Do you ever notice that people who aren’t you do things that annoy you? Me too. Since I am the foremost expert on things that irritate me, I’ve decided to compile a list on the subject. What follows are eight behaviours that really get my goat.

8. Walking Inexcusably Slowly

If you’re impeded by some physical disability and can’t quite keep up with the flow of foot traffic, no problem, take your time. If you’re withered and worn, how could I fault you for wavering slightly on the long road of life? If you rely on your sense of touch rather than sight to guide you, I feel you. But if you’re a perfectly able-bodied, young person, hurry the hell up, please.

Some of us are impatient, self-involved jerks, jerk. In fact, I’m not even in a rush to get anywhere most of the time. I’m just trying to outpace those nagging, jagged little thoughts that keep me up at night. Thoughts like slow walkers…

Put simply, if you’re a slow walker, you should be more considerate of other people—especially me. I may have nowhere to go, but I’m trying to get there fast.

7. Blocking the Doors to the Subway

I’ve noticed that gaggles of sports-fans are most guilty of this. This is probably because they are drunk and unfamiliar with a particular stop, so out of sheer clumsiness, they ignorantly block the door. Perhaps this could lead one to conclude that clueless, clumsy, drunk people are especially likely to block subway rather than are simply sports fans.

However, I am often a clueless, clumsy drunk person, but I am not a sports-fan; therefore, I must conclude that gaggles of sports-fans should shoulder the most blame.

6. Not Flushing in a Public Washroom

An adult human being of at least average ability should know how to not piss on the floor—then again, no child should go hungry and war should be an artifact of history. Sadly though, such sorrow has been with us since the dawn of time. We must accept and adapt to those things which are not in our power, at least as mere individuals, to change. This is why I wear shoes in public washrooms and make sure that my pants don’t extend far beyond my heels. Stoic, I know.

Still, some things are within our influence, such as flushing a goddamn urinal full of your own urine. This last point is all the more pertinent when one is in a crowded washroom. I don’t even really care if you wash your hands. (I don’t high five people or shake hands in washrooms.) Just flush the goddamn toilet and/or urinal. Or wear an adult diaper and don’t bother coming into the washroom at all. In fact, stay home. In your diaper.

Sometimes, however, you can’t flush. In the interest of conserving water and preserving stank, the urinals in certain public washrooms are on timers. And they take their bloody time. This means that between flushes there is a wealth of putrid, sour bladder-juice for all patrons of these great public-works to splash about in. I can’t blame anyone in particular for this, so I blame society.

5. Asking If You’ve Heard About Jesus

I don’t know why evangelists lead with this. Who hasn’t heard about the guy? Barack Hussein Obama? Seriously though: what a dull intro. They could at least start with something a little more intriguing, like, “did you know that Jesus liked touching lepers and then had the audacity to accuse his friends of treachery while passing bread around (with his leper-touching hands) at dinner?”

This is what’s called a hook. It gives people a reason to listen to the rest of your spiel. Perhaps they’d even want a bit of a back story; maybe even some Old Testament. There you go. You’re welcome, bible-thumpers. (Sorry, Christians.)

4. Holding Up the Line with Inane, Unanswerable Questions

How often have you found yourself waiting in a long line at a coffee shop, fast food place, grocery store or purveyor of organic tomfoolery while some inconsiderate troll berates the cashier with vague, pointless questions?

  • “Do you know where these plums were grown?”
  • “Were the beans from Kenya or South America? Oh, you don’t know. Well it matters a great deal, actually.”
  • “Do you know how much sodium is in this and, if so, whether the bonds between atoms in a sodium molecule are metallic or covalent?”
  • “Where is the manager? She’s off! Where is she, then? Well, what does she do on her spare time? Does she like jazz by any chance?”
  • “Which one of these cat foods will my cat like the best? His name is Philip.”

Do the people who ask these types of questions ever stop to ask themselves why a cashier, clerk or barista would or should be an inexhaustible font of useless, utterly uninteresting trivia for them? If a Starbucks barista is getting paid minimum wage to serve you overpriced, burnt coffee, one of which often amounts to half of her hourly wages, why should she know where the owner or manager is at all times?

And even if she did, would that not be a tad creepy? In fact, if she knew the constant whereabouts and personal habits of her boss, she may not be a Starbucks barista for very long. Now she’s out of a job. Look what you did, you douche!

3. Taking Forever to Use an ATM

I think the forensic accounting of Bernie Maddoff’s creative accounting took less time than these people do when they conduct what should be simple transactions at a bank machine. What are they doing? Consolidating their mortgage? Are they trying to call long-distance? Did the bank machine ask them some vexing personal question that pierced deep into their soul, stunning them with uncomfortable realizations and insights (aside from their account balance)?

2. Initiating Extraneous Small Talk in a Whispering Shrew’s Voice

I don’t like small talk because I usually end up repeating the same conversation with everyone. Also, like most things I don’t like, I’m not particularly good at it. In fact, I’m not even that proficient at basic greetings.

Case in point: About a year ago, I found myself walking up an office stairwell while someone I faintly knew was walking down it. Our exchange went as follows:

“How are you?” I greeted.
“Good, how are you?” He replied.
“Good, and how are you?”
“Good, how are you?”

An infinite regress of awkwardness.

Nevertheless, civility demands that everyone at least occasionally engage in small talk. Now, I can’t take issue with this, but I still can take issue! And my issue is with people who initiate (rather than reciprocate) small talk in a voice so slight and muffled that it can only be heard by bats and certain tropical spiders. As discussed, I’m bad at small talk, but I’m even worse when I cannot hear.

How do I respond to such inaudible conviviality?

Well, the procedure I usually follow is to smile a bit and agree to whatever has been said. But I don’t even know what I’m agreeing with! For all I know, they could be saying, “Hitler had a great ass.” Now, this is something I would not normally agree with (for a number of reasons). Yet, in such a situation, I would have just agreed to something I don’t agree with. The trickery of these barely audible interlocutors knows no bounds!

1. Writing Nitpicky Lists on the Internet on Things That Annoy Them

Who are these assholes? How conceited does someone need to be that they assume random strangers on the internet care about what irritates them. I don’t know how many of these pieces I’ve read in which the author expresses some burning grievance with seemingly everything under the sun.

What a myopic, ungrateful position to take. Just think: they type their complaints on a keyboard as letters magically appear on a screen before them; the sum of human knowledge merely few clicks away… and then Internet Explorer crashes, taunting them with that most facetious of requests, “Do you want to restart the program?” No. No, I do not want to restart the program, Internet Explorer. In fact, I will now be using Google Chrome—which brings me to another thing…