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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro


Ever been vexed? Sure you have. Everyone has. Annoyed . . . frustrated . . . irritated. We’re not talking about monumentally horrendous happenings. Rather, things that are sort of like a small thorn in the flesh. Not life-destroying, but, well, annoying, irritating, frustrating. Here follows a few I could easily live without.

Muzak. The online dictionary definition – recorded light background music – was written by someone either deaf or who received their musical training on another planet. I firmly believe the light background music blaring over the phone while I was on a 45-minute hold recently was a copy of that marketed to WWII POW camps to torture the incarcerated. Basically, muzak was designed to communicate: Quit bothering us and hang up the dang phone!

No turn signals . . . as in, not using them. It’s a fun little game trying to figure out what the vehicle in front of you, or coming toward you, is going to do next. Problem: if you guess wrongly it could result in busted up cars and/or heads. And don’t attempt to gently suggest to such drivers that the little lever on the left side of the steering column was put there for a good purpose . . . unless, that is, you’re willing to chance middle fingers and lowbrow vocabulary.

Headlights not on . . . as in I can see you but don’t care if you can’t see me. I live in a part of the country where much of the year includes a lot of cloudy, drizzly, foggy weather when a driver might judge there to be enough light to navigate, but doesn’t consider that other drivers might have a severe problem seeing him/her driving with no lights on. This is especially dangerous with black or any dark colored vehicle. Lights not only light one’s way, but advertises one’s presence on the road to other drivers. If not headlights, at the very least Daytime Driving Lights (DDL) greatly increases the visibility of one’s vehicle to others. If daytime headlights make us more visible, should we all have them on all the time? Canada, Norway, Denmark, the UK, and several other countries think so. They made daytime running headlights mandatory on all vehicles. In the U.S., this isn’t currently a requirement . . . but data suggests that maybe it should be. Again, trying to signal no-headlights-drivers-in-murky-conditions that they should turn them on often results in fingers and curses. Don’t try and tell me what to do!

Cell phones. What a great invention. While I don’t generally carry mine around, I take it on the road to stay in touch with family members if needed. (Hands-off operation or when the car is stopped off road.) Since their advent, cell phones have saved lives more often than one can count. They are a wonderful invention . . . if used prudently. Having Judy in the Sky with Diamonds blare out in the middle of a church service is not prudent. I Wanna Hold Your Hand obstreperously interrupting a committee meeting is not prudent. You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog breaking into the solemnity of a graveside committal service is not prudent. Whatever ring tone turns you on (pun intended), good manners and consideration of others encourages turning the little buggers off in the above – and a couple of hundred others I could name – situations.

Robo-voices. I needed assistance ,so I called the company number and got:

For the Customer Service department, press 2.

For the Parts department, press 3.

For the Billing Department, press 4.

For Frequently Asked Questions, press 5.

For Unfrequently Asked Questions, press 6.

If you don’t have any questions, press 7.

If you wish to speak to a Representative, press 8.

To repeat this menu, press 9.

To not repeat this menu, hang up.

I pressed 8 for a live human being and into my ears came the following message:

We are experiencing a high volume of calls at the present time. You are 74th in line and

the wait time is estimated to be 8 hours and 23 minutes.

They might as well have added:

Feel free to make lunch and have a nap, and then check your place in line.

Not life-destroying, but annoying, irritating, frustrating. Sometimes to the point of wanting to pull out one’s hair. Lucky for me . . . I’m largely bald.

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