I don’t have many “pet peeves,” but there are a few things in life I do find a bit bothersome.
Although they all amount to little or nothing in the big picture, here are a few examples (in no particular order).
You and your spouse eat at an establishment a time or two and both think it’s absolutely wonderful. You want to share your discovery with friends or relatives, so you brag about the place and set up a date to go there with them.
But when you do, the wheels come off. The rib eye steak is chewy, the sauce on the chicken marsala has nowhere near the same zest as before, the deep-fried green beans are soggy, the spinach and romaine lettuce in the salad is limp and the sweet tea tastes a little like the Ajax wasn’t adequately rinsed out of the glass it’s in.
You feel let down and you’re left with nothing to do but apologize. You also don’t feel like going back.
I touched on this before in this column several years ago. At a past job, I sort of earned the reputation of being the “apostrophe police.”
But you can always count on the little buggers to be frequently used when they’re not needed. It’s not really that complicated; they’re used to denote possession (like the car is Bob’s) or a contraction (a word that combines two words, like don’t, which of course means do not).
They’re never, ever used to signify plurality. Like to indicate there’s more than one transmission, the word is simply “transmissions.”
It always cracks me up when you see a sign or an ad that contains both correctly and incorrectly spelled plural words (for example: “Special’s on shoes,” or “Burger’s and fries”).
I’m always amazed when someone honks their horn at me when I’m driving and make a move that’s 100-percent normal or necessary.
The other day, I slowed down to turn from one highway to another. It was a 90-degree turn, so negotiating it without ending up in a ditch required slowing down to a virtual crawl – as would be the case with any 90-degree turn.
As I began speeding up after the corner, a horn sounds long and loud from a vehicle that was apparently right behind me. I didn’t see whether it was a man or woman, but in my experience, it could have been either.
To you who honked: I’m sure you’re a far better driver than me and you’re able to make your gigantic SUV fly around 90-degree corners at high speeds. Please forgive my incompetence and I’m sorry for being in your way.
Also, I forgive you for your pompous impatience.
•Drivers who speed up when you try to pass.
Speaking of annoying driving habits, I can’t stand it when you go to legally pass someone on a two-lane highway who’s been sauntering along at about 12 miles per hour below the speed limit and they speed up significantly while you’re trying to get around them before the passing section ends.
Come on, really? For Pete’s sake, just drive!
•People contradicting themselves in an attempt to be “right.”
I really don’t like hearing a person declare or proclaim something as if it was important or an actual fact, and then declare or proclaim the virtual opposite moments later.
In my view, that’s a blatant form of hypocrisy and it depicts a weak mentality.
It’s simple: Have an opinion and own it.
•Self-righteous, egotistical politicians.
There’s not much I consider worse than witnessing a member of Congress yelling at a TV camera about how wrong the majority is about a newfangled ideal or movement, or hearing a high-up governmental leader provide an “explanation” that has little to do with what’s being explained or just doesn’t make any sense.
But these people are the ones who are going to “fix” everything, right? Unlikely; they’re too busy burying themselves in their own rhetoric.
Anyway, I realize none of this affects the economy or world peace, and there’s nothing here that it will help anyone survive a natural disaster. And come to think of it, it all amounts to more material for a newspaper column that’s “about nothing” (like the Seinfeld show, as I always say), so I should probably be thankful rather than bothered.
Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.