Beth Mann's Blog

Beth's Urban Tales of Wonder and Decay

Beth Mann

Beth Mann
Long Beach Island, New Jersey, USA
November 11
Hot Buttered Media
I'm a writer and creative consultant. I have years of experimental comedy and strange theater under my belt. I surf. I cook. I love wine, men and song. And puppies. I effin' love puppies.

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 10, 2009 11:22AM

It All Went Downhill When...

Rate: 145 Flag

1. We Stopped Bagging our Own Groceries   

It may have been different where you came from, but where I grew up, we worked with the cashier. It was our food after all and besides, it saved time for you, the cashier and the poor sap behind you. Now people mindlessly stand there, plastic in hand, wishing she’d move a little faster.

Societal Implication? We’ve become spoiled, apathetic babies who will soon expect the cashier to cook our food and spoon-feed it to us.

2. Men Started Shaving their Chests   

What’s with the need to be totally hairless? I for one find chest hair on a man to be a sexy thing. Then again women have been aiming for baby-like hairlessness for quite a while so why shouldn't men experience the joy of a good hot waxing?

Societal Implication?  We’re desperately trying to escape the fact that we are, in essence, hairy beasts. Or we’re trying to become babies again. Our constant pursuit of youth affects men as well as women. Even babies are feeling ancient.

3. Vehicles Began Making Too Many Sounds

I won’t even get into the needless noise pollution created by useless car alarms or the cacophony chirps constantly going off as people try to figure out how to activate them. I’m trying to figure out when it became mandatory that all trucks go “beep beep beep” when in reverse. Why didn't we get to vote on that? Were the blind people and children getting plowed down left and right before this new form of audio torture?

Societal Implication? Over-regulation rules and no one know how to use a rear-view mirror.


4. Libraries Turned Noisy

Our library in the summer makes a Chuck E. Cheese on a Saturday seem tame. What’s next? Keggers in the church? Orgies in the classroom? Is no space sacred? Libraries used to be a sanctuary – a place for the mind to settle and focus. Now children run in maniacal circles while their parents talk loudly on their cell phone (on the other side of the library. Shhh...they don't want to be disturbed!)   

Societal Implication? We’ve have no sanctity of space. The need to spill over has become so widespread

...oh and many of our kids have become undisciplined monsters.


5. Antibacterial Products became Commonplace 

Clean apparently wasn’t clean enough for the anal-retentive homemaker. Germs are everywhere and this is war! If she could scour her hands with bleach, she would.  These industrial strength germaphobe products will protect her from all the dirty, invisible things out to get her.

Societal Implication? We're control freaks and spend too much time indoors. And women need to be fucked better overall.


6.  Our Workdays Went from 9 - 5 to 8 – 6

It's a little Big Brother that our 9 – 5 slowly morphed into an 8 – 6. As if we wouldn’t notice! But we didn't, really.

Societal Meaning? We're still a slave to the man.


7.  Those Stupid Blow-up Christmas Things on Lawns

Come on. They’re not cute. They’re not quaint. They’re stupid and tasteless. I don’t even think kids like them.

Societal Meaning? We are inundated with such generic nonsense that we’ve lost any sense of aesthetics or taste.


Ho, ho ho, I'm a tasteless eyesore!


8. People Stopped using their Turn Signals

What, are they too good for you? Well, then don’t trouble those tired little fingers of yours. I’ll use my telepathic skills instead. 

Societal Meaning? Turn signals indicate a sense of consideration and concern for the other's safety which we've long since but a brake on. 


9. Parents Talked on Cellphones while Pushing a Baby Stroller

The child must feel a subconsciously disconnect when this happens. Even if you don't believe that, one thing is for certain: it's not quality parent/child time.

Societal Meaning? Our cell phones have a life of their own at this point. They're stuck between our legs, plastered to our face and checked maniacally. Our need for connectivity has made us extremely disconnected. And sure, kids feel that.


10. People Used Giant Plastic Wheelbarrows for a Day Trip to the Beach

Every summer I watch men and women break their backs lugging these massive plastic wheelbarrows packed to the gills. Can anybody pack light anymore? Do you really need the effin' kitchen sink with you, bloated American family?

Societal Implication? Dependency on stuff to a gross proportion. We all need dumped in a jungle with a compass and a Swiss Army knife.


11. Food Became Too Orange

Have you seen a Cheeto lately? It’s not just orange: it’s shockingly orange. I can pig out on snack foods with the best of them but you have to wonder how you can blithely consume something that may in fact glow in your intestines.

Societal Implication? We’re all going to hell in a neon orange hand basket.


Your intestinal tract after too many Cheetos





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Beth these are great observations! The hairy chest on men...I was wondering the same thing. (Thank goodness I got mine.) And who thought up the torture of the Braziliaan...and why? Aren't we punished there enough by childbirth?

I still help bag my groceries, it just seems like common sense to me. Speaking of which where is THAT anymore?

I'll not hijack your blog comments anymore other than to say YES, I agree and Rated!
You got that right - all of it. Well, except maybe antibacterial stuff. Ohmigod, I haven't cleaned my keyboard this morning.....
"Ho, ho ho, I'm a tasteless eyesore!"

Awesome. I agree. Although I'm a bit disturbed by Burt Reynolds on a bearskin rug.
Frankly, if the church started throwing more keggers, I'd be more likely to go back.
Wonderful observations.
The Cheetos thing is great, but I wonder if a Cranky Christmas post is in our future.
Damn, if I could type sooner I'd have already written this... well, maybe not, but I've been thinking it. Yours is better anyway. Bravo!
Burping and farting have become commonplace in airports and on airplanes. SURE Societal implication? Swine flu is alive and well and there is no vaccine for this strain. Excellent.
These are all symptoms of a very sick society - we need universal healthcare!
love these observations. My answer to everything? More quality sex with a partner or friend. Body pleasure. Life's too short.
Geez, those Christmas things!! It kills me to see that stuff. On the roof, in the trees, on the lawn...everywhere something can be stuck.

This is a great post. (I prefer my chest hairy, if it's alright with you.)
Excellent observations. I think you've pin-pointed much of where it turned downhill.
I'm a hairy guy, I'm hairy high and low, but don't ask me why, 'cause I don't know. As a hairy guy I want to state that if someone wants to go Brazillian on me they've got a fight on their hands. I wouldn't ask anyone to have the hair ripped from every square centimeter of their body. OW,OW,OW! The rest of this? it all is true. I don't make the poor checker do the work for me. Turn signals are there for a reason. That lever is not just there for asthetic balance. Things make noise now because making noise used to mean that something was very complicated and expensive, now it is so cheap and easy to add digital sounds that they are everywhere. The back up beeps are actually there to warn the incredibly stupid that the giant truck is in fact moving and they should just get out of the way, not to mention that insurance companies are using that beeper to deny responsibility to people who get injured by the vehicles who are under the control of some dipsh*t who is backing up while yakking away on his cell phone or even worse, texting while operating a motor vehicle. Ad Infinitum, baby.
Like Buffy, I also still help bag my groceries. The only time I don't is when I go to a store that has baggers working alongside the cashiers. In those cases, I always make sure to give a really good tip.
The only men who have any legitimate reason to shave their chests are world-class swimmers.
count me in on the "hell in a hand basket" club. actually, it started long, long ago with those gosh-darn tv thingamajigs.
This is a great list!

