Somebody is making a ton of money by contracting with auto manufacturers to have car alarms installed. They are as useful as writing manuscript on toilet paper. When was the last time you saw anyone pay attention to a wailing car in the Wal-mart parking lot? Much like home systems, 99.9 percent of alarms are unfounded, causing police to respond unnecessarily, and people in the vicinity to cover their ears. Car alarms are a luxury feature that should be optional for the customer, and insurance companies should stop offering discounts. Everyone is in bed reaping the rewards of big bucks. New York did a study on the cost effectiveness and found them to be almost useless.
FAT PEOPLE’S APPAREL
Clothing is manufactured for the young and skinny, especially for the gentler gender. That puts heavy women, and older women at a disadvantage when shopping for pants and jeans, because they are mostly created as “low-risers” whereby the waistline is somewhere above the pubic region. Nevertheless, it’s far from uncommon to see a “plus-size” — even fat — woman strolling around the mall with her gut hanging over the waist of her jeans. I can only surmise that 1) these women must not look in the mirror, 2) their friends are lying to them, 3) all their friends have the same look, or 4) in-your-face fatness is the new in-style. Sorry if that sounds intolerant. In truth, it’s the style-makers who we should be intolerant of.
SCREAMING KIDS IN RESTAURANTS
We all know that small children, and babies, can be a handful sometimes. When eating a lunch at Cracker Barrel or Longhorn’s, and a toddler begins screaming and whining, it is very disconcerting for the other patrons who are trying to enjoy their meals and their conversation. But I don’t fault the children, I fault the parents who disregard the feelings of others.
Some parents will thoughtfully take a screaming kid outside and quiet him/her down. The ignoramuses will totally disregard the dining room and deal with the child as though it was in a nursery, playing, wailing, acting like brats, which is too bad for everyone else. Same with parents who allow their children to run around at will inside crowded restaurant. Dining establishments are not playgrounds. Restaurant managers are right to ask annoying patrons to take their kids outside.
PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE POLITICAL LIES
When someone you know deliberately tells an untruth to get something from you, you are inclined to never trust that person again. We punish our children for lying. Mendacity is the root of mistrust and banishment. But not for all.
When a politicians lies, it’s ho-hum. The electorate treats it as though it’s a natural outgrowth of the process, not to worry, they all do it. Political lying is not unique to any party, it’s inherent to the system.
But it’s not the politicians that bother me the most, it’s the people who choose to ignore lying and considers it an acceptable part of the election package. How many times have we seen people run for office telling us one thing, then saying something else behind closed doors. How many times have presidents, governors, senators and local politicians been caught in lies, and their followers shluff it off, because they see what they want to see, and disregard what they don’t want to see.
It boggles the mind that even one citizen would cast a vote for a politician who has been caught red-handed, stealing, dealing drugs, using drugs, lying and/or breaking their vows of faithfulness to their own spouses. Yet, people still vote for them. No big deal.
Unless, of course, it’s your own.
AUTOMATED PHONE MENUS
I’ve mellowed in my old age. But nothing stirs the ire more than a machine telling me what button to push when none of those buttons have relevance to the problem I’m calling about. Whether it’s banking, credit cards, corporation questions or government offices, I’ve had occasions to wait on a phone line — “Sorry, all our lines are busy right now, someone will be with you in a few minutes” — as long as forty-five minutes before I slam the receiver in frustration.
I remember one old salt who managed a safety office for Dade County had chaired a meeting in which the other managers were slow to get a project going. He listened to their excuses then said, “My time is as valuable as your time, Dammit!” And it is.
Give me back the old days, when a human being responded to questions and made sure you got the answers you needed.
What’s the answer? More personnel, and higher costs passed on to the consumer. At least it would help the jobless rate and the economy.
NON-AMERICANS ON THE PHONE
A couple years ago, my car broke down on I-95 in South Carolina where I called my 24-hour emergency road service. The woman had a slight foreign accent. She asked me questions, but she didn’t seem to understand the answers. “What city are you near?” she asked. It’s part of her script.
“I don’t know,” I said. There were no signs, and we’d been driving for long periods on a long trip. “We’re in South Carolina, south bound, somewhere between Charleston and Hilton Head.”
She asked for landmarks. I told her we had just passed mile marker number 33. She didn’t know what a mile marker was.
“Where are you located,” I asked her.
About an hour passed, and I saw a tow truck going north on the other side, and hailed him down. He was our guy all right, only he was told “north bound” and mile marker 43.
I’m happy that people in India are employed and doing well. But I don’t like it when it is at the expense of American consumers and American jobs. Whatever happened to taking care of our own first?
CRAPPY MOVIES THAT MAKE BIG BUCKS
See “Due Date. It’s a movie with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. The script is terrible, the acting is worse, the dialogue is juvenile and dumb and the some of the scenes are disgusting, especially the one where the two men are in the car and one decides to start masturbating. Like, that’s supposed to be funny.
Nevertheless, the movie is a box-office smash grossing over $100,000,000, and counting.
Then, there are movies that rely solely on graphics, special effects, a zillion flying bullets and car crashes, but no plot, dumb dialogue and gratuitous sex that adds nothing to the story. (What story?)
The ultimate oxymoron.
EXCESSIVE BODY PIERCING
Primitive natives of Africa and Australia have been shoving objects through their skin for centuries ad infinitum. But I thought we had evolved.
Now, it’s not uncommon — particularly among the young — to see metal studs hanging off a tongue or sticking out of ears, lips, eyebrows, nipples and — whatever else is generally covered. I especially could not understand the insidious tongue stud, which is generally hidden from in view, until my young grandson (who is adult) shared with me the reason that some young women choose to have them installed. Now, when I see a waitress as Denny’s with a stud in her tongue, I immediately form a visual image. I’ll let you figure that out.
There’s more. But this is long enough.
Happy New Year everyone.