Brewer's Droop #260

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I realise now that, as I get older I’m becoming less tolerant. I thought this was a bad thing until I realised, with delight, that I’m far from being on my own in this and am encouraged by a number of friends who are insufferable, impatient and quite often rude pains in the neck. Love them all.

So I thought I’d make a list of the top 15 things that truly piss me off. I’ve been listing these for a while and had to draw a line somewhere, this is the result.

Please do comment if you’d like to add more – or if you disagree with me (I couldn’t give a Tinker’s Cuss by the way). They’re not in any specific order, although the last one is probably my worst.

1.Things that break.
All the things in this category which I own are, in my opinion, still new. My toaster for example – why does it suddenly decide one morning, for no obvious reason, to burn my crumpet to a crisp? Why does my kettle, out of the blue, refuse to boil? And why do I have to buy a new iron every year?

Very few seem to use the term “planned obsolescence” which, as Wikipedia reminds us; “is a policy of planning or designing a product with an artificially limited useful life, so it will become obsolete [that is, unfashionable or no longer functional] after a certain period of time.” How on earth did we come to believing this trickery as “normal”?

2.Things that simply wear-out.
Like my car’s wiper blades. The bloke in the shop says they must be replaced every 2 years. Why? In my earlier motoring days I don’t think I ever replaced a wiper blade.

My TV set’s the same. I can’t seem to get more than a few years out of mine. Now I’m told I have to buy a “Smart TV”. Bugger off.

These drive me crazy. Absolutely crazy! At least once a week Yahoo and Google (they take it in turns by the way) post a sickeningly friendly message saying they need to confirm who I am so can I please enter my password. I never change my password, but they don’t like that. As a consequence, Yahoo gently tells me that my password is incorrect. So I say I’ve forgotten it and they send me a new one. Two week’s later it will be wrong again and I’ll get another one and repeat the entire process. It’s so tiring.

4.Following distance.
Why is it so difficult for drivers to understand the concept of a “safe following distance”? What it leads to is other ignoramuses squeezing into my lane so I have to slow down and look at the threatening hand gestures of the guy behind me (who’s angry because I “let them in”).

And no lights in the rain?
Why do people refuse to put on their headlights when it’s a dismal, rainy day? And it’s always the dark coloured cars that drive through the mist like “stealth tanks”.

And, certainly in Cape Town, everyone seems to drive faster the moment it starts raining. Why?

5.“Ag shame” photographs on Facebook.
Why do people insist on sharing endless pictures of animals in distress (or dead)? I don’t want to be miserable like the sad bastards that post them. I’m quite happy in my own dopamine-induced state thanks very much.

People who tell me, via the internet, that they’ll “pray for me.” Well, that’s fine if you want to do it but, sadly, I’m beyond redemption and I don’t like you any better for doing it. Rather buy me a drink when I next see you. Much better idea. You can carry on with our preachings but please excuse me when I don’t take any notice.

7.Changing messaging platforms.
This is surely madness. I’m regularly sent messages on Face Book Messenger, What’s Bloody Up, Face Time (which I never open), and all the others.

What’s wrong with a simple SMS text? Better still, if it’s important, call me!

8.Pathetic posts
I actually quite like Face Book but, oh dear, the amount of soppiness is staggering. I never even pause to read them. I’m sorry your Granny just died but I’m not about to tell you that my heart’s broken. I’m sorry she died but that’s it.

And no, I don’t care that you’re going to climb Everest to support saving the Pandas – neither am I going to sponsor you.

Y do peeps insist on using shortened words or acronyms? Words like “rgrds” get me frothing at the mouth. It takes longer to leave out the e and the a than it does to write properly. “LOL” is probably a real word in the Oxford English Dictionary now. ROFLMAO* had me stumped when I first saw it being used.

The other thing that gets me is where people sign-off their messages with the first letter of their name. If your name is, say, Norman, and you sign off with “N” does that mean I have to call you “en” from now on?

10.Even worse grammar!
Then people tell me “your wrong”. Well, you idiot, if you can’t grasp the use of an apostrophe then I will never take you seriously so don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply.

11.Spelling? Please!
Somebody posted a comment to me recently saying they were going to “lurn” something. I just give up sometimes.

