The ThingsThat Drive Me Crazy

Kplunk.  The distinct sound of a beverage container hitting the dirt just to my left, adjacent to a vehicle that had been providing a dull thrum for the half hour previous as I sat in my chair patiently watching the tip of my fishing rod, waiting for a nibble.

I turned my head and saw a freshly abandoned Slurpee cup lying on its side, obviously tossed out of the back window of the car, leftover ice beginning its slow melt on the busy patch of silt and sand at the confluence of the Clearwater River and the Snye.

Walking up to the car with a couple of young girls in front and a young guy in the back, I gestured for them to roll down their window.

"Assuming that is your cup, you can either pick it up, along with any other garbage that's yours, or I can arrange for a five hundred dollar fine," I said.

The young fellow popped out the back, picked up the orphaned cup, and scrambled back into the car as the entourage quickly wrapped up their sojourn by the stream and took off.

LITTERING - one of the things that drives me the most crazy.  I hate, hate, hate it!  Enough said I guess, but it's one of the human actions that I absolutely don't understand.

The other thing from the above vignette that tests my patience is when vehicles pull up behind me when I'm quietly fishing, enjoying nature's wonder and stillness, and LEAVE THE ENGINE RUNNING.  They sit there enjoying the view, on a spectacular summer day, and refuse to shut their beast down even for a brief few moments.  My inner monster wants to walk over and yell at them to shut if off, but I take a few deep breaths, focus on the tip of my rod, and carry on.

What drives you nuts?  How about those folks who TURN ON THEIR TURN SIGNAL ONLY WHEN THEY ARE THE MIDDLE OF THE TURN?  Does that add any value to the situation?

Just in case you can't see that I'm turning, I'll turn on my signal just to make it a bit clearer. 

What about those DOOR TO DOOR SALESPEOPLE who just can't take no for an answer.  Don't you just love them?  No matter what you say, they prattle on about the benefits of their free security system and how safe it would make us feel.  When you tell them that you're absolutely, totally, unquestionably not interested, they look at you like you're from planet Neptune.  In some ways, they make me miss the encyclopedia and vacuum cleaner salesmen from the old days.

In Wood Buffalo, we've just emerged from two consecutive elections - the first a provincial affair that took the use of ROBOCALLS to a whole new level, the second a by-election to replace two councillors who were successful in getting bumped up to the next level of government.  Truly, I wonder if anyone actually likes and appreciates the increasing frequency of recorded messages that get sent out by automated computer systems.

"Oh listen honey it's candidate X reminding us to vote on Monday.  Isn't that nice dear?  What a great service to provide to the citizens."

And don't get me started on ELECTION SIGNS.  Yes, they are a necessary evil to increase a candidate's visual profile during a campaign, but good Lord, could there have been any more in the last few weeks of this most recent election?

One human conundrum that has baffled me for at least 42 of my 45 years, or eversince I was old enough to use public washrooms, is PEOPLE WHO DON'T FLUSH.  I'm sorry, but is the issue a germaphobe thing?  Maybe there is too much of a health risk in touching the handle that compels these folks to leave their offerings for one of us to deal with?

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I walk on the sunny side of the street most of the time.  So, a series of things like this that drive me crazy is a rare treat (or punishment, depending on your point of view).  Perhaps it is a therapeutic exercise to air out the laundry of my mind and let it waft in the wind for awhile?  

What is the one thing that drives you the most crazy?  Hang it out on the line and see what happens.


  1. I have many pet peeves as well Russell.
    Some are very similar to yours.
    Cigarette butts, the people who smoke also think they have the right to litter, drives me crazy.
    Littering, people throw garbage into the back of their pick up knowing that once they get on the highway, it will all fly out - as if they didn't know....
    Not using signal lights and people who take wide turns and actually come into your lane.
    Hmmmmm..... this is theraputic......LOL

  2. wet towels on the bed, when kids don't flush, when kids' laundry grows so much and they have to retrieve clothes from their laundry, when hubby leaves hair in the sink after shaving, when I meet my kids in the library in completely inappropriate clothes, people overtake or honk even when u r exactly on speed limit trying to make you look stupid, kids who disrespect their parents in public, bullies, racist comments, slave drivers who will never trust u whatever u do, kids keeping their rooms messy, inefficiency

  3. Seeing as I just got back from a hike this evening...littering. Although it must be said I didn't notice much of any garbage carelessly thrown on the ground for a change which was nice.

    Then there's also...automated calls or unsolicited calls from actual people (no, I'm not interested, but if I change my mind, I'll call you); racists (no people aren't going to go back where they came from although if you crawled back under the rock you came from it would be a better place); bullies (go beat up someone bigger than you if you want to impress me); people who think they know everything and are never wrong; leaving the lights on; people who listen to their music on the bus with headphones, yet you can still here it (hey buddy, that might be a cool tune, but just because you want to bop to the beat doesn't mean everyone else within ear shot want to as well).

  4. Before we came to Canada, I was keen to go to a first world country for a change. Before that, we lived in countries where people were trying to survive and environmental awareness was not yet important. I was so shocked to find that in Alberta (and in Edmonton and Fort McMurray in particular) there seemed to be no environmental awareness at all. Litter or better: garbage; everywhere! Our first hike was on Tower Road. I don't have to tell the people of Fort McMurray what we saw there: abandoned wrecked cars, deliberately dumped washing machines and what not. It was appalling. During our stay we participated in many clean up operations, but no actual change in behavior and that makes me real sad. It's a mentality issue and not one that can be solved by giving fines! It's in the culture. Like here in Japan. It's all about being proud and aware of your surroundings and seeing it as yours to care for!


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