Ever wonder why a group of four people walk down a sidewalk side-by-side, taking up the whole thing even though they clearly see you walking towards them? Or for you skiers and snowboarders out there, don’t you shake your head in frustration at least once a ski session because people don’t seem to know the basic rules of merging two chair lift lines? Why are you taking the time looking out for others on the sidewalks and waiting your turn in line if no one else is?
Unfortunately I don’t have the answers to any of these questions in this blog post. I merely have a couple more examples of this self-absorbed, inconsiderate behavior that makes my blood boil.
Call it a return of the ShitList if you want.
Considering I had to experience each of these frustrating situations last weekend, let’s just go in chronological order.
Bitch Sesh #1: Long Lines at Fast Food Restaurant That Are Entirely The Restaurant’s Fault
I can never be an objective observer when it comes to waiting in lines. That’s when I’m at the height of my impatience. Whether it’s waiting in traffic or an airport security line, nobody constantly re-evaluates which line to be in as much as I do. So you can imagine my horror when I walked into fast food joints on consecutive weekends and was faced with 30-minute waits. This past weekend’s nightmare was at Noah’s Bagels. I popped in there at 10AM to grab two toasted bagels topped with cream cheese and cucumbers. But after waiting to order in a line that was 15 people deep, I started to hear other customers asking for refunds. Some of them had ordered, then went to the grocery store to do a full week’s worth of groceries, and when they came back their bagels still weren’t ready. After most of the place had revolted, I decided to change my order to two untoasted bagels and a container of cream cheese to go. Veteran move that saved me at least 20 minutes. But I owe it all to a worse experience I had a week earlier at McDonald’s. Coming back to LA from a weekend in Mammoth, the dining options are particularly limited as you commute across the desert. So I wasn’t surprised when I popped into Mickey D’s in Mojave and the place was littered with people. But this is nothing new, right? The whole point of McDonald’s and its fast food cohorts is to mass produce unhealthy food and get customers out the door as quickly as possible. Obviously you know I’m about to tell you that I had a long wait on this particular day. It’s true. I waited more than 30 minutes for a simple #9 (Chicken McNugget Meal).
My gripe with Noah’s and McDonald’s has nothing to do with the amount of people or slowness of the service. It has everything to do with the expansion of these restaurants’ menus. Call me crazy, but I’ve never thought implementing a “Cheesecake Factory” type of menu for a fast food place made much sense. McDonald’s was built on burgers, fries and speedy service. When I walk into Noah’s, I’m looking for an average bagel toasted with some simple toppings. But do you know how many items are on the full McDonald’s Menu? 156.
While I was waiting for my McNuggets and fries, people were ordering “the Premium Southwest Salad but with blue cheese instead of Ranch.” And “the Fruits & Walnuts but with no apple slices and instead sub in extra grapes.” My first thought? “Where the fuck am I?”
My second thought? “I wonder if my order would be coming out a little quicker if the employees weren’t fielding requests to ‘cook my fries a little longer’ and ‘add whipped cream to my McCafe Mocha.'”
I think you get my point. If I’m going to McDonald’s or Noah’s, I want a fast solution to my hunger with a burger or bagel, respectively. Now that these restaurants are trying to cater to every dietary need and preference, where am I supposed to get unhealthy food in a hurry?
Fast food restaurants turning into specialty food stores might be one of the biggest tragedies of the 21st century to a person like me who can’t stand waiting in lines.
Bitch Sesh #2: Parking Garage Jerks Who Fixate On The Spot That Isn’t Open Yet
So on Saturday morning after the Noah’s near-catastrophe, we drive over to Santa Monica to go for a bike ride. Just a block away from the Santa Monica Pier there are several parking garages with state-of-the-art electronics to help cars flow smoothly in and out. You’ve probably all seen it before. As you enter the parking garage, you see a sign like this:
Let’s say you drive by a sign like that and it says Level 2 has 6 spots available, but Level 3 has 188 spots available. As you drive through Level 2, you see a person walking to his car. You also notice there’s a line of 17 cars behind you waiting to park. Do you stop in your tracks and wait for the guy to get in his car, back out and drive away? Or do you continue up one more level and easily park in one of the many available spaces?
