Monday, February 4, 2013

The Half Bagelers

Everyone has their pet peeves. Some say I have more than most. I do, and some days, I encounter more things that drive me nuts than others. It isn’t easy being perfect. Just ask Aunt Devera. I call her Mrs. Wonderful, and she has called me Mr. Perfect for as long as I can remember. That reminds me. I need to call her this week.
I cannot stand people who walk super slowly on a Metro platform during rush hour. This morning, there was a guy who alone held up an entire flow of foot traffic as he meandered through Gallery Place. For those not familiar with the Gallery Place Metro station, let me describe it. If you emerge from the Green Line, you first walk up one broken escalator then turn a corner and walk the length of the Red Line platform through throngs of people who just alighted from an overcrowded train with smoking brakes, who are walking toward you on their way to the Green Line platform from which you just emerged. As you make your way from one end to the other, you dodge roller bags, people checking their phones and the one guy who walks slower than a Passover meal making its way through your colon. At the end of the platform is another broken escalator, and to exit the station, you go through the only working turnstile and walk up another broken escalator, assisting an elderly woman who cannot catch her breath after walking up three escalators and perform CPR on her before seeing sunlight once again. I do this three times a week, and fifteen minutes of my commute is consumed by walking through the Gallery Place Metro station.
I have been taking the Green Line ever since I moved into the trailer park, and for the last nineteen months, only one of the escalators has been operational at any given time, but usually, all of them are not working. The only reason I work from home one day a week is to keep me from going on a rampage.
I always preferred buses. Although one time on a bus, this weirdo was sitting with legs stretched out into the aisle, and I accidentally stepped on one of his feet. As I passed him, he got up and punched my back pack. I turned around and said, “What have you got against my back pack you stupid mother fucker?”
My other pet peeve is people who eat a complete meal while sipping coffee on a train. It is illegal to eat or drink on a Metro train. When a movie is being filmed on a Metro platform, officials from the transit agency watch to be sure no one is eating or drinking during any of the scenes. Ironically, it is not illegal to carry a cup of coffee onto a train. A friend of mine took a sip of his coffee while standing on a Metro platform and was ticketed and fined $300. After issuing the ticket, the officer handed his coffee back to him. He asked, “Are you setting me up?” He said he wasn’t. He could carry the coffee, just not drink it. Ridiculous.
One day, I was sitting on a train, and this guy was standing over me eating his breakfast from a McDonald’s bag and holding a cup coffee. I was just waiting for him to spill either on me – he was literally over my head. I finally said in a rather loud voice (of course, when I whisper, they can hear me in Ecuador), “If you spill one crumb or your coffee on me, the next time you blow your nose, that breakfast is going to come out of it.” Everyone stopped what they were doing and stared at me, so being one who loves an audience, I continued, “What are you staring at? Don’t fuck with me. I’m from Hampton Roads, bitches!” The guy took his breakfast elsewhere, and I continued to read my paper – in peace.
Another pet peeve is people who wear headphones while trying to carry on a conversation. Oh hell, I really can’t stand people who wear headphones, but especially those who try to carry on a conversation. Once on a bus, this woman got on, wearing headphones and proceeded to ask the driver for instructions as to which bus to take to her final destination. He told her, and she kept saying, “Huh?” Meanwhile, the bus wasn’t moving while he kept telling her, and she kept saying, “Huh?” I couldn’t take it anymore. I finally screamed, “Take those goddam headphones out of your ears, you dumb ass.” She looked at me and said, “Huh?”
I find the guys who work out together while wearing headphones the most annoying. They scream at each other without realizing it. They also spend more time scrolling through their iTunes to find just the right song than actually working out.
Speaking of the gym. What is with the guys who carry all their belongings with them and rather than put them in a locker, they plop them in the middle of the workout floor, pull out a gallon jug of water, and leave their stuff in everyone’s way? These people annoy me. Why do you need a gallon jug of water? If you are that dehydrated, you should be carrying an IV bag and a stand. That would take up less room than your bag of crap you obviously don’t need. Lou Ferrigno, my favorite bodybuilder of all time, never carried around a gallon jug of water. Strangely, it wasn’t too long ago that people started carrying around sixteen ounce bottles of water, now it is gallon jugs. In ten years, they will be pulling a cistern around the gym. Then, I will be really annoyed!
Of all the pet peeves I have, the half bagelers are the ones who drive me the craziest. You know who they are … and you know who you are. For those ignorant of this species, the half bagelers are those people who try to impress everyone else with their pseudo willpower buy only taking half portions of free food in an office. My skin actually crawls off my carcass when I walk up to a platter of bagels and see half bagels. No one ever eats the other half – never – like never, ever! That half bagel will sit there all day. You already had your hands on it when you sliced it, now you have left the other half to sit there exposed to the elements, and it will be stale within thirty minutes. Why? Why do you do this? Oh my God, take the whole bagel back to your desk and throw away what you don’t eat. It is going to get thrown away by someone else if you do anyway.
These same people eat half a doughnut. Really? Do you know how fattening a doughnut is? The bitch is fried! You already took one bite. You have turned down that road. You might as well finish the damn thing. You are not impressing anyone. You want to impress people? Step away from the doughnuts! Again, no one eats the other half. Never, like never, ever!
I am actually getting annoyed thinking about this. My blood pressure is on the rise. Here is a story that will make you rethink the half bagel or doughnut, especially if you are the one in forty-two million people who actually will eat the discarded half.
I sponsored a Kiddush luncheon after Saturday morning Shabbat services a few years ago. Not being a fan of bagels (I prefer Bialystoks), I decided to serve pitas for people to make tuna and egg salad sandwiches. One congregant picked up a pita, and while coughing up enough phlegm to glue an elephant to a diving board, she sliced the pita in half and asked if anyone wanted the other half. I kid you not. No one took her up on her offer.
Even without the phlegm coating, what are you going to do with half a pita? It’s a goddam pita!
This past weekend, I took a road trip to Burlington, New Jersey, to visit my good friends Charles and Ken and see their new dog, Leo, an English Mastiff, who at eight months weighs one-hundred-ten pounds and thinks he is a lap dog. He is the biggest, most adorable baby, and my new best friend. I swear if my trailer park didn’t have a thirty-five pound weight limit, I would have kidnapped Leo, big poops and all. Dogs don’t annoy me. People do.
Anyway, Charles owns My Sticky Bunns, the best bakery in all of New Jersey, and his stick bunns are award winning. He made me a fresh batch of three dozen sticky bunns to take to work. These sticky bunns are only one and half inches wide on all sides. Get it? They are little squares. They are small. 
My co-workers loved them. One of my co-workers, who enjoys a meal more often than I do, told me how delicious they were then told me how she only took half of one.
Seriously? Half? These weren’t cheap, and now half of one will sit there all day until I throw it out. Do you get how small these are? Once you took that first bite, the deed was done. You might as well finish it! No one wants your other half! Whom are you fooling? I once saw you eat two pizzas in fifteen minutes!
I am getting annoyed all over again!
My blood pressure went up; the hair on the back of my neck stood up; and I said things of which I am not proud. I cannot repeat any of it, but let’s just say it is a good thing I keep an extra box of Kleenex in my desk.
She won’t be taking a half of anything in the near future.
If you only read half of my blog or ate a meal over someone’s head this morning, or have a water tank at your desk, follow me, join me, buy my books.

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