Stop Doing That – On an aeroplane

I am not a very happy passenger on aeroplanes. I’m the first to admit that I hate flying and will try to avoid it as much as possible. However, this isn’t always the easiest thing and so, reluctant as I am I’ll board the plane and deal with it for a few hours.

Normally once we’re in the air I’m fine. I mean I’m not great at being sat down for prolonged periods of time and much to the chagrin of my sister (who is my long suffering travel buddy for most of my trips) I am a perpetual fidget. I don’t think that I’m that bad to be sat near though and I’m sure my coworkers who are on the flight back from our Naples field trip with me as I write this will agree.

What I am not, unfortunately, is a particularly tolerant man. Especially not when it comes to people being irritating around me and so this brings us to yet another installment of the blood pressure raising, teeth gnashing, fury inducing Stop Doing That series!

Trust me. This will be a good one.

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STOP: Sitting outside of your allocated seats.

This one goes the same way as my unpublished SDT at the cinema post.  Please just sit where you are told. If you got a middle seat then just deal with it and don’t sit in my aisle seat. I will make you move. If you can’t follow simple instructions or a seating plan then I really am worried that you’re a part of the gene pool. The old excuse of “Oh there wasn’t anyone sat here so I thought it was free” just won’t fly either (pun heavily intended). Of course there was no sitting there. WE WERE JUST BOARDING THE PLANE! Long rant short – sit in your place and stop dicking about. Please.

STOP: Reclining. Yes, you.

Currently the man sat in front of me is the biggest cockwomble of them all. You know what’s a surefire way to get on my bad side? Recline your fucking seat in economy class you massive walking arse hole.  I LOVE having my knees crushed into my spleen just because you want to get comfortable and maybe have a little nap. We are all in economy for a reason; we didn’t want to pay extra for the legroom in business class. If you want to be comfortable and have a reclining seat then fuck off to first class you giant tit. We’re all uncomfortable and your making it worse. And if you’re the man sat in front of me on the BA flight from Naples then this goes double for you. Dick.

STOP: Standing up as soon as we land.

Where do you think you’re going? We are all literally stuck here until the little stairs are brought up to the plane. So sit your arse back down and wait patiently like everyone else.

STOP: Complaining to the cabin crew.

We are 35000 feet in the air.  Literally no one up here gives a single fuck if you only drink organic soy milk lattes. Deal with the slightly odd tasting instant coffee like the rest of us. Live a little. Also, do you know who cares even less than me that you can’t get your super special drink? The cabin crew, that’s right! They do this all day snd I guarantee you they want to tell you early where to stick your soy milk even if they won’t ever say it.

STOP: Having loud personal conversations.

We are all trapped in this tin can for a few hours. The time will pass at the same time whatever we do but it will sure as shit feel faster If we all just put our headphones on, listened to our favourite tunes, maybe read some of our book and just left each other alone.
I’m not exactly what you’d call a “people person” at the best of times but that goes quadruple for whilst I’m on a plane. I don’t want or need to know how many kids you have, what position little Jimmy plays on the school rugby team or what little Annie has been up to in pre school this half term. Please just ignore me and let’s sit in mutual silence. Please. I beg of you.

Well that’s about it for this – it’s been a while and I wouldn’t want to over exert myself!

Until next time ranters! 

Stop Doing That… In a Fast Food Restaurant!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might think that the topic of Fast Food is a bit played out since I’ve already talked about it a fair few times. If you’re new here or require a catch-up then please click here to learn about OCS (Obnoxious Customer Syndrome) or here to see the first “Stop Doing That” about ordering your fast food.

So where can we go from here? Surely I’ve already covered the most important parts, right? Well today, we’ll be looking at what happens when you move away from the counter and enter the restaurant seating area. There are just oh so many things that you can do here to make yourself one of the most annoying customers ever. So, without further ado let me attempt to help you realize and rectify your mistakes!

