69 Things That Annoy Me

When I was in high school, I made a list of “100 Things That Annoy Me.” It was a thorough and expansive list, covering everything from “Cottage cheese” to “When The X-Files are too scary.” It was, in a way, a prelude to this blog—a way for me to get some important things off my chest while also lashing out at people I didn’t like without giving them a chance for a comeback of any kind. The list had a good run and made its rounds through the school until I finally got in trouble for making fun of the 103-year-old language lab teacher in one of the items.

Anyway, in the 11 years since I penned that list, things have continued to annoy me. And so it’s time to vent once again. In no particular order, here are 69 things that currently annoy me:

When people from New York refer to New York as “the city” when they’re not in New York.

When I’m playing Hearts and someone neatly stacks their “tricks” as if we’re playing Spades.

The whole “Tim is typing…” / “Tim has entered text” thing in gmail chat. It’s very intrusive and makes me feel extremely self-conscious. If I start writing a funny response but come up with something funnier while writing it and delete what I have and change it, the person I’m writing to is like, “This d-bag is crafting his response right now.”

The adjective “spiffy.”

When I’m watching a YouTube video and I click the time-bar to skip to somewhere in the middle of the video and instead of going to exactly where I clicked it goes to a pre-set midpoint within the video.

The fact that every airline website in the world defaults to “one adult” when you’re booking a ticket—except JetBlue. JetBlue defaults to zero adults, so I always click “book flight” and it prompts me to “enter the number of passengers.” This is my one and only complaint about JetBlue—but it’s a big one.

Joe Lieberman’s face.

When I park next to a high curb, and the person in the passenger seat opens the door and it scrapes hideously against the sidewalk. Then it’s jammed and I have to drive a few inches forward so they can close the door, wasting a tiny bit of gas.

All Taco Bell commercials.

Poetry analysis.

Wet willies. There is almost nothing in the world more annoying.

When everything that everyone says every week on Meet the Press is completely predictable and partisan.

When I’m watching a TV show and before every commercial, they do the whole “Coming Up…” montage. Stop worrying—I’m not going to change the channel. Especially since I’m watching it on TiVo. I’ll watch what’s “coming up” as it actually happens—I don’t need a preview. All this preview does is make what’s coming up more predictable and less fun to watch. And this goes for movie trailers as well. In a movie theater, I love the “previews” as much as the next guy, but I can’t see a trailer too close to when I see the movie or the movie will be ruined. This is most obvious when you see a trailer for a movie after seeing the movie, and you’re like, “Wow, I’m glad I didn’t see that before I saw the movie or I would spent the whole first half of the movie just waiting for her to leave her small town and become a government assassin.” Same thing goes for the blurb on the back of books.

The fact that Ann Coulter thinks she is relevant.

Speed bumps.

People who call themselves big sports fans but think that baseball is “boring.”

People who act like huge fans of a professional sports team and talk trash but can’t name most of the players on their own team.

When the car in front of me comes to a complete stop at a four-way stop sign, even though there’s no one else at the intersection. This is one of many examples of people mindlessly obeying rules without thinking rationally about them. If there’s clearly no one else in the intersection, you can just slow down to an almost-stop and then keep going. The point of a four-way stop sign is to create an orderly process when multiple cars have approached the same intersection.

When I work on a piece of music all day while wearing headphones and then play it for someone out of speakers and it suddenly sounds all weird and "off" because I based the whole thing on how it sounded out of headphones.

When Microsoft Word “autocorrects” something even though I don’t want it corrected and the little icon comes up with the lightning bolt and then I can’t get rid of the little icon.

Sasha Vujacic.

When I ask the breakfast waitress for Tabasco sauce after I order my food and she inevitably doesn’t remember to bring it.

Girls who are really hurt if you actually need some space while sleeping and you don’t want to be in a full embrace throughout the night when you share a bed with them.

Bikers in the street. There’s gotta be a better way to do this. I guess the sidewalk isn’t a great place for bikers, but the middle of the street isn’t okay.

Sean Penn.

Adam Lambert.

Jimmy Fallon, especially when he says anything about baseball.

When someone sends me a text message and I can’t really tell if it’s a mass text or if they sent it just to me. If it was a mass text but I assume wrong and respond as if it were just to me, I’m a huge loser. And if they did send it just to me and I don’t respond because I assume it was sent to multiple people, I’m an asshole.

Places with bad street signs. The US tends to be pretty good about street signs. But nothing makes me more frustrated than foreign cities with terrible street signage.

Americans who say the names of Latin-American countries and cities with the correct Latin-American accent so people will think they’re cool.

Guys with earrings.

When I get honked at while I’m parallel parking on a busy street because I’m holding things up, even though there’s no better way I could have done this, and I’m going as fast as I can.

