Doncha Hate It When…


Do you ever feel as if you’re under attack – not terrorism, not nuclear war, not the killer tomatoes – indeed, for those deadly threats you might be able to muster some heroism. No, the things that drive me completely bonkers are less significant than ant’s eyelash. (Don’t bother googling whether ants have eyelashes, I just made it up). Point is, they’re really trivial but they have the capacity to ruin your day, your week and if left unexploded, your whole life!  So don’t leave them to fester. Unload them, share them and watch them shrink back to the silly little things they always were. Here are a few of my favourite doncha-hate-its:

  • You’re in the shower, water’s just right temp to wash your hair so you reach for one of those identical plastic bottles. One is shampoo and the other is conditioner, but WHICH IS WHICH? Try reading the miniscule lettering without your glasses! And even if your glasses are nearby, good luck reading through the steamed up lenses. Why can’t they just put a great big C on one, and S on the other? Because advertisers and package designers are young, sharp-sighted, selfish gits!
  •  While I‘m on packaging, has anyone else considered sending death threats to the designers of milk cartons that won’t pop neatly, but rip and spill all over the floor, and render themselves useless way before their use-by?
  • And what about the sealed cheese with the infinitesimal corner that’s supposed to part and pull the rest of the packet open? They require the eyesight of a goshawk, the nails of Cruella Deville, and the finger-strength of Edward Scissorhands!  

So what is it with all this packaging? (I won’t even start on the number of pins required to keep men’s shirts looking folded or trying to get a tiny USB out of its massive hard plastic prison). Let’s stick with food. It’s meant to be some kind of health and safety measure that protects us from the horrors of bacteria, but what about the horrors of a bin so full of plastic crap, there’s no room for anything else? Then it gets taken by a carbon-spewing truck to join a mountain of landfill that gives off more gas than Great Uncle Freddie after an extra helping of cabbage. And don’t get me started on the plastic island floating somewhere off, the Marshall Islands, or the wildlife strangled by plastic wrapping, or suffocated by ingesting plastic bags.


And what’s so bad about a few germs? Loads of research tells us we are compromising our immune systems by not allowing ourselves, and our kids the opportunity to develop resistance to bacteria that might lurk – heaven forefend – on an apple in an orchard, or a carrot in a veggie garden.

Welcome to my new interactive segment where you’re invited to let rip at all the ridiculous stupid things that get between you and a moment of peace. We’re not talking the big issues here, just the little bloody annoying things that – on a bad day, can send even the sanest of us over the edge.

Here’s another one:

  • Why on earth does Woolies  (or your supermarket of choice) periodically see fit to rearrange all the shelves? What marketing guru has told them that the bin bags have no chance of being noticed if they are hiding near the cling wrap, the freezer bags and all the other plastic stuff we use to wrap things in? Putting the bin bags near the washing powder flies in the face of all logical thought since Aristotle.

The thing about supermarket loyalty is not what they think. It’s not the latest advertising slogan mouthed by the chirpy assistant on the posters or the ads, it’s not even the specials – who has time to read all those? And by the time you do, they’re probably out of date. It’s not the reward points, or the petrol vouchers – well, actually it is a bit, but they all offer those. No, the main reason you keep going back to the same supermarket is so that you can walk around blind-fold and do your weekly shop.

Let’s face it shopping is not that interesting. Bad enough that we have to trawl round putting things in a trolley (it goes without saying that I always get the one with the wobbly wheel) then removing them (one at a time) from the trolley on to the check-out belt, then put them into bags (that’s in the UK – in Australia the checkout chaps and chicks are more evolved – they can ring up a purchase, and place it in a bag in one seamless movement!) Then wheel the trolley to the car, then unpack all the bags into the car, or lug the bags on to the bus, then drive/ride/walk home, then carry all the bags to the kitchen bench, then put all the items back on shelves – pantry or fridge – then sit down, and have a cuppa, then take the stuff off the shelves and start to chop and peel and stir them into something that will take an average family ten minutes to demolish (and another ten minutes complaining about it). So who wants to prolong the agony by searching for the tinned tomatoes that are NO LONGER NEXT TO THE OTHER TINNED VEGETABLES! but now have pride of place next to the pasta in the newly dubbed Italian Quarter.