12.TV sound levels.
Why are ads so much louder than the programmes? If that’s the best we can do with technology then I’m going back to the wireless.

13.My phone’s not working.
People sometimes phone my landline from their cell phone – then have the audacity to tell me that “you’re breaking up!” It’s not me you pillock – I’m standing in one place and you’re calling ME. It’s you “who’s breaking up” not me!

14.Having two conversations.
Then there are those people who, when you’re talking to them, their eyes keep darting down to look at their phone. I get the impression that they’re hoping someone more interesting than me is going to contact them. And when their phone rings there’s no attempt at an apology – not a word – they simply abandon our conversation.

15.Jeremy Clarkson.
I have a personal rule. Whenever I see that oaf’s face on TV I immediately change channels or leave the room to go for a walk. I was a huge fan of his writing skills but now, sadly, he makes my skin crawl.

Please add to this list – maybe we can make it the “Top 100” or even more?

*It means “Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off”

knd rgrds,


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  1. Brilliant!

    I have an addition: those people who phone and their first words are “how are you” and you just know they’re going to try and sell you something!

    I always just hang up.

  2. I’m with you on most of these. Add:

    Traffic light crawling, esp by police drivers – remember when everyone stopped behind the white line?

    Capital Letters in the Middle of Sentences – the time I’ve wasted correcting this millennial bad habit.

    Americanizations – if you see a zee it’s probably supposed to be an s.

    • The Germans seem to do that – random capital letters. My in-laws are German, and I asked them why you have these random capitalisation in the middle of sentences, and they just looked back uncomprehendingly. “you mean you do not spell Chicken with an upper-case letter?”

      I gave up

      • The Germans use capital letters for all nouns. Nothing random about it.

  3. hello Chris.

    Your comments on FB are moot. I think it’s a gigantic ego wank and that far to many people spend long moments on checking their ‘likes’ on any given post. I’m seriously thinking of exiting this nonsense.
    Yet young Mark saw the potential, and his instinctive grasp of humanity’s need to be noticed was extraordinary.
    As his amassing of many billions have proved.

  4. Hi Chris, hope you’re well mate. I think this is a fabulous topic. Here are a ccouple more pet peeves:
    1. Movies to TV shows that use local actors to portray foreigners. Result? Those terrible fake accents. “Hay, arma Serf Effrigan!” I hasten to add that the fake American accents in local drama series are just as irritating.
    2. Ads delivered by the owner or MD of the company. I personally will never buy the Glodina towels offered at only R50, just because the ad is too disgraceful!

    • Nice one Harry!

  5. The response of “no problem” when there never was one in the first place.

    • No problem Derek.

  6. Oh, hell! I see I just delivered on pet peeve #11, by misspelling “couple.”I’m sew sorry!

    • No apology from Colin yet for misspelling “too”……

      • New you’d get that wun, Gibbo

  7. Hello Chris,
    Can I add to your list of hates?
    I’m on the train. (so what).
    And the spellchecker on cell phones which keep changing what I write in messages. Makes me so mad.

    • My wife sent an SMS to an acquaintance called “Liz” whom she didn’t know all that well. She started it with a friendly “Dear Liz”, said what she had to say and hit “Send”, only to find that her cell phone’s prediictive text had changed her greeting to “Dear Lizard”! My wife HATES predictive text…

  8. Brilliant, Chris. Cannot stand meaningless acronyms, appalling spelling and dealing with unsmart, touchscream phone addicts.

  9. zuma, dstv, rates, SAA, printer ink, all of those you and others have listed….oh my, I am getting crusty in my old age.

    • Yes Ian, I can confirm that you’re getting “crusty”!

  10. In terms of the headlights in gloomy weather. May seem obvious
    but the misconception is that you need them only when you can’t see properly ahead of you.
    People need to understand that you need them on so that other
    people can see you!
    That’s why it’s now law in many countries, even during the day.

  11. Hi C,
    People that walk slowly in malls when they are reading their phones… Esp esp on escalators when it comes to an end… Not sure what they expect us to do… Walk other ough them?

