Everyday irritants – what irks you? | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Everyday irritants – what irks you?

Cory Fisher

How come newspapers never write about anything positive? If this is your catch phrase, then read no further.

When the Tribune asked South Shore residents to share their “pet peeves,” both the tremendous volume and variety of responses was a surprise. Some were lighthearted and humorous while others clearly were of grave concern.

The majority of gripes fell into six categories – smokers, drivers, dogs, neighbors, cyclists and service industry conduct.

But perhaps there is a positive angle here after all – sometimes blowing off a little steam can have a therapeutic effect. Others might think twice about their future actions.

So take a gander. Which are you – one of the frustrated, or one of the frustrating?

BUTTS- Cigarette butts in parks. Butts on the beach. Butts thrown out of car windows. Butts at children’s athletic events. Tahoe’s “butt litter problem” undoubtedly infuriates a large number of people, as it was by far the most popular peeve.

“When I’m on the beach it looks like I’m sitting in an ashtray,” said one caller. “There should be an automatic $1,000 fine if someone is caught.”

“Many people who smoke wouldn’t dream of dropping trash in the street,” said another. “But somehow they think it’s OK to leave butts anywhere.”

DRIVERS- People who don’t use their blinkers at all, or people who have their blinkers on for no reason. People who put “door dings” in the side of your car. Giant, commercial trucks on small, residential streets. People who drive down the middle “refuge” lane. Drivers who get “road rage” easily. How about people who don’t park within the lines in a parking lot? Or those who drive under the speed limit between Meyers and South Lake Tahoe, then speed through town?

Most popular peeve regarding drivers: People who speed on residential streets.

DOGS- Well, actually, it’s not the dogs – it’s the people who own dogs. Many callers complained of dog packs regularly roaming their neighborhoods, especially dogs that aren’t fixed. Dogs who knock over garbage cans. Owners who don’t pick up dog droppings.

Most popular peeve regarding dogs: Owners who let their dogs bark day and night, or “24/7.”

NEIGHBORS- People who play loud music late at night. Unattended children in the street. Neighbors who litter in nearby open areas or meadows. Garbage cans left on the street, days after pick-up. Car alarms in the middle of the night.

Most notable peeve regarding neighbors: “People who leave their underwear on the clothesline where people on the street can see it.”

CYCLISTS- Bicyclists who don’t follow traffic rules was a common response, but more specifically, many were irked by cyclists who ride against traffic on U.S. Highway 50. “I’ve almost hit several of them – they should be ticketed by the city,” said one caller. “How many need to be killed before it becomes an issue?”

SERVICE INDUSTRY- Store clerks who discuss “intimate details of their lives while waiting on you.” People who are rude to restaurant servers when it’s busy. Locals who badmouth tourists when tourists are within earshot. Retail clerks who “suffocate you with friendliness and helpfulness.” People who “don’t have their act together at the check-out counter.” Shoppers who go in the “out” door and vice versa. People who leave their empty shopping carts in the middle of prime parking spaces.

Most notable peeve regarding the service industry: “Grocery shoppers who like to stand next to you at the check-out counter instead of back by their own basket. If it’s my turn at bat, it’s my turn – I don’t want them crowding me.”

MISCELLANEOUS ANNOYANCES- Noses that whistle on the exhale. People who shout when talking to someone who speaks another language. People who take credit for things they haven’t done. Newspaper articles that end in midsentence. Wine snobs. School fliers sent home with spelling errors. People who refer to themselves in the third person. Fake smiles. People who give children candy without asking their parents. Know-it-alls. Skinny people who complain they’re fat. People who never take the blame. Interrupters. People who make 10 consecutive transactions at the ATM. People who say “You look tired!” The term “friggin.” People in the “media or propaganda business” who pat themselves on the back when praised, but separate themselves when they are criticized – “then it becomes someone else, not them.” People who look at the time while in conversation. The guy who keeps sniffling when he should blow his nose. People who say, “Pardon my French.” Sweaty handshakes. Macho, digit-crunching handshakes. Limp handshakes. People who snore and insist they don’t.

While many of life’s irritants could be obliterated with a little consideration, others are here to stay.

As one caller said, “How we react to them will determine whether we become part of the solution or simply another peeve.”

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