The summer heat has finally arrived, and it’s only made me hotter under the collar about a whole grab bag of things. Here’s my list of pet peeves that itch like prickly heat.
1. Vending machines. I saw one in which a can of Coke was cheaper than a bottle of water. What a great insight into our obesity crisis!
2. B.C.E. and C.E. after dates. In the mid-1990s, historians and scientists started replacing B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini, Latin “for in the year of the Lord”) with B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era). Supposedly, this was done to be more politically correct for those of other faiths. But the irony is that the new abbreviations still designate the times before and after Christ’s birth, so what’s the point?
3. Conservatives who don’t conserve when it comes to the environment. A real conundrum. Discuss it among yourselves.
4. Republicans ignoring the soaring deficit whenever they hold the White House.
5. People who mow on holidays, like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July when neighbors’ parties/picnics are taking place. Really? You picked now?
6. Russian connections to the NRA, as revealed last September by a Senate investigation. I wonder if the NRA’s 2016 election spending to support Trump was fueled by Russian money.
7. Supporters at Trump rallies who wear T-shirts saying, “I’d rather be a Russian than a Democrat.” Vladimir prepare the citizenship papers. They’re all yours.
8. “Staging” houses for sale. I understand removing family photos and decluttering but paying someone to come in and decorate your house in a bland HGTV style is just nutso.
9. The right’s twisting of every social issue to warp the message beyond recognition. NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem becomes disrespect for our troops. Black Lives Matter protests morph into the work of anarchic mobs. Removing statues of treasonous Confederate generals destroys history. On the last, how many monuments to General Rommel can you find in Germany?
10. The June 2 primary ballot. Because it was printed months ago, the Democratic ballot included the names of Sanders, Buttigieg, Warren, and other former presidential contenders and the Republican ballot had Weld’s name. Isn’t there a way to tighten up this process? If not, then secure internet voting is looking even more attractive.
11. Suppressing the vote. This has become a major tactic of one of our political parties, despite there being almost zero evidence of voter fraud. Now we have efforts to stop voting by mail, even though Citizen No. 1 voted by absentee ballot in 2018 and 2020.
12. Multiple, multiple, multiple, small, identical signs for real estate along Md. 140. Creating an eyesore doesn’t entice me to look at your development.
13. “Mean girl,” sophomoric tweets about others’ appearances from the highest office in the land. Embarrassing.
14. “Easy Open” bottles/cans/bags of bird seed that aren’t, actually.
15. “Moving the goalposts” when it comes to the projected number of COVID-19 deaths. The perps must forget or don’t care that there are cameras and microphones out there.
16. Panic hoarders, whether of toilet paper or hand sanitizer. Basement and garage full yet?
17. Right-wing columnists who are still talking about the unethical 2016 Clinton-Lynch meeting on the tarmac. By doing so, they continue to ignore the elephant in the room and his latest escapades. How does calling evidence of Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers’ lives a hoax square with supporting our troops? “Oops! Move on, folks. There’s nothing to see here. But did I tell you about Hillary’s emails and George Soros and Hunter Biden and….”
18. Plant-based patties. We’ve tried them. Pea protein isolate, expeller-pressed canola oil, rice protein, mung bean protein, potato starch, etc., just don’t taste like good ol’ hamburger. And the runny beet juice extract didn’t fool me.
19. Militia groups in military gear with semi-automatic rifles. They were at state capitals to protest coronavirus restrictions and have harassed peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters. Why aren’t they being arrested on the spot for intimidation and before gunfire erupts, as it did in Albuquerque? Would police be responding in the same manner if the militia were black or brown?
20. “Marmaduke” and “Heathcliff.” Does anyone else think that we keep seeing the same gags week after week in the comics? “Rose is Rose” and “Andy Capp” are also guilty of too much recycling. They just make me appreciate the genius of “Dilbert” even more.
Frank Batavick writes from Westminster. His column appears every other Friday. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.