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My Least Favourite Things

by Stephen Lautens

August 20, 1999

There have been a bunch of things that have been bugging me for weeks, and its about time I got them off my chest. So I have compiled a list of things that drive me nuts.

1. I hate the fact that even as I get my first few gray hairs, I'm still getting zits. Is it too much to ask to get just one clear day between puberty and old age?

2. Those little plastic stickers grocery stores put on every single vegetable drive me crazy. It's because their highly trained clerks can't tell the difference between a pepper and a pomegranate. I never find them until after I've cut up the green pepper and thrown it in the frying pan.

3. Stores that post signs in change rooms that that tell me surveillance cameras have been installed "for my protection". It's not for my protection. It's to keep the store from being robbed blind by shoplifters.

4. Signs in bank windows that announce they are open from 10 till 4 "for my convenience". If it was for my convenience, they would be open when I'm not at work.

5. They change the format of my credit card / electric / gas bill every second month. That means I'm always hunting around the page to find the amount and due date.

6. Sitting in a movie theatre and realizing half way through it's a remake of something crummy you saw on TV last week.

7. Bands that play violent, bleak and nihilistic music at Woodstock 99, and then are shocked when the Gen Xers go berserk and set fire to the stage.

8. Gas stations that crank up the price 4 cents in a single afternoon, when you know that it's the same gas that's been sitting in the tank all week.

9. Bills that come with a return envelope that is too small for any normal cheque.

10. My co-worker, the Star Wars fan. I told him about going to see the original Star Wars on its opening day in 1977. I asked if he remembered going to the original opening too. He told me he was only four years old in 1977.

11. I love all-day breakfast. I hate being told in a restaurant that their "all-day breakfast" is only served until noon. Just what do they think "all-day" means?

12. Asking for a seat in non-smoking, and being led to a table with an ashtray. When you repeat you wanted non-smoking, they take the ashtray away, as if the second-hand smoke you wanted to avoid is your own.

13. Talking about everything in terms of business economics. "What's the return on investment of health care?" "Education is not meeting the needs of the information market economy." "Toddlers need to strive for more value-added market leadership at nap time." Enough already! Not everything can or should be reduced to dollars or profit.

14. Thanks to Conrad Black honking off the PM, I no longer have a chance of the Queen ever naming me Lord Lautens, Earl of Moosejaw (or something). Way to spoil it for everyone, Conrad.

I'm sorry. It just had to be said. Now I feel better.


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