Sometimes I feel as if I move through the world in a state of constant bafflement. I encounter so many things on a daily basis that make me think, Who the hell thought this up, and why didn’t someone immediately say, “This makes no sense, let’s think of another method”? When I point these things out, people look at me like I’m crazy and inform me that “this is just how things are.” But I maintain that I’m the sane one, and the following things are completely crazy.
1) Those faucets you have to keep hitting mid-hand-wash. I understand that the point of these faucets is to save water. But most automatic faucets give you about 1/3 the time you need to actually wash your hands. So you hit the faucet once, wet your hands, and put soap on them. Then you have to hit it again, thereby getting soap all over the faucet. You try to rinse your hands, but the faucet stops halfway through. So then you have to hit it a third time, thus getting all the faucet soap back on your hands, making it even harder to rinse them in the allotted time.
2) Advertising campaigns that say the opposite of what they mean. There are many, many advertising campaigns that make no sense to me. Like, somewhere, a whole boardroom full of people thought, “You know what would be a great way to sell a car? By making a commercial about animated hamsters and robots dancing together.” (This not a made up example.) But the most baffling campaigns are the ones like those Tide detergent advertisements that say, “Style is an option. Clean is not.” Really? From conception to printing, NOBODY at Tide noticed that there’s a vast difference between “Clean is not optional” and “CLEAN IS NOT AN OPTION??”
3) By the same token, Hulu Plus likes to advertise itself to me while I’m watching videos that are impossible to watch unless you have Hulu Plus. I appreciate that they want to drive home how awesome they are, but shouldn’t they be working on someone who hasn’t already purchased their product?
4) The lyrics to “Pop Goes the Weasel.” This one is probably my own fault. I swear I have looked up the meaning of this song like 17 times on Wikipedia, and I stll can’t remember what it means. It’s kind of like how I have a mental block against the word “anthroposophical.”Every time I hear it, I look it up. Still don’t have a clue what it means.
5) Asking famous people for their autographs. If I had a few seconds to interact with a celebrity, why would I waste it on asking him to write his own name? Why wouldn’t I ask him a question, or shake his hand, or give him a hug? And if I wanted a lasting souvenir, why not ask for something better? I’d much rather have Nathan Fillion give me a piece of paper that says, “Hi, Alison, you are awesome” than one that says, “Nathan Fillion.”
6) The plastic bag phenomenon. I’m guessing stores spend a ton of money on plastic bags, and yet everyone seems really eager to give me more of them than I ever wanted or needed. If I buy one apple from Gourmet Garage, they bag it for me. If I buy some Advil and a bottle of shampoo at CVS, they often double-bag it for me. And the weirdest thing of all is that when I buy those 14-pound boxes of cat litter with the handles on top, the grocery store insists on bagging them. A plastic bag isn’t strong enough to hold one of those boxes. Bagging them makes them physically impossible to carry. And yet.
7) Muffin wrappers. Why do they even exist? We don’t need paper wrappers to get muffins out of the pan; cakes don’t have wrappers, and we manage fine with those. We don’t need to make muffins easier to hold while we frost them, like cupcakes. The first thing you do when you purchase a muffin is take the wrapper off and throw it away. I just don’t get it.
8) The phrase “There there.” What on earth is it about repeating the word “there” that’s supposed to be comforting? People often follow it with something less nonsensical, like, “There there, let it all out,” or “There there, maybe this is for the best.” But why start with there there? Where where? What does this even mean??
If anyone can shed light on any of this, I will be forever grateful.