Friday, June 03, 2011

Things I Really Hate

It's been over five years since I wrote my first official (yet incomplete) list of things I hate. So I thought it'd be an interesting exercise to revisit that list.

The rules are simple: any item on the list has to be something that isn't inherently hateable. So, for example, you wouldn't find "bad drivers" or "dog shit on your shoe" on the list, because nobody really likes those things. In other words, items on the list are things that you know you're supposed to like, but you just, well. . .don't.

Things I Hate

1. Slow walkers/cyclists

The only time slow walking is appropriate is if you have a limp, are carrying a television down the street or are a 63-year-old Asian woman in Chinatown on Sunday morning. Then it's okay.

2. Sandwiches 

This refers mainly to cold sandwiches. You know the ones--they come on a party platter from the grocery store surrounded by cherry tomatoes and parsley and oozing tuna. They're often served at funerals. Gross. I don't even need to explain why this is the worst thing ever. (Grilled cheese sandwiches or paninis, however, are in a league of their own. Mainly because they're delicious.)

The worst is Subway sandwiches, particularly if you're vegetarian.

3. Tuna

It smells gross, it contains mercury and it kills dolphins. There is NOTHING to love about tuna.

4. Celery

Celery's only redeeming characteristic is its ability to hold peanut butter. It has little nutritional value, tastes disgusting and is stringy.

5. Snorkelling

Why wouldn't you just put a mask on, put your head under water and hold your breath? Breathing through a disgusting, unhygienic tube just seems kind of pointless. 

6. Paddle boats

Paddle boats always seem like they're going to be really fun. (Even I get caught up in the excitement.) But then you get inside and you're like, "Man, this is way too much effort for way too little fun." Fact. 

7. Stand-up comedy 

I can't get over the contrived aspect of stand-up comedy. It also usually relies on bad impressions and stereotypes about gender, race and midgets, which makes it incredibly not funny. Situational stand-up comedy on public radio is sometimes okay, though.

8. Leather couches

Gross. (Although now that I have a dog, I'm beginning to wish I could clean my couch with ease.)

9. Windy days

I don't like having street filth whipped at my face. Windy days are only permissible in the following two situations: when I want to fly my kit and when I want to go sailing. In any other circumstance, wind should never exceed a gentle, caressing breeze.

10. When smokers throw their butts on the ground

Listen, if you're going to smoke, that's your prerogative. But when you throw your smoke onto the ground (especially when you're standing directly in front of one of the new public garbage cans with a space specially designed for cigarettes) that just pisses me off. These same people wouldn't even consider throwing a used coffee cup or plastic bag on the ground. But a cigarette butt? They do it all day, every day. Litterbugs!

11. Amusement parks

In what other situation would you spend between $50 and $100 to be able to stand in line all day surrounded by screaming, whining children? In an eight-hour day at an amusement park, you experience 17 minutes of fun (if you're lucky) and 463 minutes of standing in line inhaling germs.

At Canada's Wonderland in 2006. A rare moment not standing line.
12. iPhone users

I'm a luddite, I know. But seriously, I'd love to go out for dinner with someone without them checking their Facebook or using Maps to figure out where we are. (Speaking of, everybody needs to go read this article from the Walrus about how GPS technology is rewiring and rotting our brains.)

13. Cottage country

Don't get me wrong, I love going to cottages. I just think there's something inherently depressing about the concept of cottage country. I still haven't pinpointed this hatred yet, but it has something to do with working in a disgusting polluted city for 340 days of the year, just so you can afford to go be "with nature" for the other 16 days. Unless your profession demands that you live in Toronto, why wouldn't you just move someplace where real estate costs are lower and where you don't have to check smog warnings in the morning?

It's not cottages that I hate. It's just the concept.
14. Food with a face

If I never have to see someone eat a whole lobster again in my life, I'll be happy.

Things I No Longer Hate (and why my feelings have changed)

1. The LCBO

All my original arguments still apply. But it's become a fact of life. I have no other options.