OK there is a nice kind of linger-among-the-interesting-cheeses-and-exotic-aromas-of-the-market type shopping, but on a daily basis that’s not always possible, and given the offer of an extra half hour most of us would prefer to linger on the back deck having a glass of wine and reading a book than spend it trying to find an elusive shop assistant who can tell us where they put the mustard, or looking for someone tall because of my final doncha-hate-it for today:

  • Why doesn’t everyone who’s tall enough to reach the top shelf, just move the other packets or jars forward when those items are near the back of the shelf, and thus out of reach for the average short-arse like myself? I think you tallies owe it to us shorties, as payback for all that ducking our heads from side to side trying to catch a glimpse of the screen or the stage after you’ve sat in front of us.

Ah, that feels better! Why don’t you unload your own doncha-hate-its onto this post, it’s this week’s special offer- free therapy!


Erratum: Since extensively researching the topic of shampoo and conditioner I’ve discovered that in many cases one of them has the lid at the top and the other has the lid at the bottom…der! Now I just have to remember which was which.


PS Who knew there’s a Facebook page called: I hate it when a really tall person sits in front of you at the movie theater? It’s got 1,742 likes, so clearly 1,742 people knew!



5 thoughts on “Doncha Hate It When…

  1. Don’t get me started… This was an essay I wrote for students at Tollbar to get them fired up to write a reply:

    Don’t get me started on teenagers…
    The word teenager came into the English language in the twentieth century, probably after World War 11. Before then, there was nothing special about people from the ages of 13 to 19. They were just regarded as children, who in those days were seen but not heard. How much has changed since then? Today, teenagers are a force to be reckoned with. Don’t get me started on teenagers.
    Teenagers are lazy. You have to wake them up in the morning, not once but several times. They are often late for school or work, and then who has to drive them. Poor long suffering Mum. When they get home from school, they don’t want to communicate.
    ‘How was your day, Johnny?’ Mum asks brightly, glad to see her son home safely.
    ‘Grunt,’ responds little Johnny. He heads for the fridge and then into his room.
    Knock. Knock. Mother at the door. Little Johnny grunts a sort of ‘Come in’ noise, but doesn’t look up from the X box as Mum brings in a clean school uniform and a new pencil case.
    ‘Any home work?’ Mum asks.
    ‘Nah,’ Johnny responds.
    Mum shuts the door quietly as Johnny disappears into ‘Call of Duty’ or somewhere similar. She can hear the sounds of battle from the kitchen. At least Johnny can’t get into any trouble in his room. At least he is protected from the outside world, even if the world of games seems violent and addictive.
    Don’t get me started on teenagers and electronic games. It’s a wonder that they know the difference between cyber space and the real world. They certainly spend most of their time in the cyber world. That’s when they’re not sleeping in, or texting their friends on their blackberries.
    Johnny comes out of his room to eat his dinner with his parents while watching ‘East Enders’ or something similar. He and Dad swap a few comments about the football and then he stacks the dishwasher. Or, when he’s asked to stack the dishwasher, he suddenly remembers his ICT assignment that’s due tomorrow.
    ‘I thought you said you didn’t have any homework tonight,’ Mum says.
    ‘Forgot,’ Johnny says, heading for his computer. When Mum brings him a hot chocolate half an hour later, Johnny’s on Face book. ‘Just takin’ a break,’ he tells his Mum and gives her a winning smile as she sets the hot milk down beside him. She melts like the marshmallow she’s slipped into his drink. He’s a good boy really, and no trouble. And he has 824 friends on face book.
    What he really is, is lazy and selfish. No, don’t get me started on teenagers, who live in their own world. Don’t get me started on teenage binge drinking, teenage gangs, bullying in schools, truancy. Don’t get me started on teenagers’ music, their iPods, the way they can text other teens, but not talk to adults, especially not their parents.
    Don’t get me started on their clothes, their hairstyles, their habits. Because after all, who’s to blame for teenagers and the way they are? Adults of course. Adults in government, adults in the media, parents, and teachers all must take some responsibility for the way teenagers have evolved. Teenagers don’t manufacture alcohol, drugs, games, fast food or even clothes. Don’t get me started… I wouldn’t know where to start and I could go on forever.

    • It was just designed to wind up those Tollbar teens. David is off to the wilds of Canada without his appendix, but a lot of other baggage – fishing rods and the like. Keep those blogs coming. Darelle.x.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s