But, I must take an exception to your snack photo. Those are not Cheetos. Those are "cheese puffs". Cheetos are bumpy, and sometimes are shaped like penises or Jesus.
My dear friend Mlle Hysterique believes things went south when men began wearing winter knit hats as a fashion statement - in the summer. She is attempting to divert the apocalypse by asking fashionistas, "Aren't you sweating under that winter hat???"
Oh girl. You are so right as usual. Some comments:
#1: Yes, actually I am waiting for them to cook it and spoon feed me cuz I am SICK of doing the cooking!
#2: Chest-shaving came from our friends in the gay community; they've had more influence on our cultural trends in the last 10 years than Oprah.
#3: You forgot about leaf blowers. I will kill myself over the noise of a leaf-blower someday.
#5: Anti-bacterial everything comes from our Obsessive-Compulsive friends who have had more influence on our cultural trends in the last 10 years than Oprah! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, I always say!
#6: Yes, I am a slave to the Man. And he isn't very nice.
#8: Is why I don't pack a gun in the car with me.
#9: Too sad to even comment on.
#11: I don't know. I don't think my beloved Dorito's could ever be too orange.
Beth number 4 resonates with me as I carried a pile of library books to be checked out, the Librarian wryly remarked, "You're checking out books instead of DVDs? I didn't know people still read books." Rated
Terrific observations-- yes!!!
And I second M. Chariot on the year-round winter hat accessory for men. I saw a guy wearing one at the park, yesterday. It reached 102 degrees here yesterday. What a douche.
Beth, you are teh awesome!

I love your ruminations.
hey y'all...sneaking in this quickly while working (for the mann, in this case.)

that's right....those are cheese puffs! cheetos do look more like jesus or penis, jeanette!

re: antibacterial stuff, exactly. our bodies become less resistant, resilient. its bacterial overkill.

bobbot, may no one ask you to get a brazilian. they're deadly and extremely painful. i don't know if men CAN get brazilians, can they?
and good point, re: insurance companies. sounds like that noise pollution was needlessly added to protect their asses.

monsieur, you (and your friend) are so right. those hats are terribly annoying.

and penrose, thanks for the props on the photo. I really love that photo actually.

deborah, i think you're dead-on re: gay community and chest shaving. still, i wonder why. i know when i touch a guy's chest and he shaves, that kind of stubble just feels weird. it's never smooth. nor would i want it to be. just weird.

jk, good point re: other noises. my cell phone makes a camera noise while shooting pix. necessary? absolutely not.

universal healthcare and better sex would alleviate most of these nuisances.
right on, Beth

5 and 7 are two that can really get me goin', but there's not a false note in your list, but for disgusting food colors nothing beats the "Flamin' Hot" line of Cheetos, etc, definitely suggest something that cheetah mascot puked
1. it's reverse for me, I grew up with baggers and them carrying it to your car (1970s) and now I bag my own because of a stint I did in Japan where that is the norm.
3. the backing up sound isn't really to warn someone as much as it is to say I've warned you so now you can't sue me if I hit you. You can still sue them, though.
4. the City of San Jose Library not only lets you talk in more than half the floors, but you are allowed to eat and drink in them as well. They even have their own cafe there. Way to protect books!
7-10. I hate these people.
I can't wait to read your post. (Where is the damn strike key in comments?) Beth, I am looking forward to reading your post. There that is better. I really am going to read your post. Sorry, right now I have to get back to Burt and the hairy-chest daydream.
Your observations are keenly observant. I do hate those Christmas eyesores waiving at me in August.
Yup. Only problem is, even nostalgia's not what it used to be!
Totally agree with you about the noisy libraries and the longer workdays!
the great thing about that photo of Burt Reynolds is I'm not too sure where the rug ends and he begins. :) I miss the days of furry men - love fuzzy bums :)
There you go making sense again. I will bet that you will get nothing but agreement with this post. I wonder how many of those in agreement are guilty of these societal sins? More than will admit, but how can I prove that?
Personally I think I'm in compliance with everything, but the baby stroller phone thing.
What I want to know is why a woman has to wax every damn hair off of her netherlands? Sure I can understand a fad or a playtime experiment, but how long is this trend supposed to last? I'm sick of it myself and long for the days of a well trimmed (or at times, not so) happy place to nuzzle.
It all when downhill when children from the 70's and 80's grew up and started making their favorite toys/cartoons/comic books into crappy action flicks.
This is probably the most well reasoned assessment of societal ills I have read in a long time. It also explains why I don't go near libraries. I have ALWAYS bagged my groceries (it's an anal/organizational thing for me). The decline of humanity all went downhill when...oh never mind. Don't get me started. Excellent work here, Beth.
Um, as a hairy guy I'll just say there are certain parts that get shaved and then there is THE REST. And that's the way it's gonna stay, unless I happen to require surgery in which case I understand they SHAVE YOUR ENTIRE BODY. I don't know why. I was never thrilled with the idea of a male nurse shaving me down, which is probably how I've avoided surgery so far. :-D

Good rant, Beth. BTW, I not only bag my own groceries I INSIST on bagging. Otherwise I tend to wind up with six cans of soup in a bag with my eggs. For some reason, no one is interested in teaching people proper bagging technique.
Ha! Great post.

I thought the mom strolling by my house was having a rather intense conversation with her baby. Then I saw the cell phone!

I'd like to also mention those parents who drink beer while taking their tykes trick or treating. A sure sign of something!
Motion activated singing Santas.
Thanks for the picture, by the way. I love me some Turd Ferguson.
I agree. Especially about the hairless men. Loved that picture of Burt, and still do. What a hairy hunk!
What about the persons who talk on their cellphones while in the checkout line? They'd have to put the dang thing down to bag their own groceries.
You said Cheeto and I forgot everything that came before that.
I hate chest hair on my Cheetos.
Once again, you have described the inner workings of my mind that I am too lazy to detail for public consumption. Thank you, thank you, thank you for saving me the trouble and giving me a laugh at the same time.

I seriously believe that many people have not only lost the power to think for themselves, never mind their common sense, but are utterly incapable of considering the needs of others. Me, my, mine rules the universe.
Dude. I was actually going to start my sentence with "dude" and the realized that should be on the list too. SO. Baby stroller. You are behind. Kid facing forward. You're like two feet from them enjoying as much space as you're probably going to get in the day INCLUDING bathroom visits. So if someone wants to spoil that with a cell phone call, I really don't see the problem. I'd replace it with people actually answering their cell phone WHILE USING a toilet in the airport. I wouldn't even mention it except I've heard it happen many times. It makes no fucking sense to me.
Oh my gawd. I'd never considered bringing beer trick or treating. Excellent idea. And it's coming up soon! I can bring a whole rolling cooler, or better yet, put everything in a big plastic wheelbarrow! Staggering around drunk in the dark, I will appreciate those back-up beeps. hahahah.

