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.