The 2005 List of Whinges
November, being between the month of required thankfulness and fear* and that of required festiveness, is the ideal time of year to reflect on all those things that really enrage you — or merely annoy.
Maybe it’s the dark, dark days and the return of the chill of winter or perhaps the need to wear a lot more clothing — layers and layers. Probably, in my case, it’s just the Joy of the Season.
Therefore, it is with great pleasure (no, really) that I present my annual List of Whinges.
(Note: an enormous amount of effort was expended in the organisation and editing of the subjects and so I have, after much soul-searching, pared the list down to 26, provided alphabetically for easy reference.)
AVARICE — `Greed is good’ as a moral foundation was just the starting point for the company of thieves marching one-by-one (because they tend to turn on each other once the heat is on) into courts all over the world. It isn’t enough to have enough. One must have it all. That doesn’t leave much for the rest of us. The behaviour reminds me of my years as a school marm, trying to ensure that everyone had a chance to play with the sports equipment. There were always those who wouldn’t share and who often were quite canny at thinking up games that required all the equipment available — and the schools I taught at never had a lot, generally.
BARE MUFFIN TOPS — The fashion of the lowest possible slung below-the-Equator-attire appears to be on its way out. I don’t care about the appearance. They just look so cold!
CAR ADS — Cars that are sold, apparently with the express purpose of tearing up our limited uninhabited land or speeding through and around traffic at raceway speeds, should never be purchased by anyone with an ounce of self-respect. What the ads are saying is, `We know you lot are a bunch of aging adolescents, so, despite the fact that one car is pretty much the same as the next, you’ll buy anything that shores up this fading image’. Pathetic.
DISHES — doing of.
EXCELLENCE — much too subjective.
FALSE FINGERNAILS — or whatever the term is — those inches long appendages that require the most peculiar accommodation when using a keyboard of any sort. Fascinating to watch but how does one do up buttons and zippers?
GRIT — true grit or not, we’re all just doing our best here.
HEALTHFUL — not the aspiration, just the word.
IMAGE — What’s with all these makeovers and the idea that `ordinary human’ is not a good enough image? And have all those super-groomed and shiny ladies in the audiences of afternoon talk shows been selected out from the grotty rest to sit in the front or what? And if women’s magazines are really about women why do they nag so much? Nagging you can get anywhere.
JUNK — We’ve got so much there are whole stores devoted to storage devices — and, of course, consultants.
KITSCH — see above.
LABOUR — as seen on TV. Is it just me or does anyone else really not want to peer into some other women’s `space’ as her baby arrives? What kind of message does this send to the child? Do they automatically assume celebrity in their own minds? If so, try telling that child `No’!
MARKET — as a verb e.g. `You must market yourself’. Do you want to work for a company that believes you are really for sale? And if you are, do you really want to work for a company that would buy you?
NONSENSE — No one appears to appreciate this exquisite form of humour.
OPERA SINGERS — Whatever happened to the fat lady?
PRETENSION — Keeping Up Appearances was a comedy programme from Britain. It’s not a Way of Life.
QUESTIONS — I have no answers nor has anyone else. Leave them be.
RUSHING — Not only can you not have it all, you can’t do it all. Savour the moment for once.
SLAVERY — Too big an issue for a whinge. The economic belief system’s faith in the gods called Market Forces that will look after all — both the weak and the strong — has resulted in the vast majority of the world’s working population being enslaved to some extent. If you are in a job that requires unpaid overtime, you’ll know what I mean. If you can’t get a job because your kind of employment has been `exported’, you’ll know what I mean. If you are making `designer’ togs for pennies a day, you’ll know what I mean. If you live and work in a `Free Trade Zone’ (unprotected work camp generally — look it up), you’ll know what I mean.
T&A — What was the point of feminists such as myself working to gain control of our bodies, in legislation at least, when girls have been brainwashed to believe that control means using the male view of women as the norm?
UNNECESSARY VIOLENCE — I no longer watch hockey.
VANITY — I’m just jealous really.
WASTE — `Waste not, want not’ was a favourite saying in my childhood and I still can’t stand to see anything wasted. (Also refer `Junk’ above.)
X-RAYS — I couldn’t think of anything else. Besides, I’ve been sick.
YUMMY MUMMIES — There’s something necrophiliac about that term. Is it just me?
ZIPPERS — Give me elastic waists any day.
*Thanksgiving and Hallowe'en are both in October in Canada. We just like to get things over before the snow.
Born and raised in a small Ontario town that became a large bedroom community post-war, Pat Beurteaux began her career as a primary school teacher, a career that permitted her to travel to Australia as a `working holidayer' in the mid-60s. At that time any British Commonwealth citizen could travel and work in any other Commonwealth country under certain conditions; a good deal of fun was had by all.
You may reach Pat by emailing email@example.com