The Evil Legacy of the Tylenol poisoner. Some older readers may recall that there was a time when one bought a bottle of aspirin, or a jar of mustard, went home, opened it and accessed the contents. 25 years or so ago, some idiot put cyanide in some bottles of Tylenol, and since then, every damn product you buy requires you to use a blowtorch and chainsaw to get through 99 levels of seals, bubble plastic, and assorted detritus, thus giving fuel to the theory that the Tylenol poisoner was in fact a covert operative paid by the waste management industry.
Law enforcement agencies who refuse to buy hats proportioned to smaller officers. Most recent and egregious example, the Public Information Officer at today’s regularly scheduled terralert, a petite lady, dwarfed by a hat the size of the Astrodome.

TV commercials that pump up the volume. If I have the TV on with the volume low, it is for a reason, and bursting my eardrums with exhortations to buy your product, complete with music bought from some desperate pop star of ages past, does not make me sit up and take notice and resolve to go buy whatever you are selling. On the contrary, it causes me to jot down the name of your competitor.

Self serve shoe stores that put only one shoe in the box. If I have to go chasing down and waiting for one of 3 hapless souls on duty in an establishment large enough to place two football fields just to be able to try on both shoes, it is hardly self serve any more, now is it?

Phone trees. Possibly the greatest evil after the Tylenol poisoner in terms of total time wasted. Please listen carefully as our menu items have changed. No, you listen carefully as my tolerance for mechanical voices requiring me to listen to a recitation of 17 different opportunities to listen to more mechanical voices reciting more of the same has not changed. It is holding steady at zero. If I am calling, it is because I want to speak to a human being, not because I want to hear about how I can not speak to a human being by going to your website, where I will be required to wait for a flash presentation to load, so that I can marvel at what a cutting edge company you are, and then be redirected to a page so lousy with web bugs and tracking scripts and garbage and useless images that from the load time appear to be raw scans with size tags, and you expect me to type personal data into this nest of spyvipers. Or I can stay on the line and punch zero, which will take me to another recording about being recorded for quality control, after a hold time of approximately 48 minutes because all your agents are currently assisting other customers during this period of unusually high call volume, which occurs usually during the hours of 12 midnight to 11:59 PM from Monday morning until Sunday night, during which I will be treated to either a pumped up volume commercial about how I should purchase even more goods and services, and thus engender even more phone calls like this, or if I am lucky, 1001 strings playing Inna Gadda da Vida.

Child-proof medicine bottles and cigarette lighters. Please be assured that any children who might have access to either of these items in my possession are not stupid enough to eat pills or start fires. This is because their parents have done the unthinkable and taught them at a very early age that pills are bitter and fire is hot. And no, I do not care to spend another half hour of my life filling out 3 different forms and an affadavit in order to be told by a pharmacy intern named Bree that easy open caps are back order, and if I will just put down a couple more phone numbers they can let me know when they get some in, unless I really need the prescription today. Now there’s a solution. I will just take my aching post dental catastrophe mandible home and let the “discomfort” wash over me. I should have my Vicodin just in time for my post procedure checkup. No, thanks, give me the damn child proof cap, and sometime late this evening after I finally get it open (unless I am lucky enough to find a small child to do it for me in 3 seconds) I will dump the pills in a baggie and put them next to the ashtray and my child proof lighter, and try to persuade the small child to sit there with me all night and light my cigarettes.

You may have some pet peeves of your own, in which case, please post them here, but don’t think for a minute that you are more peeved than I am.

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