Tough Questions: What Are Your Pet Peeves?


Every week we ask everyone who hangs out around here to answer a tough question. This week:

What are your pet peeves?


Alex Russell

People… who talk online… like this… I want Twitter to have a function that deletes your tweet if it ends in an ellipsis. You see it all day. People don’t understand what it means and they just trail off all of their little missives into the world. Caring about Twitter punctuation might be the most curmudgeonly way to answer this question, but it always reads to me like someone’s doing the textual version of “Not to be an asshole, but…” You’re still being an asshole.

Brent Hopkins

My biggest pet peeve is people eating with their mouths open. I live in a country and region of the world where it is common and widely accepted and it grates my nerves to no end. It is so irritating to me that it might be a relationship-breaker for me. It tends to be the only thing I can focus on during meals and it just kills me.

Andrew Findlay

As I get older, the pool of things that annoy me shrinks. I feel this is an evolutionary adaptation, because if a sixty-year-old’s heart had to put up with the level of indignation experienced by your average teenager, the AARP would not exist. One pet peeve that has not fallen by the wayside deals with word usage. My fascination with reading stems mostly from an obsession with words, how they are put together, and what they can do. The more you know, the less you should use, like a kung fu movie hero who only fights when absolutely necessary. It’s always the people he beats the crap out of at the end that are the flashiest at the beginning, and their flashiness is the result of insecurity. An incisive, well-placed common word is a lot more effective than a bloated, ludicrous, damned-near archaic word. My pet peeve is when people use ungainly, gigantic words just to show they know them. There are many tiers to this offense, ranging from misdemeanor to outright felony. If you study reptiles for a living and someone asks you what you do, it’s okay to say “herpetologist,” because that’s what you are, and saying “I’m a snake herder” sounds a bit strange. If you use “pulchritudinous” instead of beautiful and “tintinnabulation” instead of ringing, you should be fined because you like hideous words and you don’t care if other people have a clue what you’re saying. If you use “hermeneutics” while discussing a TV show at a bar, you are a monster. If you use “hermeneutics” incorrectly while discussing a TV show at a bar, you are a dumb monster.

Gardner Mounce

The words quite, indeed, perhaps, and rather. They’re foppish.

Jonathan May

I have too many of these to quantify, but what follows are the major offenses. I hate improper texting. I hate when people don’t walk on the correct side of a sidewalk or staircase. I hate when my students don’t print off their papers or staple them. I hate when people complain about something at a restaurant to the staff, yet don’t want any action taken. I hate when people aren’t on time for lunch dates. I hate having to repeat myself. I hate when people try to moralize at me on Facebook or Instagram; I don’t give a shit. I hate when people use “LOL” as a passive-aggressive way of disagreeing. I hate when people say they don’t vote because it feeds into the system; grow up and vote, or go change the world, hippie. Also, I hate coffee shop people in general, but that’s just because I worked at coffee shops for ten years.

Tough Questions: Which of Your Last Twenty Status Updates Would You Want to Be Your Last One Ever?


Every Monday we ask everyone who hangs out around here to answer a tough question. This week?

Which of Your Last Twenty Status Updates Would You Want to Be Your Last One Ever?

Rules are simple: take one of your last twenty Facebook or Twitter updates and have that be your last one, forever. If someone looked you up on the Google, they’d find your social media. What would you want them to find that represents you FOREVER?

Scott Phillips

My Facebook statuses usually alternate between being appreciative or silly — and sometimes salty — observational humor. Since I don’t want to go out looking like a chump for thanking Luol Deng or my Facebook “friends” for a great 2013, I’ll go with my Facebook status about the worst NFL player of the year: Chicago Bears starting safety Chris Conte.

In case you don’t know who Conte is, he’s made blunder-after-blunder throughout the 2013 season, missing tackles, being out of place in coverage and generally getting burned by faster receivers on a regular basis.

Don’t know what any of that football jargon means? That’s okay. You do know what a tackle is, right?

So, when Conte made a crucial blunder against the hated rival Green Bay Packers that pretty much cost the Bears the game, and the season, in their final home loss — among many other blunders, but it was the pinnacle moment of a particularly pathetic season for Conte — Chicagoans naturally took to social media to ridicule Conte.

He received death threats. Seriously.

