Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pet Peeves, I Have Some

Why Yes? This is one...
The Brighton Pensioner, who's* whose blog, Pebbles in the Sea, I've just started following has an excellent post on his pet peeves. (Go read it, it's at the link. I'll wait here until you're done. But if you're not back in ten minutes or so, don't expect me to wait up for you... Oh, sorry, go ahead. I'll be right here.)

So, good stuff, neh? But we're here to talk about my pet peeves. So here we go.

The leading photograph is one of my most fearsome pet peeves. There are two in the photo of course, it's an SUV in a "compact car" slot and the driver obviously has some difficulty with spacial relationships or is a complete incompetent or is simply arrogant and feels entitled to park wherever he or she wants to park. (While an answer of "all three" is possible, more than likely it's just one of those, perhaps two together.)

Now the "totally unable to park" pet peeve is actually a corollary of the "completely incapable of operating a motor vehicle" pet peeve. Now the parking thing annoys people, the inability to operate a motor vehicle actually kills people. There are any number of states in this country where I believe that if you show up at the DMV with the correct fee, smile nicely and not annoy the employees overmuch and are not completely blind, then you walk away with a nice shiny license, certifying that you are capable of operating a standard family car.

Now that's my experience with your average run-of-the-mill driver's license. I'm sure that for a commercial license or a motorcycle license there are much more stringent requirements. Yeah, sure there are. But I'll stick to what I know.

When I was a kid in Vermont, you could get your license when you were 16 (IIRC), IF you had attended driver's education. Otherwise you had to wait until you were 18. A very reasonable law I thought. I waited until I was 18 to get my license. I did not wish to "waste my entire summer" doing driver's ed. My Dad said I would regret that decision. As in most things Dads give advice on, he was absolutely correct.

You won't have much of a social life in high school if you can't drive. I didn't because I couldn't. If you get my drift. In the long run this didn't matter. Unless my ability to drive at 16 would have led to an early cure for cancer, or the end of world hunger, or total peace descending on the planet. Um, probably not. But one never knows...

My daughters both attended driver's ed in high school. One day I asked a stupid question, "So when do you ladies get on the road for the practical stuff?"

Answer, "Uh, they don't do that in Rhode Island..."

Seriously, you have to attend driver's ed to get a license in Rhode Island. You don't necessarily have to know how to drive. Hhhmm. Well of course, actually you do. There is an actual "get in the car and drive" portion of the exam. Though in Rhode Island, if you return to the DMV parking lot with the car still in one piece and the examiner has not fouled their underwear in the process, odds are you'll get your license. Provided of course, you have the proper fee, are not blind and did not piss off the examiner.

Key point here is most kids learn how to drive from their parents, maybe an older sibling. So if the parents (or older sibling) are crappy drivers, odds are the kid will be as well.

I started to teach my children how to drive. Each had precisely one lesson from the Old Man before turning to their Mother (the Missus Herself) for their on-the-road instruction. As the Nuke so bluntly put it:
"Dad, learning to drive from you is like what joining the Prussian Army must have been like. We get that you were a Master Sergeant. You need to understand that we're not your troops. We're your children."
Quite honestly I did not see a difference. The Missus understood, therefore she became the progeny's primary instructor. Not a problem, I taught the Missus to drive and she's a very good driver. (This probably explains why she understood why the kids did not particularly care for Your Humble Scribe as an instructor. I can be somewhat, shall we say, brusque.)

One last automotive-related pet peeve, which was brilliantly defined by my blog buddy Hogday and to which I can add nothing. To wit:
I encountered the usual variety of dickwads with the majority being the premature exitulators, that's those that cut across from the outside lane, just ahead of your front wheel, then brake and wiggle across the hatchings as they try to squeeze themselves off at that exit ramp they should have prepared for about half a mile back. In equal first place were the `thumbs up the arse` disassociated passives cruising along at 55 like the dumb mutts they are, in the middle and occasionally outside lane, and who are a major contribution to frustration and death threats.
Well, actually there are two peeves in that quote, both of which are amongst my list of pet peeves. (Hogday's blog is superb by the way, oh, and he's British, as in from the UK, just sayin'... Oh, he was also in law enforcement, so I view his opinion as authoritative.)