(But I'm totally with you on most of that stuff.)
Absolutely wonderful! And true. My local library is fairly quiet, considering, but you have to NOT go on a Saturday when everybody brings their kids. The cell phone thing is annoying--there is a sign asking people to use their cell phones outside the lobby doors. Some do. I hate cell phones in public anyway. Last week I had some guy's entire conversation on the bus from work (a long bus ride, unfortunately) where he as trying to twist this girl's arm to come over to his house Saturday night! He spoke loudly without an ounce of shame! I think that's the problem--that we don't even have a modest sense of PRIVACY anymore ! Rated.
Oh, you have a keen eye! :)
Just one comment: Trucks beeping while backing up saves lives. Other than that, I'm mostly with you, although talking on a cellphone while pushing a stroller also seems to me to be an efficient way of using time. If you had a friend strolling with you, wouldn't you talk with them? You would. As long as you're alert and monitor the baby, cooing at once in a while in response, it'll be fine with your phone call.

Oh, and I like having my groceries bagged. Supers should employ kids as baggers. The cashier should indeed move the line along instead.
We always bag our own groceries (so few checkers/baggers really know how) while using cloth bags, not plastic... and I don't buy any of those antibacterial products, either. Just plain old liquid soap. And sometimes bar soaps.

I seldom frequent the library, and we never put plastic, inflatable ornaments on our lawn.

No baby strollers, no days at the beach, and none of that orange food, no sir!

I do have a cell phone, but I rarely use it... except when I have to answer it because someone is interrupting whatever else I happen to be doing.

Rated! ...for values
Re #10 - Creek floating is a big deal on a small one near us that leads into Lake Michigan. I am daily amazed that people require an extra tube for their gear/cooler/party supplies while on what usually amounts to a 45 minute butt scraping in 5 inches of water.
With you on #3 except for the backup beep beep signal. My son's summer job is delivering, setting up, and retrieving bouncy castles and inflatable water slides. Yesterday he took out a post with a house number sign on it while backing up in a tight cul-de-sac. The post was about three and a half feet high - about the same height as the forty or so hyped-up-on-soda-and-cake kids running about the street. You can use a rear view mirror all you like, but a Ford F150, like any truck, has a massive blind spot behind it.
In our local Subway there is a sign posted that says "Please refrain from using your cell phone while ordering." The fact that it is even necessary to put up a sign is proof of the disintegration of our society as a whole.

I like when I go into a gas station and the person behind the counter is on a personal call the entire time they are ringing me up. Or they are so engrossed in a conversation with the other counter attendant that they can barely be troubled to tell you how much you owe for a damn pack of gum.

I hate this town.
I just love CRANKINESS on a Monday! I agree with all these bitter indictments of non-thinking human acts......damn the barbarians!

I have to admit, I felt more at home when men started shaving,....(OOOps, TMI).

the cel phones in libraries I cannot abide, the same goes for texting a funerals! You would think they could at least not text while standing at the viewing!

And Dang! the beach! Boogie boards were designed as sleds. Don't people know that?
I'm with ya on these Beth...........
Do NOT be knockin' Cheetoes! They are awesome in their flourescent orange fake cheese goodness......
Good list, as usual!
I totally agree. People just dont know what america SHOULD be.Everyone is trying to be an image of what nowadays is called "modern society".
Burt, Burt, Burt...what happened to you? Still hangin out in Jupiter, FL? Haven't seen you in ahhwhile. I imagine age has taken it's toll on some of your back hair though. Nothing wrong with a little back waxin guys. I've even heard 'manscaping' is gaining in popularity. Ladies? are you sending your guy out for some scapin'? Answers please.
I dunno. Naked hair guy or Cheetos? I'm sorry to say I gotta go with Cheetos every time... and so long as I don't go in for a colonoscopy... no one will ever really know ;)
Knee-slapping hilarious! Monday's can be fun when they want to be!:-)
Quick comment about trucks in reverse beeping:

I knew I'd be met with several "it saves lives" but does it? And at what point have we lost the ability to control these devices? I mean, you can't turn it off or on.

And would a hyped up kid hear a monotonous beep that he/she hears every day and think "Danger"?

Doubt it, frankly. It's just become droning noise pollution that we all become accustomed to. A new form of it. AND we have no control over it. Just like car alarms we have little control over.

And I was curious: how did it happen? Who said "We must put these alarms in all trucks of a certain size." And why don't I have some say on it?

And of course, the bigger problem is car alarms in general. Do people really believe they protect your car that much at this point? Can we justify more sound intrusions for safety and property protection?

Does any of that make sense? I just had a Cheeto and it went to my head.

Re: Burt Reynolds, I know its not my shot and I probably don't have the "right" to use it per se...but I'm soooo happy to use it! It's my most favorite blog pix perhaps. It's so beautiful. I feel particularly blog proud.

Thanks to all of your comments. This made my day, all this smart and lively interaction.
1. Are you crazy? We're so beyond that in Ohio, that thing where you stand around and wait for someone else to do the work. We've gone backwards: The fricking cashiers have disappeared altogether and we have to ring everything up and then pack it into bags ourselves.

2. With ya. And I've only just learned about women shaving their arms. Uh oh, I'm on the hairy side.

3. Doesn't bother me in the least. As a matter of fact, that backing up noise gives me fond memories of when my now-car-geek 19-year-old loved to watch construction trucks.

4. *look of chagrin*-- I may be one of those loud mouths. Depends on what you mean by "loud."

5. Yep. Not sure why, but germs just don't bother me. I eat off the floor rather easily.

6. Now you're talkin'. Our French friends are in town for a little vacation because their whole country takes the month of August off. (Remember that summer not too long ago where thousands of old people in France died because of the heat wave? My friend says it's because all their working age children were on vacation and not checking on them.)

7. Yeah, I kinda judge people on the basis of that sort of thing. I'm dead serious. A mental curtain closes on an acquaintance's potential friendship if I catch something like that on their lawn. I suppose that makes me shallow. Same when people start talking about zodiac signs. (I know I've just lost a few of you on that one).

8. I don't really run into this the way other people seem to. (And no, that doesn't mean I'm the one doing it!)

9. This one actually worries me. I agree with you 100%. *wrings hands over the state of 'our society today'*

10. Reminds me of my husband, whose mantra is "ultimate flexibility." Like, "We may need these tennis racquet on the ski trip!"

11. You crack me up. I'm compelled to mention our French friends again, who, back when they first moved here (for a two-year stint), went grocery shopping determined to live and eat like Americans. A week later she trucked almost all her purchases over to my house, sadly complaining that her three boys refused to eat any of it because it was "too colorful."

Don't even get me started on bagging the groceries. Funny thing, I do it on the East coast, because...well, it's expected. I try to do it on the West coast, and people look at me as if I've escaped from an asylum.

And on the subject of cellphones---as screwed up as this planet and our civilization is, I still am putting my money on the fact that, centuries from now, the cell phone will be decried as the single worst invention in mankind's history---its invention marking the beginning of a rapid decline in civility.
Beth, I dunno about you, but I have definitely been alerted by the beep-beep and moved away, in cases where same motion and no beep-beep=me in hospital. Not sure if this ever happened when I was a "kid", but I value my life even as an adult :-)

As to from what size vehicle - the size where you no longer have any direct rear view mirror.
Great idea for a post, amusingly executed! I've been puzzling over the whole hair thing myself. Not to mention anal bleaching.

