The title of this article intrigued me, as I wondered if there are universally annoying sounds such as “nails on a chalkboard” (does anyone still have chalkboards? Does this reference mean anything to a younger generation?) — or if it is more subjective.
My list would have to include:
A screaming child, especially in a public place or an airplane
The sound of someone chewing loudly, esp. if there’s gum involved
A dental drill
The screech of a train pulling into the station
Donald Trump’s voice (hopefully, we will not hear it much longer)
Nervous clicking, tapping, etc. of long, fake nails. Even without the chalkboard.
The common denominators being Loud/Repetitive/Incessant/Harsh.
The author posits that the pandemic has made things worse, as being cooped up for weeks/months on end is bound to lower our collective tolerance. Odds are, your neighbor banging pots and pans might be (slightly) more tolerable if you weren’t forced to hear it day in, day out.
What a week! I would normally shy away from discussing anything political on this blog, but it’s been such a wild time that I feel compelled to dive in and mix a few metaphors.
7 million more of us saw the writing on the (bathroom obscenities) wall and anticipated a certain amount of resistance to the election results. But I do have some sympathy for those blindsided Kool-Aid drinkers who couldn’t see that their beloved was in the throes of a Hitler-in-the-bunker last stand.
Think about it. Four years is a long time to be in an intense relationship with a crazy person. There’s been a collective Stockholm Syndrome amongst these supporters who only get information from their crush and don’t want the grownups to explain that all is not as it seems. Both the highs and lows are so intense that “normal” is seen as boring. And woe betide anyone who dares say that the emperor has no clothes (ok, that’s a horrifying visual). He HAS clothes. They’re GREAT clothes. They’re the BEST clothes anyone ever had.
Well, sadly, the wannabe coup-coo dictator can’t even break up with his fan club on Twitter, like other cowards do. And unless he’s planning to write a whole lot of personal “It’s not you, it’s me” Dear Don letters, they’ll have to learn about it on the real news, i.e. the non-conspiracy, actually-validated-with-facts sort of news.
Meanwhile, expect sales of tissues and Rocky Road ice cream to go through the roof.
This week, braving dreary weather, R and I visited one of our favorite wineries, where one of our favorite people manages the tasting room. She gently reminded me that I’ve been remiss in my blog posting, so Linda, this one’s for you!
Back to the topic at hand.
I’m all for smart technology, such as the dishwasher that senses when my dishes aren’t dry enough, or when I need to refill the rinsing agent so the glasses don’t have leprosy.
On the other hand, some inanimate objects seem to have been designed with a real smart-alecky attitude. Like my smartphone’s spelling “correction”, which regularly replaces perfectly good English with gibberish. Or its more obscure settings, which convey general condescension toward those of us who grew up with princess phones. (What? You can’t find that function? Bwaa-ha-ha…!)
Where does the term “smart alec” come from, you ask? (OK, you didn’t, but now don’t you want to know?)
It originates from the exploits of one Alec Hoag, an infamous con man in 1840’s New York. He and his wife Melinda, along with an accomplice known as French Jack, operated a con called the Panel Game, in which prostitutes and their pimps robbed customers. Or so says Wikipedia.
What’s next in phones, I wonder. Will the built-in camera automatically subtract 10 pounds and add hair to hairless heads? Will it flash a warning to delete a tactless text before we send it? Will it short-circuit if we drunk dial our ex-lovers or horrible bosses? Wouldn’t any of these features improve our lives more than AutoCorrect? I rest my case.
Smartass tech is poised to invade other aspects of our lives, too. Imagine a fridge equipped with auto-lock if you open it too often. Or between meals. Likewise, a scale that proudly announces your last weight. Or a mirror that self-writes helpful suggestions such as, “Time to color your hair” or “Ever considered Botox?”
Soon we’ll have self-driving cars, which could be useful for those of us who don’t have chauffeurs. But will they refuse to go somewhere they feel isn’t in our best interest, such as the racetrack or the restaurant that gave us heartburn?
The line between human and machine grows ever thinner, my fellow curmudgeons. Stay vigilant!
Is Cyber Monday a “thing” outside of the US? My inbox is being bombarded with hundreds of panicky Buy Now! Last Chance! Special Pricing! emails today. My fingers are sore from deleting them all. And I haven’t even bought anything!
I hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful holiday. We were lucky enough to have two of our “girls” visit — one who had Covid and a subsequent positive antibody test, and another who never leaves her apartment and whose fiancé recently tested negative for Covid. Fingers crossed that nobody gets sick.
Having consumed enough food to feel positively whale-ish, the following article seemed appropriately Good Newsy for this week.
While we wait, it’s also good to know that both mouthwash and baby shampoo have been shown to provide additional protection. (No, we aren’t supposed to gargle with baby shampoo or put mouthwash in our hair. It’s quite straightforward.)
What I really want to see, though, are some additional, mandatory vaccines:
Protection against false claims of fake news, fake election results, and generally fake anything you happen to disagree with
A vaccine against racism, antisemitism and Holocaust denial
100% protection against ignoring the reality of climate change
99.9% protection against stupidity — 100% being simply unrealistic
A vaccine against meanspiritedness, unneighborly behavior and selfishness
And, finally, a shot that will permanently erase 2020.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall. Who’s the fattest bear of all?
Today kicks off Fat Bear Week, which for whatever reason I find endlessly amusing. Maybe because “fat” is such a loaded word in human terms but completely endearing when it applies to animals?
Get ready to vote, my friends. The portly pairs of bears will face off in multiple elimination rounds as they lumber forward to the finals. Who will be crowned “Most Corpulent”? Will it be pulchritudinously hefty Holly, last year’s champion? (Good golly, Miss Holly, you sure like to eat!) Or 747, who takes gorging to new heights? Or another full-bellied bruin? Oddsmakers are betting 1000 pounds of salmon on a surprise waddling-in-from-behind winner. I’ll be waiting with baited breath.