Welcome to our regular Saturday feature “What Aggravates Me” by Comedian John Knight
Just tossed the 2015 calendar into the recycling bin. It could come back as 2017 or the cardboard inside a roll of toilet paper. The possibilities are endless.
I’ve never been a big fan of New Years. I guess it goes back to being a kid when it always meant the last day of Christmas vacation. I’ll never forget first period on January 2 of seventh grade. Mr. Berta, the science teacher had a big smile on his face when he said,
“We have a bright shiny new year.”
I’m looking out the window. It’s cold, dark and snowing, there’s not another break from school until June and this guy’s acting like it’s a piece of new electronic equipment. At the time I didn’t realize the difference between being paid to be somewhere and being obligated.
A lot of people spend New Year’s Day nursing the worst hangover they’ve ever had. I guess the rest of the year can only go uphill from there. We spent January 1 driving to Pittsburgh from my New Year’s Eve show in Altoona. I’ve done New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas a few times and if you think there’s a difference between Altoona and Vegas…Well, of course there is…its Altoona for God’s sake!
Anyway, I’ve never been a person to make resolutions. They can only lead to disappointment when you can’t keep them. You can’t help but have those thoughts enter your head. That’s probably why I was thinking that maybe it was time to stop letting things annoy me so much.
That thought lasted about ten minutes until I had to pass the first dim-wit on the right. It was something I had to keep doing along the way. These drivers weren’t just going under the speed limit in the passing lane. They were hardly moving at all. It was if there was some kind of contest to see who could be the biggest idiot on the road.
An hour into the drive I stopped at a GetGo for gas. I went inside to grab a cup of coffee and got in line. As I got into line to pay, the cashier informed the woman in front of me that her total was five dollars and seventy-one cents. The woman went into her purse and began to count a series of nickels, dimes and pennies. Somewhere in the fifty’s she lost count and had to start over. Meanwhile, as I waited for this woman to remember her second grade math skills, four people completed their transactions in the other line.
Just a mile or so up the road from the gas station we came upon a red light. The light turned to green and we weren’t moving. There were two vehicles ahead of me. I gave the driver in front of me the opportunity to hit the horn. When he didn’t do it, it was up to me. It didn’t matter, he was going to get the obligatory finger anyway.
You know, when you let a person know they aren’t paying attention, they oblige with an act of hostility.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Green means go for the rest of us but for you it means I’m not done texting. Sorry, I didn’t realize you were special, moron!”
Things were really weird. I began to think maybe “The Secret Society of Stooges” were getting together for their annual “Stooge-a-Rama” in downtown Pittsburgh. I was just encountering them along the way.
When I had to slow down to thirty miles an hour to go through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, I realized nothing had changed. Here we are, the first day of a New Year and the same annoyances are everywhere.
There was no way I can avoid being aggravated but then I came up with the solution. Other people have to avoid doing things to annoy me. This year we need to make our resolution to stop aggravating John Knight.
Go at least the speed limit in passing lanes and tunnels. When you’re at a red light, pay attention, eventually it will turn green. Most important, if it’s going to take more than five minutes to count to seventy-one, break a bill. It will be a Happy New Year for all of us.
Follow John on Twitter @jknight841