Having to say “his or her,” “he or she,” and “him or her.” Or not saying it when you’re supposed to and sounding ungrammatical. My tutoring company website is full of absurd sentences, like, “When the tutor helps the student with his or her homework, he or she can mentor him or her on improving organization as well as his or her understanding of the material.”

People who can’t help themselves and have to make a big deal out of the fact that my phone number’s first three digits are “666” when I give them my phone number.

People who can’t help themselves and have to make a big deal out of the fact that my zip code is 90211 when I give them my address.

People who stop me outside the grocery store and summon me to their stand where they’re collecting donations for a really sympathetic cause, forcing me to feel like a dick when I decline to donate. I’m just doing my thing at the grocery store—buying some peanuts—and they make me feel like an asshole.

When I smile at a baby in public and make funny faces and wave and make a big scene doing all this and the baby just looks away, unimpressed.

When packages are way, way too hard to open. Like plastic-wrapped CDs or a car charger that comes in the plastic packaging that hangs on the little prong on the store wall.


People who criticize me for being annoyed by Halloween.

The passenger window in my car, which closes at the same speed that an hour hand on a clock moves.

When I’m listening to a podcast and a “commercial” comes on and I try to fast-forward through it and accidentally skip to the next track, and I have to go back and spend an hour finding where I was in the podcast.

When I’m driving down the same street as a cop, so I have to drive the speed limit for 15 minutes until one of us turns off the street. While we’re here, I imagine that it’s gotta be pretty annoying to drive around in a cop car, where everyone around you is always driving the exact speed limit.

Guys who throw money around when girls are present so the girls will find them appealing.

Girls who find those guys appealing.

Anything to do with vampires. The concept of vampires is just really annoying. Vampires aren’t funny, they’re not especially scary, they’re not compelling in any way whatsoever. They’re just kind of perverted and gross.

Pennies. I want them to be abolished.

Showers with difficult temperature controls. There are two kinds of showers—those with one grand handle that controls the temperature, and those with two: one for hot and one for cold. With the grand handle, you just put it where you want it and adjust it one way or the other to get it right. When there’s a hot and a cold handle, it’s this complex game you have to play every time you take a shower. You mess around with both of them until you get it right, and then if you want to adjust the temperature mid-shower, you have to first figure out which handle is cold and which is hot—then, you have to figure out which way to turn each handle. I inevitably botch it and have to leap out of the shower because the water is suddenly 140 degrees. And why can’t the handles have some moderation? Why does turning a handle one millimeter have to change the temperature by 10 degrees?

This song.

Stephen Baldwin. If you watched Celebrity Apprentice, you’d agree. Trust me.

People who use ellipses too much in emails and texts. Used correctly, the ellipsis can be intriguing, witty, or exceptionally slutty. But most people who use them overuse them, bathing in an imaginary world in which they’re both important and dramatic.


Cheap pens that don’t work.

Everything about MySpace.

You have reached the voice mailbox of 6-1-7---5-5-2---9-1-3-4. At the tone, please record your voice message. At the end of your message, you may hang up, or press 1 for more options. To leave a callback number, press 5. To page this person, press 8-8. If you still want to leave a message for this person, press 2 now. BEEP.

Nancy Pelosi. During Obama’s address to Congress last month, I desperately wanted to clock her in the head with a cantaloupe.

LA hipsters.

When a site on the internet makes you type in the mushy, deformed word to verify that you’re not spam, but the word is so hard to read that you have to try multiple times to get one right.

The name Zachary.

Gas stations that make me pay inside. Then, inside, they inevitably ask me how much gas I want to buy, to which I contentiously answer, “Until it’s full.” We settle things by leaving my card inside until I’m done filling up, forcing me to make a second trip inside, during which I purchase delicious gummies of some kind. Which makes me suddenly think that the main reason those stations make people pay inside is to sell more stuff from their shop. Clever gas station men.

People who blast music at an absurd volume in the car even though they’re above the age of 17.

When I pour the laundry detergent and some dribbles out onto the outside of the bottle.

People who say that the main problem with the iPhone is that there are no actual keys, so typing is hard—when, in fact, typing on the iPhone is ridiculously quick and easy once you’re used to it. While we’re here, Apple just announced all the new innovations that are a part of the next major iPhone software update. And if you don’t think I watched the entire video, you don’t know me all that well.

Howard Dean’s face.

Places that only take cash. The only reason places decide to “only take cash” is to under-pay their taxes. This never used to bother me until I started paying taxes. Now it makes me angry.

Feather pillows that get lopsided when you lie on them so you have to keep flipping them over to have your head on the substantial half. I also hate feather pillows where some of the feathers poke through and prickle you.

People who have no sense of humor about their pets.

