It’s not hard to collect pet peeves

It’s not hard to collect pet peeves

I bet you don’t know the second week of October is National Pet Peeve Week, capped by Oct. 12, National Moment of Frustration Day. I still don’t know who does these designations. If I could find out, I’d have them create something useful, like Scott Remembers to Get His Oil Changed Day or The Dog Can’t Shed Until I Say So Week.

Though I honestly try to always be positive and put a bright spin on everything, it’s not hard to collect pet peeves in preparation for the big peeve celebration week ahead, especially when it comes to food.

A sprig of parsley on a plate, which is otherwise taken up with just a couple of wings and some fries, always feels like eating in an unimaginative diner in an ironic movie. In a world where you can 3-D print a house and coax a few synthesized brain cells to start firing, that piece of parsley feels like your great aunt Janet who wants you to come over and take a selfie of her with her cat. Just leave it off the plate, and ditto for the dry bit of kale.

Lemon wedges sit in a bowl all day catching waves of everything from sneezes, to vape fog, to bar rag splash. There’s something about seeing that grimy wedge of lemon in my water glass that makes me glad I also asked for beer.

In restaurants, hard wooden seats with no alternative mean I have to be an embarrassing weenie and ask to go somewhere else. I realize there are far worse lots in life, but having absolutely no butt at all makes such hard chairs a constantly shifting torment. You try sitting directly on your sitz bones for a couple of hours, Bob.

Most of us complain in places when the music is too loud, but honestly it kind of irks me when it’s too soft because I’m deaf enough to miss it altogether. It’s such a familiar routine that my wife and I have to play it out exactly the same every time:

Her across the table bobbing her head for some reason: “Wow, I love this song, haven’t heard it in awhile.”

Me: “There’s music?”

In the evening, brightly lit restaurants anywhere but a fast-food joint or Waffle House literally give me hives. Dim lighting lends intimacy and the illusion of privacy to your table. Bright lighting makes me look around for the ball pit. Worse, when the place is lit up like Wrigley Field, I’m probably gonna get caught people-watching and trying to read lips from across the room.

I once sat in a booth and the person behind my seat had restless leg syndrome. Throughout the chips and salsa, the burrito and beans, and the margaritas, my seat shook from floor to back at a steady rate. It was like being in an experimental CT scanner in 1922 that’s sitting on the hood of a Ford. I kept holding very still so everyone else could see me bouncing on the leg jumps behind me.

Here’s a serious peeve: Restaurants who serve meals on chipped plates. Listen, you’re not fooling me; this isn’t some Haviland china for which it’s impossible to find a replacement. You buy these things by the crate, and those crates get delivered on the regular. A chipped plate is disrespectful, somehow, like I wasn’t close enough relations to bring out the good stuff. You’re probably using the cheap gin in my martini too.

You never see a chipped plate at Waffle House because they had the foresight to buy indestructible ones made of some since-banned material. They haven’t bought new plates since 1974.

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