STOP: Not clearing your own table
This is something that majorly bugs me. It’s not difficult to do either, so there’s no excuse for you getting up and wandering off WITHOUT taking the tray with all of the rubbish and detritus from your meal and putting it in the bin. Seriously, the bins are out there, in the lobby, for you to use. In most cases you walk past at least one bin to reach the exits! It’s not hard. If you don’t take your tray to the bin then I hope you enjoy the special hell that will be waiting for you. you know, the one reserved for child molesters and people that talk at the theater. (Bonus points for you if you got that reference. If you didn’t, you can educate yourself here: Special Hell)

STOP: Covering the tables in sauce
I mean really, we give you paper plates for a reason so is there any need to cover the entire table in sauce? Do you know how difficult it is to get that stuff off once it’s dried!? It’s like adamantium, you can’t destroy it!

STOP: Getting carried away with the napkins etc.
You know full well you’re not going to use that entire wad of 50 or so napkins for your single burger meal, so how about you just grab a few and not half a forest’s worth of napkins. Save the Earth guys! (And yes, stop me having to sweep up hundreds of unused napkins every shift.)

STOP: Throwing what seems like the entirety of your meal on the floor
I know that occasionally, things fall on the floor. I’m ok with that really. I don’t mind having to sweep the floor, I have to do it anyway. I do take a personal vendetta fueled by my own burning rage against people who do this slight umbrage with those people that seem incapable of using a table and have managed to tip an entire trays worth of food and rubbish over the floor. Table manners do exist guys, please try not to forget them just because you’re not in a fancy restaurant!

 

Stop Doing That…At the Bar!

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Pub, club or trendy urban bar, it doesn’t matter where you go for your tipple, the end result will always be the same. I find it staggering that we Brits, a nation that love lines and queues and the etiquette associated with them will let all of our logic and good sense fly out of the windows in two scenarios. Bus stops, but we really don’t have time to get into that area right now, and bars.

Bars just seem to be filled to the rafters with people swanning about, doing their best to annoy me. I’m almost certain that they know that they’re doing it and its some kind of cosmic test of my character which I have to pass in order to live a full and happy life (Think Galadriel refusing to take the One Ring in The Fellowship of the Ring) but on the off chance that this isn’t the case, I thought I would take it upon myself to set some ground rules…

STOP: Staring
We’ve all been there, waiting at the bar in whichever establishment you choose to frequent, when you get the nagging feeling that something’s not right. Someone is staring at you. I’m not talking just maintaining a look at the back of my head because I’m in front of you staring, I mean full on laser bean vision staring, targeted directly at me. I don’t fully understand why this happens, but it seems to be the case with most places that I go. Guys, it’s especially creepy if your doing it to a girl because yo fancy her. Lets face it, what you think is your best Brad Pitt smouldering sexy look actually resembles something more akin to a plumber standing in a room with the worst blocked toilet ever. Not attractive at all…

STOP: Pushing
Whoever thought that the best way to remedy the brief few minute wait to be served was to plow forwards like a rugby player eight steps away from the line is, quite frankly, one of the biggest morons in the world. Lets just think this through for a second. We are at a bar, in a pub, trying to buy a drink, which comes in an open topped vessel and is very wet. Brilliant. Lets add some massive instability into the scenario and let the good times roll! I paid almost triple what that coke is worth for the privilege of having it in a pint glass with a lemon wedge, I would like it to go in my mouth, not down my shirt.

STOP: Queue jumping
This ones for all of you ladies out there. There may not be a defined queue at a bar. Sadly, the lack of queuing protocol exhibited at all establishments with a bar is one of my biggest bugbears in life – guess I’ll have to wait until I become the Supreme Overlord of the World to fix that but that’s another story for another time. Having no defined queue makes it all too easy for people to exploit the natural order of service and jump the “queue” to be served first. The sad thing is it happens a lot more with women, because yo think you can get away with it.
Up you swagger with your make up and your womanly charms and straight to Barman you go. Sadly the flirty wink and demeanour will get his attention and he will, unfortunately, serve you before me even though I’ve been waiting here for a good 15 minutes. This is not okay, there’s a mutually agreed code at the bar that you’ve now come in and broken. Personally, I’m all for gender equality so if I ever happen to be in this situation I will tap you on the shoulder and tell you to wait your turn. It’s only fair…

STOP: Eavesdropping
This one is just a matter of good manners. Stop listening in to other people’s conversations when you’re stood nearby them. If you really want to carrying, at least stop doing it so obviously! And actually…

STOP: Having personal conversations
If you’re having a conversation that you don’t want to run the risk of being overheard then wait until you’ve got your drinks and are back at your table, don’t spew it out in a crowd of strangers. Come on guys, a little bit of common sense is all I’m asking for.

