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Jeff Ward: How To Make Geneva a Better Place—For Me!

I haven't run out of pet peeves yet!

I’ve been watching my George Carlin DVDs again, and you know what that means. That’s right! In an effort to make Geneva a better place for, well, me (who else really matters?), it’s time for another installment in my never-ending series on, “things you all need to stop doing.” Some of you are getting pretty (expletive deleted) annoying.

So let’s begin!

Because most of you can barely breathe and drive at the same time, you really need to PUT THE CELL PHONE DOWN!

To the gentleman directly in front of me in the white Ford Explorer on State Street last week: As if running the red light at Anderson due to your inability to simultaneously talk and drive wasn’t bad enough, you had to make it much worse by slamming on the brakes and attempting to ram my vehicle in reverse.

You actually made me wish I was driving behind a senior citizen. And though you never interrupted your conversation—I almost did! Next time something like this happens, I’m confiscating cell phones.

And speaking of cell phones, why is it everyone I see walking down State or Third Street has a cell phone plastered to their ear. STOP IT! Aside from the exercise, the entire point of taking a walk is to get away from the kind of folks who think their lives are so important they need to interrupt yours with news of their cat coughing up a hairball.

My sons have been instructed to avail themselves of my cell phone only if one of them has been bleeding for at least 15 minutes, they’re starting to feel faint and a band-aid hasn’t worked.

When my younger son interrupted a five-mile Great Western Trail run with a request to be taken to Target later that day, we didn’t feed him for a week. He got the message.

And speaking of children, despite what you might think, your infuriating progeny are never “cute.” I can barely tolerate my own two miscreants, much less yours. Please! Keep them to yourselves.

For example, in and of itself, visiting Trader Joe’s with your four young children after church isn’t a crime, but arming each one of 'em with one of those mini shopping carts certainly should be. While the two that insisted on ramming me from the side and behind didn’t put a dent in your cloak of obliviousness, they certainly managed to put one in my ankle.

Even when your youngest sped around a corner, capsized his cart, and coated the floor with shards of glass and spaghetti sauce, you never apologized to the staff and let the rest of your ill-mannered brood carry on.

And the mother was pregnant! Why is it that the folks who can’t control one child insist on having five?

Oh! And by the way. Though I absolutely love Trader Joe’s, you need to GET RID OF THOSE (expletive deleted) KIDDIE SHOPPING CARTS. It aggravates the (expletive deleted) out of the rest of us. You might be making one little urchin happy, but they’re making the rest of us miserable.

My suggestion would be to take the material from those carts and build a kiddie cage so paying customers could finally shop in peace. Since I have yet to see a 4-year-old whip out his wallet and pay the grocery bill, you might want to consider catering to your target audience.

STOP USING THE WORD “EPIC.” As in, anyone who applies that adjective to themselves is an “epic” failure. I hear it in . People say it in . And now it’s even made it’s way onto TV commercials. STOP IT! If everything in your meaningless life is “epic” then NOTHING IS!

Back to the whole phone thing! One of my wife’s pet peeves is people who, when asked a voicemail question like, “Do you want to go to the movies this weekend?” don’t call you back. As a Tri-Cities Soccer coach, I can attest that this phenomenon has reached epidemic (not epic) proportions.

So please help me understand this. You’ve purchased an expensive smart phone or some sort of tablet computer with an even more pricey data plan. You can access your e-mail and the Internet even while sitting on the can at Wheeler Park, but you can’t so much as return a simple call asking if your son will make it to the game? Didn’t your mother ever tell you that’s rude?

And so we’re back to confiscating cell phones.

But just when you’re thinking, “That (expletive deleted) columnist has finally gone over the curmudgeonly cliff,” in a heretofore unprecedented move, I’m actually considering removing a group from my long list of intolerable annoyances. No! It’s not Geneva aldermen or the District 304 School Board. It’s motorcyclists!

We’ve previously discussed their insufferable conduct toward road bicyclists, which includes buzzing us at high speeds, verbal taunts and generally behaving like a bunch of immature louts. But this past weekend, after encountering dozens of self-propelled bikers throughout my approximately 70 miles of riding, not only did nary a one engage in that kind of antisocial behavior, but four separate motorcyclists waved at me with all five fingers!

At first, I thought I’d accidentally slipped into some sort of alternate quantum reality, but then I read about 20-year-old Bristol Palin releasing an autobiography where she blamed wine coolers for the loss of her virginity. But that’s a whole new level of annoying we'll deal with another time.

Wow! I feel much better now. These columns are way better than therapy and a heck of a lot cheaper!

Jeff Ward June 27, 2011 at 03:29 PM
Rich, You got the point! Those columns are a lot of fun to write. Jeff
Jeff Ward June 27, 2011 at 05:15 PM
Alright, Sandy. I forgive you!
Rudy June 28, 2011 at 12:05 PM
Wow what a bunch of thin skinned criers lately! The article was meant to be funny and slightly insightful and trust me my kids would rather deal with a stranger than face my wrath! I take a quote from one of my favorite movies TAKE IT EASY MYRIN!
Rob O. June 28, 2011 at 02:13 PM
Anyone go to the parade? Look up the column on the parade and you can read my cranky thoughts of the parade.
Dennis C. Ryan June 28, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Jeff; You should add to your list those Geneva drivers who make U-turns in traffic on State Street to get into a parking spot on the opposite side of the street. And, don't class all motorcyclists together. We don't all ride Harleys, wear nose-picker fingerless gloves, and play "Hell's Angel" on weekends while away from our accountants' office desks.

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