Thursday, November 17, 2016

Pet Peeves #5: featuring an overzealous TSA agent

This is not a cartoon of me, and 
my TSA agent was nothing like this one.
Last week, I attended a two day workshop in Dallas which is 1,817 miles away from the loft where I write, listen to classical music and run word choices by my writer-cat, Gus.

Travel for me is two things: Stimulating, because I am fascinated by strangers, and strangers don’t come to my loft. And, anxiety producing, because I couldn’t be more out of my comfort zone if I were to wander into a country music festival and not be able to find a way out. 

But this trip was fortuitous on a couple of levels. It was almost time for Pet Peeves, the chips and dip of my blog offerings, and I needed an opening peeve. I was presented with the perfect contender in an overzealous TSA agent who helped me lighten my bag on the return trip.
My TSA agent was
more like this.

Herewith, Pet Peeves #5

1. Overzealous TSA employees who make your life more difficult than necessary because they can.  When my bag stalled in the danger-tunnel, my TSA made a show of yanking it from the belt, then motioned me over with a jerk of his head and side-eyed me dramatically while he searched my things with a wand. He found a bottle of water I'd forgotten about and some toothpaste. Holding the half-flattened tube aloft he said, "Uh-uh. This won't make it. You have a choice, you can surrender this, or go back out and check your bag. Up to you." 
2. Country music. There are people I love who love country music, and so I have tried to be friends with it. But I struggle. There just are too many recollections of "Ha-skewl" shananigans. Often, women are depicted as treacherous or adorable in their man shirts and ponytails. Very often, men are straight-talking, and whiskey-drinking and prone to getting teary in bars. I haven't been able to evolve beyond Alan Jackson's "Remember When" and I'm told that one isn't even  considered real country music. Last year, when I heard  "Cleaning this Gun," I wanted to flee the way I want to when I am exposed to...

3. Scented candles. Fragrances meant to simulate the actual aroma produced when one bakes cookies, brews herbal tea, or simmers a cinnamon stick never, EVER smell like the real thing. And how did it become a thing to create a fragrance for an experience that doesn't even have a fragrance like a winter day, or a moonlit night, or a joyful ride in the country (without the music)? Not only that, candle fragrance lingers for hours after the candle is snuffed. Who wants to wake up at three in the morning in their man shirt wondering what that experience is that they're smelling?

4. Emails you receive that are selling things you don't need, or announcing things you don't care about, and which tell you you are receiving them because you asked to, which is not true. It's not true for two reasons. First, nobody asks for the Terminx online newsletter, even if they do feature a "Bug of the Month" column. Second, you've already unsubscribed, several times in fact, each time dedicating so much time to locating that "unsubscribe" link at the bottom in 3 point font you were barely left enough time to view the video someone sent you because now videos come with long, and insufferably loud...

5. that appear before the video. I get it, ads. But more and more, we're sitting through 30 second spots which feature car buyers or women in their man shirts and ponytails using Clorox wipes to clean the counter like they never have before from the look of astonishment on their faces.  There is always a child in a high chair, there is always a sunny day outside the window, and the outfits they wear are the same ones they wore in actual television ads that I used to watch when my now-millennial children were napping and I was on break watching General Hospital. 

Where are the stay-at-home dads in their man shirts?  We have those now.

6. You're not a bad person if you say "equally as," but you're breaking a law somewhere on some level. And if you're adding "very" to stand-alone words like unique or excellent, you are guilty x 2 and in danger of sounding like Donald Trump. 

Wrong:  Donald Trump was equally as shocked as half the country to be elected .

Right:    Half the country was shocked when Donald Trump was elected. Donald Trump was equally shocked. 

Bonus Peeves offered by readers!!

1. People who don't leave a message after the beep but don't hang up either so that you're tricked into listening to the message of nothing, when you could be watching a YouTube video or cleaning the counter in your man-shirt.

2. People who are requested on your outgoing phone message to leave a name and number but instead, leave you a full discussion of their issue, and follow it with a phone number too quickly for you to write it down. You are then left with no choice but to replay the entire message, which is so long you zone out and miss the phone number again. 

Thank you for visiting. It's been yummy. If I've missed anything, send it along for #6.


  1. This post is perfect after the day I had; because I could add on to the list for infinity!

    For brevity's sake, I'll limit it to one peeve. People who make their lunch order (and the orders to go that they are making for those back at the office) so freaking complicated that some people (me!) end up just leaving the establishment to find somewhere else to eat. Long story short - I ended up with less than 10 minutes of my lunch hour to eat - I was not a happy camper!

  2. Hi, Gigi. I'm with you. I wonder why they don't phone it in and just pick up. Ten minutes is just not enough time to visit your happy place before going back to work.