Doubtless, the moment that I hit publish, I’ll think of a million more things to add but hey ho. Is there anything that you can think of that annoys you about waiting at bars? Leave a comment!

Kitchen Hell: Utensils

I love spending time in the kitchen (you would never have guessed what with all the recipes I post on here…). Cooking relaxes me, it makes me happy and chills me out when I’ve had a hard day. I like to challenge myself in the kitchen too, giving myself recipes that I never thought I would be able to make and then taking a stab at it anyway. Nine times out of ten, after much air scorching profanity hard work and perseverance, the results are exactly what I wanted and I leave the kitchen feeling fulfilled, both in my cooking ability and in my belly.

So you would think that if I’m one of these people that cooks to relax, surely I love everything to do with cooking. Well, no. The kitchen can turn very quickly from my little oasis of serenity into a coliseum of abject hatred pitting hungry, angry lions against a toddler armed only with a butter knife stressful arena of irritation and annoyance. Unfortunately it only takes one thing to do this: Utensils.

I’m not going to lambast all kitchen utensils – most are generally quite useful. No, instead I’m going to list what I think are the MOST annoying, vexing, irritating, downright frustrating and pointless utensils ever created and exactly why they need to be sent to:

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Sieves
Does any other utensil take quite so long to wash as a sieve? Trying to get it clean is like trying to make a donkey do a Charleston. It won’t work but even if it did no one would ever believe you anyway. Other than this issue, I’ve got nothing against sieves, but my hatred for washing them up is enough by far to force them into Hell with no remorse. Goodbye you messy devils.

Tea Strainers
See ‘Sieves’. Enough said.

Graters
I have lost count of the amount of times I’ll be absent mindedly grating something and then BAM I manage to grate my fingers into the same pile as the rest of my food. You might say that this could be solved by me paying more attention when I grate, but I have managed to do it even when fully concentrating, on that last bit of cheese/carrot/etc that tricks you into thinking it’s large enough to grate. I don’t know if you’ve ever done it yourselves but its akin to someone rubbing you down with sandpaper after a relaxing full body massage.

Whisks
I hate whisks purely because I can’t find one in the size I want that isn’t silicone. It’s been two years and it’s still driving me nuts.

Paring Knives
Living as I do on a student budget, it is impossible to afford a top of the line knife block with a paring knife that is halfway decent. Unfortunately my paring knife is too short to be of any use, I mean it slices perfectly fine and doesn’t need sharpening but it’s just too small to be used on most of the veg I buy. It’s a shame really but I don’t really need a “button mushroom knife”…

Now in the immortal words of Gandalf the White: “Send these foul beasts into the ABYSS!”

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It was too much for Gandalf to bear when he was asked to clean ALL the sieves in Minas Tirith

 

Are there any useless utensils that you think I’ve missed? Do any more deserve to go into KITCHEN HELL? Do you think any of mine should come out of the abyss? Leave a comment and let me know!

Stop Saying That

Like, OMG WTF is with that title?

I thought I would switch it up a bit today and instead of telling people what they shouldn’t do, I’ll be trying to change your speech patterns by pointing out just how absurd some of the stuff people nowadays say actually is. This has come about as a result of endless overheard conversations on buses, in lectures, in the shop, everywhere in fact, where there are large groups of people doing what large groups of people tend to do best: being annoying.

Do you ever hear someone say something and just want to reach forward and smack them round the head? Do you ever get the urge to correct someone when they say something that you’re pretty sure isn’t a word? If so, you’re just like me (there is counselling available for those poor souls among you that are stuck in the same situation as myself). So here we go, the next in my self improvement series for you and if you say any of these so called “words” then I think you need to go away and have a good hard look at yourself…

Like
Like, I can’t, like, even begin to, like, wonder why some people are like, always saying this. Like, isn’t it enough to just, like, stop and take a seconds pause or, like, know what you’re going to, like, say before you’ve, like, started it?

