Understanding the need to protect a special, expensive ride, I think there is still no excuse to double-park among the good parking spots. Photos by Thomas Sellers Jr.

Pet peeves: Ranking those little things that irritate the core of my soul

Understanding the need to protect a special, expensive ride, I think there is still no excuse to double-park among the good parking spots. Photos by Thomas Sellers Jr.

Surviving another April Fool’s Day, I finally went back into the public on April 2 to work, shop and run errands.

I wasn’t going to fall for any fake news stories, unbelievable deals, new menu items or silly pranks from friends and family. It was then I realized April Fool’s Day would make it on my overall list of pet peeves.

Oh, sweet pet peeves, those small irritating annoyances that make our blood boil or skin crawl. Common things that get under our skin that we can’t ignore. I won’t do a dishonorable mention list on this Best Sellers’ List because it might just make some of you readers mad. Then the Best Sellers’ List will become a pet peeve.

The Best Sellers’ List referencing the Best Sellers’ List will quickly become a pest to any reader of this Best Sellers’ List leading to them not finishing the Best Sellers’ List of pet peeves on the Best Sellers’ List.

Before I get into my top 10, one pet peeve of mine is folks taking my parking space. I know I don’t officially have a marked parking place at work, church, the gym or my apartment complex. But if my car is always there … it’s my spot. So why would someone who parks in those place on a routine basis all of sudden steal MY SPOT!

OK, I’m going to quit while I am behind. Hopefully I can entertain you and help you understand these common pet peeves I encounter in my daily routine. Here are my top 10 pet peeves.

10. YouTube double ads/unskippable ads

This pet peeve has entered my life in the past four years. There was a glorious time when logging onto YouTube.com meant watching countless classic videos, old shows, vintage commercials and much more for free without interruption.

Then the advertisements that once called the side panel home invaded my videos. A quick click in the bottom right corner erased that pest.

Months later the ad could feature a five-second countdown to “skip ad.” That continued for a few months until some YouTube.com videos had ads you couldn’t skip. From 30 seconds to 2 minutes, the commercial was forced upon the viewers.

What is YouTube thinking? Is it 1989 or 1999? I was forced to watch commercials in order to enjoy TV. This is unacceptable on my phone or laptop. Let’s go back to 2009 when I could watch a viral video in peace. Stop interrupting my viewing pleasure with pop-up ads and intro ads.

9. Scraping on a chalkboard

Full disclosure, I don’t really even like holding the chalk to write on a chalkboard. That dusty, powdery feel makes me queasy. Then the chalkboard is one of the worst surfaces to write or draw on.

But most of us can agree one of the worst sounds in the world is anything scraping across that dusty green or black surface.

There are various was to create an unpleasant noise on a chalkboard like a fork, Styrofoam plate and the classic fingernails.

This pet peeve was a go-to weapon for any teacher who needed to quiet the class. Even if it meant suffering along with the students, the teacher would jump on that grenade just to get a moment of silence.

8. Bluetooth users

Check out this scenario …

You are walking into any establishment. A few feet away is another human being.

“Can you believe it? The Tigers are going after another high-level recruit,” come out of the mouth of the person you just encountered.

You reply, “I know, man. We’ve got James Wiseman, DJ Jeffries and now Coach Penny Hardaway is going after another prospect.”

That person looks at you as if you are crazy for having accurate analysis. Then the person turns their head 180 degrees to reveal a Bluetooth device. As the person points at the Bluetooth, you feel like an idiot.

Bluetooth has a time and place. It’s great in your car and for use throughout the home. But in public, be careful using these things. Someone might actually try to have a human conversation with you. Or they might just order you a straitjacket because you appear nuts talking to yourself.

7. Sagging pants

My generation introduced this horrible trend in the late 1990s to mainstream fashion. Although I have never participated in the style of sagging my pants, my male peers love displaying their underwear to the general public.

Sagging is a manner of wearing one’s trousers or jeans that sag so that the top of the trousers or jeans are significantly below the waist, sometimes revealing much of the underwear.

Sagging first peaked in popularity during the 1990s and remained popular into the mid-2000s. Baggy pants was the reason most guys gave for wearing the sagging look. Then as the years progressed, male started to wear tighter and tighter pants. And still boys and young men are still wearing the sagging look. Underwear companies now design boxers to collaborate with the sagging style.

If it makes money, these companies don’t mind embarrassing these people. It’s sad to see sagging still thrive in this country. The worst part of the fashion trend is the belt is still involved. I want to pull off those belts and whip the young men I see wearing the sagging look. I know the belt will hurt because they won’t have any part of their pants protecting their buttocks.

