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We all have pet peeves. We all have rage triggers. For some people, it's loud chewing. For others, it's people who point when they talk. For Cracked's Felix Clay, it's writing columns about things other than sexual depravity. The point is, we all have things that set us off.

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This man, for example, despises clouds. People are weird.

But sometimes, even though our hearts race and our fists clench, we know we're wrong. Or if not wrong, we know we're overreacting. And it just doesn't matter. We can't help it. These things drive us nuts, and somehow knowing that we shouldn't get upset only makes us more angry.

5
People Who Recline Their Seats All the Way Back on a Plane

You're sitting on a plane. Everyone is in their seat. And every seat is straight up. The flight attendants insist upon it as they do their inspection. But then the plane takes off, you ascend, you level out, you hear that ding, and then ...

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AAAAAAAAAIIIIIGHHHH!!!!!!!!!

The dude in front of you flips the switch and lets loose the dogs of recline. Is that a bad metaphor? Sure it is, but who can craft metaphors with an airplane seat in your face?

Why It Sucks

So many reasons. First off, today's planes are more tightly packed than ever. A reclined seat means a face full of plastic. Second, if you're tall (and I'm not), say goodbye to your knees. They now reside somewhere inside that gross netting that contains the airsickness bags and inflight magazine. And lastly, if you use that food tray to hold your laptop, your new angle will never be right. You can't see the screen. You can't type comfortably. Know what else you can't do? Go more than three seconds without hoping for some sort of airborne catastrophe to destroy your lounge-y companion while leaving the plane and everyone else unharmed.

But You Really Can't Get Mad

It might be annoying, but y'know, it's not really wrong. The seats are made to do that, and there's no rule against it. It's not like when you're sitting next to someone on the train or subway who has their legs spread open or elbows a-flying. This passenger, even if reclined, is still remaining in his authorized space. And man, that's annoying. It's like a kid brother sticking his snotty finger an inch from your face. "Am I bugging you? I'm not touching you!"

4
Light Switches Not Located in the Room They Light

Many years ago, the cavemen decided to put their light switches in the same room as the room being lit. Wait, I just checked that with Snopes, and it turns out cavemen actually lived in caves. And didn't have light. Never mind.

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Loser.

Anyway, the point is, for a very long time now most of us have accepted the notion of the light switch being in the same room as the light fixture that lights the room. But every once in a while, you'll be in some old house or weird hotel room and suddenly the whole world's gone crazy!

Why It Sucks

Because no matter how hard you try to remember, the first three or four times you enter that room, you will be slapping blindly at a wall for a switch that doesn't exist. Like some kind of blind peasant! You might say "Goddammit" or "Stupid switch!" or "Damn Swedes!" (You'll probably only say the last one if you're weirdly racist toward Swedish people.)

But You Really Can't Get Mad

Well, two reasons really. For one, it's just unexpected, not awful. But more importantly, sometimes it actually makes more sense to put the switch on the outside of the room. Somehow we got used to the notion that it's normal to reach around a door frame and feel up a wall for a little light. In the case of going from a lit room to a dark room, that makes little sense. It's a million times more intuitive to be able to see the switch you're about to use.

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3
People Driving the Speed Limit

No one drives the speed limit, except little old ladies and dirty Swedes! (Oh, sorry, that nonsensical Swedish racism from the last entry carried over.) We are busy. We have places to go. We are like Sammy Hagar.

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Yes, we are heavier and less charismatic than David Lee Roth.

No, I'm saying we can't drive 55. Except some of us can. Because some people do. And they're in front of you. All the time.

Why It Sucks

Why it sucks can best be explained by what I think when I'm stuck behind such a person: "Oh my God, what the hell is wrong with you? Drive! Drive! I swear I will get out of my car, jog up to your slow piece of crap rolling turd, and stab you to death with my car keys. Yes, I know I can't jog 55 mph, that's not the point. I'm using hyperbole for comedic effect. Wait, this is my rage-induced fantasy -- how are you criticizing my word choices? You can't be. That means I imagined you finding fault with my own rage. Oh, God help me. I've gone down the rabbit hole. Speed up, I have to drive to a hospital and have myself institutionalized!"