  12. What kan Aai sey Idont spel dooo gramma but pretty handy elswher

  13. Referring number 9:

    My name is “Gerry”. with a G. As in Germany. no one – fuckung no one – seems to get this. Jerry, it seems , is hard wired, and even people with an IQ of 130 cannot grasp the concept of Gerry-with-a-G.

    So I started to end off my written communications with “regards, g.”

    After a year or so of doing that, people have started spelling my name right. Which is great. And some people have started calling me “the G-man” or even “the G-whizz” (because I am a bit of whizz when it comes to photographic lighting), which is way cool.

    So, may I get an exception?


  14. Nice topic Chris but you’ve left a knot in my stomach!

    Driving in the right hand lane on a double lane highway (at exactly or slight lower than the speed limit). Refusing to budge. And then to cap it by suddenly crossing to the left lane and taking the off-ramp!

  15. Text message speak, but especially writing peeps in place of people.
    Tailgating, driving too slowly, driving too fast.
    Pictures of dead or maimed animals on fb,
    Exaggerated sentimentality.
    Cellphone obsession.
    Answering a call and hearing a recorded message. Answering a call and hearing ‘how are you’ – one day I will answer in full.
    But in spite of all that, I just love Jeremy Clarkson.

  16. You try to make the most of your every day. And then you get some miserable grumpy guy who can only see the glass as half empty. They mone at everything. And they try to suck you and everyone else into their pitiful world of misery and depression. Keep it to yourself.

    • Learn to spell.

  17. The copycat culture in Southern Africa where once a taxi or a Kombi starts jumping read lights and getting away with it they all do it but the police are also doing it now. This has now been followed by using stop streets as optional stops and not mandatory!

  18. Great topic!
    Will someone tell me why nobody in this country knows how to use a ’roundabout’ or traffic circle? The law says ‘give way to traffic coming from the right’. Tell that to to the taxi driver who thinks he got there first! And don’t get me started on Taxis!!

    • Quite agree!!!

  19. Well said Chris I was going to write that I agree wholeheartedly with numbers 5,7, 8, 9,10,11, 12 and 14 so may as well say I agree with all and thanks for telling me what ROFLMAO means never had a clue!!

  20. Hi Chris
    Great intolerance article, which resonates with most of us.
    It is surely a sign taht (hope you like the spelling) we are all becoming “old farts”
    As for facebook, and all social media, I am not on it. I’m really not interested in peoples toilet habits, breakfast routine or pets, so forgive me for giving it a miss.
    As we get older we tend to utter the WTF words more often however, being rude and obnoxious is all very well as long as we can handle the same responses from others !!?
    My experience is that some older folks think that the youth should respect them for their age and not their behavior. Trouble with many people today, is they are happy to “tell it as it is” but simply don’t like hearing the truth about themselves.
    I recon tolerance and taking a few moments to think about our responses goes a long way in creating a calm and relaxed lifestyle.

    • Thanks Ray – and very true!

  21. I guess I’m a grumpy old fart too as I agree with a lot of your points of annoyance…most people and things are just annoying at my age….but Kevan here is the grumpiest …moning and sucking…whaaat!??! seems like no one can spell anymore even with spell cheks (oops) or would pass junior school grammar!
    oh.. my kettles pack up regularly just after the expiry date on the 1 year guarantees
    Oh and friends who sms me … “please phone me ” …
    don’t, because I won’t…..go and buy R5 airtime if you want to speak to me

  22. Mike bloody Haysman stating the absolute obvious when “commentating” on cricket

  23. You are not old enough yet because when you are truly in your dotage you learn that actually you don’t give a SHIT!!
    I love Utube (deliberate misspelling) because you can skip ads and you can watch a show that would normally take an hour on TV in 40 minutes so in 3 hours I get to watch 4 shows and if I need a cuppa or a noggin or a pee I just hit pause.

  24. I had this from a friend now living in Australia. It’s hysterical!

    What have you started…..

