Little Things That Are Guaranteed to Make You Blow Your Top

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They say to not sweat the small stuff. In a perfect world, that’s great advice. But we don’t live in a perfect world, and it’s really the small, inconsequential things that fill us with unspeakable rage.

Just try to keep your cool when someone cuts you off in traffic, puts an empty carton back in the fridge or gives you one restaurant check for 15 people to figure out. It’s way easier said than done.

Texting in the Movie Theater

The old saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words. But one texted word during the movies is worth a thousand punches. For film fans, nothing is more infuriating. Once the lights dim and the movies start, everyone is ready to get lost in the big story.

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Until jerkwad in front of you lights up the whole aisle with his texts. Between tickets and snacks, a trip to the movies for two can easily cost $50. A seemingly inconsequential text can ruin a pretty expensive night.

Shopping Cart Traffic Jams

If people behaved on the road with their cars as they do in supermarkets with their grocery carts, the world would have already devolved into complete anarchy — Mad Max style. Stepping into your neighborhood grocery store is an infuriating descent into lawlessness.

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There should be tickets for bad behavior in the grocery aisle. Slow carts get a ticket. Carts with open containers of food get fined. People who park their carts diagonally and block both lanes of traffic while they find their items…well, that should warrant some extended jail time.

Inconsiderate Spoilers

We all know that jerk — the one who says they love the movies but then takes special delight in spoiling them for everyone. We get it, dude. You already bought tickets for the midnight showing of the Star Wars sequel the night it premiers.

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But then instead of telling us how much he enjoyed it in a non-revealing way, he blows the ending for everyone without even so much as a “WARNING: SPOILERS” tag on his social media post. If people could be rated, he’d be a 0% rotten tomato.

People Who Don’t Pick Up After Their Dogs

There are no bad dogs, only bad owners. And owners who don’t pick up after their pets are a special kind of degenerate. They’re basically leaving a rude insult for anyone else who happens to pass by, or worse, step into something gross.

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Ultimately, their negligence will be taken care of by a city worker or someone else who wants to keep their environment clean. But this just shouldn’t happen in a civilized society. If caught, a community service sentence of cleaning up after other offenders seems like the perfect punishment.

Tangled Earbuds

It’s uncertain exactly how earbuds get as messed up as they do. How does the mere act of carrying earbuds in your pocket or purse tie them into a hopelessly entangled giant knot? On the outside, it feels like pure black magic, perhaps even an attack by demonic forces.

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The only remedy, outside of calling a priest, seems to be to buy a pair of the wireless kind or to adopt an OCD method of keeping them organized in their own container. Time to shell out for a Bluetooth set…

Slow Websites

This is a phenomenon specific to modern times. Some people call it “loading fatigue.” Others call it “the waiting gloom.” Yet one phrase seems to really nail the feeling: “load rage.”

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In a society where instant gratification is not only expected but is also demanded, waiting longer than 30 seconds to load a website or video is its own personal apocalypse. If you can’t get your cat video to play immediately, you might as well go back to covered wagons for transportation and the Black Plague for entertainment.

Last Cup of Coffee, No New Pot

There’s a thin, mocha-colored line preventing office workers from a worldwide cubicle rebellion. And that line is held up by an unending supply of access to coffee. Mess with the coffee part of the equation, buster, and things start to fall apart — fast.

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Was it Dale who failed to make a new pot after drinking the last cup? If it was, Dale may have much worse things to be afraid of than a pink slip. Interrupting office workers from mainlining their caffeine is a quick way to get disappeared.

The Baby, the Baby

Babies are cute, sure. But it’s virtually guaranteed that no one on Earth thinks your baby is as cute as you do. Some people will humor you and put on a show about how adorable your little rugrat is. But don’t let them fool you.

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Deep down, many folks resent it. Not because they hate you, but because they can’t stand the incessant rattling on about your little bundle of DNA. On behalf of everyone, thank you for perpetuating our species. Now can you just shush?

Poor Hygiene on an Airplane

People are already testy on an airplane. Getting sealed in a metal tube with dozens of strangers while streaking through the sky at neck-breaking speed is not anybody’s idea of a good time, no matter how many tiny bottles of vodka they’ve imbibed.

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But to put up with the indignity of someone airing out their stinky feet or drying out their underwear on those little air nozzles is just too much to bear. Your poor hygiene is your choice, but getting epically shamed over it should be mandatory.