Actually, there's enough disturbing stuff going on out there to make this a weekly feature.
m.a.h. i think that's what this post was primarily about - on some levels - cell phones and alarms. i agree. cell phones have really changed so much. or people changed so much and cell phones were the societal lightning rod, waiting to happen...i don't know.

lainey, deborah, phaedo, michael, poet and others, your responses are wonderful and pieces in and of themselves.

rickyb and others re: truck beeping (because i'm kinda obsessed with that one right now), i still say this: we hand something over when we expect technology to always give us fair warning. maybe we overtly save a few lives, but we become more apathetic, less attentive, which equals more deaths ultimately anyway. it's a personal responsibility as well as a reflex thing. our senses are dull.

and who mentioned privacy? so true. i think that's a more essential piece: our sense of decorum, tact and privacy. we need beeping sounds for our rudeness! that beep i'd like to hear - or i guess it would go off too much.

gary, you have a new avatar? must go see the photo.
That was wonderful, Beth. As for #1, my teenage daughter works part-time for a supermarket and that's become her pet peeve - and the non-bagging customers are usually chatting on their cell phone and ignoring their bratty kid.
Mixing #1 and #4, her supermarket has this new self-scanning device which makes a "ka-ching" cash register sound every time you pass something that's on sale, which is every 10 seconds. Besides the fact that no cash register has gone "ka-ching" in 50 years, it's annoying as hell and makes me want to hurl the device through a window.
Raising my hairy arm to agree. ::gotta dust off that orange powder first and put down this cell phone::

No, seriously. You are right.
Beth – you have such an enquiring and observing mind. Now I gotta admit I was laughing at the pic of the toupee topped Burt and was having trouble breathing by the time I got to the wheelbarrow in the beach. I go to the beach all the time and just had these flashes of all the wheelbarrow laden guys I’ve seen doing this exact thing. Bagging those little plastic sacks sucks, so I quit helping. Shave my chest? Never. And about my Christmas lawn decoration, and the ones for Halloween, and Thanksgiving, and my favorite sports teams – they look soooo cool.

And how did you get a picture of my intestinal track, or tract??
I didn't know these changes had occurred!

Possible societal implication: I remain the object of ridicule.
This is a great list. I am sprung from a family of librarians, so #4 strikes a special chord for me. Very sad.

I am a little puzzled by the pushing a baby stroller while talking on a cell phone. Are these people using headsets or bluetooths, because if they are holding a cell phone in one hand and pushing a stroller with other, I can tell you from experience they might as well just push the stroller into traffic and get it over with. I mean how the heck do you control a stroller with one hand?

I really miss the friend of one of my kids who used to sneak up behind people having loud, public conversations on the cellphones and yell, "Their syphilis test came back positive!"
Beth, you're right about the way America has gone downhill. I don't think it is like this in all countries.

I don't think there is any cure for this either. I'm really upset about the library. Why they can't enforce quiet in a library, I will never know. At least we can remember the good old days.

Oh I love this. I am so with you........(I don't mind the less hairy people but everything else? Oh yeah!)... especially the library noise, parent disconnect, antibacterial crap, & fugly Christmas blowups (that deflate into hideous dead things every night). Frankly those scare the bejesus out of me... With libraries? There is no self-control and manners and social behaviors are NOT being taught (I teach 9th graders...I know this for a FACT). Everyone acts like they are in their own living rooms everywhere they go. I do not want to go into people's living rooms, so I do not want to see that behavior elsewhere. And the germs? Please! We are so germ free we are all sicker with no defenses built up.
And here's another food one--there are too many choices at fast food restaurants. Just make the thing you're good at and leave the rest alone. I do not need eggrolls, pizza, and gourmet sandwiches at every burger joint. It's all too much--greed & gluttony.....
Oh, and I meant to say that I too love the Burt photo. It ran in Playgirl in the 70's. I knew this asst manager at the movie theater I worked at who wanted to be Burt so badly. He did a copy of himself in this pose. He was no Burt.
You're absolutely right - I shouldn't eat Cheetohs! But I do! They taste good! Orange seems like harmless fun! Maybe even, dare I say, tasty fun, a feast for the eyes at least!

(by the way that pic is of corn curls, not Cheetohs!)

(by the way I really liked the whole post!)
About point#2 in particular - Have you ever noticed that these shavers seem to have an aversion to using the razor that Dad gave them to scrape that 10 o'clock shadow off of their pouty faces? I'll admit to a little cultural bigotry but in my little world girls shave their legs and pits and guys just leave well enough alone. I stand by my God-given right to own a luxurious "treasure trail"! Don't get me started about Axe body wash. You walk into the pub and half the guys in there smell like a French whorehouse. How do you chicks stand it?
"rickyb and others re: truck beeping (because i'm kinda obsessed with that one right now), i still say this: we hand something over when we expect technology to always give us fair warning. maybe we overtly save a few lives, but we become more apathetic, less attentive, which equals more deaths ultimately anyway. it's a personal responsibility as well as a reflex thing. our senses are dull."

I don't think your reflexes were designed to jump in time out of the way of a multi-ton behemoth which you had cataloged in your mind as standing still when you approached it. By the same token you can say vehicles don't need horns, and drivers shouldn't be required to honk when they see you in front of them. That's all it is - automated honking for a situation where vision is obstructed. Also this "who asked me" thing is nice for a rant, but is really populist nonsense (no offense). The matter was voted on by your representatives (or your parents' representatives). Who decided we need seat belts? Who decided doors of stores may not open inwards? If it's a law, it was voted on at some point. That's when they asked you.

I'm sure there are credible instances of "dulling our senses in exchange for technological warning" but this is really not one of them. There are no senses that can allow a truck driver to see someone directly behind them.
Re: cellphone/baby stroller: someone had asked, "What's the difference if you're talking to someone next to you, while walking?" Very different in my opinion.

For instance, I don't mind sitting next to two chatty Kathys on a bus. That's what people do: they converse. It's the sound of normalcy and human behavior. But add a cell phone and get rid of a Kathy, and it's a whole other animal.

Then we are forced to hear a one-sided convo. People speak differently. It's jarring, overall. And unnatural. And usually a profound overshare to boot (last cell phone convo overhead on beach? "My husband doesn't eat pizza anymore. He says it makes him constipated. He can't shit for days.") That's in MY memory bank now. Why?

RickyB, a horn being beeped by a human is different than a vehicle making a monotonous sound repeatedly. 99% of the time, a vehicle is backing up, making said sound and no one is behind them. so we help out that 1% of the population that's too unaware to see or hear a loud truck in reverse. and we also encourage truck drivers to be a little more careless ("hey, my reverse signal should have warned you.") I DO believe there is an effect it has on our overall awareness: the driver, the person behind the truck, the people who hear it everyday who it means nothing to, just like a car alarm (I mean, really, when was the last time you heard a car alarm and said "Oh, listen - a car is being broken into."?) We're become inured and senseless from all these so-called protective feaetures.

I'm not even advocating that trucks shouldn't have them. I'm just postulating the implications. How about being more aware when there's a big truck around? I know I am. They don't sneak up on you. If you respond with "kids can only be so aware" - teach them!