But You Really Can't Get Mad

Because what is wrong with you? And by you, I mean me. There is a speed limit. There is a law. You can't get mad at people for following the law. Do you get mad at people for not murdering you? (Actually, that question was to you.) Anyway, in my defense, I've never, ever honked at someone for obeying the speed limit (even the minimum speed limit). I just slowly lose my mind. Then I write columns about it and read comments from people who say things like "Chillax, you really need to take it easy, dude."

2
People Who Smell from Things Other Than Body Odor or Excessive Amounts of Cologne

I have no problem hating someone who smells. Not homeless people, but, y'know, the rest of us. There is soap and water. There are products out there to help you. There's no excuse. I also have no problem hating some Jersey Shore type who has drowned himself in enough Drakkar Noir or Axe to make my eyes water. But then there are people who have certain scents that very subtly but distinctly make you want to die.

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1983-2014. Stood too close to mint toothpaste.

In some cultures (that I won't specifically name because very not smart people will say it's racist), the scent of mothballs is actually sought out. They dig the camphor smell. To me, it's the smell of grandmas and death, but they dig it. Some people think patchouli doesn't smell like pig fat rolled in rancid dandelions, and they wear it. (Some dirty hippies wear it instead of bathing, and it's totally OK to hate them for stinking up the joint.) Some women under 80 actually enjoy moisturizers and perfumes that smell like rose petals. Who knew? And the worst thing about these people? They're allowed to walk around in the world and sit near you.

Why It Sucks

It's harder to ignore a smell you hate than an unpleasant noise, because it is not yet socially acceptable to stick your earbuds up your nose. (Except maybe in that freaker country Sweden!)

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"Seriously, dude, let the Swedish thing go. You're making everyone uncomfortable."

But You Really Can't Get Mad

Because scents are pretty damn subjective. I'll hate on someone who has a shower but doesn't feel the need to bathe before being around other humans. I'll hate someone with a child's conception of the appropriate amount of cologne or perfume. But if someone is wearing a normal amount of a scent that I have a personal problem with, I know, the problem is me. And I make sure to tell that to all the patchouli-wearing maniacs I beat to death with their own dreads.

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1
People Who Won't Share Your Anger

One good thing about being annoyed by someone in a public place is there's usually someone else there to share your pain. Some rude guy at the table to your right at some fancy restaurant is talking way too loudly on his phone? No problem. Turn to the table to your left and do the old "Is this guy crazy or is it me?" look. Have your new friend to the left help you carry the burden of your contempt. Bond a bit. Except sometimes, even though you're surrounded by people, you can't find an affliction buddy.

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"Yep, I hate that guy, too, buddy. You're all good!"

Why It Sucks

Because who doesn't want an affliction buddy? Affliction buddies give you the strength to carry on when some dude is blasting his radio on a subway. Affliction buddies shake their head in mutual disdain when someone publicly urinates in line while waiting for the Tilt-a-Whirl. Hell, affliction buddies can even intervene and save you from horrible conversations when some Chatty Cathy corners you on public transportation. But some potential affliction buddies refuse to answer their call to duty. They're too busy pretending, yes, I said pretending, that they don't even mind the thing that's killing you.

But You Really Can't Get Mad

OK, actually, you can. I give you permission. OK, fine, you can't really get mad, because getting angry isn't a great thing. You can't hate someone for somehow finding their Zen place that allows them to remain impervious to all the indignities and disturbances of the world. More power to them, I say! Actually, I don't say that, because I'm pretty sure 90 percent of them are just indifferent, self-centered liars, unconcerned with anyone's plight, but 10 percent are probably truly good people who have found the light. They're people who can hold onto tranquility in a storm. And it's hard to tell the two kinds of people apart, so you shouldn't hate any of them. (I guess. Sorta.) Actually, I dunno, if you did hate them, you'd still be right 90 percent of the time.



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