Friday, June 22, 2007

Today is Pet Hate Day

Or so it seems to me today. I should have seen it coming after being woken to the decidedly non-dulcet tones of Margaret Beckett spouting unconvincing drivel on the EU treaty negotiations. Usually I wake up feeling nauseous for completely different reasons. There were other irritations on the political front all day, but to avoid swamping the statistics I will count the whole of NuLab as pet hate number one.

Wheeled W**ker
Number two came along on the way to the station as I narrowly avoided a collision with a Day-Glo clad Cyclotosser careering down the pavement faster than the traffic was proceeding along the relatively empty, and perfectly safe to cycle on, high street. I went through every road safety initiative of the day at school but was never taught to look left, look right before leaving every shop doorway in case some pig-ignorant accountant on a mountain bike is claiming exclusive use of the pavement beyond. I've never been hit by a car, or hit anyone in a car; this would have been my third pavement traffic accident with a cyclist.

I was expecting the third; it was a time of day when the train was bound to be full of kids, teenagers and twenty-somethings all suffering from Lock-knee. I should not mock the afflicted whose terrible ailment forces them to sit in contorted uncomfortable positions so they can get their feet onto the seat opposite to compensate for their inability to flex their knee. Medical science seems to have no answer to this condition, which I would assume to be some relative of gout were it not for the fact that it appears either to be highly infectious amongst certain age groups. I guess an epidemiologist may be able to suggest an alternate aetiology; I do wonder about a link to Alcopop consumption, also common among Lock-Knee sufferers.

Hi-Fi, Kingston Style
It was also a racing certainty that amongst them there would be a Nokia DJ, my fourth pet hate of the day, or rather hour. I've listened to a few mobile phone MP3 players on headphones and while not quite up to the standard of a made-for-purpose player, they are not too bad at all. Played through the tinny little speaker at maximum volume it's so appalling that the urge to give the ignorant little fucker a flying head butt becomes almost unbearable. Even the fact that it stops being able to tell whether it's the usual music for the hard of thinking or not doesn't dim the primitive drive.

Changing trains at Raynes Park, almost worthy of being a pet hate in of itself, I ran straight into a row of Train Door Mannequins, who, liberated from rational thought think the quickest way for them to get on to the train is to stand dopily in front of the open door making impossible for anyone wanting to get off to get through. At least it's not as bad as at Waterloo where it can be a bit like getting through the All Black's defensive line.

That was five; the sixth took a little longer to arrive, about an hour in fact as the first connecting train was cancelled and the following one was running fifteen minutes late, which meant I had about an hour sat on the god forsaken platform. When the train finally arrived it soon became clear that South West Trains sensitivity to customer mood was up to its normal levels as they had picked this particular service to have a full ticket inspection. I always buy a ticket and don't object to the principle, however as with most such jobs the roles are filled by a collection of Brain Dead Jobsworths.

There were actually a lot of irritations at the office, but I'm far too sensible to mention them here. Let's just say the count went from six to ten. I won't mention specifics to protect the guilty, and my livelihood. Let me just throw in a few words and phrases like Change Control Officer, Accounts Payable, Marketing Having 'Good' Ideas, and People Who Stick the High Priority Flag on Every Fucking E-Mail.

Not all prejudice is irrational
The return trip followed much of the pattern of the outbound journey however this time it was a group of Pram pushing mothers trundling three abreast that pushed me off a different section of pavement that was to bring up number eleven. I suppose I should be grateful that the young people were still in the pram and had not yet developed into full blown Feral Toddlers running around, screaming and generally pissing everyone off to the active delight of their parents. I haven't run into any of these yet today, but the night is yet young and parents don't have the decency to get their offspring out of the way at a decent hour any more so that the grown-ups can have a bit of fun too.

The round dozen was self inflicted as I popped into Marks and Spencers for some food during a particular bad Supermarket Zombie infestation. I've never quite understood why I seem to be the only person in there who actually makes an effort not to walk blindly into everyone else or park my trolley in away to deny access to as many shelves as possible to everyone else. Perhaps on the former irritation it explains why I've never understood those statistics about how many relationships start in the supermarket aisles. Actually it does make some sort of sense, after all I did have one friend at school whose parents met when his father skateboarded into his mother and breaking her arm; maybe inconsiderate behaviour does have an up side after all.

Estate Agents
Estate Agencies
A waste of good bar space
Unlucky thirteen is a fine shop front that I have to walk past every day that has now become an Estate Agents. I hate them, not the people, the offices. The high street is crammed with them. Even those not online tend to grab one or more of the free property pages these days to browse through at their leisure rather than gazing into the windows of an oversized office. What is the point of them hogging so much of the high street after all? It's not exactly an impulse buy.
"Honey did you get the milk?"

"Yes, oh and I popped into that nice new estate agents next door and picked up a new house while I was at it."

"That's nice dear"

I suppose it could have been worse, it could have become a Coffee Shop. I don't like those either. Some of it is a rational dislike of the way they take up every other space on the high street, and the fact, while I love the smell of coffee, I've never understood why people toss themselves off over drinking ever more elaborate concoctions of the foul tasting brew. There is a bit of an irrational side to this dislike too I must admit, partly related to the long ago trauma of seeing a favoured pub close one day and reopen the following week as one of these god forsaken outlets and the rest connected to a former colleague who was not only an Accountant but could also so say 'Starbucks' in such a Boston screech it drove me up the wall.

I reckon so far I've encountered nearly half of my pet bugbears already today, and I've still got a few hours in the Village to go tonight. The way it's going I'm have expecting to bump in to someone like Zorba, one of the last people I know that will stick to bitter all night, knocking back the Bacardi Breezers at the Mother Ship, that HQ will be hosting a Lib Dem MEP convention, and Patricia Hewitt and Caroline Flint will be promoting the upcoming smoking ban at Base Camp. I blame Blair, or rather the Blair Witch; I'm sure this run of bad luck started soon after I ended up sitting next to her in a pub I used to like until a few weeks ago.

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