That was infuriating to type. Do you see how annoying it is? I have nothing agains the word “like” when it is used properly but when it’s used instead of taking a breath in conversation it makes me want to go all Predator on you and pull out your spine before mounting your head on my wall as a trophy. have a little cry about the state of speech in this world.

Literally
I will literally punch you in the face if you keep misusing this word. You did not “literally die when he asked you out” if you had, I wouldn’t be writing this post…

Swag
When did stolen goods become a term of endearment? You say swag and all I see is a guy in a mask and a striped jumper carrying a sack. If you have to talk about how much swag you have, it’s clearly not an awful lot.

YOLO
James Bond begs to differ.

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LOL
Controversial because I’m ashamed to say I use it myself. The real issue is it seems like it’s expected of you now, every time somebody says something mildly funny. I think we should all take a leaf out of Tim Minchin’s book and use “Mildly Amused Smirk” or MAS as a better indication of what we’re doing.
Also, when did it become ok to use text speak in everyday ACTUAL conversation? Say LOL to me in person and you and I will be having a serious talk about your inability to differentiate the real world from a computer screen.

Dench
I don’t even know what this means. When “Peng” was around I didn’t know what that meant but I tried to learn. Now I’m just past caring. Just know that every time I hear you say Dench, no matter what the context, I will be thinking of this lady:

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Well that seemed to take a very Bond twist! That’s all you’re getting from me today but doubtless there’ll be a part two when the next round up of awful slang is delivered kicking and screaming into the general public.

Anyone got any other words they hate people using and abusing? Share them in the comments!

Stop Doing That…On the Internet!

The Internet. A vast network of wires and tubes that can connect you to the other side of the world in the blink of an eye. The wealth of information stored online is like having thousands of different libraries at your disposal ready for you to track down exactly what it is you need to know, be it a reflective analysis of two different poems by Lord Byron or just finding out who it is that played that character in that film you just watched. The Internet is wonderful.

Unfortunately, whilst this beautiful resource has so many benefits (i mean who doesn’t love Grumpy Cat?) it also comes with a downside. Being hyper connected to the rest of the world means that you are unfortunately hyper connected to a steady stream of idiots, not just limited to those you know in your own life, but from ALL OVER THE WORLD.

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Here’s a list of things that you need to stop doing to prevent yourself from becoming one of these keyboard bashing, flame war starting, pig headed examples of ignorance unfortunate individuals.

STOP: Over sharing your Instagram
There once was a time where I would have absolutely lambasted someone for having an Instagram account. However, times have changed and I now find myself in possession of one. I follow a few people and like to see their photos come up, to see what they are doing and what they deem to be a good photo. Quite a few of the people that I follow Instagram A LOT. I mean there are more pictures uploaded by some of these guys than there are tramps on the underground. That’s absolutely fine, I like the pictures coming up. On Instagram. The problem is that once it goes outside of Instagram that shit is all over my Facebook, all over my Twitter feed and I’m pretty sure it would be covering my Tumblr in a freshly sepia’d layer of slime if I had a Tumblr. I’m not saying never share your Instagram pictures with anyone on other social networks, I’m just saying only share the ones that are relevant to a tweet you would write anyway. Don’t just vomit all of your photos over the nearest social network otherwise I’m pretty sure you’ll slap a Kelvin filter over that and post it up as well.

STOP: Vaguebooking
Ah Vaguebooking, the preserve of insecure assholes and that girl who is going crazy because she isn’t the centre of attention for five minutes. UrbanDictionary has defined it as “an intentionally vague Facebook status update that prompts friends to ask what’s going on, or possibly a cry for help.” Either way, when I see you post “OMG why did he have to do that!?” or “Guess I know where I stand now…” it’s a sure fire way for me to get out my unfriending stick and smack you around your virtual face with it.

