Category Archives: Modern Etiquette

Feeding time

Do NOT feed the trolls.


Seriously, just don’t.  They never stop once you start.  It is better to ignore them.



Filed under Modern Etiquette

Bad Mood

There are some people in this world who just don’t seem to understand that they irritate other people.  I am not one of these.  I know that I annoy lots of people, I know that I am pedantic, sarcastic and occasionally mean.  I can be intolerant of views and downright condescending when people do things that go directly against the actions that they could take if they bothered to look at the evidence.  People on diets tend to receive my scorn for example.  Diets are utterly ineffectual except for temporary weight loss.  What is need instead is a change in eating habits for sustainable health in most people coupled with an increase in exercise.  People who try diet after diet but lose no weight need to give up diets, go for a walk and eat their greens.

This isn’t about diets.  This is about people who are annoying but don’t know that they are annoying. Mrs The Pain in our office is one such person.  She wrongly believes that everything that she says is cute, funny and amusing.  In fact this is rarely the case.  Most often what she says is just plain stupid.  She also seems to think that the world revolves around her.

I got to work this morning with my usual alacrity.  I have a modest walk to work of about two miles which usually warms my muscles and gets the blood flowing so my excess heat can be dissipated and I don’t overheat.  However Mrs The Pain thinks that I will be freezing cold when I arrive at work because she drives to the door and then sits in a chair gossiping on the phone.  Despite assumptions about talking and hot air this doesn’t warm a body much.  Mrs The Pain also wears clothing suitable for a central heated house, heated car or summer walk on the beech.  She makes no change for approaching winter weather except to turn the radiators on in the office.

When I arrive at work it is always uncomfortably hot.  Typically it’s 25ºC (77ºF in American) which I would usually consider to be hot.  The radiators are all on and the windows are tightly closed.  In previous winters I’ve sat down and opened my window till the temperature drops to a more acceptable 21ºC although I’d be happier at 19ºC.  I’d take off surplus clothing but I already wear the minimum.  Apparently opening a window when you’re too hot is an issue that makes people complain and “piss off to another office” isn’t an acceptable response.  I’ve tried underhanded tactics like turning the boiler off and I’ve tried being reasonable but she persists in keeping to her own view that it is too cold so the heating goes on.

A compromise would help.  I could be a little too warm and she would wear a cardigan, she could leave the heating off and I could leave my window closed.  I’ve suggested as much but Mrs The Pain is unmoved.  If she is cold then the heating goes on.  I’ve even turned the boiler up and the radiators on full and taken the day off so she can experience a day of being far too hot.  She doesn’t care.  Her view is the only one that matters.

Anyway, today I arrive at the office and it’s like a furnace.  I hang my coat up and go outside to cool down but comment on the heat politely in the hope that she’ll turn it down a notch.  Apparently this means that I am in a bad mood.  I wasn’t until I’m told by Mrs The Pain that my being too hot and asking for some consideration in a shared office is a sign of my own bad attitude.  Now I’m in a stinking mood and am plotting how to torture, kill and dispose of her corpse.

Any suggestions?  We don’t need a patio at work so my first plan is out.  Such a shame really, no-one would ever think to look under a patio for a body.


Filed under Modern Etiquette, Reasons to be cheerful, Shitbiscuits, You decide

An Open Letter on Commuter Etiquette

Dear Mr WideHead

Picking your nose on the train is something that should be done either not at all or subtly.  Not at all being the preferred option.

My fellow commuter, this morning you received my most harsh stare of disgust for your blatant delving of your nasal cavities in search of an elusive booger.  When you found it you very obviously examined it, even going so far as to turn it in the dim morning light to properly appreciate the awesomeness of your sinus’ accumulated waste.  Perhaps you were checking for dura matter, I don’t know.

What I do know is that I let out a audible “Eww!” of revolt when you popped the green and fetid lump into your mouth and started chewing.  You seemed to enjoy it as you were rolling your tongue about in your mouth and murmuring happily.  You even licked your lips.

I think I should probably thank you.  I have been over eating recently and fear that I may have piled on a few pounds.  Thanks to your demonstration of snot munching I am certain that I won’t be able to eat either the noodles I had planned for lunch or the cheese and onion pies I’d put in the fridge for tomorrow.

Your faithfully


Honest Mr hoverFrog


Filed under Modern Etiquette, Shitbiscuits


You know how young children repeat the same argument over and over when they don’t get their way, haranguing and harassing their parents in an effort to get what they want?  They refused to accept the decision but have no new arguments to present.

