Thursday, February 28, 2008

Annoyances Anonymous Meeting Transcripts

As you may or may not recall, my friend Kathy and I are the co-leaders of a very successful support group for people who are annoyed by various things. Annoyances Anonymous started off as a way to vent specifically about irritating sounds, but has since branched off into a place where people can share all annoyances, and be comforted by the fact that they are not alone.

Over the past few months we've each held two meetings that were attended by several of you. Here are the links to those events.

PA Chapter - Follow-Up
MN Chapter - Chapter Minutes

Following is a transcript from our last group session of Annoyance Anonymous - the first ever joint MN/PA chapter meeting.

"Tap tap tap" (these transcripts are very literal) ...

Jeff: This meeting of the first joint East Coast and Midwest chapters of Annoyances Anonymous will now be called to order.

I would like to start out by thanking my good friend Kathy for agreeing to meet with me and my group. Welcome.

Kathy: I motion to put some cotton balls on the end of that gavel. Little quiet, eh?

Jeff: Right. Let's get started, shall we? The last time we met, our group identified several issues that they considered annoyances. During that meeting, the following new issues were brought forth as well.

Kathy: So you’re gonna get the cottonballs, right?

Jeff: Um, yeah Kathy... got it.
Anyway, here are what the MN attendees had to say:

Julie - The sound of leaf blowers and tantrumming children.

Jennine - The commercial for Head On that asks us to "apply directly to forehead."

Deborah - Loud bass speakers in cars that can be heard a block away, people blowing their noses in restaurants while you're eating and the sound of a dog licking himself.

Rob - Gas-powered RC cars.

Doozie - The sound of people who scrape their teeth on utensils while they are eating, people who breathe loudly while eating and people who "click" their false teeth. Also... people who tap their nails on the counter top and people who sigh. ALSO... children who say the same things over and over repetitively.
(as a sidenote, Doozie has begged us to allow her to become a member)

Gary - The sound of cell phones that ring on TV shows, especially when it has the same ringtone as mine.

Moi - That screeching sound the TV test pattern makes.

Rick - The sound of a dresser drawer closing on a wool sock.
(note: he claims it makes his teeth hurt... which would totally make sense if you knew Rick)

Fourier Analyst - Fran Drescher's voice.

Brandon - The "Secret Sound" contest on our local radio station.

Kathy: My meeting was lightly attended, but the ones who showed up (Regan, CC and Signs&Wonders) had a crowd’s worth of annoyances:

My cat when she’s trying to be fed.
- 1-800 Service.

- Spinning and tapping pens on a desk.
- Snoring dogs.
- Wind chimes.
- Tooth sucking.
- Tree limbs scratching on windows.
- Neighbors waking the dead with their noises at night.
- Motorcycle noise.
- People who breathe loudly.
- Bad singers.
- The sound of ripping paper.
- People who make weird noises with their mouths.
- Toe nail clipping.

Jeff: And, because this group has been expanded to more than just annoying sounds, I would like to include a few of my own annoyances:

- Co-workers who play YouTube, hum, whistle or tap their fingers in the office. Worst offenders?... those who do it with headphones on. AIEEEE!
- Drivers who don't put their left blinkers on until they're already at the red light. If I knew you were going to do that, I would not have stayed in the left lane behind you.
- People who aren't ready at the checkout line. I mean come on - you know you're going to use your credit card before you pay... TAKE IT OUT OF YOUR WALLET IN ADVANCE!