The Long Coffee Order

Coffee used to be simple. Black, or maybe cream and sugar. That’s it. Now, not only are there dozens of possible orders and sizes, but there are also hundreds of types of beans to choose from. This makes it all the more important to have your order memorized when you get to the front of the line.

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If you’re undecided with lots of questions or have an order that’ll take the whole team to make, the people behind you will revolt. Rage looks particularly nasty on the walking uncaffeinated.

Backseat Drivers

There’s really no excuse for backseat drivers these days. With a GPS connecting to the world’s information and bounced off of satellites in outer space, what on Earth can some person in the backseat have to offer in the way of directions?

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But then, backseat driving isn’t just suggesting another best route to get there — it’s also criticizing the ways we drive. It’s always too fast, too slow, too jerky, not passing… Until the day comes when the DMV offers backseat driving licenses, it’s time to just shut it.

Hitting the Funny Bone

There’s nothing funny about it. It’s a cruel trick of human anatomy that a weird notch at the back of your elbow can cause so much debilitating pain. If you get hit hard enough, your whole arm might go numb.

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It’s the kind of incident you forget about. You can go years without hitting your funny bone. Then, in one weird moment you remember “Oh yeah. There’s that annoying pain that seems to serve no purpose whatsoever.” If this isn’t a life-threatening injury, why does it hurt so darn much?

Toilet Seat Arguments

The toilet seat should always stay up. The toilet seat should always stay down. It’s a classic battle re-enacted across homes everywhere, with neither side really willing to give up much ground. Is this really a big deal?

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For something so small, it sure causes a lot of anger. Here’s a suggestion — how about nobody gets what they want? After each trip to the bathroom, pull the lid down to cover the seat. Yes, it’s pure anarchy, but at least it’ll get both sides to shut up in confusion.

Figuring Out a Group Check

One day in the future, we will have developed an AI robot that’ll be deployed to tables trying to figure out a group check. Not only will it have everyone’s totals, but it will count out money from each customer’s available cash, figure out what amount goes on which card and leave everyone satisfied.

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It’ll even be programmed to spout off phrases like “I got you” or “Let me put in extra for the tip” or “Don’t worry; it all works out in the wash.” Then we’ll finally have world peace.

People Stuck on Their Phones

It’s awkward to be guilty of doing that one thing in society that we can all agree is awful, yet we do it anyway. Phone addiction is real, and it’s ridiculous. Drive by an outdoor cafe any day of the week and watch how many couples are on their smartphones instead of talking to each other.

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Having a pocket-sized supercomputer networked with everyone and everything isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Being connected to everyone but the people in front of you seems like a lousy way to live.

Breaking a Yolk

A hearty breakfast comes with eggs-pectations. People are very specific about how they want their eggs, including the consistency, shape and level of doneness. The difference between poached and scrambled, for example, is almost as great as the difference between a cat and a dog.

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So if you’re one of those “sunny-side up” or “over-easy” kinds of people, then having a broken yolk before you’re ready to eat is a total disaster. The whole dish is ruined. Might as well just trash this batch and start over.

Hammering a Thumb

It’s a classic, but it’s real. Ideally, no one should be slamming their thumb with the full force of a hammer. That’s serious enough to break it, for sure. And furious swearing is mandatory.

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But even a little “love tap” meant for a metal nail can feel like the end of the world when it collides with your biggest and most useful digit. If you’ve never been made aware of the breadth and depth of your profanity vocabulary, you might even surprise yourself once your thumb gets the hammer treatment.

Cut Off in Traffic

What is it about getting into a car that completely changes people’s personalities? You can be the nicest person in the world, but once you step into that car, it’s anybody’s guess what kind of jerk you’re going to transform into.

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The bad news is…we’re all jerks. Everyone going slower than us is an idiot, and anyone driving faster than us is a maniac. And if we happen to cut off someone along the way, well, they probably deserved it. But if we get cut off? Oh, the indignity!

Updates That Break Your Phone

There’s no analog comparison to what our phones put us through. At no point in the past did our trusty toolbox sitting in the garage transform itself overnight to a set of completely different tools. That’s something we never had to worry about.

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Nowadays, just as we finally learn the digital tools in our smartphones, a mandatory update comes along and changes everything. Your photos are suddenly in albums you didn’t ask for. Your contacts are screwy. Your voicemail goes into a black hole. It’s in your contract: Suffering is mandatory.


Did you hear the latest Taylor Swift song? How about now? No? Don’t worry; soon it’ll be everywhere. Because these days, you don’t have to look for the latest pop song. It’ll find you.

