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Life's Little Annoyances

When New York Times reporter Ian Urbina wrote a cover story in the paper about the clever extremes people go to in an effort to exact some retribution against the petty aggravations that make us all nuts, he never expected it to become the most emailed article on The New York Times website..

He also didn't expect the avalanche of responses he received detailing other ingenious tactics people have employed to thwart telemarketers, rude office mates, oblivious pet owners, and those idiots that forward chain emails.

Urbina has collected these true tales of passive aggressive retaliation into a book entitled Life's Little Annoyances.

He's also started a blog which doesn't suck (a pet peeve of mine). Check it out, it's pretty funny...


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Comments (12)

As a youth, I carried a tub... (Below threshold)

As a youth, I carried a tube of glue around with me. If anything mechanical annoyed me I would squirt glue into or on it so that it never worked again. Uncooperative vending machines and thieving pay phones got the treatment.

Hmmm.A friend of m... (Below threshold)


A friend of mine was a member of a Multi-Level Marketing group. So I borrowed some of his extra sales materials and, whenever someone really irritating showed up at my door, I'd spend *their* time trying to sell them crap.

And yes, sometimes I'd actually make a sale.

Let's see...Telema... (Below threshold)

Let's see...

Telemarketers: I ask them for their credit card number. "I evaluate telemarketing pitches for a living, and before I listen any further, I need to bill you. My rate is $300 per hour, paid in advance." If they refuse, I warn them that any future calls from the same company will result in direct invoices at my non-discount rate of $500 per incident. I have never had a second call after this tactic.

People who talk loudly on their cell phones: I start taking part in the conversation, face to face, like they're talking to me.

Of course, for higher levels of irritation, I rely on the works of Hayduke et al.

I have a friend who, when f... (Below threshold)

I have a friend who, when female telemarketers call, asks them in his most lecherous voice, "So, what are you wearing?"

They usually hang up on him.

Hmmm."I have a fri... (Below threshold)


"I have a friend who, when female telemarketers call, asks them in his most lecherous voice, "So, what are you wearing?""


Ok. That one wins the prize. :)

How 'bout that, he started ... (Below threshold)

How 'bout that, he started a blog which doesn't suck. You should try that sometime, Aylward.

[How about you get your ass to class. Mommy and daddy will be so disappointed to know that the checks they write to Cleveland State University are wasted. Don't come back anytime soon either...]

I live in house where my dr... (Below threshold)

I live in house where my driveway backs into an alley behind the street. Some complete asshole was parking his dirty old truck direclty infront of my driveway, preventing me from parking.

We were polite, asking neighbours who it was, leaving notes...nothing. Still there, every day.

My roommate notices one day though, that his doors are unlocked...and it's a manual transmission. ;)

Well, we popped the parking brake, put it in neutral and three friends and I gave it a send-off all the way down the street! It rolled to an eventual stop about fifty metres down the alley directly in front of the street entrance...

I have never seen the truck again!

My sister used to send thos... (Below threshold)

My sister used to send those really annoying sappy emails. The ones with the incredible stories of friendship and love and other bits of harlequin garbage. I asked her many times to take me off the mass mail list. Finally I took one of her stories and rewrote it into a horrific tale of deviant sex and betrayal. I then replied to all. Never got another one of her sappy emails.


I usually reply to chain le... (Below threshold)

I usually reply to chain letters -specially hoaxes - with a most scientific explanation of why do I think they're the most stupid piece of garbage and how I cn't believe anyone in their right mind would fall for it. Of course it takes a little of your time to google the facts and deliver them, but that's all It takes for them to stop arriving.

Of course it takes a little... (Below threshold)

Of course it takes a little of your time to google the facts and deliver them, but that's all It takes for them to stop arriving.
Posted by: Fanelian
Actually, no, there have been many times where I've told people that "no, Yahoo! isn't going to start charging for messenger," "no, the seven year old girl with cancer isn't going to be saved by 1,000 emails," "no, Microsoft isn't going to give you money for forwarding emails." All of these are backed up by facts and links, yet they continue to send.
Once, someone sent a message, "if you don't send this to all of your friends within an hour, you are going to die!" I replied later, asking this girl if she truly believed it. I also said that when she saw me the next day (and I hadn't forwarded it), she'd see that it was not true. She replied that she didn't believe it, but she was BORED!
Talk about insanity. "Hm, I think I'll waste my time, as well as other peoples' time, by sending out false messages that have no value, because I am bored."

I get highly annoyed at web... (Below threshold)

I get highly annoyed at web sites that claim to be about a cetain interest, but are plasterd with advertisements that use underhanded means and verbage to entice you to click the link to go there only to find they want a good chunk of change from you, like, "Your Personal Identity Is At Risk!" and for 79.95 they protect you. Yeah right... Or how about this one... "get you're free credit report" but it will cost you upwards of $99 per year. Hmm, free? I have a different idea of what free means. But then hey, this is America right, so that justifies it all.

Solution... I too hate all the stupid annoying things people do, but since I, like so many other people, have a life, and therefore no time to waste on mindless pursuites, I ignore the annoyances and move on. That gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling. I put on my iPod headphones, and turn up the tunes and drown out the world around me while I work, or do the things having a life calls for. But if I had no life, I would spend the time learning how to hack web sites and make a mess of these annoying sites.

When you receive a pre-paid... (Below threshold)

When you receive a pre-paid subscription envelope, just attach a brick to it and put it in the mail box.






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