If you’re the asshole who waits for that one spot on Level 2 while there are literally hundreds of free spots just 50 feet away, I am going to abuse you with my horn, my middle finger and all of the creative cursing I can muster up. It’s beyond indecent to be this selfish. If my own mother pulled this kind of move and I witnessed it, I’d key her car. That’s how douchey it is.
Bitch Sesh #3: I Guess I Don’t Understand The Meaning Of “Bikes Only”
I used to think bikers were a bunch of whiney babies, always complaining about cars not sharing the road properly and what not. I guess it’s because I didn’t grow up in a big city. I could ride my bike wherever I wanted as a kid and not have to worry about sharing a narrow road with cars, walkers or other pedestrians.
But now that I’m a biker I understand it all (in this case, “biker” means “rented a bike twice in the last seven months”).
The good people in charge of the Santa Monica and Venice boardwalk and beach area have set up a nice system where there is a “bikes only” lane that is completely separate from a path for all other pedestrians. This is exactly what it looks like on the Santa Monica end:
A nice, paved pathway for the bikers, and a separate paved area for everyone else. So how come on Saturday I was constantly maneuvering around walkers, rollerbladers, moms and dads pushing strollers, skateboarders and stupid Segway people? Is it because I rode a bike on the walking path instead of the bike path? No. Obviously I’m not an inconsiderate bastard. Is it because the majority of mankind can’t be bothered to read a sign and follow the rules?
It’s hard enough trying to avoid the piles of sand that are blown onto the bike path, not to mention the bikers coming the other way. I’m trying to get my sweat on with a morning pedal. How the hell am I supposed to do that when the path turns into a minefield of jerks?
Maybe I need a better understanding of “bikes only.” I thought that phrase meant “People on bikes are the only thing allowed on this path. Everything else is prohibited.” If I’m wrong, and “bikes only” means “bikes, skateboards, rollerblades and Segways allowed,” just put that on the sign so I know never to come back here.
Bitch Sesh #4: Our Dogs Are Friends. You Could At Least Say Hello.
This last one doesn’t upset me as much as it makes me laugh at the unfriendliness of people. We take our dog on a lot of hikes where she’s off leash the majority of the time. Since she’s only nine months old, it’s pretty much a guarantee that she’s going to approach every dog she passes and say hi. Sometimes when she senses the other dog is also young, she’ll try to engage in a play session with it. What’s strange is that at least 35% of the time when we go to say hi to that dog’s owner or ask him a question about his dog (something super intrusive like “How old is she?”), he remains completely silent and walks past us like we’re ghosts. It’s the strangest damn thing. Your dog is sniffing my dog’s ass. You’re not going anywhere fast. Would it kill you to give a polite “hello” or even an acknowledging nod? I thought we were linked by the bond of dog ownership.
It’s especially awesome when you don’t tell us that your 13-year-old dog isn’t a big fan of puppies and then proceed to get upset when Molly starts chewing on your dog’s neck fat. I know, I know…we should have magically guessed that you didn’t want our dog touching your dog.
All these examples tie back to the fact that we live amongst a bunch of indecent, inconsiderate, self-absorbed A-holes. They’re not going away anytime soon so I suggest you deal with it like I do. Just out A-hole them. Be a bigger prick to them than they are to you.
8 thoughts on “A Weekend Full of Complaints: Parking Garages, Dog Owners, Fast Food…And My Sympathy Goes Out To Bikers”
All pales in comparison to back pack T riders. Great blog though.
What about the fact that as a kid you had to worry about sharing the road with a giant bush and a weeping willow?
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