"Pretty pathetic but that's all we have these days."
By Nury Vittachi

Every day, I spring out of bed at six in the morning intending to spread sweetness and light all day. And then the idiots happen.

You know the feeling. One moment you're Mother Teresa and then you're Shiva, the destroyer of worlds.

Example: Mr X (not his real name) was two hours late for dinner. When we finally started eating, he said: This meat's overcooked.

Now, answer honestly: Would it not be totally morally justified to use the steak knife I was holding to remove this person from the human gene pool?

Lucky for me there was good news in the newspaper the following morning. Governments around the world are making it an actual crime to be an annoying person. Someone has been reading my thoughts again (probably those NSA people).

There are now 5,000 laws on annoying behavior in the US, the Wall Street Journal reported. Many are in New York municipal ordinances, which is weird, since loads of annoying people live there, including Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Tyra Next Top Model Banks. It's only a matter of time before someone makes a citizen's arrest. Tyra Banks, you are under arrest for being incredibly annoying for 20 seasons. That should be good for eight-to-ten without parole.

In most Asian countries, being annoying is not illegal (which is obvious from looking at Asian leaders) except in the Philippines, where unjustly vexatious behavior is an offence. In most Asian countries, if people are being annoying, police stomp around waving sticks and everybody flees.

A law against being annoying in public was recently approved by the British House of Commons and sent to the House of Lords, which vetoed it. This was no surprise since Lords themselves are horribly annoying, with their castles and silly titles.

The aptly-named Lord Dear explained that there was a whole category of people who are perceived as annoying, but are actually key elements of a healthy society, such as political demonstrators, street preachers, carol singers and nudists. I reluctantly admit he's got a point there, since his list sounds remarkably like the cast of a typical dinner party at my place.

Yet rather than ditching the whole law, they should have criminalized only extreme cases of being annoying. Some folk are annoying on a global scale (Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Lance Armstrong, Miley Cyrus, Dennis Rodman et al ).

But for me, most irritating are folk who are consistently annoying in a low-level way, and thus cannot be justifiably killed with a steak knife.

One guy I know posts Facebook updates saying things like: Sigh, here I am, back in a kid-leather armchair at the airport first class lounge, which is like a second home to me now. I would be much happier at the airport noodle shop.

And I want to scream at him in capital letters: Well why don't you go to the airport noodle shop then instead of paying a year of my salary to fly first class? But instead, my revenge is to scroll up without pressing like. Take that.

Pretty pathetic but that's all we have these days.

(27.06.2014 - Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org)


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