STOP: Inviting me to your awful events
Chances are I don’t like your band, comedy show, club night, puppet theatre, cat on a unicycle doing circus tricks whilst you play accordion in accompaniment. We both know that it’s true. So why don’t we work together to solve it? You stop inviting me and I’ll stop burning with rage and wanting to smash your face into your keyboard every time I see that you’ve invited me to yet another event that I can only assume isn’t titled accurately as “A night of extreme averageness on my part and boredom on yours because I still harbour pipe dreams that i can make my hobby into a career.”

STOP: Political Soapboxing
Are you a paid member of [enter political party here]’s publicity team? No? Then shut the hell up with every post being about your political views. If I wanted to hear them then I would ask you myself and start up a charming discussion with you on the subject. Since I’m not doing that, you can stop rubbing your ideas, policies and beliefs forcibly into our faces. This goes for you too, overly religious types. Your beliefs are like genitals. I’m happy for you that you have them but I don’t want them shoved into my face. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule…

STOP: OMG LOL LMFAO SMH
I have no idea what half of the Internet language doing the rounds nowadays is, but its safe to say that I’m sure you didn’t “Laugh out Loud” at my thinly veiled pun. Let’s all take a leaf from Tim Minchin’s book and use MAS (Mildly Amused Smirk) as a more realistic representation of what we are actually doing at that moment.

STOP: YouTube baiting
It’s a YouTube video, not a forum of political, religious, existential, philosophical etc etc expression. It’s a video of a cat balancing kumquats. Stop starting arguments about things that don’t need to be started here. The average comments section of a YouTube video is so full to the brim of hatred that even I can’t stand to read them – and that’s saying something! Be smart, don’t feed the trolls.
If you want the link to the video of cats balancing kumquats then you’re in luck!

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Stop Doing That… Driving!

You may have noticed (some of you rather happily I will bet) that I haven’t written one of my little “self help” posts in a while. This is because I have, shock horror, not been overwhelmed With the burning rage and righteous anger that I feel about a topic to be able to tell people to stop doing it for a good long while. Well that brief time of bliss has rocketed off along the motorway of life and left me stranded in the lay-by of hatred. You may have guessed by the overuse of car related metaphors (or the title of this post, which is more likely) that today we will be looking at what you can not do whilst driving to prevent yourself from becoming number one on my Most Hated list.

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STOP: Undertaking
Was it really SO important for you to get past me that you had to resort to being the biggest tool on the planet and swerve across a few lanes on this motorway to go past me in the left hand lane? Really? I’m going at the limit in the centre lane, the guy in the right hand lane is going a shade faster, so we’re all travelling at a legal limit and then in you zoom, Captain Douchebag, and swerve round all of us to continue on to whichever shopping centre you’re going to go buy a new polyester track suit from today. Prick.

STOP: Driving in the bike lane
The clue to this one is in the name. BIKE LANE. Not “Cruise along with half your car in here so cyclists fear for their life Lane”. You have a whole road and the cyclist only have this tiny piece on the left of it all. Stop harassing them and play nice.

STOP: Whistling from windows
I’ll level with you it is usually the stereotypic “Lads” that are the culprits here but nonetheless it makes my list. Guys, come on. That girl you’re whistling at and catcalling is pretty much NEVER going to sleep with you. Least of all if you have to shout out of a car to get her attention! Any girl that would hear someone wolf whistle from a car and think to herself “that man is going to be my one true love! I must sleep with him!” really needs to sort her priorities out…

STOP: Being slow
I’m not a preacher of speed, reckless or otherwise, but there is absolutely no reason to be going at 20 in a 40 zone.

STOP: Using phones
If you use your phone whilst driving, to me you are exactly the same level of despicable bastard irritating as you would be if you had drop kicked a baby into a yard filled with pitbulls and bear traps. You are the devil incarnate. If it is THAT important then pull over and use your phone. If not, wait until you get to where you are going and THEN use your phone. Don’t even get me started on texting. Just don’t do it whilst driving. I can barely walk and text at the same time without walking in to a pole or person, I can only imagine driving would make this twice as hard!

It’s not hard to not use a phone in the car. Alright?

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