It seems that some people never grow out of this, even when they get jobs and become parents themselves.  You’d think that after more than a quarter of a century some people would get it through their thick skins that it doesn’t work.  It rarely works for children and it has even less chance for an adult. 

Pouting doesn’t work either, it just makes me laugh at you.


Filed under Bad things happen, Modern Etiquette

le sac magique

Do shop owners offer a course in “How to annoy your customers”, I wonder.  I dislike shopping at the best of times but an efficient and friendly (even if they’re faking) staff can make the experience bearable.  One recent development that reflects government green policy is particularly galling.  The dreaded plastic carrier bag has become the red headed step child of shopping.

The government and hence the shop argument goes something like this:  Plastic bags are bad for the environment.  We should use less bags or the same bags more often.  If shops don’t reduce shopping bag use then the government will tax the bags in an effort to force then to be more environmentally conscientious.

The supermarket response to this is to sell “bags for life” and canvas bags and (this is the bit I hate) reduce the quality of the free bags and offer less of them.  This leaves the shopper with a bag that splits before you get home or the option to double bag everything thereby increasing bag use.  A split bag cannot be reused so it will add to the environmental damage.  I don’t know about you but I use my carrier bags for bagging up rubbish before it goes in the bin, for cleaning our the cat box and various sundry tasks that need a bag.  I don’t just throw them straight in the bin.

Coupled with the lower quality bag is the new policy that shops seem to have adapted of not providing or offering bags unless you ask for them.  I don’t like asking for bags and I don’t like people packing for me.  They do it wrong.   I want to be given enough bags to pack my shopping properly and I don’t want to talk sacks to the poor checkout girl or boy.  I’d rather talk about the weather or the state of the economy or holidays or some crap other than plastic bags.  I don’t want to feel like I’m asking for something that should be provided for free.

I have a solution though.  An environmentally sound, low cost solution for everyone.  Shops should provide reinforced paper bags with card handles, the paper from sustainable forests of course or bags of another material that degrade quickly.  Better yet, they should carry the shopping home for me and stop being so annoying.


Filed under Modern Etiquette, Shitbiscuits

Pi Day

Today is Pi (π) Day, March 14th (3.14) and technically at 1:59pm we celebrate.

As arbitrary celebration days go I like this one a lot.  Not only is it geeky but it is just as irrational as Christmas, Easter and all those other arbitrary days that we all choose to celebrate on a regular, yet arbitrary, basis.  It is also a day of transcendental reflection as it’s a transcendental number. 

It is also Einstein’s birthday.

How shall I spend my Pi (π) day?

Eating pie, of course, and making up a Pi-Ku.

How I wish I could,
Calculate Pi around round,
And never finished.


Filed under Drabble, Modern Etiquette, Reasons to be cheerful

Book shop

I’m annoyed.  Someone has scared away all the bookshops.  I generally buy books on-line or go to the library so I’m probably as guilty of scaring away all the bookshops as anyone else. even the second hand bookshops that used to dot the high street seem to be hiding.

I think it says something bad about a town when you pop into the only shop that sells books (WH Smiths) and ask them where the science section is, only to be show a solitary shelf.  Admittedly the shelf did have A Brief History of Time and a couple of other good books but it was largely dominated by a book of photographs of volcanoes.  I’m sure it is a very interesting book but hardly the sum total of popular science.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t walked past the three shelf units (8 shelves each) of “Sad Real Life Tales” on the way to the science shelf.  This was situated at the bottom of a set of shelves for travel books.

Let me tell you why I find this disheartening.  Robert has recommended “A Demon Haunted World” by Carl Sagan.  It seems to be out of print and I can’t buy it new online.  I can pick it up second hand and I probably will but I wanted to see it and hold it first.  I wanted to see what other books were near it in the book shop.  I want to see what else is available that I might find interesting.

When I read A Brief History of Time for the first time in 1989 it sparked my interest to read more.  I saw Chaos: Making a New Science on the shelf, liked the cover, thought the idea was interesting and read that.  This went on.  I read fiction of many genres, sci-fi and fantasy being favourites, I read autobiographies and social commentaries and every now and then I like to pick up a popular science book and have a good read.  Sometimes I even understand what I’m reading. 🙂

It worries me that my shelves at home contain more science books that the book shop.  Significantly more.  It worries me that future generations will not even have the option of picking an interesting book with some science in it.  Instead they will have only vacuous, ghost written crud from pseudo celebrities.

I am currently reading Comet by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan.  Then I’m going to read Renegade’s Magic by Robin Hobb which has absolutely nothing to do with science.  What shall I read next?


Filed under Modern Etiquette, Shitbiscuits