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Stuff you can’t do much about.

September 28, 2011

Reading a well known theatre message board, a sad lady reported being stuck behind somebody so tall that she couldn’t see a thing. Worse, it was a full theatre so she couldn’t move until somebody kindly offered their seat.

What impressed me was her resignation and the fact she didn’t get angry. It got me thinking about other stuff we sort of have to accept, even if we shouldn’t, that has happened to me in the past week.

Microsoft: Many of us use it every day – and can’t use something else as it is so common. All the bugs and annoying things it won’t let you do… like watch video without re-booting for some reason. Say no more.

Mad parenting: In the street, I watched in horror as a mother gave her toddler daughter a swig from a bottle of Diet Coke. I VERY nearly said something when she then lovingly applied the bottle to the lips of her second child… an even younger one strapped into a pushchair. That lead on to,

Children using Computers: That IPad2 advert with some tot ‘writing’ “Lion” on the screen with his finger… AAARGGGHHHH!!!!! Speaking as somebody who had massive trouble learning handwriting for many years, the skills needed to hold a writing pencil take time to develop. What good is saying ‘it’s OK to use a finger’ doing? There’s time enough for computers when starting work. School and early years outside it are for experiencing and gathering knowledge, I think.

New Paint: Required, but it stinks until it dries, and nothing I found on the web about preventing it (cut onions, warm milk, open a window) seems to work. Caused by,

Builders: Those who apply the new paint etc and have the knack of being all over the place while working.
And then there are,

Barking dogs: If you live next door, you can deal with it. Somewhere further afield and you can’t track it down exactly, nor use the devices that cure it without owners knowing.

Big Companies changing rules: Collected ‘Air Miles’ for years in the hope of a big trip. Now almost got enough… and it’ll cost me more to use them than I could get a ticket for elsewhere. They just changed the rules without a thought for loyalty.

Central Telephone rooms: If it isn’t on their screen, they can’t help. Luckily, this time I had an email address of somebody who can, but do the company know they are losing sales?

Looking stupid when buying a bed: You have to lay on them in the middle of the shop. There’s no choice. You spend half your life in one, so it has to be comfortable. Two further tips: 1) decide before testing if you want to buy a pillow at the same time, and bring it over to the department. You’ll only look stupid once. 2) Go to John Lewis. Helpful beyond the call of duty and not as expensive as you’d think.
And finally,

Graffiti: I really hate this – and (Banksy aside) those “tags” are NOT ‘street art’, just nasty. Occasionally, however, you get surprised. I was walking through an area where you can’t tell the difference between house prices and the estate agent’s phone number on the page. On a traffic island sign, an elegant hand had scrawled in marker pen, “Four legs good, two legs bad.” Orwell quotations as graffiti outside of a university campus? All those school fees paid off – shame they didn’t learn ‘social responsibility’ or ‘good citizenship’ for those around them, though… but then I’m guessing that’s how they may have got to live there in the first place…

So, my rant for the week is over. Feel much better now. Thanks for reading.

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