Kathy: Here are mine:

- When cashiers hand me change in bills and coins, laying the coins on top of the bills and I have to fumble with the pile to get at the coins first, that is, if they haven’t slid to the floor already. Remember, people. Coins first, bills next.
- Drivers who blast past a long line of cars only to shoot over at the last second to make their exit. It is my life’s mission not to let you butt in front of everyone. Seriously. Try it some time. You’re not getting in.
- Supermarkets that stick cardboard merchandise displays in store aisles, some placed opposite each other so there’s only a single lane for traffic, leaving us poor shoppers to play the “I was here first!” game. We need road rage indoors now?
- Commercials that are louder than the TV show they’re airing on.
- People with bright blue headlights who insist they don’t blind other drivers. How would you know? You’re not the blinded one.
- Pieces of Styrofoam rubbing together.
- Leaving a store to find my average-sized car wedged between two giant SUVs. I can’t see around you until I’ve already backed out. Can I send you the bill when I get T-boned?
- People who take two spaces parking their cars are on everyone’s list. Add to it people who park crookedly in a single space. I won’t park next to you because by the time you go to leave your space, you will not remember your wheels are turned askew, you will back out your car at an angle, and hit mine.
- People who eat while they’re talking on the phone with me. I can hear you. It’s disgusting. Stop it.

Ahh, that was very cathartic for me, I hope it was for you too. And now it's your turn. Just like before, simply leave your "issues" in the comments, and we'll discuss among ourselves next time.

So thank you all for joining us again this month. I look forward to sharing with you soon.

Is there anything else you'd like to add Kathy?

Just one thing...
Cottonballs, Jeff. Cottonballs.

There's nothing annoying about!


MYM said...

I'm going to use a phrase I saw on another blog that I liked..."That was sofa king funny!"

What annoys me? People who complain when I tap my pen on my desk.

Gen said...


This one struck me:

"Doozie:,... and people who "click" their false teeth. Also... people who tap their nails on the counter top and,..."

What about people who tap their acrylic fingernails on their teeth while reading blogs. I was literally doing that absentmindedly when I read that. Hee! hee! I'm gonna do it next time I see Doozie.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

drowsey monkey - I'm annoyed by people who complain about complainers! ;-)

groovy mom - It's a darn good thing I don't have acrylic fingernails because I'd be clicking them on every damn thing. What about office women who "click" when they type?

I'm still laughing over a previous annoyance Carla submitted where she said she can't stand the sound of someone eating a banana. I never realized just how disgusting that sound was until I started listening. Thanks Carla.

Susan said...

I hate it when people that think I have my high beams on turn theirs on and keep them on. My lights are bright (not totally blue, but kind of) and it might look like my high beams are on, but they aren't.

Instead of just turning yours on and leaving them on, try flashing yours instead. Then I'll flash mine, and you'll realize you were wrong and not make eye contact with me when we pass each other.

Heather said...

The sound of teeth on a Popsicle stick. Actually, not even the sound. I just have to look at my son eating a Popsicle and my teeth hurt.

Also, what’s the deal with the people who drive really fast, cut in front of you, then slow way down? Really. WTF?

Or, how about when you’ve written a comment on a blog and hit post only to discover that Blogger is down for maintenance?

Mooselet said...

Some things that come to mind:

Blogger running slower than snail snot so that it takes forever to view comments on a blog, never mind leave a comment, so you can quickly vacuum before the baby wakes up.

People who don't signal as they enter/exit a roundabout (rotary). I guess I'm supposed to use my telepathic skills to figure out where you're going?

Drivers who warn you of the speed trap that's a mile away. I appreciate the warning, really, but there's a limit. I will think you're pulling my leg, speed up and then get done for speeding.

My teenagers playing the same 2 songs over and over and over on iTunes. How many times do you think I want to hear Soulja Boy?

Elizabeth said...

People who walk their dogs and don't pick up their dog's poop. Pick up your dog poop!!

Kathy said...

Jeff! I need some help over at The Junk Drawer because I didn't bring enough chairs for the PA Chapter meeting and everyone's cranky now. Can you spare me some for the next meeting? And I think we need to switch the refreshments to de-caf coffee and non-sugary sweets. And we need an Enya CD. The Weird Al Yankovic I played sent everyone over the edge. Oh, and did you get the cotton balls for the gavel yet? We need those. I gotta go back over now. Someone's getting beat over the head with a shoe.

