Sometimes you just have to write…

People Who Make Me Want to Disavow Non-Violence

I read a blog the other day called “This Uncomplicated Journey,”  by Adrienn Hunt. I enjoyed her irreverent tone, and what I enjoyed most was a particular page called “The List,” which is just that: a list, subtitled “People I’d Like to Punch in the Throat.” Her list, in turn, is based on another blog. As I read her list, I began to think of items to add to it.

So here’s my own list, with the disclaimer that I’m only addressing little annoying things, not the big stuff like dictators or mass murderers or many politicians, which just go without saying!


Do you think Gandhi ever wished he could slap someone in the face? (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Do you think Gandhi ever wished he could slap someone in the face? (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

People Who Make Me Want to Disavow Non-Violence

  1. Supermarket shoppers who unload their groceries on the cashier’s counter and then realize they forgot something and run back to get it, making everyone behind them wait.
  2. Cashiers who crunch my groceries.
  3. People who wear perfume on an airplane.
  4. People who talk on planes about plane crashes.
  5. People who look me in the eye and lie. Unless they’re actors: it’s their job.
  6. People who take much more than allowed as carry-on baggage and then hog all the overhead compartment space. And airline personnel who let this happen.
  7. Dutch news reporters who have an amazing ability to find and interview only the stupidest, fattest, most uninformed Americans, giving the impression that all Americans are stupid, fat and uninformed.
  8. People who talk on the phone on the train, loudly, about boring things. “The train is five minutes late. I’ll come pick you up when I get there. I’m arriving in ten minutes. It’s raining here too. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Work was boring.” Really? That scintillating information couldn’t wait till you got there?
  9. Loud snorers in campgrounds.
  10. People who don’t flush.
  11. People who hit or shame their kids in public (or in private, for that matter).
  12. Students who call me old. “Yes, but you’re old. People didn’t have anything but books back then.”
  13. Parents who speak to teachers as if they’re servants. Or, really, anyone who speaks to anyone, even servants, as if they’re servants.
  14. People who talk to the elderly as if they’re children.
  15. Nurses who talk to patients as if they’re children. “How are we feeling today?” “We” are in the hospital; how do you think “we” are feeling?
  16. Repairmen who don’t understand why “I’ll be there between noon and 5:00.” isn’t good enough.
  17. Tailgaters.
  18. People who stand too close. They’re probably the same ones who tailgate.
  19. People who spit when they talk.
  20. Short people carrying umbrellas who don’t watch where they’re going.
  21. People who ride scooters (motorbikes) on the bicycle path and honk at bicyclists.
  22. Pedestrians who step out in the street in front of my bike without looking. Or, worse yet, pedestrians who do look and do see me, but still step out in front of me.
  23. Bicyclists who pull out in front of my car without looking. Yes, if I hit you, the law would be on your side and I’d get in trouble. But would that really make you feel better as you’re lying in a hospital bed with a cracked skull and several broken ribs?
  24. Teenagers who bicycle three or more next to each other, blocking an entire lane of traffic, pretending they don’t notice me behind them in my car. And if I honk, studiously ignore me.
  25. Deaf teenagers riding next to each other, signing away furiously with one hand, sometimes both hands, so that they’re wobbling all over the street making it impossible to pass them, and they can’t even hear me if I honk! (There are boarding houses for a nearby deaf school in my neighborhood, so this happens quite often.)
  26. Parents who shout abuse at their kids’ soccer games.
  27. Parents who talk down to teachers.
  28. Parents who push their kids too much, taking them from activity to activity every day all day, and expecting them to excel at school as well, never giving them a moment to simply relax and play and think, or not think, which is probably what they most need.
  29. Parents who brag about their supposedly super-talented, super-intelligent, super-well-behaved kids. (Who will probably rebel in a really big way as soon as they get the chance: drinking, smoking, drugs, sex, you name it.)
  30. Really, anyone who brags about anything. As Shania Twain put it “That don’t impress me much!”


So that’s my list. If you think of more items – your own personal pet peeves – add a comment below. And I’ll come back and add to it as I think of more.



4 comments on “People Who Make Me Want to Disavow Non-Violence

  1. Adrienn
    November 5, 2013

    Rachel, this is a great post! I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Robbie
    November 6, 2013

    This could pretty much be my list. I would add people who can’t return the shopping cart to the corrals. People who are always on their phones when you are trying to interact with them.

    • Rachel Heller
      November 6, 2013

      Yes! When they’re busy texting while you talk! As for shopping carts, that annoyed the hell out of me in the US, but here (the Netherlands) you have to put a coin in the shopping cart, and you don’t get it back unless you return it, so that’s not a problem. Thanks for posting!

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This entry was posted on November 5, 2013 by in Life in Holland and tagged , , , .
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