6. Gym jerks

Among my many gym pet peeves, I hate having to remove pounds of weight from a machine.

I love going to the gym. I spend at least 15 hours there during the week.

With a decade of experience in various gyms across Memphis, I have a full understanding of proper gym etiquette. The more often you visit a gym, the likely you are to break some code. For me I can get smelly after some good cardio. Thank God for Febreze.

Most of the time, I keep my stinky self focused on my routine for the day. So I hate when folks want to chat during your high-intensity cardio. I don’t like seeing people dress for the best workout ever and barely break a sweat. Here are a few more examples of poor gym etiquette: not cleaning up sweat, wearing normal clothing or shoes, no re-racking weights, claiming an entire section of the gym, giving unwanted advice, women staring down men … wait, that’s OK … men staring down women, singing out loud for long periods of time, grunting loudly and somebody knowingly jacking your favorite cardio machine.

5. Social media abusers

If I took the time to list all the pet peeves that come from Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc., I would be here all day writing. So, instead, let me highlight my main two issues with social media abusers.

Some people live on these platforms. They don’t have a real life anymore. Please stop posting lives, statuses, photos and advice and even quit sharing. Stop seeking constant attention and approval through social media.

Go outside and try to mingle with the real world. My second issue with social media is the use of duck lips by women. Yes, I am attacking this trend again. Attention, ladies, it is not cute or cool to do duck lips. You look ugly and like a jerk when you push your lips out.

As soon as you elevate your phone above eye level, it’s a natural reaction to just poke those lips out in a symbol of pure sexiness. BREAKING NEWS! It’s not sexy or nearly cute.

4. Stale ketchup

I’ll make this one quick. One of the most irritating smells in the world is ketchup left to dry. The tomato and vinegar separate into an aroma of stomach-flipping torture. There are many funky smells on this planet. There is a large list of aromas that are supposed to stink. But stale ketchup sneaks up and grabs your nose in an attempt to rip it apart.

3. Two-foot rule

I would love to see us grow closer as a society. We need more human interactions and connection on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean when we are in a line at store, event or DMV that you stand so close to me.

Please observe the unofficial two-foot rule. Give the person in front of you enough space to turn around. I shouldn’t know what cologne you are wearing or the type of gum you are chewing. Please give a stranger, friend and even family two feet to stay patient during a transaction.

2. Bad drivers

Everyone thinks their city has the worst drivers in the world. Memphis and the surrounding areas prove to me each day we rank among the worst in the United States. I can forgive ignorance, but I hate when people display clear negligence behind the wheel.

Some people get into a car on a daily basis, thinking only about themselves. While we’re supposed to be defensive drivers, some folks are offensive motorists.

These bad habits should look familiar, like tailgating, failing to signal, hogging the middle lane, dangerous weaving, driving slow between traffic lights, jumping traffic lights and undertaking.

Driving is a life-or-death venture we do so often we don’t think about it until we get a scare. We have to block out the routine dangers in order to keep driving. But it’s these realistic concerns that should make us cautious drivers, look out for our fellow motorists and be grateful when we make it to our designation.

And being nice can help eliminate road rage. Because folks are going crazy shooting folks because they are bad drivers.

1. Double parking

How much do I hate double parking? A person who commits this offense should serve at least 10 years in federal prison.

Somebody has taken the time to paint lines in a vast area in order to keep some order for us drivers. But you take it upon yourself to either just whip into a spot, coming close to the line or parking over it.

Taking two metered spots with one vehicle is selfish, low down, ignorant and pure evil.

The two worst offenders of double-parkers are the drivers who do it on purpose or the person who does it at a largely spectated event.

Let me address the intentional double-parker first. We see you have a nice, new sports car. I understand your BMW, Lexus or 1996 Tercel is a precious car that you don’t want to be hit. It’s OK to park your vehicle into two spots as long as you do it in the rear of the parking lot. Be willing to walk a few extra feet in order to protect your delicate car. Don’t double-park right in front of the venue.

Next up is the jerk who takes up two spots at places like the Liberty Bowl, FedEx Forum, AutoZone Park, the Cannon Center or a high school event. You know other folks are coming to attend the football game and you still just foolishly park into two spots. There is a special place in a very hot afterlife waiting for you.

THOMAS SELLERS JR. is the editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for Journal West 10 Media LLC. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to thomas.sellers@journalinc.com.