Thursday, February 28, 2008

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, part 3

Situation 1

I read about someone who said a relative was telling them about things they didn't do correctly. First was peeling hard-boiled eggs - she was told she was supposed to roll them around first. OK, I've heard about that - supposedly, if you roll the hard-boiled egg around first, it cracks the shell some and makes it easier to peel. I don't do that myself. To me, it actually helps to have the shell intact because I find that bigger chunks come off at a time. I usually tap one end or the other to get some part of it to break and then go from there. Sure, rolling is a good suggestion, but I can't see how you're doing it "wrong" if you don't do that. It doesn't change the peeled egg one way or the other, and while I might, *might*, offer the suggestion to someone, I would never tell them they were doing it wrong if they weren't already doing that or decided not to try doing that.

The second thing she didn't do correctly was butter toast - she was told that she buttered the wrong side of the toast. Supposedly, you're supposed to look at both sides of the toast and butter the darker side. This one had me baffled. First of all, unless you're like the person Sting sings about who likes toast done on one side, if one side of your toast is significantly darker than the other, then there's something wrong with your toaster. Second, even if you had a less-than-perfect toaster that toasted the two sides differently, I can't imagine examining a piece of toast to figure out which side is darker. I haven't made toast at home in years, and on the occasions when I've had toast in a restaurant, I have never thought to notice the color difference between the side they butter and the side they don't. The husband at least came up with an explanation that almost makes sense to me - he said that the darker side would be more bitter, so buttering that side would cut down on the bitterness. Ummm, ok, but if it's too dark to the point of being too bitter, then don't toast it as much. Same with having to scrape toast - if your toast needs to have bits of it scraped off, I think that means you've overdone your toast. I can't imagine ever telling someone they buttered the wrong side of the toast, and I can't even fathom what I would say to someone who told me that.

In both of those instances, it was something that affected only the person doing it, whether peeling an egg or buttering toast. If you were doing it for someone else, I could *almost* see it mattering when it came to buttering toast, though I would think someone is seriously too high-maintenance if they complained about which side of toast I buttered for them. I would also think that if I was serving toast, they'd be buttering it themselves. So since it would only be about the person consuming the edible, I can't imagine someone else telling them they're preparing their food or eating their food wrong. I don't happen to prefer ketchup in my hot dog, but if someone else wants to eat it that way, it doesn't really matter to me.

The husband and I disagree about how to peel a banana. He peels from the end that used to be attached to the tree, so that you can more easily break open the banana by just pulling down without needing a knife or something else to open the banana skin with. I prefer to peel the banana from the flowering side, so that I have the stem to hold onto the rest of the banana while I eat it. I break it open either by tearing it with my fingers, with a knife or just biting the tip off. I'm not germaphobic enough to care - I prefer having the handle. But it's not like either one of us is going to go around wagging our fingers at each other or other people because they're peeling their banana "wrong". If I'm peeling a banana that's being served to anyone other than me, then I won't bite off the end and will instead use a knife, but I'll still cut off the flower end so I have the handle.

Situation 2

We have a radio in the master bathroom, and I usually turn it on to KROQ, 106.7 in the morning. Before I get in the shower, the sound is coming in crystal clear on KROQ. In the time it takes me to take a shower and wash my hair, though, what I hear slowly migrates from completely good reception of KROQ to static to completely good reception of a Spanish-language station. During this time, it's not like anyone is around to do anything to the radio, and even the cat isn't in the bathroom messing around or laying on the rug or looking out the window, all of which *could* have some affect on the reception, though it still wouldn't account for the total change. And it's not like it's just staying on the same channel but the show changed because one show ended and another started. It's moving from one radio station to a completely different radio station when nothing is being done with the dial. I usually spend the end of my shower and the towelling-off time listening to the Spanish station because I don't want to reach out and try to adjust the dial while I'm dripping wet. This didn't happen back when I was still listening to KLOS - it only seems to happen with KROQ.

Situation 3

I get that people are busy, but can you really not take an extra couple of seconds to show the slightest bit of courtesy to someone else? I encounter this problem at work, at malls and at pretty much any kind of parking situation you can think of. I get it if the space is really tiny (there are a lot of places that still have a lot of compact spaces even though lots of people have seriously un-compact cars), and you're driving a big enough car that you can't really fit comfortably in the space without parking a mile away. But if it's a regular size space, and you have a regular size car, or it's even a compact space and you're driving a compact or even a sub-compact, do you really have to park so stupid and across the line of your space that someone can't park next to you? When there are a billion spaces, it doesn't bother me as much because it's not really inconveniencing me, though I still think the person is being stupid and selfish. But when it's in a parking structure or parking lot that's fairly crowded or especially at a mall during holiday time or some other situation when parking is at a premium, do people think they're that important that they're entitled to take up two spaces just because they're stupid and lazy? And it's not just a matter of, oh, if they'd parked correctly, I would be able to park in that space. Chances are, if they didn't park like an asshole, someone else would have parked in the space next to them and the space wouldn't have been open for me anyway, but at least SOMEONE would have been able to park there.

