Things that make the ‘A’ list

Bob McKee

Jan. 1, 2018, is still a few months away but that is the time most people make resolutions which they promptly abandon. I no longer make such resolutions knowing from experience that I will be either: (a), unwilling or (b), unable to execute them. That avoids a lot of self-induced guilt later on.

However, I do like to make lists, even those that itemize “things to do around the house today (or tomorrow, or next week, maybe before winter). The lists I really like to make, though, are those that cover wants, as in a new shotgun, motorcycle, pickup truck, that sort of thing. I compile those kinds of lists now and then knowing the likelihood of checking them off is near nonexistent. It’s still a fun exercise, albeit a selfish one.

My proclivity for making lists has a negative side. I make lists of things that irritate me and daydream about removing those irritants from my life. Please do not be alarmed over that last statement, they are after all only daydreams. 

The list of things that irritate us seems to get longer in direct proportion to the number of birthdays behind us. Following are a few of the things that have so far spiked my blood pressure in 2017. The pessimistic side of me is reasonably sure, and fearful, that these things will continue to irritate me in 2018. Most need no elaboration or further comment.

1. The Congress of the United States of America.

2. The President of the United States of America.

3. The Missouri General Assembly.

4. The Democratic Party.

5. The Republican Party.

6. The  so-called Tea Party’s mindless obstructionism.

7. People who use social media, Facebook, Twitter and the like, for their personal soapbox.

8. End of world predictions.

9. The U.S. Congress.

10. Idiots whom the state has licensed to get behind the wheel of a 5,000-pound automobile. In that vein, people who buy cars without turn signals and headlight dimmer switches, an effort to cut costs I suppose. And drivers who obviously and sincerely believe that speed limits, stop signs and no passing zones are for other people.

11. Television commercials. Television newscasts. Television programming in general.

12. Tamper proof food and medicine containers.

13. Big Drug companies.

14. Insurance companies in general but especially those that provide, or so they say, health care insurance.

15. Big Banks.

16. Congress.

17. Plastic in almost any form, especially that impenetrable plastic clamshell packaging that comes with most consumer goods, and fine spirits “bottled” in plastic containers. Blasphemy.

18. Gun control advocates. 

19. Gun and ammunition manufacturers who take advantage of possible gun control legislation scares to justify significant price increases, sometimes as much as double or triple, on their products.

20. Weekly, or even more frequently, solicitations from this or that organization wanting me to donate to something or for something. Universities are among the worst offenders, not like they didn’t get enough of my money when I was there. Or when our kids were wondering around their campuses

21. Packages with instructions that say “to open tear here” but don’t. Along the same line (no pun intended) are statements from creditors that ask for a portion of the statement to be returned “with your check” but that portion fails to separate along the perforated line as intended. Or statements from this newspaper that aren’t even perforated requiring the portion they want returned to be cut off with scissors. When you can find scissors.

22. The U.S. Congress.

23. Gas prices.

24. Politicians of any party who think Social Security is an entitlement.

25. The creeping infirmities of age.

The list could go on and on but I don’t want to project too much negativity here. Still, a year from now I can probably rerun this column in its entirety knowing that few, if any, of these irritants will have disappeared by then. More than likely there will be a bunch more to add to the  “I” list.