I hate Chris Conte, but it’s a sports hate. I’d never say anything bad to his face because I’ve certainly fucked up a job before and never wanted anyone giving me shit about it, let alone death threats.

So, I made a Facebook status at 7:45 p.m. on December 29th that doubled as a Conte joke:

“Chris Conte probably misses when he attempts to give hugs to family members.”

It’s non-offensive, topical, shows my hatred of Chris Conte in a subtle way and I think that most people can generally understand the gist of the joke.

Plus, did I mention how much I hate Chris Conte?

Mike Hannemann

This is easy because I use Facebook solely as a joke machine (with the occasional spot of sentiment if something so important the moment truly warrants it).  I was especially pleased with “Ah, TBOX. The one special day a year that people of all faiths and denominations set aside their differences and gather together to agree that people are just the worst.” because, well, I’m vain and laugh at my own jokes.  It’s funny and mean spirited just to the point of not offending any one particular person. Which I think that is the closest representation to the type of humor I try to bring to my very important social media platform.

Alex Marino

“The Subway-Hunger Games commercial is our advertising Icarus moment.” Remember the days when a fast food movie sponsorship just meant you got a shitty collector’s cup or some toy in the kid’s meal that your child can choke on?  Now everyone tries to make some awful pun or compare a product to the themes of the movie.  In the NBA they promote some action movie by showing an explosion from the movie and then a dunk from LeBron James because they’re just so explosive (kill me).  So when the marketing execs at Subway sat down and tried to come up with how their brand related to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire they realized the word “Fire” was in the movie’s title and also they had a spicy sandwich.  It’s the laziest marketing I’ve ever seen.  And let’s not overlook the irony of a fast food company sponsoring a movie where one of the main plot points is that the people of Jennifer Lawrence’s district are STARVING.  Go to hell Subway.

Alex Russell


I don’t know why I use Foursquare. I have no idea why I care about this thing. I checked in at a fucking grocery store today. I think there’s no better way for someone to get a sense of what I’m all about than to see just how stupid my whole world really is. Most of the rest of it is all jokes, but you better believe I went to that Trader Joe’s. You don’t even have to ask me. You’ll just fuckin’ KNOW.

Andrew Findlay

“Faulkner used the word “dingdong” in his Nobel speech. #fuckyes #thesouth #whuskey”

I guess I’d want this to be my last tweet because it would serve as a good epitaph. I was born and raised in Memphis, but I don’t live there anymore. Coming off of the Christmas family visit back home, I am suffering through a heavy nostalgia attack (listening to B.B. King as I write this). I claim Faulkner as part of my home city’s cultural heritage. People in Oxford probably have a better claim, but I’d like to remind them that Faulkner once said that Mississippi begins in the lobby of a Memphis, Tennessee hotel, and that many of his novels, most notably The Reivers, feature Memphis as a central setting. I also love the rumors that he gave his Nobel speech while blind drunk. Finally, I love whiskey, any and all types. I draw the line just this side of Kentucky Gentleman, but respect those who go beyond it. Besides, this tweet makes me look a hell of a lot classier than the ones about my wife preventing me from eating a Cinnabon or me puncturing my foot by stepping on an earring.

Brent Hopkins

Looking over my social media history I think I would have to pick my Facebook post from New Year’s Eve / New Year’s Day. (“Got to watch the first sunrise of the year about as far east as I will ever be.”) I live in South Korea, so when the New Year rolls around it is pretty common for people to pack up and travel to the eastern coast to see the first sunrise of the year (romantic, I know). I tend to have a mediocre time on New Year’s and I really do think it is a bit overrated in terms of importance but I had a terrible 2013 so I thought this would be a nice “reset” of sorts emotionally. I went there and pretty much froze to death because it is the middle of the winter on the coast. I happened to go with my ex-girlfriend whom I am still quite close with because we are both gluttons for emotional punishment and we took pictures and posted them on Facebook. The aftermath of this trip was a nice lady I had been dating (not my ex) seeing this post on Facebook and angrily calling me stating how much she hates me and how I wasn’t honest with her (untrue as I told her about my the trip and my ex) and how bad a guy I am. I usually am a bit of a fighter for women but I just agreed with her and said have a nice life. Looking back on that it really sums up my love life and just general living. Good intentions with explosive and somewhat comical results. I wouldn’t mind leaving that as a warning beacon to all women that search for me.