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In This Essay I Will

Updated: Feb 13, 2021

In The Road to Little Dribbling, my curmudgeon spirit animal, Bill Bryson (let’s be honest; he’s practically my Patronus), makes the case for everyone being allowed ten things they dislike “without having to justify or explain to anyone why they don’t like them: reflex loathings.” Because this seemed like a fun exercise (with the bonus challenge, at this particular moment, of not just writing “Brett Kavanaugh” ten times), I humbly present to you the ten things I think I overrated, annoying, or just plain ridiculous:

1. Jimmy John’s. They only have TWO types of bread, and one of them isn’t even sub bread, just regular wheat bread. Subway has like, ten types of bread, at least one of them with cheese sprinkled on top. That’s just math, people. Plus, “freaky fast” is hardly an endorsement for a sub shop. Like maybe you could brag about being “freaky fast” if you were, I don’t know, a tailor, or a land surveyor. But again, I’m pretty sure the person working at Subway in Ocean’s 8 made Awkwafina a sandwich in real time, in the span of a reasonably short movie scene.

I swear this post isn’t sponsored by Subway.

2. Concerts and sporting events. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good live jazz set at a local bar. But why, why would I put on real clothes (including, possibly, outerwear), pay ten dollars for a Miller Lite – not to mention up to a hundred-plus dollars for admission – and go stand squished in a loud arena with a bunch of sweaty drunk people for three hours OR LONGER when I could stay in my reasonable-noise-level apartment, in my sweats, with a real beer, and watch/listen to something I can turn off whenever the carryout food coma sets in? This is a rhetorical question.

3. Escape rooms. On a similar note, why would I pay to make it more difficult to walk through a door? This is not a hobby, y’all. Or a good date night idea.

4. Mini golf. Also a terrible date night idea, and a procrastinating technique that just got taken too far. “Bernard! Stop hitting your golf balls through Timmy’s train set tunnel. I asked you to put the Christmas lights up an hour ago!”

5. When they cast two guys as opposing love interests in a movie but they look practically the same. This was a thing in the 90’s, especially in TV movies. I mean, I guess a girl can have a type, but what casting director sat through dozens – hundreds? – of auditions for two different roles and then decided to go with Joey Tribbiani and his Fake Medical Study Twin? And don’t tell me Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart don’t look similar in Philadelphia Story, because they do, and only partly because it’s in black-and-white.

6. White rice. The most boring food ever created. I will avoid it as a side choice whenever humanly possible. Ordering Indian food? Extra naan, please. Chinese? Lo mein noodles. I would almost rather have no carbs at all. (Almost. I’m not an animal.) The only time it’s acceptable is in rice pudding which YES IS A DELICOUS DESSERT DON’T ARGUE WITH ME.

7. Anything set in space. Yes, that includes Star Wars. And Star Trek. And Apollo 13. I haven’t seen Gravity, Interstellar, Passengers, or The Martian, and I don’t want to. Space is a big fat void that is simultaneously dull and very disconcerting. Why else do you think all the aliens keep coming to earth? Plus, fantasy space ships/space stations almost always look like a) the inside of a boiler room or b) the world’s most boring showroom kitchen.

Pretty sure I have this exact room in my basement.

8. Bathroom selfies. To paraphrase Jane Austen, it is a truth universally acknowledged that this is the world's biggest turnoff, yet approximately half the online dating population still thinks this is acceptable.

Huh. Only eight…maybe I’m not as crotchety as I thought? Sound off on your irrational dislikes in the comments below – maybe it will give me some ideas! In the meantime…

9. Brett Kavanaugh.

10. Brett Kevanaugh.

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