I'm not being purposefully sarcastic (well maybe a little!) but there's this lack of responsibility that's becoming increasingly prevalent. In addition, our senses are constantly dulled, which affects our safety as well.

And I don't equate seat belts with car alarms. Two different animals in my opinion. Car alarms (in all their forms) have become a massive public nuisance in urban areas and there's little recourse for most citizens other than to "just deal."
I went to a gay beach a few weekends ago with the jungle that grows on my chest and did not feel comfortable walking around without my shirt on. So I clipped it - not shaved, just clipped so all of those muscles that I've been working on popped right on out. I have to admit, I looked a hundred times better.

Yes, the gay community is probably responsible for this trend, but we're also responsible for the fact that your straight husbands and boyfriends don't think they can look like shit and still expect to get laid. They have to work at it now. We've raised the bar, just like we did with real estate, homecare and entertaing (and we've lowered a few bars as well - blow job in a steam room, anyone?)

Great post. And just to be clear, we had NOTHING to do with the Axe body spray. Some ridiculous straight teenager from a small midwestern town made that shit up.
It all went to hell when flip-flops became acceptible public wear. They're shower shoes, people! And I don't even want to think about the grime that accumulates on the feet, after even a day in the city.

Public standards. Please.
Oh, and the worst is when people are talking on the cell phone when they are in line at the grocery store WHILE not helping to bag their own groceries. I've taken to blatantly scowling at people if I'm standing in line behind them.

Had this great moment the other day when a sassy African-American check out lady and I collaborated silently on shaming a 21 year old sorority girl into turning off her damn cell phone. You should have seen the "oh no she didn't" looks that were being shared between the check out lady and me. It was the most expressive conversation I had all day.
I enjoyed the list you came up with, but thank God for Cheetos and Cheeze-Its on a long car ride!
I only disagree about the sanitizer. My house is a mess. But I try to avoid getting sick. I think it's wise to work towards avoiding the Swine Flu. We lose people every year to pneumonia and this year may be very worse, especially with young folks and pregnant women (esp pregnant women) at high risk. Avoid the triclosan ingredient and go for the straight alcohol stuff. Im sure all four of my kids get plenty of germs but perhaps they could sit this one out.

Fight the coming pandemic- Support Healthcare.
Just to clarify (re: chest hair), I think grooming is great! I'm all over grooming. Knightrider and others are right on. It's just total hairlessness and its implications I find peculiar. What's the message?

And really, the men I date (crickets chirping) who shave their chest, I find it weird to the touch. It's never smooth. It's stubbly and not in the good facial stubbly way.

Let's take a look at Burt again, shall we? That man is a fairly hairy man. There are hairier men out there, no doubt. But he's not "peach fuzz" by any standard. But does he look great in this shot? Heck yeah.

I'd do him. There. I said it.

(I also really wish he would have won the Academy Award for his work in Boogie Nights years ago. He totally deserved it and it would have made the world smile. He's been hanging out with us quite a while.)
Oh yeah, I'd do him too.
Wonderful social commentary, Beth
So true! And I can tell you when I'm walking my dog and talking on my cell phone he inevitably ends up tangled in brambles or standing in some bigger dogs poop. He knows I'm not paying attention and he's not even one of those smart dogs mentioned in that new study.

What's it all about? We take pictures with our phones, read our news on a computer, and rely on an automated voice to feed us directions as we drive around in our noisy cars.
Great observations! I couldn't agree more. Now where did I put that day-glow orange handbasket?
"who will soon expect the cashier to cook our food and spoon-feed it to us." That would be awesome!
Yes, John and others - apparently there are demographics involved in bagging groceries. My friend told me something quite similar: she never could bag her own groceries and now its expected.

Perhaps I should fine-tune it a bit:

It started when I was in line at a very busy liquor store at the Jersey shore. A man and his family stood at the counter, with a line of 20 people behind him, and allowed the cashier to do everything. He didn't even remove the bags, once packed, from the top of the counter (until I walked up to him and insisted upon the nicest of ways, I swear!)

Again, it's the accountability. It was as if he was totally clueless that people were waiting, the he could speed things along, that his family members could help...he just stood there, with his credit in his hand, oblivious.

THAT'S what I'm talking about.
Let's replace blow up santa with inflatable sex dolls. The people in the know on pleasing women sexually can then use these to demonstrate technique. Seasonal erotica could be harmonized in the background to provide a lift in spirits.
Beth this was awesome- agree with all of them. (as I sit here and pick orange out of my cuticles)
when "fun" became an adjective.
I'm imaginging a wonderful night of cheetos and hairy Burt, gently glowing in the dark from the phosphorescent orange dye transferred by our wandering fingertips... too bad we got up too darn early for that 8-6'er and in our too-tiredness accidentally mistook the sanitizer for the slippery-izer. Hehe.

Well observed, excellently written (still chuckling at the Santa caption), and cheerfully rated.
Wait a minute... Men shave their chests now? I don't even shave my face. I must have missed the memo.
I agree with all of it, especially libraries and shaving. We have a (relatively) new library, intended to be an architectural statement, and it is lovely but you can't hear yourself read. Shaving is a plague, shaving a man's chest an abomination. I hope the next generation revolts against it.
You are completely right, you left out Crocs, the most nauseating footwear ever conceived and the left lane driver. As far as the groceries go there is self check out now, which I love.
Taylor, I posted that photo of Burt because it typifies that "other" look men used to sport, where hair on your body was sexy. Plus, I've always adored that shot. It's from Playgirl. Big fan of Burt.
this was really great. made me laugh. thank you for that.
Maybe the problem today is there are to many nostalgic jacka@*es that remember the "good ole days" that never REALLY existed. Maybe the problem today is that everybody is always complaining and carrying on about EVERYTHING. Just like you! I know its supposed to be cute and funny but its doing more harm to people's perceptions than you think. Maybe I am just angry/bitter/cynical. Which I am. But you think your quirky observations are good ones? No, they are just mindless fluff. Oh and as for positive feedback. There is none, maybe in the future post something that is relevant that people can think about, not just reckless and moronic observations. The people that read this are now dumber and in an even different alternate reality. Please don't get me wrong though, I don't hate you. I just hate everyone that is anything at all like you. But not you! Keep up the good work though!
Best Regards,
Stopped bagging groceries? What the hell are you talking about? We just started doing that. When the stores stopped hiring teenagers to do it for us.
Elsewise, vehicles make far too many noises on the inside, but the back-up warning beep is a great invention. Because, frankly, people are unobservant and stupid. I drive a delivery van for a living, and I don't want to hit you when in the performance of my duties, I have to back across a sidewalk into an alley. Hell no, I want you to live long and prosper. That is why I beep my horn a bunch of times--CAUSE I CAN'T FRIGGIN SEE YOU WANDERING BEHIND ME! (People do this all the time). I wish my van would do this automatically, or had a switch I could hit. The horn is so much work...
Hi-fucken-larious. (Rated).
Whew...this post came just in time. Thanks to you, I just canceled my chest-waxing.

The Brazilian is still on, though.
I still have the 'Playgirl' with Burt Reynolds as a collector's item. It might be an anthropological artifact, too! Rated
Just out of curiosity, How did this post come back to life?
Fantastic! Fun.