Anonymous said...

holy mother thats a lot of annoyances! and I am truly honored to be a part of your post, and yes please let me into the group. what do I have to do for initiation? do I get to stab someone thats annoying?

Shieldmaiden96 said...

People who never.stop.talking. I got back from an ambulance transfer last night and walked into the office and was immediately enveloped in what I call 'The Wall of Sound'...a woman who never takes a breath. And to torture us, she says, "Well, I'm gonna head home..." and DOESN'T LEAVE. Shut up already. And go. I hate you.

And as for the bad car is a POS. People do that 'one toe over the line, sweet Jesus' thing in the CHURCH PARKING LOT....I guess the bright yellow lines aren't clear enough. Our lot is small. So I wedge my 14 year old Saturn right on in there. They frequently buff my rear quarter panel with their coats getting into their cars. Park straight, brothers and sisters. For the love of God, park straight.

G said...

Jeff, I keep my nails shortish for that very reason. I annoy myself if I feel long nails on the keyboard.

Let's see, living in NYC, my list of annoyances are as long and wide as Queens Blvd, but it's early and I'll stick to this morning's:

None. Wow - none yet. But I am annoyed by the useless waste caused by my coworkers who wontonly use styrofoam. Landfill, people. I guess I'm not annoyed yet because I'm alone in the office.

This meeting was cathartic. Even if it's not the actual meeting. Maybe I'm annoyed I didn't know about the meeting!

G said...

Oh and banana eaters - yuck! Good one Carla.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

susan - How about when a huge 4x4 pulls up behind you and fries your retinas with its headlights in your rear-view mirror?

heather - Aaaaa! I can't eat things on wooden sticks either! Just thinking about it makes me cringe!

mooselet - Drivers who don't signal for ANY reason are a menace to society.

elizabeth - ESPECIALLY when they leave the pile in my front yard! Hello...

kathy - Holy cow... it's a frenzy over there! I think your group is going to need a few more meetings.

doozie - Sorry Doozie, we have a strict "no stabbing" policy. It's tends to make people even crankier. But if you leave your knives at the door you are always welcome.

shieldmaden96 - Nonstoptalkers ARE annoying. And they're always the most eager to talk when you have the least amount of time.

g - Actually, this IS the meeting. We hold our meetings in the comments section. Welcome!

G said...

I'm back and I'm annoyed - by the phrase "because that's how I roll." I'm extremely annoyed by the use of rejected urban slang, esepecially by someone who is white and middle-aged. It goes right through me. End of rant.

Mom Thumb said...

People who eat while on the phone with you, that's gross. People who are on the toilet while on the phone with you, well, there are no words.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

People who come to my blog and leave funny comments that make me laugh until I realize that they're actually trying to insult me.


Also, people who go to shake my hand but only take the front part of my hand and end up holding it like they're going to kiss it or something. What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

I,ve got a good one. All week Regis and Kelly have been in L.A.. Regis has been promising to to give us a tour of the Hollywood home he lived in back in the 60's.
So today instead, I get an hour of that giant ass clown George W. Bush telling me what a great job he's been doing. He makes my brain hurt.

markira said...

g, I just used that "that's how I roll" phrase on a blog comment this morning. I WAS JOKING. I know how stupid it sounds coming from me.

I hate the sound of people chewing with their mouth open. Especially gum, because they never.stop.chewing. My kids do this ALL THE TIME. I can hear this from two rooms away. Stop. Stop NOW. And then they will sit rightnexttome and do it. AAAAAAAAAUUUUUGGGGHHHHHH.

I hate tailgaters. I will deliberately slow waaaaaay down when we are in a no-pass zone just to piss them off and get them to back the F* up.

People who carry on a constant conversation with someone else while you are on the phone with them. You never know who they're directing a comment to.

