Archive for the ‘General Kvetch’ Category

As You Like It

Friday, December 11th, 2009

“To be or, like you know, not to be. Like, you know that is totally the question.”

Poor William Shakespeare. He must be spinning in his grave. Just listen to those around you and you’ll understand why.

I was in a local coffee shop the other day and this couple next to me was having a fairly animated conversation. I couldn’t help overhearing what was going on. Now I did come in at the middle of the conversation but it sounded something like this:

She:          “So you know he goes, ‘Joan, you can’t like do that.’ And I’m saying like why not? And for some reason you know he just goes ‘don’t do that ‘cause like it will be like awful.’”

He:            “You must have been like, you know, totally PO’d.”

She:            “Totally… whatever.”

Needless to say I was intrigued… but not by the content of the conversation: the number of annoying words these people used amazed me. At that very moment I remembered reading about a survey that was conducted last October by Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

They surveyed a group of people and came up with what they determined to be the world’s most annoying words. Whatever easily beat out you know, yet the words totally, like, it is what it is and at the end of the day were also characterized as some of the most annoying words used today.

And here are some other words that just bug the vowels out of me: cool, awesome, check it out, that said and give it up.

Here’s a fun activity idea, if you can stand it: count how many times people use these annoying words in the course of their conversation. After about ten minutes I’m sure you’ll realize that at the rate our language seems to be deteriorating this is indeed “The winter of our discontent.” Or whatever.

It’s Too Early

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

OK enough already… and it’s only November!

Why do radio stations, retail outlets, malls and almost any other venues that have loudspeakers insist on playing Christmas music so in advance of the holiday?

When do we have to get into the Christmas spirit? Not everybody wants to be in the Christmas spirit almost two months before! And do you really believe that Santa plays this stuff to his elves 24/7?

Now I will agree that at some point I guess it would be OK to play all those carols and happy Christmassy songs that everybody loves… well not everybody! But, at what point? How about the week of Christmas in the comfort of your own home?

Retailers will tell you that if a customer hears Christmas music it will entice that person to buy. I am willing to bet you that when people hear Christmas music this early they panic and run to the nearest professional for help.

And what about those of us who don’t even celebrate Christmas? How can we avoid the music – by turning up our iPods? By running away? Where?

I’m taking Tom Lehrer’s advice: “I’m Spending Chanukah in Santa Monica.”

Kvick Kvetches

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Here are a few irritating things for you to think about…

At some restaurants it’s very hard to get a reservation. That reminded me of something Yogi Berra is reported to have said: “The place is so busy that no one goes there any more.”

How come every time I walk by my favourite shoe shine stand the guy gives me a big cheery hello and then immediately looks down at my shoes as if to say: “Schmuck… you need a shine.”

In case you haven’t noticed, kids don’t wear watches anymore… That’s because the time is always on their iPod or cell phone.

Thank goodness for computerized cash registers! There was a time when cashiers could actually calculate change in their heads – can you believe it? “So let’s see… the total is $17.49 and the guy gave me $21.49… now what?” Or better yet – they look at you and say: “You gave me too much.”

Birth announcements are interesting. Think about the ones that include something like “…and excited big brother is Schlomo.” I’m sure he’s excited!

And finally, I’m told there’s a new toy on the market for disgruntled kids and it’s called “Kvetch–a–Sketch.”