People who stand by idly - with blank, vacant expressions - while the cashier bags their groceries are the same people who vote against their own economic interests. seems that through some strange twist in the space-time continuum, the cell phone invented the human.

Keep writin' it down.

I'm still laughing...

I love America, but why do I have to wear ear plugs in the cinema and dodge children going to the bathroom or snack bar -- or just running around because they CAN? Why do people allow their children to scream in restaurants (where I also often wear ear plugs just to dampen the cacophony around me while I eat the dinner I hoped would be special, even romantic?)

Then there is the food all over the floor that parents stepped over when they were taking their little darlings home. In MY day ( I sound like a curmudgeon, don't I?) kids didn't do that. Parents didn't allow that sort of behavior. The horror. The horror...
I'm not sure how this blog entry resurfaced, fins2theleft. So strange, this world. But hello again all and thanks for the feedback!
I really hate those inflatable christmas things. My niece subsequently made a point of buying me one a year. That stopped when I handed one off to her sister.

Sorry, but we don't have turn singles in Massachusetts.
Entire post is amazing...thanks for the laughs. "And women need to be fucked better overall." Noted!!
hellllll yeah to hairy men.

i just figured the "beep beep beep" in my car was to remind ME that i'm backing up and to be more careful. doesn't work though. my husband put a bag of recycleables in the driveway and i managed to back over it. and this is with the backup camera my car comes standard with. ha!

loved the post.
Thing is, when men shave their chest, it's never smooth. It's not even a good stubbly. It just feels weird and unnatural.

Hey, since this is getting some renewed interest, I was wondering if everyone is getting an auto refresh on Open Salon, where the page refreshes every 30 seconds? It's really annoying. Apparently, its for page hits or ads or something. I've tried every way to disable it but to no avail....any info would be appreciated.
eww. gross. that i have to look at burt reynolds. neekked. again. i saw this in cosmos when i was 15 i think. or something like that. tho i like a hairy chest and agree with most of what you wrote here beth. except -- no. i don't want to bag my groceries -- e -v-e-r. who's idea was that? no baggers here in north jersey -- no way. i solved the problem by shopping online and paying the fee. now, they shop for me, and bag and bring them to my car and load them in the hatch. for an extra $5 they'll drive them to my house and bring them into my kitchen ... (who knows what they'd do for $5 more?) and i save money on impulse purchases.
I think I'm happy that your last photo isn't showing up on my monitor. Back up to the top to Burt and his hairy chest for me (and a rating for this righteous rant for you.)
Great and you are absolutely right about all of them. What is it with the turn signal thing anyway? Don't they teach that in driver's ed anymore??
Burt doesn't look too bad there!

I like cheetohs enough to point out that the best kind are the ones that look like caveman clubs...those are more like corn curls in your picture...baked cheetohs, I believe, which aren't as good. But just as orange! That color is necessary, a public service even- to wit, when it dyes the tips of your fingers and sucking won't get the orange off, it is time to stop eating th.
Floyd should come to the Castro and get the three-fer waxing special: Backs, Sacks and Cracks
Oh wow, I remember that Burt picture--it was a Cosmopolitan centerfold, and that issue was the only one of Cosmo I ever remember my mother buying. She drooled. I never got the appeal, but now that I am no longer 14, I can see it. He was quite manly!

As for your cell phone camera, I think it makes a camera shutter noise to protect other people. You can't take pictures of them without their knowledge. Of course, if people weren't out there rudely photographing up others' skirts and the like, features like that wouldn't be seen as necessary. I join you in general handwringing about the downfall of society!
Beth, I can sympathize with your comment about hairless chests to a point. Living in the east coast version of San Francisco (aka Fort Lauderdale), there's plenty of men here who revel in flaunting their chest hair for the world to see. While some are quite appealing, others make me want to grab a set of hedge trimmers and go to town.
Jesus, that picture is creepy. It looks like Bigfoot doing a Playgirl cover.
this is hilarious. May I add, "It All Started Going Downhill When..." Computerized voices on telephone help lines started sporting accents and saucy vocal intonation ("Hi! I'm Julie! Um, unless you want us to turn off your phone in an hour, you might want to make a payment. I can help ya do that right now.") [Secondary thought: does this explain Sarah Palin??]
As RickyB has repeatedly written, the beeping reverse alarm (OSHA) was mandated to stop workers from getting run over. And, yes they were getting hit. Like it or not, this is one of those evidence based regulations we should encourage.
Great post! I agree with it all. And I miss hairy chests on men and am appalled at men who get manicures (with shiny top coat no less)! (I think you didn't cover that subject but hope you don't mind that I threw it in there). This is why no one is having sex anymore. This, and the inflatatble Santa Clauses.
Cheetos are like lard--they never break down, in your body or sitting on a counter. You could leave one out for five years and it would be the same. That's not something anyone needs to put inside their body.

Good post! Thanks.
"Brilliantly soothing in its raw Weltschmerz." (How I'd review this post if I were writing for the Library Journal.)

This blog post has resurfaced because of intervention by hovering extraterrestrials. They can't justify an invasion to phaser away health insurance CEOs and install worldwide access to health care until we meet certain minimum standards.

"The need to spill over" left me most in awe. It merits book-length treatment, which would surely lead to an appearance on The Daily Show.

4. Libraries Became Noisy

I was stunned to learn that your library, and therefore no doubt many others, is no longer allowed to enforce a silence policy. It had never occurred to me to inquire. I'm glad I didn't.

I'd assumed this absence of enforcement was due to now-universal moral fatigue or severe anomie on the part of library administrators, whose offices are away from public areas. For a delicious instant, though, I was relieved to have a reason for this violation of sacred decorum. So, at least it's a conscious decision....

The worst aspect is not the chomping on candy bars or the chattering patrons or the behavior of the little monsters they have in tow. Rather it's the fact that, even in university libraries, it is now often the librarians who speak the loudest.

Possible Societal Implication? War, pestilence, famine.

5. Antibacterial Products became Commonplace

All kidding aside, a potential disaster in the making.

I was surprised that no one mentioned the campaign to eradicate antibacterial soaps. It seems that exposure to one of their ingredients, triclosan, can cause significant disruption to the endocrine system in frogs and humans. It is chemically similar to dioxin and is highly toxic to algae. It is supposedly not removed at whitewater treatment plants.

12. Missing from the List: Supermarket shoppers with supersized carts, convinced they are the only people in the place, who stop exactly mid-aisle to scan the shelves while you and three others wait seething behind them.

But that behavior, too, would disappear if we all committed to better sex.
It all went downhill when kids were not required to call adults by their last name.
The hairiness thing.

Hairlessness looks younger, and boy oh boy, are we into looking younger. It's also, as you alluded to, consciously/unconsciously stepping away from our ape ancestors.

It really has accelerated in the past couple of decades, but it was probably bound to happen. We have conquered body odor with anti-perspirants that can keep you dry in the Amazon in July, bad breath and bad teeth are only for poor, sick people, so what is there left for us to primp and obsess about?

