View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I get annoyed

At a bookstore, I once stumbled across a happy little book: 14,000 Things to be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer.

This perky little tome included page after page of happy items - Flannel sheets. Strawberry ice cream. Making faces at monkeys in the zoo. Dog dishes that say "Good Dog." Carolers singing around a Norwegian spruce. Sun burning off the morning fog. Cabanas.

14,000 happy items.

In no particular order.

For no particular reason – except perhaps so that there would be nearly a million copies of the book in print, and thus generating the author some income.

Indeed, Ms. Kipfer seems to have created her own happy little industry. Her other titles include The Wish List; 4,000 Questions for Getting to Know Anyone and Everyone; 2,002 Ways to Cheer Yourself Up; Instant Karma; 1,400 Things for Kids to Be Happy About; and 8,789 Words of Wisdom.

She seems to have a thing for numbers.

And happy thoughts.

I wish her no harm. She put in the effort to create this book – coming up with 14,000 items isn’t easy. It supposedly took her 20 years to compile them.

And she’s not ripping people off with books and infomercials for get-rich schemes that never work, or miracle cures for acne that don’t work.

I hope she is happy.

Still, my reaction to the book was immediate.

I was not happy.

In fact, I was - well – annoyed.

Now that is not an unusual state for me. But in this case, I was really annoyed.

So much so I took out a notebook and began to fill it with a counter list.

Here’s the beginning of 14,001 Things to be Annoyed About

People who get into the 10-or-less-items line with 17 items
Platitude-filled political speeches
Public radio membership drives
Song titles that use letters and numbers in place of words
Musicians who play songs with titles that use letters and numbers in place of words
Songwriters who write songs that have titles that use letters and numbers in place of words either because they are trying to be cute or because they don’t know how to spell
ATVs in residential neighborhoods
Bumper stickers that are too small to read
Booming car stereos next to you at a red light
Christmas decorations in stores before Halloween
Italians playing Native Americans in old movies
Ethnic jokes
Cold sores
Boston traffic
People who talk loudly in restaurants
Cigarette butts by the side of the road
Paper cuts
Haiku that aren’t really haiku
Yippy dogs
Dogs who bark at 2 a.m.
Slow drivers in the fast lane
Conservative talk radio hosts
Liberal talk radio hosts
Talk radio
People who talk during Mass
Lip synching singers
People who ignore “Don’t Walk” signs
“Bright-moment” features on local television newscasts
Whining kids in check-out lines
Movies with Roman numerals beyond III
Face lifts
Liposuction being shown on television
Gummed up salt and pepper shakers in restaurants
Auto dealership service departments
Auto repair bills
Road work
People who straddle lanes on the road
Being stuck behind tractor trailers on the highway
Gay pride parades
Romance novels
People who talk on cell phones while driving
People who talk on cell phones while in the store
People who give you a funny look when you say you don’t have a cell phone
Fifth wheels
Long footnotes
Heat and humidity
Fake punks
Tight shoes
Tight pants
Tight pants that used to fit
Moldy leftovers
Television ads for sexual dysfunction medications
Perky morning hosts
Announcers who talk while the song is still playing
People who e-mail calls for boycotts without first checking the facts
Internet spam
Televangelists with bad hair
People who don’t clean up the gifts their dogs leave on my lawn

You get the idea.

Wonder if I can find a publisher?

I’ll be annoyed if I don’t.


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5:39 PM  
Blogger Talmida said...

Don't forget anonymous commenters, and SPAM!


5:54 PM  
Blogger Julie D. said...

I knew we were soul mates! I got annoyed just reading your intro. However, I cheered up immensely reading your list. :-)

11:17 PM  
Blogger ShadowMayhem said...

here is a few for you:

People who yell at you for sitting down on the metro when you have been on the train for 2 stops.

People who shove you on the metro.

People who shove you off the metro.

People who act like it is your fault it is rush hour and there are so many people on metro.


Viagra spam.

Viagra spam at work.

Thoes e-mails trying to give you money from Nigeria.

People waiting to the last minute to get crap done, thus putting you in a frenzy to get whatever it is mailed out because it is a holiday weekend.

Overly chipper people

People who are fake being chipper.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Danny Garland Jr. said...

I think Boston traffic has to be the worst of the list! They've been working on the "Big Dig" for over a decade and rush hour is ridiculous!

10:38 AM  

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