2. Pennies

They're readily available on the ground and a valid form of currency. Free money, everywhere, on the ground? Yes, please! (Also, I like to pay for things in exact change.)

3. MySpace

This was a very 2006 pre-Facebook type of hate. MySpace is now great for listening to music.

4. Dr. Phil

I think this appeared on the list because I was still living at China, where it felt like the TV was on all the time. Again, is Dr. Phil even still around?

5. Emoticons

Back in 2006, I spent a lot of time on msn messenger, like everyone else. Remember the days?

I'm curious: what do you really hate and why?


  1. I really hate:

    People who loiter on my store step, use it as a bathroom in full view in the middle of the day, and people who throw their garbage into it as they pass.

    Students who think that textbook prices are a) negotiable and b) overpriced even with a 7 percent discount under suggested retail. It's called school and an investment in your future and like any investment you gotta put a little in to get a lot out.

    SLOW WALKERS!! I'm with you on that. Or people who are walking and then stop with no warning in the middle of the sidewalk. Or people who hog the whole escalator and don't stay to the right if they're not moving.

    Also, I'm a real grammar bitch when it comes to apostrophe and comma use. To me it is pretty much common sense and I can't understand why these concepts are so difficult for people.

    Last one - people who don't move back on the bus and instead crowd the front and side door.

    Basically, all of my pet peeves involve other people.... which is why I move between home and work with least people interaction possible!

  2. Oh, the escalator thing drives me NUTS. Escalators are for getting from point A to point B faster. Not for being lazy. (Unless you have a limp, are carrying a TV or are a 63-year-old woman on your way to Chinatown.) Same goes for moving sidewalks at the airport.

  3. Geez, this was kind of harsh, but when you run down a list of things you hate, you're just putting yourself out there to get picked apart. Personally, I love tuna, sandwiches, stand up comedy, the occaisional paddle boat (although I'd much prefer a MasterCraft, and I'm sure I'd love snorkelling to see tropical fish close up. But this is about what I hate, not what I disagree with you about. So here it is:

    1) Scooter riders. Half the time it seems like they don't have a clue what they're doing. I once sat behind a scooter rider who sat at the stopline at a very busy intersection making a left turn, when he could have gotten out into the intersection (like any driver in a car would) and allowed 3 or 4 drivers to make it through. Or the girl on the electric moped who got so angry that she wasn't able to enter busy traffic.

    2)People who don't get up when you enter a room. To me, this is just manners. Someone comes over, you get up to greet them. It doesn't matter if you're their friend's girlfriend and not technically their friend or whatever. My friend's girlfriend does this and it drives me nuts. Whenever you come over she just lays there and stares at the TV, and you try to prod her into getting you to at least have a minute and meaningless couple of words, but it's like trying to ride a bike backwards playing a ukalele without running into a pickup truck.

    3)People who insist their pets are so cute, they have to show them off to you. And I don't just mean putting pictures up on facebook. I'm talking people who's only status updates are about their pets. 'My cats did so well at the vet today.' Yeah, big freaking deal. I think your cats are cool when I see them in person, and I can play with them. The same way people think my turtles are cool for about a minute thirty. That's why my turtles are mine, and your cats are yours, and her dog is hers. Everyone thinks their pets are awesome. But understand I don't give a F*CK about your pets.

    4) Replace anyhwere I've said pets with 'kids' in #3.

    5) People who form these little cliques once they get married or have kids and can only be friends with people who are married and have kids so they can talk about being married or having kids. I've had some pretty close friends that once they tied the knot or popped out a zygote they suddenly disappeared into a whole different realm where the only friends they had were ones that had kids of a similar age.

    6) People who, after the age of 19, still think it's acceptable to drink until they vomit on any day other then their birthday (I'll accept birthdays or St.Patrick's day).

    7) Giving the finger in traffic.

