The list of hate

Voice that are supposed to be funny, supersizing, eating contests and especially meat-eating contests, air kissing and the wearing of pyjamas in public. And the wearers of pyjamas in public, for that matter.

They are on my Things I Hate list, and as you’d expect I’d strike them out with the swipe of a pen if I could. I was moved to become so hateful by a contribution to my blog late last week by Abundance, who told us of the things he would exclude as the dictator of the new state of Hunter.

His list (I happen to know Abundance is a him) is a ripper, and I share many of his detestations. Here’s a few we share: charity collectors in shopping centres, waitstaff who ask how the entree was, halitosis, stickers on apples, jeans with a button fly, chicken stock cubes, Ssangyong vehicles.

I recoil from the idea of a chook being reduced to a small cube, I’m irritated by not only having to remove the apple sticker but then finding somewhere else to stick it, the shape and the name of SSangyong cars grate, and waiters asking how the dish was seem to impose an obligation to be told it was wonderful thank you.

Sorry Abundance, but I detest the corruption of language that is waiters being described as waitstaff or waitpersons, and it is not so much halitosis I hate as the halitosis of people who invade my personal space. Why is it that people who invade others’ personal space are more likely to have bad breath?

Abundance and I also abhor lemon meringue pies (especially those that look like a small mound), scratchy wool jumpers and coat collars, tinned pink salmon with bits of spine, and flat lemonade, although it is flat soda water that particularly irks me. Flat beer doesn’t thrill me to bits, either.

And some of his detestations I don’t share are netball, cigars that taste like port (or, in my case, smell like port), verdelho, baby spinach with untrimmed stalks in salads, lycra with logos, and prudes. I quite enjoy the company of prudes, even if they don’t enjoy mine.

But Abundance did set my ball of hate rolling:

How people who’ve been sacked and say they’ve resigned to spend more time with their family have the gall to think we believe them, shop assistants who ask ‘‘Is that all today?’’ as if there is a yesterday and tomorrow, hip hop when those of us within the speakers’ range are not hip hoppers, waiters reciting the night’s specials before I’ve mentally digested the first one.

Websites registrations that won’t accept my usual password so that I’ll never remember the alternative, gits who drown out the television commentary of the Melbourne Cup, a loud laugh on demand, bargain bins that have only the smallest and the biggest sizes, radio chuckleheads, speech-activated phone switchboards, holding hands as a public statement.

A dish with a pastry lid described as a pie, impossibly thick lasagne, serving staff who are earnest about wanting to know how my day is going so far, dogs licking faces and people who let them, tipping, the pointless ceremony of a waiter twisting a pepper grinder twice, a plum in the mouth.

Quotes from television dramas as evidence of anything, being expected to like bagels, the batting of eyelids as punctuation, people who leave a stench in a lift, being blamed by the second person to enter afterwards for having created the stench, cyclists going to the head of the queue at the lights so we have to pass them again, jokes longer than two sentences, jokes in company that expects me to laugh.

The wankery of wine reviewers describing the ideal accompanying meal down to the truffle oil, the view that reading a novel is more worthy than watching television, drivers who stop at the first set of bowsers when the second set is free, restaurants that serve vegetables only as separately ordered sides, drivers who toot when dropping someone off nearby at 2am, sales staff who won’t tell me the price of a new car unless I’m buying that day, uncooked egg in anything.

They say compiling such a list is cathartic. I hope so.

What's on your list of hate? And don't worry, we will have a list of love later.

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