Grumpy Rant #46873


As I get older, I never cease to be amazed at the petty selfishness of your average human being as he or she goes about their daily tasks. I just popped up to the post office and, as often happens, all the streets within quick walking distance were bumper-to-bumper with parked cars. Except, that is, for one space which could have comfortably accommodated two and a half cars, which a woman had just parked her 4WD smack bang in the middle of. As she walked from her car I pulled up and politely mentioned that she had taken up two large spaces and that it wasn’t very considerate.

Of course, the modern method of dealing with any problem that is your fault immediately kicked in–denial. Not “you know, you’re right, I wasn’t thinking” or a slightly embarrassed “whoops, sorry, I’ll repark”. No, she gazed like a stunned mullet at her car and muttered some excuse about needing the room to back up. I kid you not, if she needed that amount of room to park, she must spend half her life looking for parking spaces in Sydney. I sighed, said “forgedabouddit” and drove off. I found a place to park a few streets away. Hell, at least I got a little exercise.

Now, is it just me that finds that selfishness annoying? Every time I park my car I think about other people, making sure that I’m not taking up unnecessary space that can be used by others.

#46873 of a continuing series.

Beep Beep


Whose bloody stupid idea was it to make cars go beep beep when they’re automatically locked? When you work in a street which is near a shopping centre and people are parking in it all day, this seemingly innocuous sound begins to take on the quality of Chinese water torture. Also, people leave their cars at 3am sometimes, outside houses with sleeping people in them. Didn’t this cross the tiny minds of the perpetrators of this astounding design flaw? Nope, they were too busy devising yet another way for their inventions to disturb the peace. “Engine noise? Check. Fumes? Check. Destroy ozone layer? Check. Annoying little beep beep sound when you lock it? Check! Righto, now for some more refinements to my other masterpiece, the leaf blower …”

Oh, why stop now:

Other Things That Shit Me As I Work From Home
– old men walking by hawking up huge gobs and spitting on the pavement

– council workers parking their trucks just outside and leaving the engine on while they eat lunch

– the same people who feel the need to always shout at each other from one end of the street to the other instead of getting a bit closer to one another

– groups of old women walking by all talking at the same time at about 2000 decibels

– the fact that someone, somewhere in the street is always operating a large power tool, if not a jackhammer

– the house three doors down that has been renovated and painted and now looks like something out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, ruining the character of the row of houses (I mean – blue walls with grey tiles? Argh!)

– people who leave shopping trolleys from the shopping centre (around the corner) in our residential street – not to mention in great numbers in the park nearby

– the screaming kids next door (of course)

– the damn barking dog a few doors down (of course)

– people who tie their dog up outside the shopping centre, resulting in said dog barking non-stop for an hour

– anyone who goes to the shopping centre and parks in this street instead of the huge shopping centre carpark (see shopping trolleys, above)

– people who eat their crap McDonalds food (from the shopping centre) and then leave all the wrappers in the grassy area at the end of the street

– going to the shopping centre and seeing hugely overweight parents feeding their hugely overweight children McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken at bizarre hours like 9am and 4.30pm

– I’m sure there are more

Design Deception



I’ve got nothing against business wanting to do business. We live in a capitalist society after all. But some businesses seem to think that any method of deception is justifiable in their quest for profit. And to me, this kind of thing is pretty much on the same level as the endless spam emails that fill your Inbox every day trying to convice you that a patch will make your penis bigger.

Take for example, the letter I received yesterday, shown above, from our friends at Reader’s Digest. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this was actually an important document of some kind, covered as it is with a despatch code, a ‘deadline compliant’ tracking reference number, a security reference number; not to mention the big red bar with DO NOT DESTROY on it, and the official-looking brown paper the envelope is made of. There’s even a printed ‘hand-written’ touch—‘information protected’.

What does all this mean? I’m special! It’s for me, and me only! If you tear open this tissue of lies the crap continues inside— the letter repeats the ‘deadline compliant’ graphic, but this time to look like a green sticker; the endless reference numbers continue, the letter is personalised throughout. Someone didn’t return their Sweepstakes entry—and that mistake cost them $50,000! I’ve passed two of the three stages necessary to win up to FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS! There are lots of CAPITALS and bolded words! My neighbours—apparently—are looking in their letterboxes in vain!

Deception, outright lies, pre-meditated, cold-hearted fakery. Everything about this piece of communication and design is intended to fool the recipient, whether they be someone who can immediately spot the deception a mile off and immediately throw it in the recycling bin where it belongs, or a geriatric pensioner with no money to spare living with the false belief that Reader’s Digest is still an organisation of integrity.

If they came to me to design this letter—I’d tell them to bugger off.