Monday, January 6, 2014

Don't you just hate it when

This rambling series of observations will be an on-going feature of this blog, all driven by frustrations in the observations of everyday life. They may be political, they may be sporting, they may have to do with various aspects of the world around us. They also may have to do with my age, but what the heck.

Some starters:
+ Don't you just hate it when you are walking along the street and you have to avoid someone walking toward you totally absorbed in their mobile phone?

They've got no time, or awareness, of a 'Sorry', an 'Excuse me' or a 'I beg your pardon'. In fact, it wouldn't surprise if they are unfamiliar with the concept of those expressions of good neighbourliness. The antidote? Wait until a collision is imminent and then shout: 'Boo!' Chances are it will make no difference to them but you will feel a lot better. But as Arlo Guthrie once said (and I found a DVD of Alice's Restaurant at The Warehouse over Christmas – superb!) if everyone starts doing it, perhaps it will start a movement which may, sometime or another, force those who transgress to wonder at what they are doing wrong.

+ Don't you just hate it when you go to the movies and someone comes along and plonks their feet over the back of the seat in front of them?

Apart from the disgusting fact that someone's head may or may not be reclining on the said seat now, or sometime in the future, what need is there to elevate the feet so high? If that amount of elevation was absolutely necessary, the transgressor would probably be better placed under care in a hospital than attending the movies. What especially grates, and I am showing my age here, is that those of us who can remember the days when cinema seats were the last thing considered in the design of the theatre, and placed so as to ensure as many people as possible were herded into said viewing space, appreciate the advances made in viewing comfort. And while we are at it, whatever happened to those torch-wielding minders who never let you put a foot out of place at the movies when you were young and stupid? Why aren't they putting these show ponies, who would never put their feet over the back of a chair at their parents' home, in their place?

+ And while we're talking about mobile phones and movies, don't you just hate it when people can't go to the movies without leaving their mobile phones on?

Not only is there the totally rude ringing of the phone to disturb everyone else in the theatre, there is the flash of light when they, and they are always - as a result of Murphy's Law - sitting right next to you, need to send a text or to read what one of their moronic friends has sent to them. Again when you suggest to them they might like to put their phone away, the usual response is that you are something along the lines of a 'stupid old fart'.

+ Don't you just hate it when it is time to go back to work after the Kiwi holiday break of two weeks over Christmas-New Year and a goodly proportion of the population still has another one or two weeks of holidays?

It's not so much the thought of those people still being on holidays, but the fact that the motorway is much less crowded in the mornings. However, some of those heading to work obviously forget to take into account that their journey is likely to be much faster as a result of less traffic. But they, poor souls, can't imagine what it might be like to arrive at work, five or, perhaps, 10 minutes early so they decide that rather than start later from home, they will use up time on the motorway cruising along at 60-65 km/h, or the sort of slower speed they are used to during regular non-holiday commutes, allowing the traffic to bank up behind them.

+ Don't you just hate it when lanes are painted on roads and drivers view them as mere decorations?

There's all manner of variations on this theme but two that constantly leave me wanting to throw a Road Code at offenders are outlined. The first is an intersection when you are turning into a two-laned road, ie, two lanes on your side of the road, from the left. Also turning is someone on the other side of the intersection making a right-hand turn. Now the law clearly states you turn into the lane closest to you, in both instances. But how often is the person in the left-turning lane forced to avoid making their turn because the moron turning right, decides they need to get into the left-hand lane immediately? This is the same, in the second instance, at roundabouts. Now roundabouts should be the drivers' friend – they are much more useful than traffic lights, when used properly. But at the roundabout I witness most often, which is after a motorway off-ramp, again the driver turning into the left-hand lane, on a two-laned road, dare not make his turn until the driver turning right has crossed over lanes in the middle of the roundabout to get into the left lane. Time your exit right into the left lane, to deny the offender turning right his space, and wait for the abuse, whether by horn or gesticulation. In most instances it won't be long coming.

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