Monday, November 13, 2006

Damn You Pet Peeves!

The sound of fingernails scratching a chalkboard makes most people cringe and curl into the fetal position. This pet peeve doesn’t rankle me as much, but there are a few things that get under my skin and irk me to no end (that’s right, I wrote “irk”).

-Sound and feel of nail filing: When I am in the vicinity of someone using a nail file, I have to close my eyes and cover my ears. The texture of the file just rubs me the wrong way (haha). When I have my nails manicured (don’t laugh, even Juan Dixon has his done every week, though I’m good for one or two per year), I try to avoid nail files on my fingertips. Either my message is lost in translation, or the manicurist has too much professional pride at stake to not give me the best service and use the file, so I make the sacrifice for a better appearance. Whenever I see someone using a nail file, I run for the hills until the coast is clear.

Take your pick, they all give me goose bumps and hee-bee-gee-bees.

-Cross-handclapping: This pet peeve developed around the time I entered college and went to every MD football and basketball game I could go to, where I saw lots and lots of clapping. When it was time for more noise and people clapped, I couldn’t understand why anyone would cross their hands (forming an X) instead of clapping with parallel hands. Parallel handclapping is safer as you’re less likely to break your fingers because your hands are staggered (at contact, one hand is higher than the other so that the lower hand’s fingers strike the palm on the upper-hand). Parallel clapping is also louder because it is more difficult for air to escape the two-handed enclosure than when hands are criss-clapped (how many ways can I write this?). I think this is something for the next episode of Mythbusters.

Oh the humanity!!!

Back to the peeve at-hand (chortle, chortle, chortle), if I’m cheering with you, you had better not bring me down with clapping that isn’t up to its fullest potential. Go ahead and cross-clap in the privacy of your own home to turn-off the lights, but not around me. Cross-clapping is lazy and too yokel-like for me. We’re in this applause together so let’s give it all we’ve got. There’s no need to be the weakest clapper. Make it your New Year’s resolution to properly clap.

It's not too late to save the next generation from improper clapping.

-Feel of a popsicle stick on my tongue (especially wooden): This pet peeve began when I was young lad of 7 years and being tested for strep throat at the pediatrician’s office was a bi-weekly event. Having the doctor place a wooden stick on my throat made my gag reflex start sooner and sooner – eventually leading to my wooden stick disdain.

Oh sure, start licking a popsicle, but getting the last 2% isn't worth touching the wooden stick.

While a wooden stick is required for throat cultures, it is also the foundation for every ice cream popsicle in the land. Despite being lactose intolerant (or lactard for the un-PC out there), I love ice cream popsicles as much as anyone, but to eat 100% of the offering, I have to contact my tongue with the dreaded wooden stick. Talk about a double-edged sword. Like nail filing during a manicure, I remind myself that the pain is temporary and worth dealing with for the reward (the hand massage after the manicure (no happy ending) and the bonus ice cream stuck to the stick).

In retrospect (all of five minutes worth), my pet peeves aren’t too bad because they do offer rewards if I can stand them for the reward at the end (I’m not giving-up on clapping so easily). For the record, I will never be locked in a nail salon with the Good Humor man and people applauding the quality of manicures while making sure they eat every last drop of ice cream.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hi I have almost all of those pet peeves. i cannot stand popcicle sticks! everyone thinks im weird about that but thank you for making me feel good about myself, and then i also can't stand nail files even pretty ones that my friends always get me. But the clapping thing i'm a cheerleader so i have to clap like that, i'm sorry thanks again