The fact that my excellent natural vision is no longer an evolutionary advantage. I have 20/20 vision—and in the old days, I would have had this ridiculous advantage over everyone who doesn’t. I would be the authority on all matters that required a detailed visual understanding. I could have given people $1 bills and told them they were $20's. I could have played Rocks Paper Scissor with someone with bad vision and if they threw a paper and I threw a rock, I could have just told them that I had thrown a scissor. The possibilities would have been endless. Then, glasses came along and the only advantage 20/20 people had was that they didn’t have to look nerdy. Then they even fixed that with contact lenses, leaving my only advantage as being a guy that didn’t have to deal with contact lenses. Then came laser eye surgery, so now the evolutionarily inferior people can just shell out some cash and buy their way onto my level. Other advantages, like being tall, or smart, still hold—but not visual superiority. On a related note, since vision clearly varies amongst the human species, sense of smell probably does too. And if we were dogs, better smelling abilities would be a huge deal—but since we’re people, no one cares or even knows who can smell well and who can’t. I’m going to be very upset if I ever find out that I have a superior sense of smell.

People who make a big deal of it every time the number 69 comes up in ordinary situations.


Anonymous said...

people take only cash because credit card companies charge them to use the credit cards (amex being the most expensive, which is why you'll find places that take visa and mastercard but not amex).

gloppy said...

i totally remember that old lady, she was the worst. luckily for all current and future nn highschoolers, shes probably dead by now.

along the gas lines, in ct there are gas stations that charge more/gallon when you use a credit card vs cash. how ridiculous is that? such an awful state...

Anonymous said...

i just checked ratemyteacher.com. there is a rating on hilda carp from *last year* -- i guess she's still with us. . .

Anonymous said...

Checking my ol' college friend's blog on two successive days while procrastinating and finding no new entries. I might as well have run into him on his way back from the gym and begged him to take 100 dollars in exchange for the opportunity to lick his grundle. The third time this happens I'm essentially digging through the dumpster behind his house in search of used condoms.

Anonymous said...

Would you like some fries with that ?

Emperor Paolo said...

post your original 100 things that annoy me!!!! The one you penned in high school!!!

Anonymous said...

YES!Finally someone recognises how
annoying Nancy Pelosi is! And Bono.
Make baby faces at them instead.

Aust. abolished 1 and 2 cent pieces
long ago but you better hold on to

p.s. 1313 Mockingbird Lane right?

wv Joan Rivers .....

Love the world said...

haha,there are also some of the things out there that annoy me in china:
1.guys wear make-ups(but i'm fine with guys wear earings)
2.train station(99%train stations in china are always packed and dirty)
3.guys carry his girlfriend's handbag(though it may seem he really cares about his girlfriend,just imagine a guy who is as tall as 180cm carrying a pretty handbag,it's really not cool)
4.people talk aloud in the library
5.man wears black shoes wtih white socks
6.strangers stare at me when I'm eating in restaurant
7. actresses who claimed that they were international stars,but apprently they only had stared in some low-cost,small-scale movies,and they only had few lines(actually i really wanna see some talented actresses can rise to the top of the world entertainment industry)
8.people who have undergone cosmetic surgery,but never admit it
9.chinese male soccer team,who broke my heart so many times
10.women who are probably my mom's age insisit me call her"big sister"
11.china mobile and china telecom
12.girls who care about nothing but boys and clothes
13.people who claim money can buy everything
14.people who criticise the way other people live
15.people who laugh at other peolpe's dreams
btw,myspace annoys you,does facebook annoy you as well?

Nornny said...

I totally agree on Adam Lambert. I wish there were more Tim Urban's in the United States watching American Idol.

morgan said...

i hate you for discouraging people from stopping at STOP signs

also, i'm sick of adam lambert eye-fucking me every week

the word i have to type in to post this is "smetion"...pretty sure that's not a word (OK ellipsis?)

Arianna said...

Forget about him/her or he/she. Either only use "he" when you're trying to write a sentence with pronouns in it, or - my preference - assign genders to the people in your sentences: "When the tutor helps the student with his homework, she can mentor him on improving organization as well as his understanding of the material." Boom! Male student, female tutor. Easy to understand and way easier to read.

Of course, now you've got a problem, because you're totally gender-biased. Why do you have to assume that women can only be teachers? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Hilda Carp is still alive, "well", and working at the high school.

Also, to give credit where credit is due, Jesse Novak penned the first list of things that annoyed him in middle school (an absolute classic of mid-90s fodder with references to Adam White). It was 500 things and was well-circulated.

Renata said...

What´s wrong with Sean Penn? :(

Well, in fact I´ve noticed that, even when we plays the good guy, I always think he is bad.
I can´t help it!

Tovah said...

I remember that list in high school, amazing!!! And the old lady in the language lab. I'd feel any hint of remorse making fun of her if she hadn't led her classrooms with an iron fist.

Shwetha said...

It annoys me when people pronounce the "t" in often

Anonymous said...

Sept 2019
you're one funny fucker tim urban, although I am getting a little tired of snotting myself at work and on the bus - like one of those crazies that laugh out loud to themselves.