    You invited me to add to the list of things that piss me off – here are a few off the top of my head if I wasn’t so lazy (grumpy old men often are) I would add many more

    (1) Hotel bathrooms so small that the door gets tangled in the mat

    (2) Women’s underwear hanging in the shower

    (3) Nail clippers with jaws too narrow for your nails

    (4) Plastic wrapping that won’t fold or squash

    (5) Food court plastic cutlery that buckles

    (6) Newspaper/magazine pages so flush you have to wet your fingers to turn them

    (7) Ballpoint pens that won’t write unless at a perfect angle

    (8) Headphones that slip off your head

    (9) Car ashtrays/drawers that are hard to slide back

    (10) Car windscreen-wiper wells that fill up with leaves

    (11) Fuel gauges that drop at an inconsistent rate

    (12) Underwear labels that fade so you can’t check your size when you are buying replacements

    (13) Wine-bottle corks so dry they crumble when you are drawing them

    (14) Airline seats so cramped you can’t bend down to pick up a dropped item

    (15) Cats that nip you when you stroke them

    (16) Movies which have background sounds so loud you can’t hear the dialogue

    (17) Hair that stands on end (like Don King’s and mine) in the slightest breeze

    (18) Toothbrushes with bristles that come loose in your mouth

    (19) Golf tees the same colour as the ground

    (20) Golf caps/hats that blow off in the slightest breeze

    (21) Pencil leads that keep breaking when you are sharpening

    (22) Keyboards with letters that get worn away

    (23) Bathroom sinks angled so the soap slips into the shaving water

    (24) Combs that prick your scalp

    (25) People who talk too softly to hear what they’re saying

    (26) Being served bacon/tomato with the rind/skin still on

    (27) Duvet covers that don’t hold the duvet consistently causing bunching

    (28) At Chinese meals having someone pick out morsels and put them in your bowl

    (29) Spectacles that nip the bridge of your nose

    (30) Little dogs that get excited and pee when you pet them

    (31) Golf commentators who say “Thus far” instead of “So far”; and “Fortuitous” instead of “Lucky”

    (32) Cricket commentators who say “Elected to bat” instead of “Chose to bat”

    (33) Zips where the holder gets stuck in the housing

    (34) People (other than me) who repeat the same stories

    (35) People (other than me) who tell you how well they’ve done on the stock market

    (36) Books without an index

    (37) Waitpersons who forget to bring you water

    (38) Waitpersons who keep their eyes down so you can’t attract their attention

    (39) Narrow parking spaces

    (40) Golf clubs with identifying numbers that wear off the soles

    (41) People who occupy aircraft toilets for too long

    (42) People who start talking just as an important announcement is coming over the P.A. system

    (43) Toilets with only a narrow space between seat and water

    (44) Golf bags that fall over unless on a perfectly flat surface

    (45) Toilet paper that tears longitudinally

    (46) Paper in public toilets that tears so near the dispenser you can’t pull it down

    (47) Toilets so narrow you bang your elbows

    (48) Noisy or smoky golf buggies

    (49) Soap that doesn’t lather well

    (50) Slippery shower floor tiles

    (51) Weak toilet flushing mechanisms

    (52) People at airport departure areas who take up multiple seats

    (53) When arriving at a person’s home being expected to put on tiny slippers

    (54) Spectacle ear-pieces that fold when you are trying to clean the lenses

    (55) People who say “Al-monds” instead of “Ar-monds”

    (56) Putting on a sock and having the sharp nail of a little toe catch on the material

    (57) Eco-friendly light bulbs that give only a weak light

    (58) Anything else eco-friendly (including eco-friendly people)

    (59) When you discard a piece of unscrunched-up paper into a bin and it flutters away so you have to pick it up and dump it in again.

    (60) Unused clothes pegs clipped to the line that scrape your head when you’re hanging up the washing.

    (61) How the U-shaped toilet mat gets out of shape when you pee and you have to reposition it.

    (62) People who stand around chatting on the walking/jogging path.

    (63) Women with shirts/blouses that don’t cover their bra straps.

    (64) Sports stars/celebrities who start their own eponymous self-serving charities when there are already charities for that cause.

    (65) Sports writers who pen portentous prose to make it sound like sport matters a damn.

    (66) Track-pants’ draw strings that hang out so you risk peeing on them.

    (67) Sports commentators who say, “Evidenced by…” and “Referenced…” instead of referred to..

    (68) When you blow your nose with a Kleenex and flakes of the tissue get stuck on your jersey.

    (69) When you fish in your pocket for a tee, and the sharp end pricks between your finger and nail.