There was one day at work where with several cars in a row, EVERY OTHER CAR WAS PARKED SO THAT IT INTRUDED SIGNIFICANTLY ON THE SPACE NEXT TO IT, so whereas eight cars should have been able to park there, only four cars were parked there. If you're near a hospital or something else where it's an emergency or something, I'll cut you some slack for parking like an idiot, though someone else might be having an emergency as well and therefore can't park in the space you've now made unusable. But in an office complex or mall or outside a restaurant, you can't bother to take two seconds to park your car within your own space or, failing that, taking an extra 20 seconds to straighten out your car so it's not parked stupid?

Same goes for street parking. I get that you want to leave some space so you and the cars in front of and behind you can get out, but you don't really need to leave several feet between you and the other cars. I drove along one street once where each car had left about 3/4 of a car length between them and the next car, so whereas the street should have been able to park maybe 8 cars, only four cars were parked there. And I get that you don't want to block someone's driveway, but that doesn't mean you need to leave several feet of clearance at the end. Right outside our house is a space where you can park two normal-sized cars. But sometimes, people feel the need to park their normal-sized car in the middle of the space, now making it impossible to park two cars there. OK, getting out isn't an issue since two driveways bookend the two sides of the space, and there's plenty of room to park two cars without infringing on either driveway, so then you're just being an asshole by parking that way.


Anonymous said...

1. You'd be surprised how many videos there are on YouTube about how to open a banana. Like this one.

2. My clock radio does something similar, only it's set on 89.3. Sometimes the reception will drift in and out but it never quite makes it do a different station.

3. Here's a site you might like: They have notices you can print out to leave on an offending car's windshield and a gallery of some truly WTF? parking.

Sherry said...

1. You know, I'm totally going to be watching you the next time I notice you peeling a banana or a hard-boiled egg.

2. My shower radio makes me crazy, too. I have a new one that I need to install, but it also has a CD player, so if the radio starts acting up, I can use that instead.

3. Sometimes people don't want other people to ding their car. One of my friends has a brand-new car and her husband TOLD her to park in 2 spaces when she can, since she was so worried about it. When I saw her doing this, I called her "One of THOSE people." Yes, to her face. But the structure wasn't crowded at all, and it really wasn't going to get many more people, so I guess that's OK. Maybe she should have been made to pay for 2 parking spaces, though.

Cindy said...


1. OK, I was literally laughing out loud so hard that the husband came over to see what I was laughing at. Very simple, but great. I loved the finger wagging. When I first read your note, I was frightened that there were that many videos on banana-peeling on youtube. After watching a few of them, I'm now just highly amused. And after watching one particular video, I now know that I'm a monkey when it comes to banana-peeling.

3. Oh my goodness, I *love* that website! How did you find out about it? I'm also amused that someone else was so pissed off that they started the website, and other people are so pissed off that they send in pictures. Now I think I have to carry a camera around with me everywhere. I love picture number 17 of 147 of asshole parking extravaganza, especially the little "explanation". And on the "recent parking images", picture 12 of 12 took up 4 frickin' spaces with one car. Truly amazing. I could spend all night looking at all those pictures. I like the infraction slip. I was thinking recently that I had to go find my supply. I used to have these things called "parking tickets" which were basically the same sort of thing. I've also been known to be pissed off enough to simple write a hand-written note for someone. Shocker, huh?


1. Margarita party!!!!! ;)

3. Yeah, I get that it's one of the reasons that people do it. But then I figure, ok, so take up two spaces really far away, not two primo spaces. And even then, even if you are worried about your car, and it sucks when you get your first ding, are you still really important enough to be taking two spaces? Please. Heck, they used to make car bras (do they still?) so people could protect the front of their cars. Maybe they should make full-body bras. And while I would never actually harm a car, I've known about people who would be pissed off enough about someone parking stupid that they'd key the car.

Anonymous said...

3. A semi-regular feature over at is Parking Tard of the Day/Week. The added benefit being all of the offenders are local to the LA area. In every 5 to 10 of these posts, some comments with a link to

Cindy said...

OK, I was looking for something else on Amazon, and this book popped up on a list. And if you go to related links, you'll find this book and this book as well. Who knew there were so many books about bananas?