Giving In to Misanthropy

When we were younger, the eminent philosopher Charles M. Schulz was credited with the humorous line: “I love mankind – it’s people I can’t stand.” It came from a strip in which Lucy denigrated Linus’ desire to be a doctor – “You could never be a doctor! You know why? Because you don’t love mankind, that’s why.” Linus replied with his incipient misanthropy (from the Greek for “hatred of man”).

Now, I don’t hate my fellow men and women. But they do aggravate me on a regular basis. Inanimate objects aggravate me too, but not to the extent that animate objects do. With the crumbling of the social contract (not the one Socrates first proposed for the Athenians, but the one that governs how we treat each other in a crowded world), I’m getting more and more aggravated by:

  • People who don’t signal.
  • People who don’t signal until they’re halfway into your lane.
  • People who drive too slow in the fast lane, and vice versa.
  • People without any sense of their personal space.
  • People without any sense of my personal space.
  • People without any sense of color coordination in their clothing.
  • People who don’t modulate their voice in public places.
  • People who don’t modulate their voice on Facebook.
  • People in front of you in coach who recline their seat.
  • People behind you in coach who jam their knees into your seat.
  • People who are so slow and disorganized at the supermarket that they suck all the meaning out of the phrase “express lane.”
  • People who feel they must share their taste in music with everyone in the vicinity.
  • People who think that just because they can take vacation pictures on their phone, people want to see them (in the old days, you could just run at the sight of a slide projector).
  • People who’ve been the donor in a charm transplant.
  • People in front of you who don’t pay attention when the light turns green, and then proceed forward so slowly that you miss the light.
  • People who don’t acknowledge that you held the door for them.
  • People who interrupt.
  • People who interrupt me especially.
  • People who don’t RSVP.
  • People who RSVP and then cancel at the last minute.
  • People who upset my wife.
  • People who upset me.
  • People who come late to meetings they’ve scheduled.
  • People who blow off meetings they’ve scheduled.
  • People who use what little power they have in their own lives to make the rest of us miserable.
  • People who don’t understand the concept of critical thinking.
  • People who think the concept of critical thinking means they have carte blanche to criticize rather than analyze.
  • People who don’t understand the irony in a bumpersticker reading “All extremists should be killed.”

Oh heck, just people.


About middleagecranky

The Middle-Age Cranky blog is written by baby boomer Howard Baldwin, who finds the world, while occasionally wondrous, increasingly aggravating.
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4 Responses to Giving In to Misanthropy

  1. Dianne Jacob says:

    Oh wow, Howard, this is the crankiest post yet. Have you been to the Charles M. Shultz museum in Santa Rosa? You would love it.

  2. Owen Rubin says:

    OMG, I could have written that same list. We we separated at birth? Shall I add my 20 more? 🙂 Thanks for a GREAT laugh!

  3. Owen Rubin says:

    OK, here are some more for this list:
    People who can’t wave thanks when you pull over for them to pass or make room on a one law road.
    People who cut in front of you
    People who can’t wave thanks when you let them cut in front of you.
    Little kids sitting behind you on the plane, using the tray table as a drum
    Parents of little kids sitting behind you on a plane using the tray table as a drum, who do not understand why this bothers you.
    Parents of little kids who do not get that we all do not think their kids are as cute as they do, and are not the center of everyone’s world.
    Parents who take babies to movies, fine restaurants, plays, shows, etc, and then just let their kid scream because they think that is best.
    People who talk on the cell phone at movies.
    People who text on their phones at movies.
    Phone solicitors who hang up as you start to say, “Please take me off your list.”
    People who park the carts in the middle of the isle and then walk away to shop.
    People who are so busy talking on the phone and shopping, they run into you with their carts
    People who can’t see to understand that STOP does not mean “Slightly Tap On Pedal”
    People who do not understand the word YEILD
    People who are ignorant of driving laws, like the person to your right goes first at a 4 way stop when you all get there at the same time.
    People who blast through yellow lights when they have plenty of time to stop
    People who honk at you for stopping at a yellow light instead of blasting though it.
    People who think putting on their 4-way flashes means they can park in red, yellow and handicap zones.
    People who zip past an exit lane line, only to try and pull in at the last minute
    People in the exit lane who let the people who zipped past everyone else cut in
    People who cut in line at a counter even though others have been waiting longer
    Clerks at counters who can’t seem to remember who was next, so they take the loudest person.
    Groups of bike riders who ride 4 across and block traffic, and then get angry if you try and pass
    Groups of people who walk 4 or 5 across down a busy sidewalk and expect you to get out of their way.
    People who walk and expect EVERYONE to get out of their way.
    People in a bank line who wait until they get to the teller to fill out their paperwork.
    People in a grocery line, who wait until EVERYTHING is scanned and bagged before even getting out their check book.
    People who use checks in grocery lines.
    People who talk WAY to loudly on trains, planes, and busses.
    People who read email during a meeting, and then ask people to repeat themselves.
    People who read email during a meeting, and then say the same thing 5 others have already said.
    People who send out group emails, and put EVERYONE’s email into the TO section.
    People who respond to the sender of a group email by hitting REPLY ALL
    People who walk on “Do Not Walk” and then saunter across the street

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