Advertisers who think that everyone watching has the IQ of a shoe.

People who assume that you will also love their dog, and that the leash law does not apply to them. Also people who bring their dogs to your kids' sports stuff and then watch as the dog obviously annoys you but do nothing to rein in said dog.

Similar with people who do not keep their toddlers from running out onto the field or the court. It is not enough that you start to get your child once they are on the field. They should not have gotten that far. (yes, ex-husband, I am looking at you and your new child)

People who know darn well they are blocking everyone's view by standing up along the fenceline when there is seating provided but assume that their interest in the event supercedes that of every other person present.

I think I desperately need a membership here. mk

Anonymous said...

How bout butter bits in the jelly jar or potato chip bags which are impossible to unseal without potato chips flying everywhere. Then there's pulling into the gas station as some dude is changing the price on the gas sign after just hiking up the price.

My greatest annoyance, however, is our unreasonably judgeMENTAL librarian who clucks her tongue when I return a late book as if I just returned from a seriel killing spree of seal cubs. I'm pretty sure my late fees PAY HER SALARY.


That felt good.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

g - One phrase (not urban but more business related) that's gotten on my last nerve is, "at the end of the day..." That was done to death like 5 years ago, and I'm STILL hearing it. Help!

mom thumb - Yeah, that background *flush* pretty much tells the whole stinkin story.

jenny - What? I could never insult you. I'm sure you are mistaken. That handshake thing is even worse when you're a guy.

rick - Hey, he's the decider and if he decides to broadcast over Regis, well what can you do.

markira - Oh my... I may have to hire more staff. But thank you for coming - you are indeed welcome here.

jennine - How about tuna in the mayo? Erp.
And who needs those mother-clucking librarians indeed!

Memarie Lane said...

People that crash their car through my living room.

Midwives that spend three hours meeting with me only to tell me afterward they're unavailable.

When my usual lighthearted funny morning show decides to spend three days raising money for the children's hospice.

People that call but have nothing to say.

When my kids ask for food items that don't exist, like "bear M&M's."

The neighbor kid on his pogo stick.

Sornie said...

My wife hates it when I sniff my nose. She's almost punched me because of it. I think I want in on your support group. It sounds so dysfunctional that I'd fit right in.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Aw, I like the sound of snoring dogs.

Ed said...

I'm gonna go with those stupid automatic towel dispensers that go off every single time you pass by them because some nimwad installed them too close to the foot traffic.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

marie - Boy, kind of a whiner if you ask me... I mean how bad can it be to have someone crash through your livingroom? Sheesh.

sornie - You are more than welcome here... and we have lots of tissues.

chicky - I always let them lie.

ve - And I'm going to go with the automatic towel dispensers that never go off and so you wind up doing that stupid hula dance in front of it with your hands.

markira said...

How about pretty much ALL of the automated features in public bathrooms these days? There's some kind of magic movement you have to accidentally discover before you can get them to work, and then they shut off too fast.

And the freakin' motion-sensor toilets that flush all the time.

Anonymous said...

ok - how exactly can i join this group! i could be a very valuable member as my annoyances are many and trite. :)

(Senora Patron - drinkin' and buzzin' on a Friday nite.)

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

markira - Sure, the toilet flushes all the time... EXCEPT WHEN YOU WANT IT TO!

dkaye - You just did my friend. No paperwork, no dues, just a comment and you're in. Welcome!

Moi said...

Honored to be back.

I am HUGELY annoyed by people who say nuke-u-lar. Also, big white guys who say things are a hot mess. Do you look like Niecy Nash? I didn't think so.

Moi said...

Oh, also?

Decaf coffee and non-sweet snacks! If I am going to haul my cookies somewhere, I want to be rewarded with extra caffeine and sugar at every step.

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Moi - Niecy Nash?! Too funny. I'm with you on the big white guy trash talk. As if I have a right to say "no you did-ent girlfriend!"

Yeah, no.