Despite my good intentions (explained in my previous blog) to become more like Jesus in 2014, I confess it's not working. I must have woken up New Year's Day on the wrong side of that Sleep Number bed I was in, because I've been feeling grumpy since this new venture started. My son Thomas calls it the "Grumpy Hat." Maybe it's the fact that the Steelers aren't in the playoffs. Maybe it's the polar rain-filled vortex hovering over my house. Maybe I have a weasel nesting in my shorts. I don't know, but I've not been feeling very charitable towards you or the world lately. The sarcasm has been building up behind the dam of my lips, and it has nowhere to go. So, in order to clear my head and dispel this fog of agitation and animosity towards all things living and dead, I'm going to offer my TOP 12 CURRENT PET PEEVES. I'm hoping I can vent myself into a state of bliss or at least ignorance. If this doesn't work, I'm going to punch my exercise ball and eat two gallons of ice cream. So here we go. I'm taking the parking brake off, baby!
12) Colonial Jewelers Radio Ads. Why do you try to be my friend? Why do you insist on making it seem like we've met, and my life is better because of your jewelry? Please stop. Truth is, I haven't bought jewelry in 25 years, and anyone dumb enough to pay more for your box is just paying more for your box.
11) Steven A. Smith. Other than his ten dollar vocabulary, insistence on using his middle initial, and self-admiring diction, what do we know about this guy, and why does ESPN feel the need to get his opinion on everything? "Let's hear what Steven A. Smith has to say about the next coaching hire for the Cleveland Browns? Let's hear what Steven A. Smith thinks about the origins of the universe. Let's hear what Steven A. Smith thinks about the early release of the Hobbit Trilogy boxed set?"
10) Mel Kiper Jr. So when did Dracula become a football analyst? With a haircut from the crypt and all the winsomeness of an IRS agent, this guy manages to turn 21-year-old athletes into widgets and make the NFL draft as much fun as an audit. I'll be happier when this joyless version of Grandpa Munster becomes Mr. Irrelevant himself. By the Teeth of Transylvania, I sure hope there's no Mel Kiper III!
9) Paper-Pushing School Administrators. We've been playing basketball at 6am at your school for 15 years without incident. Now you tell us we can't play because there's a problem with our paperwork (which we completed online)? Hey Roz, we were here long before you were, and we'll be here long after you're gone. Stop messing with our harmless outlet for exercise and competition before I throw down a sick reverse windmill dunk over that bee-infested bonnet you're wearing.
8) Bored FCPS Higher-Ups. (See number 7 above) Whose bright idea is it to move principals to new schools every year? What happened to the days when principals established themselves in a community and built relationships over time with families, faculty, and the random old guys playing basketball in your gym? Is consistency and stability not a good thing? Sheesh, I didn't think they were serious in 5th grade when they offered us the chance to be "Principal for a Day."
7) Confused Baseball Hall of Fame Voters. Some of the people in the BBWAA must have taken a foul ball to the head. You didn't vote for Greg Maddux? He pitched for 23 years, won 355 games, and had a lifetime ERA (in the steroid era, no less) of 3.16. He won at least 15 games a remarkable 20 years in a row. He faced 20,421 batters in his career, and just 310 of them saw a 3-0 count. He was a pitching savant. The only reason you may not have voted for him is that, a) You doubted he was human, or b) Your pencil lead broke after you cast your vote for Greg Gagne and Jacque Jones.
6) The Wendy's Red-Headed Ad Campaign. I don't know who was in the focus group when they developed this series of unfunniness, but they must have been high on bad chili and Frostys. The new Wendy Girl's smug, fast-food-elitist attitude and lousy jokes really get on my nerves. I'm tuning you out and going to Chipotle, Honey, because there's nothing remotely funny coming from your mouth except fake cheese and a horrible script. You wouldn't make it 15 minutes with Geico.
5) Ben Roethlisberger Rapist Jokes from Steeler Haters. How many ways can you work an insult into his name? Yes, the guy became a caricature of the entitled predatory athlete. Yes, he was a slimeball. His actions were despicable and he deserved more punishment than he got. But he seems to have found his better self and changed his ways. He's married, has a second child on the way, and has been eating humble pie for the past four years. He's a good teammate, kind to the press, and trying hard to restore his image. Last time I checked, King David killed a guy and got a second chance (I could make a Ray Lewis joke here, but I won't because I'm not you). So move on, Hater. The ship of your clever puns has sailed, along with the Ravens receiving corps.
4) Dr. Kevin Hornsby, MD. If you listen to Sports Talk 980 out of DC, you'll know who I'm talking about. It's the local radio version of the awkward moment when you are watching football with your teenage son and your Presbyterian mother, and the "double bathtub in the backyard" and "men at the age to get things done" commercials come on. "If you are a man, listen to me," Dr Hornsby implores. "I'm so sure you'll have a positive reaction to the medication, right here in my office, that if you don't, you'll pay nothing, guaranteed." Holy Eiffel Tower, who wants that? A positive reaction right there in the office? With people watching? Isn't that the nightmare of every boy who's ever had a sports physical?
3) Basketball Coaches Who Play Only 6 Players. By the Hair Grease of Pat Riley! It's an average JV team in an average sports county, not the NBA Finals! Hey John Wooden, your reward for winning games at this level is the small print under the varsity box score. So for the sake of my Linsanity, give the rest of the guys on the team more than 3 seconds of playing time, if you even know what 3 seconds is. They might surprise you.
2) Frederick County Planners and Commissioners. You know, if there's anything we MUST HAVE around here, it's another Super Monster Inter-Continental Mega Walmart across the street from the Entirely-Sufficient, Newly-Remodeled Walmart we have now. Oh, and let's build a WHOLE NEW TOWN on a twisty, dangerous, overpopulated road the width of my driveway, right down the street from the elementary school that already has 371 portables. This makes perfect sense. And good heavens, for the sake of all that is good and right in the world, DO NOT let that church in Urbana put a cross on the side of their building! What are you trying to do, ruin our pristine county and create unfathomable traffic problems?
1) Grumpy Bloggers. Seriously, didn't your mother ever tell you, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"? Maybe you should take your Grumpy Hat off and wash your keyboard with some Jesus soap, you sarcasm-laced scoundrel.
Wow! My brain was on fire, but I feel better now. The fog is lifting. I can go back to being Mr. Nice Guy...