Hair. We want a nice big thatch on our heads, but nowhere else, please, we're American.
There was a wonderful commercial on the radio up here in Boston, where a local yokel, in full "R-dropping" slendor drawled, "Using your turn signal is like giving information to the enemy."
So agree-especially about food being too orange.
With you all the way except for bagging groceries and hairy guys. We do bag our own groceries (frantically as the conveyor belt tosses them at us) where I live, and I'm sorry - I don't like goat men. Nonetheless a good post. Rated.
Incredible list! Right on! And I haven't seen the Burt layout since the 70's - thanks for bringing it back - you are SO right about the hairy men - sexxxxxy! Rated - good on ya for the EP! (cheetos look like penises or Jesus? love the comments)
1. I don't mind working with the cashier-- and frankly, I often prefer working *instead* of the cashier. What is it with cashiers that can't bag groceries? You can always tell the ones who've never had to carry their own groceries or cook with what's left out of the bag.

2. I don't shave my chest and the thought never occurred to me. If I ran into a guy like that in the locker room I think I'd slowly back away.

3. Its just another manifestation of the "ME" generation.

4. What's a library? Oh you mean "Books"! How quaint. Books are for punctilious sagacious erudite homo sapients.

5. See what sitting around all day with nothing but a vacuum cleaner for entertainment can do to you?

6. Whaddaya mean 9-5?8-6? You're *on call* for chrissakes!!! The man's gotcha 24 hours a day-- plus weekends.

7. You're right, they're not cute. But they are exceptionally cheap to make, squish flat into a box, and since its the only thing available at Home Depot on Christmas Eve... so even at $149.99... its a bargain! A real Christmas miracle...

8. Turn signals? Do you mean those hand-gestures people make when you blow the horn at them??

9. Hey, I don't think that one's too bad-- at least they're *there* and pushing the carriage. Don't you think actually *caring* is a little too much to expect??

10. It all started out with 64 ounce sodas from 7/11.

11. They had to use the orange to dilute the red dye #2.
@O'Really -- "Burping and farting have become commonplace in airports and on airplanes."

@Owl_Says_Who -- "These are all symptoms of a very sick society - we need universal healthcare!"

Or at the very least, universal air vents.
Regarding the cell phone comment, I heard a woman speaking about this on the radio recently and it's no good at all! I live in Australia but it's just as common here to see women (usually women anyway) pushing prams while talking on their phones and paying no heed at all to the child int he pram. I understand how tedious it can be to talk to a baby or toddler but this is how they learn to speak, and to mimic your facial expressions, and to feel important. That social interaction with a parent is crucial to their development. The woman on the radio was saying that the reason she noticed it was happening was when she did see a mother speaking with her child and noted that she was surprised by this. A lot of prams can fluip around so that the child can face you while you walk so you could have something resembling a conversation. Must be very dull for a child to sit in a pram/stroller and hear their parent on the phone, completely ignoring who they are with and where they are...
1. At the prices I'm paying, they ought to carry it home for me in a pouch in their bellies, chew it for me, and regurgitate it directly into my mouth while recycling the damned bags with their feet. (Also see: "movie popcorn, floors sticky with".)

2. Men finally noticed that cats enjoy licking fur, but humans tend not to. Yes, this took 200,000 years. We're men. What's your point? (Also see: "male heterosexuality, myth of" and "camouflage, self defeating".)

3. Juries began awarding millions in damages to parents who allow their preschool children to play house in urban dumpsters. (Also see: "baby of doom, grocery cart" and "love and death, freeway of.)

4. They _are_ whispering. (Also see: "earbuds, hearing loss due to".)

5. Purell is Holy Water that corporations are allowed to sell at a profit. (Also see: "Superstitions, God and other").

6. Every decent Christian in America recognizes Beth Mann for what she is: a Godless Socialist! (Also see: "attack, ad hominem" and "curtain, pay no attention to that man behind the".)

7. Christianity has never, for a single moment, since whathisname cried "Fear not!" and Mary plotzed, been about aesthetics or taste. (See also, "nostalgia, dangers of" and "denial, seven deadly signs of".)

8. Outside of 50's sitcoms, no significant number of drivers anywhere have at any time ever made regular used turn signals. (See also... "weren't, the way we".)

9. Cell phones are in fact a nicotine substitute, smoking have been conceived shortly after the birth of the first human child . (See also... "baby thank God, dingos ate my.")

10. Alright, alright... You win. The people I surf and sun with are prone to arrive with a speedo, an iPod, condoms, lube, a three-inch-thick biography of Carmen Miranda, and a conspicuous $5K a year personal trainer habit. Can I come to your beach? (See also... "wheelbarrow you know, better the giant".)

11. Sorry. I'm still worrying about the more than 200 grueling workouts I have to complete before I can go to the beach again. (See also... "moo moo, choosing your first".)
But I love cheetos
What, are they too good for you? Well, then don’t trouble those tired little fingers of yours. I’ll use my telepathic skills instead.

I just had a person flip me off as we both went through the stop sign. Me going straight and him too, I thought. Then he flipped on his left turn signal and flipped me off... my ESP is not what it used to be.

Cell phones are the greatest sales job in the last 25 years... WE ALL NEED TO TALK ALL THE TIME! IT'S FOR YOUR WORK OR YOUR KIDS SAFETY. I suppose these devices could be used for those reasons... the majority of time is spent filling the airwaves with brain dead chatter.

It also be the new interpretation of freedom of speech and expression to be able to do whatever the f*#k you like and the majority just need to grin and bear whatever it is others want to do, even though it's rude, self-centered, thoughtless, inconsiderate, etc. to infinity.
Israeli forces storm into holiest place on earth:
Very much the same on this side of the pond although we do bag our own groceries still. We have a bulding site right behind our home and the beep beep beep of reversing vehicles wakes me every morning. No wonder I'm nuts.

Endorse your list and love the societal implications.
speaking of hairless...what ever inspired women to shave off every little patch of hair, looking like a newborn?'s gross, if you ask me. and what is sexy about a hairless baby?
and effin' yeah--bettah sex for women is a must...
said to say i remember that pic of reynolds
Loved this, save the scary, scary picture at the top. I'm weirded out by hairless, but that is just too much. And agree on the antibacterial stuff, I'm convinced that's why today's kids are so sick all the time - their natural immune system doesn't have any defenses. But that's another story -- great post!
156 Chinese protesters killed before Obama's arrival
It seems like even the things to be nostalgic over are getting less interesting. Forty years ago when a waitress asked William S. Burroughs what he wanted he said, 'A trout fished from lake Erie before 1914.' That's a good answer.
I realize that this article is trying to be funny, but trucks beep when they back up because they don't have rear view mirrors. There's a little thing called a trailer that makes them pretty useless.

As for the lack of turn signals, I stopped using them when I noticed people speeding up to keep me from "getting in front of them" when they saw my signal. They seemed perfectly happy with their speed and following distance until my car flashed, and then it suddenly became a gap they had to close. No courtesy for me, no courtesy for you. Thanks for playing!
Groceries - still bagging mine, I just thought I had control issues.
Men- shaved chests and tweezed eyebrow. I hate a man with a thinner eyebrow than mine. Vechiles- my Prius makes the beep-beep-beep sound inside the car whenever you back up. NO way to turn it off. Hello Toyota, I know the care is quiet, but the day I forget that I put the car in R is the day I should stop driving.
Libraries- thankfully mine is still quiet. Germs dont get me started
I've had women answer emails 2 hours after giving birth. Really your not that important. A neighbor used to stroll his baby to the park every after noon with a sixpack and a blaring radio under the baby and then go play basketball... I'll take the cell phone talker
Every bit of this is funny and well-written and funny and TRUE and damnable and funny.

