Standing at edge of crankiness

Burt's Eye View

It’s not your imagination. People really are angrier these days.

Why are we so downright crabby?

For starters, politics, the pandemic and persnickety people. Possibly parsnips too, but no one’s tried to feed me any of those things lately. Parsnips make me cranky.

Just about anything is liable to send us over the edge. I mean, don’t you just hate it when:

• You walk into the bank and realize that you forgot your mask?

A year ago, that would have meant something else entirely. Today, people get grumpy if they can see your smile. It’s a weird world.

• You realize that the line you’re standing in isn’t a line at all?

Places of business pasted lines, circles and X’s on their floors to show you where to stand to be a safe distance from everyone else. The confusion comes when you stand behind someone who was merely trying to choose which cookies he wanted. By the time you figure out you were stalking a guy considering the stock, three other people beat you to the real line.

• You stand on the X and an anvil drops on your head?

That one only applies to Wile E. Coyote. I hope. It does make me wonder why they insist that I stand on that exact spot.

• People who know exactly how you should do your job even though they have never worked it in their life?

Sentences that start with, “What you ought to do is…” or end with “How hard can it be?” generally begin the slow boil.

• You’re singing with the radio and the artist gets the words wrong?

But I admit that “walk this way” makes a lot more sense than “horse and sleigh,” which is what I was singing.

• You’re plagued with prescription drug commercials with side effects that sound a whole lot worse than what they’re supposed to cure?

• When people constantly misspell your name?

It’s Burt, spelled with a “U,” not Bert-with-an-E. I am not a Muppet! Remember, handsome, like Burt Reynolds. Er, wait… OK, how about like LeVar Burton? Or perhaps a snowboard?

• You walk into a room and can’t remember why?

It’s even worse when you walk into work and didn’t remember that it was your day off.

• Someone organizes your stuff so that you can’t find a thing?

My wife likes to move things to places that “make sense.” I’m still looking for my hat.

• People misplace apostrophes?

Honestly, an apostrophe does NOT make a word plural. It drives me nuts! When we get mail addressed to “The Cole’s,” Terry and I have to guess which one of us it’s for, and what, exactly, belongs to “The Cole.”

And what about homophones, like your, yore and you’re; lay and lie; there, their and they’re; and aisles and isles? These words are NOT interchangeable. They don’t mean the same thing. C’mon! Were you born in a barn with no dictionaries? Have you met a dictionary? Honestly, people! It annoys me to all kinds of aggravation when…

Oops. Crotchety churl alert. Tamp down the tirade, Burt. This year, we’re going to chill.

How about this: Paint a smile on your mask, watch out for the X on the floor, place your apostrophes appropriately, and let’s have an un-crabby new year. We can’t afford to get angrier.

— Snap at the old crank at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.


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