    8) False sentiment. I'm a fairly open book with my feelings, and I enjoy people who are the same. If you've got something not nice to say to me, just say it, don't sugarcoat it.

    9) Mushrooms. I'm sory, but I can't eat a fungus that large. I get that cheese uses bacteria and mold cultures, but to me it is just not the same thing. Sorry. Don't like Mushrooms. Whatever your argument about cheese is, IT IS NOT GOING TO WORK ON ME! I DON'T WANT TO EAT A BIG FUNGUS!

    I might as well find a tenth one to even this out.

    10) The lost art of making a mixed tape. I made a tone, but I never received any. I was always interested in what other people could make if they decided to try it out. This isn't something I hate. I guess I just am bitterly disappointed that I was not in the time of thurston moore or something.

    I can think of a lot to do with driving, relationships, jerks, etc, but I think this will do.

  4. NatalieTobin12:34 PM

    @Ryan The Infamous....


    I'm a closet fan/reader of Jess' blog, and I'm always so entertained by her posts. You're just as articulate and entertaining. Do you have a blog??

  5. Ryan: Oh man, I also hate mushrooms. They didn't make it onto the list, though, because sometimes I'll accept a portobello bruger as a legitimate meal. Canned button mushrooms are awful, though.

    Also, you reminded me of another thing I hate that most people like:

    #15. St. Patrick's Day. It's the worst.

    Natalie: Haha, I'm glad that my post on hated things brought you out of hiding! I hope you're doing well. It's been ages since I saw you last (or was in London for that matter).

  6. Natalie: Jess is actually (a known fact) a much better writer than me. I have used her insight and guidance on more than one occaision to try and find my work in print. The only thing I found was that one day, sitting on the can at my girlfriend's place, I would open a book to find I was suddenly reading something she'd wrote. I've tried keeping a blog with minimal Success. Jess has the whole 'personal but not too personal' thing down really well.

    I relegate a lot of my personal thoughts to facebook notes. They sometimes get read. I've always, I think, made my blogs a little too specific. Although now that you can RSS blogger to facebook, I suppose I might give it another crack. Don't be surprised if there is a new one by the end of the day.

    Jess: although people consider portabellos as legitimate meals, I just find that they are the KING of all gross fungi. My old roommate once decided to use my barbecue for portabello patties, and actually burnt the crap out of them the first try, and didn't clean up after himself. I did not use that barbecue for almost 9 months after that incident, and when I finally did, I cleaned it for 4 hours before I decided it was worthy of meat again.

    #11) People who can't clean up after themselves. This includes sidewalk spitters, literers, and perhaps even my former roommate (I love the guy, just not his habits) who knows enough not to let his cats climb up on the kitchen counter but self proclaimed last christmas that he never once cleaned the bathroom in 2 years.

  7. You really just made a list of shit I love. Cept cigarette butts.

  8. it totally just happened

  9. Karin5:00 PM

    1) Long fingernails. Especially dirty long fingernails. GROSS. Men with long nails = even more disgusting.

    2)I hate seeing strands of hair on counters, on tile floors and in sinks. Curly hair is the worst.

    3) People who feel the need to stand in the middle of the sidewalk and have a conversation. They call it a sideWALK for a reason. WALK. or pull over to the side. What's worse is that they are usually oblivious to the fact that they are holding up traffic.

    4) People who think they don't have to wait in line.

    5) Music snobs. Oh yes- because you think Cher "sucks" I'll stop listening to her music. I don't care what you think. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and just because you don't like someone/something ... it doesn't mean that it SUCKS.

    6) Sweaty-flesh touching. Particularly strangers ...on the subway/streetcar. EWW.

    7) People who call their other house a "cottage." Just because you own a house on a lake does not mean it's a cottage. It's a house. It's not rustic if it has cable/a dishwasher/stainless steel appliances.

    8)Pro-Life activists.

    9)the sound of forks scraping on teeth = When lazy people eat improperly.