Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 10am


Top 10 pet peeves

Because I am readily annoyed, I thought it would be fun to create my own top 10 pet peeves list. This exercise actually took some thought because "people who lie," for example, sounds too grave to be considered a pet peeve. On the other hand, people who lie either to me or to themselves do bug me. But, in the spirit of Julie Andrews and not running amok with the theme, here are a few of my unfavorite things:

10. Hearing the word "nuclear" pronounced like "circular."

9. Salespeople who talk to each other while waiting on me.

8. A broken escalator. It's like going to Disneyland and finding out that "Pirates of the Caribbean" is being renovated.

7. The vegetable mister at the grocery store turning on just as I reach for that head of lettuce. Don't know why, but it strikes me as rude.

6. A quick, slurred recitation of a phone number. My neurons don't fire fast enough to register "seveninewoninetoforto," much less copy it down.

5. Invitations or commands to "lay down" because unless we're talking about my burdens and a riverside – as opposed to my body – it's wrong.

4. The word "busses" on highway signs, because unless you're advertising an affectionate pit stop and not a mode of transport, it's, again, wrong.

3. Extreme variations in television programming volume. On my TV, CNN whispers; MSNBC and commercials blare. I use the remote like a sharpshooter and start tapping on the volume control or mute button, but the fact that I need to do it so often is bothersome.

2. The assertion that the more you love to drink, the more fun-loving you are. I can sort of understand it as I don't drink at all, and I am serious to an unbalanced, disproportionate fault. On the other hand, a drunk or tipsy person can be sulky, even morose. Or, any fun being had is occurring exclusively in his own head, and in real life he's not any more jaunty than the next guy.

1. Calling a company and getting into the automated labyrinth of prompts that is supposed to get you to the right person, or retrieve the information you seek. No kidding, I've been stuck on the line with PG&E for 15 minutes, skittering between prompts and dead-end departments, only to sink back into the abyss of voice recognition and automation before finally hanging up and starting over again.

There's probably more, but I'm holding myself to 10. It seems healthier and more manageable that way. Funny, writing that last line made me think of hair, which made me think of comb-overs, which made me think that they should be part of my top 10.

But a comb-over isn't really a pet peeve, is it? It would make more sense on a "fashion faux pas" list or "things that have nothing to do with you but embarrass you nonetheless" list. It's definitely not a pet peeve, but I'll keep it in mind. It might come in handy for another list.

Acosta is a Los Altos resident. You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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