What pushes your exasperation button?

A local radio station has a daily segment: Who do you want to fire from America? Since it airs every morning at the crack of God, we have only heard it once. Nevertheless, with all the promos running throughout the day, the concept had our curiosity button blinking.

One morning the staff fired a radio disk jockey from America because she took all the Fritos in the station’s vending machine. Of course, the whole thing is all in good fun, but there is always a kernel of truth in humor. She hogged the Fritos and refused to share.

We all have our pet peeves. Some of us go overboard and lug around an entire sack of things that annoy us. Perhaps someday there will be an Olympic-sized competition: Who has the most hot-button issues? It should be quite revealing.

Misspelled or incorrectly used words drive this writer up the proverbial tree. And we are not talking about a short tree. Our annoyance probably rivals those majestic trees in Yosemite. Driving up the mountain from the park, you realize the trees you saw at the bottom reach the very top of the mountain. Truly awe-inspiring.

Although this lady does not consider herself a prude, her upbringing was from a time when folks frowned on ladies using foul language or dressing like pavement princesses in public. However, by today’s standard, we cannot be as judgmental as the scandalized folk. Some of the pavement princess attire is bloody attractive if worn by a female who does not display lumpy excess skin. It may not be politically correct to speak the truth, but that has never censored this woman.

Uncouth language is another matter. People at work, men and women alike, frequently dropped the F-bomb. If one is going for crudeness or shock value, then it is the perfect word. However, when she is inclined to swear, this lady usually prefers creative cussing. Her expletives include: “For crying out pickle juice” or “Son of a seahorse.” There is one she picked up from a sister-in-law: “Sugar beets.” All these are stated with gusto and sometimes even a growl.

We asked people what annoyed them the most, quite a few replied, “stupidity.” In case the PC Police are paying attention, ignorance and stupidity are not the same. Even intelligent and educated people can be ignorant about certain things. For example, our brilliant father was ignorant about mundane matters such as microwaving potatoes. Consequently, the spuds caught on fire.

On the other hand, stupidity is the lack of interest in acquiring knowledge. In other words, a stupid person is quite content with limited knowledge and disinterested in correcting that flaw. Stupid folks also tend to jump to conclusions without having all the facts, hence judgmental. Consequently, folks known as “sheeple” tend to populate the stupid group.

There is a reason certain topics, such as religion and politics, are best omitted from conversations, be they personal or business. Both of them have the potential to blindly pound on another person’s annoyance button because civil discourse on those topics is almost impossible. In some cases, the conversation can lead to an actual fight, hurt feelings, and senseless anger, and even feuding.

Famous feuds such as the Hatfields and McCoys or the Montagues and Capulets come to mind. People say the former was because the McCoys were Unionists and the Hatfields were Confederates. Others claim it started with a stolen hog.

The Montagues and Capulets dispute was over land. In other words, possession equals power, and all too often, wars are power struggles over land, which tiptoes into the political zone.

A personal example regarding conversations about religion or religious beliefs is when someone feels compelled to state, unequivocally: “I am a good Christian” or “I am a Christian.” On such occasions, this lady’s first response is to step back and check for her wallet.

Do you need someone to describe themselves, or do their actions reveal their character? Also, you can be good regardless of your religion. Conversely, goodness is not the sole property of Christians.

Self-aggrandizement is gauche.


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