I recently read an article about pet peeves, those somewhat
trivial things that drive us crazy and make us question other people's sanity.
It seems like everyone has pet peeves, even our pets.
Our dogs are peeved that the shoes we leave lying around are
never flavored. And they absolutely hate working for free in beer commercials. Isn't there
a minimum wage of one bone an hour? Someone call the American Dog Union.
Our fish are peeved that they never get any privacy. How would
humans like to live in a house of glass? And how would they like to eat flakes all day? In
a big bowl of water.
Our cats are peeved about their irregular feeding times. It
messes up their tight schedules. They often have to interrupt their dates with the sofa
Unfortunately, pets have trouble expressing their displeasure.
They can't talk and they haven't quite mastered the art of obscene gestures.
We humans are so blessed. We have all the tools of
communication. We can make statements with almost any body part. And even our clothes.
But despite our communication skills, we seem to always get on
each other's nerves. As a result, we have more pet peeves than even Congress could handle.
As a public service, I've decided to suggest some possible
responses to a few common pet peeves. These are only suggestions and should be followed
only after reading all the fine print on the classified pages.
There are usually two types of responses: polite responses and
Consider these situations:
A telemarketer wakes you up at 8 a.m. to ask if you'd like to
receive the new Elian Gonzalez NFL Visa card. It features a picture of the Cuban boy
wearing the helmet of your favorite football team.
Polite response: "Yes, please send me one and please
keep calling me with similar offers. And please give my number to other companies, because
my friends never call."
Effective response: "Please take me off your calling
list or I'll send my personal friend, O.J. Simpson, after you. He has a lot of free
Even better response: "Hold on while I put my
5-year-old on the line. He likes to talk. And he has a perfect credit record."
As you are opening the latest issue of Cat Fancy, a
subscription card falls out of the magazine.
Polite response: You pick up the card and give it to your
neighbor, who also fancies cats.
Effective response: You pick up the card and drop it in a
mail box. The magazine will pay for the postage.
Even better response: Before mailing the card, you fill
it out with the name and address of your favorite politician. Those cards will soon be
You're waiting an eternity at the fast food drive-up window.
You are hungry and angry.
Polite response: You take a deep breath and continue
waiting, realizing that the restaurant is probably understaffed.
Effective response: You place an order, then drive off to
another restaurant. They'll get the hint.
Even better response: You park your car and haul your
lazy butt into the restaurant. It'll be faster and the exercise may burn some of that
You receive mail inscribed with words like "urgent"
and "immediate attention required." When you open the envelope, you find that
it's just a solicitation (junk mail).
Polite response: You reply to the mail, making sure you
include your credit card number. You even write it on the outside of the envelope.
Effective response: You toss the mail in the trash.
Even better response: You send an empty envelope
inscribed with words such as "check enclosed" and "cash immediately."