According to Edna St. Vincent Millay, life isn't one damn thing after another: it's one damn thing over and over again. She wasn't working at 42nd and Treadmill at the time, but she wouldn't have changed one word if she had, believe me. On the other hand, not everything that annoys the crap out of me is work-related, and since I have this space, I might as well use it, right? Herewith, a list of things that bother me probably more than they bother you.

Script letters in lieu of actual house numbers. This isn't so bad if you live at 9 or 42; it's an affectation if you live at 3300, and if you live at 3308 and spell it out "Thirty Three O Eight," you should be required to move. (Disclosure: The house the parental units bought in Oklahoma City — before I got here, I hasten to add — sported just such a display. It's gone now, though I claim no credit for its disappearance.

Fuel prices to the tenth of a cent. And it's always the ninth tenth, of course. This has been going on for so long now that it's considered almost a tradition; it's still irritating. And they can't say it's being done for competitive advantage, since everyone does it. Given my usual twelve-gallon fillup, the difference between $2.099 and $2.10 is a whopping 1.2 cents. I'd pay it gladly.

The tendency toward longer and longer street names. This is mostly due to the fact that you can't name a street after anyone anymore unless you use that person's full name. I wrote about this once before, to no avail:

It's always, in full, Martin Luther King Street/Avenue/Boulevard/Road. Quite unwittingly, Dr. King seems to have started another trend: streets renamed for dignitaries are now always given the full John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt treatment. Downtown Oklahoma City boasts streets named for E. K. Gaylord, Robert S. Kerr and Dean A. McGee; just east in Bricktown is Mickey Mantle Drive (which, nicely enough, runs past the ballpark). All of these people, even Mantle, contributed substantially to the modest greatness that is OKC, but with their full names in white on green on every street corner, it seems to me that their contributions might appear to outshine those of, say, Paul Braniff, Anton Classen, Charles Colcord, William Couch, Robert A. Hefner, G. A. Nichols, or John Shartel, all of whom played major roles in the city's first century and all of whom are remembered on street signs — without their first names.

Callers who fake the Caller ID display. This is a hanging offense, pure and simple.

Print ads that contain an email address, but no Web address. Yeah, like I'm going to email a store to ask them what they have in the way of [fill in name of item]. This might be useful for some of the professions — lawyers, maybe — but for most commerce it's an indication of unclearness on the concept.

I could go on, and eventually I will, when I need a topic some week and all I have is something like this.

The Vent

  1 April 2005

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 Copyright © 2005 by Charles G. Hill