Revenge of the peeves
November 16, 2005 8:22 AM   Subscribe

So, you're a student of human behavior? Ok, top this: A guy who discretely drops embarrassing or expensive little items (like condoms and shaving razor refills) into other peoples' shopping carts at the supermarket if they block the aisle with their cart. Or the guy who overpays his parking tickets by 3 cents to force his local parking authority to cut him refund checks. Then there's the guy from San Francisco who got so pissed about never finding parking that he decided to add a couple stickers to his truck so it looked vaguely like a delivery vehicle which meant he could start parking in loading zones. Petty? definitely. But damn funny too. It comes from this book out now with a bunch of stories about the things people do to get back at the smallest frustrations in life. Some of the tactics are completely pointless. But most of it is pretty clever. (The book is called Life's Little Annoyances) and I just came across the book's blog. Personally, my favs were the ones about how people get back at those obnoxious little subscription cards that fall out of magazines. At the same time, I was pretty disappointed there wasnt a better method offered for dealing with those automated voice system that never seem to understand what you say.
posted by Eric123 (23 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: self-link, or posted by a friend, use mefi projects instead

The article ("True Tale #4") on the front page makes me think - hey, it's another asshat who thinks that the appropriate reaction to crap policies from management is to harrass wage slave cashiers. It bodes ill for the book.
posted by graymouser at 8:28 AM on November 16, 2005

Shaving razor refills are embarassing? What, your beard shaves itself?
posted by jonmc at 8:32 AM on November 16, 2005

I think the proper name of this particular disorder (from the DSM-IV), is "assholism".
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 8:34 AM on November 16, 2005

drops embarrassing items into other peoples' shopping carts at the supermarket if they block the aisle

That's a cool idea. One my roommates from days of yore, when we went in crowded stores together, always grumbled about wanting a machete. The scary thing is he was a can short when he moved out, and I haven't heard from him since.
posted by rolypolyman at 8:35 AM on November 16, 2005

I thought it was "spoiled whiny little shit-itis."
posted by jonmc at 8:36 AM on November 16, 2005

or "petty, self-centered prickitis" a variant of full blown "fucking prickitis"... such as people who exhibit overly aggressive behavior while sitting in traffic jams.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 8:38 AM on November 16, 2005

Re: True Tale #4

The correct answer to the cashier's query is "No."
It's quick and painless, and doesn't leave an irritated line of people behind you.
posted by maryh at 8:39 AM on November 16, 2005

Shaving razor refills are embarassing?

No, but they're small and expensive. He's trying to jack up their bill without them noticing.
posted by dobbs at 8:39 AM on November 16, 2005

Why don't we just start challenging each other to duels?

Oh wait, that's what metatalk is for..
posted by craniac at 8:43 AM on November 16, 2005

posted by Sticherbeast at 8:45 AM on November 16, 2005

I used to keep a sheet of stickers copied from the Happy Mutant Handbook to put on the products in the shopping carts of people who blocked the aisles in the grocery. Yes sir, those pickles are for code level magenta humans only.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:45 AM on November 16, 2005

Right, repaying in kind. Brilliant. For the spoiled child in all of us. Who's the bigger jackass, the original perp or the calculating respondant?
posted by scheptech at 8:49 AM on November 16, 2005

Do people seriously care so fucking little about the actual problems in this world right now that they need to forumlate ways to "get back" at people who block aisles because "excuse me" apparently isn't in their fucking vocabulary?

I don't much go for this guy's petty revenge fantasies, but if we're honest with ourselves, i think we'll admit that somebody elbowing us on the subway gets us angrier than say, child slavery in Sierra Leone. It's not that larger world events aren't horrible and troubling, but the media bombards us with so much violence and inhumanity that we're numb to it, and those of us of a certain age have never known a world that wasn't full of such things. Thus it all seems a little abstract and beyond us.

The guy holding you up at the checkout line, not so much. It's not a good thing, but there you have it.
posted by jonmc at 8:54 AM on November 16, 2005

What's a good petty vengeance maneuver against people who still use HTML tables for layout?
posted by brownpau at 8:55 AM on November 16, 2005

A book on how to be passive aggressive towards my fellow man? Eh, I'll take the profundity of Pranks! instead.
posted by hellbient at 8:55 AM on November 16, 2005

XQUZYPHYR: Agreed. This is essentially a form of pranking and a malicious one at that. There is simple politeness in the face of rudeness and, if you want to get creative, certainly ways to "get back" without being an asshole or malicious.

Everyone gets frustrated every once in a while and becomes a boorish moron, but actively being moronically boorish just steps beyond in so many ways. It's a sociopathology.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:55 AM on November 16, 2005

brownpau, please don't point out my obsolete skill. I'm a little sensitive about it.
posted by hellbient at 8:58 AM on November 16, 2005

I was paying cash for an XM Receiver at Best Buy. The cashier wouldn't sell it to me if I didn't give her my information.

Target did.

So, sometimes "no" doesn't work.

People do those little things in an effort to feel they have some control in their lives. Of course they don't, but it is a nice little bleed valve for some.

And I bet the vast majority of people have fantasized or done something similar at least once or twice. Either that or they are the really aggressive assholes the rest of us are always having to say "pardon me" to.
posted by ?! at 8:58 AM on November 16, 2005

posted by jonson at 8:59 AM on November 16, 2005

This is how things work in the Middle East.
posted by ori at 9:03 AM on November 16, 2005

Is this a self-link?

The guy has made the 5 requisite links to permit him to make an FPP. And his first FPP is, ostensibly, a product advertisement.
posted by dios at 9:05 AM on November 16, 2005

brownpau - ten bucks says the page displayed fine in your browser...
posted by nthdegx at 9:05 AM on November 16, 2005

I tried to buy a keyboard once at an Apple store right next door to CompUSA in Salem, New Hampshire. It was a small, Mom-and-Pop store...and the girl asked for my home address and phone number. I politely declined. She insisted.

I raised my voice a bit -- still polite, but to make sure the manager (standing nearby) could hear. Sure enough, the manager came over...and agreed that I needed to give the information. I tried one last time. "I'm paying cash. You're telling me that unless I give you my home address and telephone number, you won't sell me this keyboard?"

Nope. I walked next door and bought the same item, ten dollars cheaper, from CompUSA. The Mom-and-Pop store closed a few months later.
posted by cribcage at 9:06 AM on November 16, 2005

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