"Ho, ho ho, I'm a tasteless eyesore!"

and worse than those inflatables are the inflatables that are blowing fake snow -- always ineffectually -- over some obscure figure (santa? grinch? rudolph? hannibal lector?) inside a grimy plastic mis-shapen ball the size of a vw beetle. Absurdly, in a real snow storm.

What is the point? it's ugly, it doesn't function properly, burns carbon, and say to the world "hey! I'm stupid! and I have access to an outdoor outlet and extension cords!"

Now if it were made of real glass, and a giant realistic polyurethane human hand were to emerge from your garage every few minutes, lift the whole thing upside down and shake it to make the "snow" fall again, THAT would be cool!
9. Parents started Talking on their Cellphones While Pushing a Baby Stroller

I always feel sad when I see that happening.

Happy Happy Happy New Year, Beth.
I agree with all your observations, but I would just like to say that there is *ONE* advantage to a shaved chest - it does tend to show muscle definition a little better. That's why bodybuilders always shave. I still prefer a nice, unshaved chest tho - much more manly :)
Wow. You could have also called this list "rich white people problems."

It all went downhill when people started making lists and obsessing over petty, irrelevent grievances about things like chest hair and lawn ornaments. I recognize that this list is supposed to be taken about as seriously as a "Don't you hate it when..." routine from some comedian, but damn...
No man should shave his chest, unless he is about to enter a swimming pool and win a world record.
Hey all...its funny to go back to one of these lists. Especially this one, which caused some dissension at the time. Apparently, once you rail against something, people rail against you. Especially if you're a chick.

It's strange because, really, who gives a shit what I think? I mean, more to the point: what does it matter if I don't like something? Why do people get so up in arms? I'm sure there are TONS of things we all dislike, sometimes vehemently. It's as if we're not supposed to voice those things and why? Forced positivity again.

Sethbdoe, stop taking it all so seriously. Rich white people, huh? You wanna wager on that one, rich white man? Oh wait...I can't wager. I don't have that fucking money! Ha...

I guess just because I'm white, that makes me instantly entitled. Well guess what? I'm black. Stick that in your pipe.

Ethicalhedonist, yes, I've heard that - but it always feels slightly stubbly. May look better but doesn't feel better.

Greg, too funny.

Wakingupslowly, I feel like we haven't hung out in ages! Happy New Year to you too!

To all I've missed, I have to finish a project, so sorry (this rich white girl has to make some money so she can pay her rent.) And thanks for your feedback. And thanks for stopping by.
Truly! My faves:

3. Vehicles Began Making Too Many Sounds
... useless car alarms or the myriad of chirps ... “beep beep beep” when in reverse.

Not to mention sonic explosive devices (i.e., overamplified mega bass, making everything thump and buzz). What ever happened to listening volumes that don't deafen every life form within 1/4 mile?

4. Libraries Became Noisy

I'm SOOO grateful this is not the case at my local library.

5. Antibacterial Products became Commonplace.

It's gotten nearly impossible to find regular liquid soap that is NOT antibacterial. Seems like we all had healthier immune systems before this stuff was invented.

6. Our Workdays Went from 9 - 5 to 8 – 6

Nothing about this is acceptable. ' nuff said.

8. People Stopped using their Turn Signals...Turn signals indicate a sense of consideration and concern for the other. That’s going, going, gone.

Right up there with people on crowded city streets carrying humungous golf umbrellas and expecting everyone else to move out of their way, or walking right into you because they're too busy texting to look where they're going.

Priceless moments: when the incessant texters fall right on their faces because they tripped over the curb. Seen that a bunch of times in downtown Chicago in the past year. It makes me laugh every time.
Just wonderful! Thank you so much for making laugh and laugh and laugh!
I am so there with you on those horrible blow up Christmas things! Holy smokes. They scare the bejesus out of me... and spend most of their time wadded up on the lawn like a used condom. ugh. I refuse to use antibacterial things.... But yep, that Burt pic always scared me. I had a boss in high school who kept trying to replicate it (he was only in his 20's), so I do laugh (hard) whenever I see it! And NO orange food! Thanks for this!
The United States is currently occupying two countries in Southwest Asia, and killing people in both of them every day, but there is absolutely nothing about war on the cover of Open Salon.

Narang, Kunar: "Death to Obama!"
Oh contraire...#7 is a hit in my neighborhood. The kiddos and the friendly drunks think it's wonderful. The large Penguin with a top-hat and a scarf is not for adults's for the children. Right?
Rated & Cheers!
I'm sorry, but you can't blame the gays for "shaved" (actually waxed) chests, backs & arms on men. Gay men celebrate the harry male body (called "bears"), while heterosexual women have been imposing the waxed body as a male ideal. Hence the chief criticism of a certain naked ex-Palin-fiancee was that his armpits weren't waxed too.

And the main "Societal Implication" as a result of antibiotic cleaning products has been a compromised immunity in children raised in such households and likely future epidemic in the U.S. - not an epidemic of control-freaks (already had them).
How did I miss this one! LOL Hell yeah, to all of them.

Librarys!!!!! Yes that is the one I hate the most. It used to be a place of solitude and contemplation. Mine is adjacent to a church where teenagers ditch the service to hang out, twitter, twaddle, and snog each other while the parents get the peace and quiet.
I love Cheetos, they are nutritionally complete I think.
Yes!! #1: Hairless men (on the top and below, especially on the chest)
EEEEWWWWW!!! Hair on men is just about their sexiest feature. It should be mostly hidden while interacting casually with people, but when men do bare their chests, it is attractive to have something there (and unattractive to not). I understand that men who go for casual pickups (for ex, in NYCity) like to be bare down there as the hair may turn off the other person for reasons you will have to imagine.

#2: People talking on public toilets. I went into a rest room in my favorite restaurant, and while this women sat & made toilet sounds for 10 minutes, she yacked away on her cell phone, finally saying "I have to flush now".
Can help but think the 'noisy library' comment was added to get me to comment on another post. :)

As a librarian, I have a whole essay's worth of commentary about the 'noisy library' thing. Some of it supports the opinion and others goes against it. I will suggest 1) that a noisy library offers more social benefit than you may first imagine 2) as a public space, there are limits to what libraries can and cannot do to enforce a 'quiet' library 3) many 'quiet' complaints are often followed by some derogatory comment about some other group of people (parent's don't know how to manage their kids; teenagers - all they want to do is fart around on the computers all day; those old people need to get their hearing aids checked). 4) how people are using libraries has changed dramatically in the past 10-15 years and we still have the old 30-50 year old spaces, designed to hold a lot fewer people and a lot more books. 5) the vast majority of book-getting happens online now. The book-getters place holds and then pick them up. The space libraries have now is being used more and more for social interaction rather than quiet reading. Good libraries put some great space aside for quiet reading, but with budgets the way they are that is not always possible. And if you think this comment is tltr, just think I haven't even started on all the various factors that play into this whole thing.