Sunday, April 13, 2008

More Peeves...

I do have fun observing people even though they really get on my nerves. So many of the items in the Peeves series will be about people. I'll try to break it up with non-people peeves.

1. People who don't know how to use a cell phone. You've seen them. They have to reposition the device away from their ear so they can, you know, speak directly into the microphone. Why? I don't know, yet. Most of the time they do this as though it is the normal way of talking. So they have to keep putting the earpiece back up their ears after speaking into the mic. I want to to tap them on the shoulder and show them how to use a telephone. By the time they switch back to listening mode, they have missed the first few words of the response, so they are constantly moving back into talk mode only to say "What? Can you repeat that? Wait a few seconds until I get the phone all the way back to my ear so I don't miss anything."

2. The cellphone commuter train talk. It wouldn't be so annoying if it weren't so predictable. It's like living on the set of Ground Hog Day. "Hello, It's me. I'm on the train. The train. I should be home in about 20 minutes." I find myself mouthing the words. I think I'll dedicate a whole Peeve to commuting on the MARC train.

3. People who can't seem to converse without the phrases "like" and "you know." I had hoped that this problem was confined to adolescents whose vocabulary is limited by their age and experience . However, again trapped and forced to listen to this dribble on the daily commute, I was struck by the conversation of two fathers, each raising at least one future conversationalist and the other with one more one the way. I don't know these men from Adam. They seem oblivious to the fact that they advertise this information while carry on their "conversation" such as "like, like, like, it's like, I was like, he was like." Not only are the parents, they are blithering idiots. I fear for their young.

Another set was a trio of women, one of whom was pregnant with her third or fourth child and made sure everyone knew she had a doctorate in epidemiology specializing in tropical diseases and was a professor at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. She reminded her girlfriends of this fact every two minutes, filling the rest of her conversation with "like and you know." I laughed out loud when she derided one of her colleagues as being, you know, like, unqualified. Her not-so-accomplished yak-mates were not as conversationally crippled.

But Mike, what do you expect? A MARC train-load of William F. Buckleys?

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