this blog, and I'd like to think there'll be many more hundreds to come.

1 comment:

  1. 50.1: Something that I was told last month, is that if you kill a wasp, it gives of pheromones that attracts other wasps.