Bob Thomas: Pet peeve time
December 6, 2012
I know we all have pet peeves that can sometimes drive us loony. Today I’m writing about four of mine, and perhaps some of you dear readers will send us letters describing one of yours. Peeve No. 1: This has to do with restaurants — many, many restaurants. How often have you tried to shake pepper out of the shaker only to find that it won’t come out? I happen to be an avid pepper lover, which is probably related to my French heritage. Give me fine pepper, coarse ground pepper, pepper on eggs, salads, baked potato, grits, vegetables and just about everything except dessert. Anyway, the problem with restaurant pepper shakers is that they are too full to permit the pepper to shake. It can’t come out of the tiny little holes when it is packed solid. Every waitress in the bloody world routinely tops off the pepper shaker when she tops off the salt shaker, without thinking that most people use far less pepper than salt. I always end up unscrewing the shaker top, tilting it slightly over my food and finger tapping lightly hoping to not smother my food with pepper, which I often do.Peeve No. 2: How many times have you driven behind some knuckle-head who persists in driving well under the speed limit on a two-lane road with a double center line, prohibiting passing. The best local example I know is the road to Virginia City from Highway 50 just east of Mound House. We attend church in VC every Sunday and invariably get behind some old geezer who thinks he owns the road, or a California tourist oblivious to traffic behind him. These drivers have absolutely no concern for those who may be on a tight schedule. I am convinced our counties should have highway signs instructing drivers on two-lane roads, with miles of double center lines, to drive the speed limit out of courtesy to those following. More than once I’ve been so frustrated that, after looking carefully for cops, I’ve passed some of them — double line or no double line. Peeve No. 3: Waiting for a stop light to turn green! I was taught to concentrate on nothing else when driving so while awaiting the green light I watch the light so I can immediately accelerate when it turns, allowing as many cars as possible behind me to catch the green. But more often than not, I’m behind a car whose lady driver takes advantage of the red light to look into her rear-view mirror and fuss with her hair, and/or look at and talk to a child in the adjacent seat, or begin texting. Again, there isn’t the slightest concern for the line of drivers behind her who, for a variety of reasons, want to get through the intersection and on their way. Moreover, this is indicative of failing to concentrate on driving while being responsible for the damage and chaos she could cause by losing control of a 3,500-pound vehicle. Now I admit that when I was a teenager in high school I had to learn the hard way. I got so many speeding tickets in one year that the judge made me teach traffic school for six months. That’s when I learned the importance of zero distractions while driving.Peeve No. 4: Crying kids in church! It’s oxymoronic but while we Catholics outnumber most other denominations we can’t seem to recruit volunteers to babysit our infants and have Sunday school for our kids during Mass time. Yes, I know that Jesus loved children and had them around him much of the time, but you can bet they didn’t interrupt his messages. If they had, he couldn’t have possibly been heard by the multitudes to whom he was speaking.Yes, typically we have more than one Mass on Sundays, but that’s no excuse for not having a nursery and Sunday school where the young could really learn something about their religion instead of being bored and restless at Mass. It’s us older folks who don’t want distractions during Mass. We need clear Gospel messages because we are closer to meeting our maker than are the young folks. • Bob Thomas is a retired high-tech industrialist who later served on the Carson City School Board, the state welfare board, the airport authority and as a state assemblyman. His website is http://www.worldclassentrepreneur.com.