Photo of unannounced tearing up of sidewalk outside my home office as I was writing this post
From time to time, I feel an overwhelming need to lighten up, to write about something other than the world epidemic of Type 2 diabetes or what promising treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease has been shown to be utterly ineffective. Over breakfast, I comb the “Washington Post” looking for a break from anxiety-provoking news about budget deficits, terrorist attacks, and pedophiles.
John Kelly’s Peevefest
Several weeks ago, while skimming the Metro section, I was delighted to find such a break. In “John Kelly’s Washington” column, the generally congenial Mr. Kelly not only vented and raged about a pet peeve but also invited readers to send him some of their own. Knowing an opportunity when I see it, I immediately dashed off a short list and emailed it to him.
I had almost forgotten about it when John Kelly printed three columns worth of responses. He introduced the second day’s column like this:
As we embark on Day Two of the Reader Hatefest, let us pause to ponder how future generations may think of us. Of course, we can never really know any other time but our own. If you are reading this in the year 2784 — when all the world’s problems have been solved — you may be impressed that we had to endure such hardships as difficult-to-remove yogurt tops. Or if in your time Earthlings are condemned to serve as living hosts for larval aliens, you may be thinking that our gripes were laughable.
Anyhoo, here are some things that bugged some of us back in 2011, starting with irritations at the grocery store.
Olney’s David Bancroft hates that different supermarkets use different-colored milk jugs, making it difficult for him to figure out which one is skim. “At one store it has dark blue caps, in another, pink ones,” he wrote. “At yet another store the skim milk is in light blue caps. Just when I thought I had the color schemes all figured out, one store changed the color. One has to actually read the labels now to find the right one. Why this irritates me I have no idea, but it does.”
And scrolling down, I saw it: one of the peeves I’d sent to Mr. Kelly.
Lexington Park’s Madeleine Kolb hates
seeing “tabloids at eye-level at the check-out counter with articles about how a woman lost 235 pounds by eating junk food. That’s more than my boyfriend’s entire body weight, and he’s over six feet tall.”
And on they went. We readers ranted. We raved. We reveled in it. No peeve was too trivial, and to his lasting credit, John Kelly encouraged us. He egged us on. “Remember,” he said, “it’s healthy to purge every now and then. That’s what this peevefest is all about….”
Leave a peeve
And in that spirit, I invite you to leave a peeve of your own. Nothing mean-spirited, just something that bugs you out of all proportion to any possible significance. Leave your peeve in the comments below.
One reason to do this is to test the rocking new version of the WordPress plugin Comment Luv. It allows you to leave a link to any one of your last 10 blog posts when you comment. I’m eager to test this out, and can’t think of a more enjoyable way to do it. Remember, no peeve is too trivial!