Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me”
With the Fourth of July upon us I remembered writing a column about that holiday already. Then it occurred to me that I’ve been writing these columns for a year now. The way it started was John Chamberlin approached me and said he was looking for something for Saturday and would I be interested.
I’ve known John since tenth grade Geometry class at Sto-Rox. That’s right we’re both from the Rocks. People that we meet would never guess because neither of us acts uppity or looks down our noses just because we are from McKees Rocks.
He was in ninth grade but came from Catholic School and had already taken Geometry. Catholic School is where parents send children that can’t face reality. Anyway, this was probably the most boring class I ever had. The teacher spoke in a constant monotone and never wavered from the subject of Geometry. Any time I have insomnia I picture myself back in that class and fall asleep within minutes.
It was hard enough to stay awake so learning anything was nearly impossible. That’s why it was annoying to have these Catholic School kids that knew the answers because they had taken Geometry the year before from a more enthusiastic teacher.
Even though it was many years ago, Chamberlin still brings up the time I threw gum in his hair. I can’t believe it still bothers him. I also can’t believe the fact he’s never given me credit for the shot I made. We were on opposite sides of the classroom. I tossed that gum over four rows of other students and “Bam!” Maybe eight or even ten guys in the whole world could have made that shot.
Anyway, I came up with “What Aggravates Me” as an idea. I asked my wife if she thought I could come up with something every week. She told me I could probably come up with something every day…That’s more a comment of what she puts up with than a note of encouragement.
This past week I decided to take a break and not let anything aggravate me. That lasted until the first time I left the house on Monday. I pulled out of the plan and found myself behind a van that was driving slowly. Then it sped up, then came to a complete stop, then slow and…it’s hard to describe. It was like they were looking for an address but not really. I tried to keep a safe distance between us. There was a large dent in the back of the van that told me this was not the first time they had driven like a moron.
It was when we got to the green light that things got really weird. I’ve been all over this country and most of the world. Green always means go, always…The van got to the green light and came to a complete stop. It wasn’t red and turned green, it was green when we got there! That means keep going. I’ve been driving a long time and can’t recall ever witnessing anything like it. I tapped my horn but they continued to sit at the green light. Finally when I laid on it, they started to move. The next light was red and they went right through. Luckily nobody was coming.
When you witness stupidity in its purest form, you can be taken aback. I guess it’s like seeing a UFO or Bigfoot. You can’t really believe you are seeing it.
When I told my wife about it later, she said maybe they were drunk or on drugs. I wasn’t even thinking that because it was before noon. That’s because she has a more positive outlook than me. She thinks maybe this person is an alcoholic or drug addict and can be cured by spending time in rehab. Me on the other hand, I just assume they are a complete idiot and will be that way the rest of their life. Of course if there weren’t people out there like that, what would I have to write about?
Follow John on Twitter @jknight841