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And we have nothing against Taylor Swift. It doesn’t matter who the artist is. If the radio and streaming gods have deemed that a song must be popular, it will be. And even after the song has finished playing, it’ll be branded into your brain, forcing you to sing the same tune over and over again.

Too Many Items in the Express Line

The fact that people don’t follow the rules in a “15 items or less” line means we’ve basically failed as a society. We’re either unable to count or unwilling to. If we can’t get past the number 15 in our heads, how can we ever get to higher concepts like peace or love?

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The offenders in these checkout lines are either too dumb to count or too selfish to care. Either way, it’s not good. Here’s a devious suggestion: Send offenders to the back of the longest line.

Loudspeaker on a Stranger’s Phone

Hey kids! Want to listen to a stranger’s random and pointless conversation? No? How about enjoying one of the lovely songs with a heavy bass beat? No to that, too? Guess speaker phones aren’t for you. Or most people, really.

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In reality, putting a call on speaker mode is probably the most abused feature that smartphones have to offer. It’s sad, really, because it could be cured with one easy rule: Speakerphone conversations are not for strangers. And speakerphone music should only be happening at parties where you’re a host or a guest. Done.

No Turn Signals

Is society collectively lazy? Is it too much to ask, while you’re driving a potentially lethal vehicle weighing a ton or more at high speeds, to flick your wrist to indicate to other drivers where you might be going?

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The answer to that question is an emphatic “yes.” It’s too much to ask most people, either because they’re not sure where they’re going or they don’t care about you at all. The unsure people don’t like those kinds of restrictions, man. And the people who don’t care are jerks.

Empty Cartons in the Fridge

Putting an empty carton back in the fridge is particularly infuriating because it benefits no one, not even the offender. Sure, the person who did it can avoid actually throwing something in the trash, but the physical act of doing that is about the same as putting something back in the fridge.

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Meanwhile, you fake others out, and you fake yourself out in the future. No, you don’t actually have eggs, remember? You put the empty carton back. Because of that, you didn’t go out and get more eggs. Now you can’t make your frittata. Happy?

Bad Parking

There are some skills in life that don’t really impact people negatively if you don’t have them. No one cares if you never learned how to play the piano — that doesn’t really matter to anybody in any meaningful way.

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But when someone never learns to park correctly, it impacts everyone else who’s trying to park right next to them. What could have been two, or maybe even three, spaces is now ruined for everyone. One car, three spaces. It just really messes with our sense of right and wrong.

Toilet Paper the Wrong Way

Are there really right ways and wrong ways to put the toilet paper on the toilet paper dispenser? Yes, there most definitely are. It’s logic, you see. You want the paper closest to you, so it’s easier to reach and easier to roll out the number of squares you’re going to tear off.

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But to settle the argument, understand that the man who patented the toilet paper dispenser drew it the correct way in the diagram. With paper rolling out over the top, not behind. So glad we could all have this talk.

Bad Directions From GPS

Everyone wants to beat traffic or get to an unfamiliar destination safely, and for that, GPS is the greatest invention ever. Except for when it might inadvertently lead you off a cliff or give you directions to the bottom of a lake.

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Hey, it’s great, but it’s not perfect. Though it may technically find you the shortest route distance-wise during rush hour, it won’t tell you that you have to take a left across six lanes with no stoplight. If it takes 20 minutes to take that left, what’s the point?

People Ending Every Sentence Like a Question…?

You know? What we’re talking about? Those strange people, mostly from California? Like, they tell you stories and they end every sentence or phrase in an upending, like a question? Like, Amy went? To the store?

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Yes. It’s as annoying to read as it is to listen to. We’re not sure exactly when it started, but it seems like it came from the West Coast and infected the rest of the country from there. But hey, if you want to sound confused and keep your listener that way too, keep talking like this.

Close Talkers

A healthy sense of personal space and respect for the space of others around you is essential, especially when you’re living in a big city. When everybody is practically on top of everyone else, a mere 10 inches of personal space can be the difference between breathing easy and a fight.

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For some reason, close talkers never picked up on this non-verbal cue. No matter how much you back up to reclaim your space, they keep inching forward to make their point. It might be best to give up on the friendship entirely.

Rain After Washing Your Car

Ancient tribal societies had certain special rituals to bring on rain, like dances and songs. If done the right way, these would please the gods, and they’d send rain.

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But the rain gods are petty now, maybe because no one sings or dances for them anymore. All they’ve got is that amazing moment you have when you just washed your car. You’ll get to enjoy that sparkling-clean finish for about an hour before the torrential rains pour and the gods laugh and high-five each other.