    (70) Glad-wrap and the fiend who invented it.

    (71) Envelopes so tightly sealed you need an axe to open them.

    (72) Doctors who don’t apologise after keeping you waiting for forty minutes

    (73) Sports interviewees who pepper their answers with “sort of”, “ya know”, and “obviously”.

    (74) Shower stalls so small when you raise your arm to wash your armpit you sent the shampoo rack flying with your elbow.

    (75) Sports interviewers who dodge having to think of an intelligent question by saying, “Talk about…

    (76) Shop assistants who eat while serving you.

    (77) People who overuse “Absolutely” instead of “Yes”, or “I agree”.

    (78) People (Aussies) who start sentences with “Look…”

    (79) Email correspondents who send me back funnies I sent to them.

    (80) Hand-towels that have to be rehung with the logo just right.

    (81) Dentists (like mine) with hands like feet, fingers like bananas, and knuckles like walnuts.

    (82) People who say, “To be quite honest with you”, and then tell a blatant lie.

    (83) When you’re in a hurry to take a dump and the cord of your trackies get knotted and you have to rush to the kitchen to get a pair of scissor to cut the cord to avoid kakking in ya daks.

    (84) When you’re using a Kleenex to wipe your glasses and the tissue snags in the interstices of the frame. And when you wipe the lenses so hard one of them falls out.

    (85) When you’re washing up kitchen scissors and they come apart at the central joint and you can’t fit them correctly together again without using military language.

    (86) (From Betsy) Neanderthal men who turn the shower taps off so tightly no dainty dame can turn them on again without a plumber’s wrench and a double hernia.

    (87) Free newspapers that go into the bin as soon as delivered.

    (88) Prats (like Prof Niall Ferguson) who emphasise the first “a” in extraordinary.

    (89) Sports opening events (World Cup, Olympics) that feature bogus, ridiculous “indigenous legends”.

    (90) Putting currants in the iconic English muffin.

    (91) Events to “raise awareness” of say, breast cancer; like anyone in the world is not “aware” of breast cancer. Why not be honest and say, “To raise money for breast cancer”?

    (92) Those silly ribbons they give out at such functions.

    (93) Toilet rolls/bedside lights behind where you are sitting/lying causing dislocation of your shoulder.

    (94) Tiny indecipherable letters on hotel shampoo etc bottles

    (95) Getting dressed and undressed at airport security

    (96) Zips that require two hands to operate (all of the bastards)

    (97) Waiting for a group of lady golfers to get their complicated cappuccinos

    (98) Damned awkward seat-belts in the back of taxis

  25. Spelling peeps, spelling. I will pray for y’all! Now don’t yous get annoyed. L

  26. Excellent article ! Well done. You asked for it.
    I would like to add:
    1 The idiot derivers do not use their indicators. The indicators are there for the driver to indicate his/her intention, to warn the drivers around you as to what your intentions are.
    2 Mainly directed at the mass produced German vehicle drivers – B$W. The idiots who drive with the fog lights and rear hazard lights on. They must have inside information as to what is happening with the weather. Turn the fog lights, both front and rear OFF. The rear ones especially as they are very bright and blind the driver behind you.
    3 Not to mention those who go through the red traffic light with total disregard to the other drivers.
    4 The last one, our dedicated taxi drivers who are a law unto themselves.

  27. The use of the word “like”. It started small and was used only by hip or way-cool teenagers. Now the whole world – it seems – is putting “like” three or four times into one sentence! From four year olds to sixty year olds (who should know better!!) What does it mean? Is it a replacement for the word “ummmm”? How did we manage to talk to each other before without using “like”? I absolutely cannot listen to a person who inserts “like” into every few words they speak.

    • It’s like I agree like.

  28. Another huge ‘piss-off’ is when someone dials my number and when I answer, ask, “Who’s speaking?”. Standard replies (depending on how miffed I am): “Me” or “Whose number did you dial?”.

  29. My two pet hates: people who can’t be bothered to return their trolley back to the shop and leave it next to their car – how lazy can you be? And it’s damn rude. And secondly, people who think they have the right to park in disabled bays when the only disability they might suffer from is epic stupidity/arrogance.


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