Those are my top automotive pet peeves. I found this little graphic on the Inter-Tubes so I stole borrowed it for reproduction here. I don't have much to add, these are all wonderful per peeves which any Mother should be proud of.
The only one I would add is why Blogger thinks "amongst" is not a word, it's always being flagged as if it were misspelled or something. Today I added it to my "dictionary" (wherever that lives) and so now Blogger is happy. Or as happy as it can be when it's not gorging itself on Dapper Dan's comments. (Yes, Blogger will sometimes eat a comment for no apparent reason. Okay, yes, that is also a pet peeve.)

So those are some of my pet peeves, though not an exhaustive list. I have many, too many to enumerate here. Oh and one more grammar thingee that I learned a while back -

Penultimate did not mean what I thought it meant.
Ultimately, I understood that.

* See Buck's comment. In the comments. Of course.


  1. Penultimate clearly refers to the best PEN ever!

    1. You'd think I'd have learned by now NOT to read your comments while I'm drinking coffee.

      Good one Joe, good one.

  2. "Dad, learning to drive from you is like what joining the Prussian Army must have been like. We get that you were a Master Sergeant. You need to understand that we're not your troops. We're your children."

    My Ol' Man used to say "I'm the commander, your Mom is the First Sergeant, and you kids are PEONS. Got that?" If I heard that once, I heard it a thousand times.

    In re: grammar pet peeves. Physician, heal thyself.

    The Brighton Pensioner, who's blog...

    I TOLD you I'm a pedant. ;-)

    1. My kids like to say:

      Mom is the Admiral...

      We're all lieutenants...

      YOU. Get to take out the trash...

      "Who's" - ARGHHH and D'oh - consider it corrected and thank you for spotting that.

  3. Nice demo of penultimate.
    I found no fault with any of your peeves and concur 100%.
    You have elucidated them quite well.

    I almost went O/T and wrote a whole post here about learning to drive.
    I have to remember not to hijack blogs.

    1. Oh and I'm with Buck.
      Who is a proper noun, as in Dr. Who, and should always be capitalized.

    2. Feel free to hijack this blog any time Skip. It'll save me the effort of linking to you. (Heh).

      And yes. Got that. Corrected it on Buck's dime before I got to your comment.

      But both of you get to go to the head of the class.

      I feel so, so, mortified. Hoisted upon my own petard.

    3. Hoisted upon my own petard.

      Heh. I LOVE that sayin', even tho I rarely use it. It might have been the Brighton Pensioner who did a post on the origins of the phrase a while back.

    4. Ditto. Sounds like a good obscure topic to expound upon. Prolly why I've started following the Brighton Pensioner.

  4. Wow!
    I feel special.
    I knew him before he was called the Brighton Pensioner.

    1. That's something that a guy I work with says when he doesn't know what else to say.


  5. The driver in the above picture may have difficulty with spatial relationships, and may also have difficulty changing a slashed tire, or buffing out a key that was accidently dragged down the side of her car. Yeah, I see how I just offended half the population, but I have a wife who is spatially challenged so I get a pass.

    1. Slashed tire? Keyed? Not sure I'd know anything about that.

      You get a pass? Or your wife has already punished you?

      Tuna, this is thin ice. Thin ice, meet Tuna.

  6. My dad taught me the "maneuvering" part of the exam for driving. Yea that was interesting. I can parallel park though like nobody's business and on both sides of a one way street if need be. My pet grammar peeve is the word Calvary being used to refer to mounted horse troops. No those are cavalry not the same thing. My hubby's pet driving peeve is 4 way stops. We discovered that folks in the state in which we live are not required to take driver's ed even for a permit and it shows. ugh.

    1. Interesting that you should mention "Calvary" versus "cavalry" as I have an interesting historical anecdote...

      At the Battle of Waterloo, during the French cavalry charges, one British soldier in his memoirs remembers another soldier nearby as they stood in square (waiting to receive cavalry) that would shout out "Here comes the calvary!" every time the French troopers would crest the rise in front of them.

      So that particular word misuse has been going on since at least 1815!


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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