Six apparently ‘normal’ behaviours I’ll never understand

People that listen to talk radio at an above-normal volume

Music is good loud. I get that, I get that it’s designed to be an immersive experience, and that at the end of a shitty day it’s pretty cathartic to turn Pink’s ‘Try, Try, Try’ up to 11 and belt out all the bad feels, but I don’t understand why people listen to predominantly chat-based radio shows at an ear-splitting volume. It’s just people talking. Is the experience of listening to people talking more enjoyable when it feels like they’re actually shouting at you? Or does it just in fact piss off your neighbours or housemates or anyone walking past your car who doesn’t derive any enjoyment from hearing Ted from Basingstoke talk about his opinions on hot-housing at a booming sound level?

Barmen who ask if I ‘mean diet coke’

If you go into a shop and ask for a can of blue paint and the assistant says ‘Is that blue paint or red paint?’ then you’d give them an odd look. And if they held your stare while gesticulating impatiently at all the paint, you’d probably just back away slowly. So why is it acceptable for a barman to ask me ‘Is that coke or diet coke?’ when I’ve clearly asked for a coke? IF I WANT DIET COKE, I’LL ASK FOR DIET COKE. This situation is made much worse when they use the term ‘full fat’. Watch it, buddy.

Being weird about food stuck in teeth

If you go into the office and your colleague has got a bit of fluff on their face, you’d be like ‘Dude, there’s something on your face’, and they’d remove the fluff, and everyone would get on with their lives. But when that fluff is food and the face is teeth, people get super weird about it, thus resulting in many hapless individuals spending their days talking, laughing and smiling in front of people that are like ‘Ugh, gross’, before going home to a mirror and deep embarrassment. I currently have braces which makes this a really major problem, but even though I’ve explicitly told those around me that they should just say if I have something stuck in my teeth, I still find myself revealing forests of salad every time I do a quick cursory check after lunch. So to better align my behaviour with others’, next time an angry wasp lands on a friend’s head I’ll just be like ‘Oh yeah, erm, sorry. Didn’t see it *mumble mumble*’.

The total futility of ‘tasting the wine’

In the olden days, patrons of hospitality establishments were offered a small sample from a newly-opened bottle of wine to check that it wasn’t corked. Nowadays, the majority of wine served in restaurants comes in screw-top bottles, so the entire exercise serves no purpose other than to make customers feel uncomfortable as a relative stranger watches them imbibe a tiny bee-mouth’s worth of liquid before declaring ‘Yes, lovely thanks’, even if it tastes like expired milk.

Small children on the rush-hour underground

Children need to learn to walk, and they need to learn to socialise. Is the underground at rush hour the best place for that? IS IT? Is the best place to put your toddling offspring in front of hundreds of tired, irritable commuters storming from one platform to another each with flailing bags and briefcases in perfect alignment with your child’s soft bonce? Is the best time to ‘practice stairs’ at 6pm on a Monday evening when said staircase is full of gnarling office workers chomping at the bit to get on the tube before it becomes so rammed they have to spend the journey home pressed into the greasy, finger-smeared doors? Is it?

Women peeing on the toilet seat

Nothing makes me so seriously consider abandoning the sisterhood than walking into a toilet cubicle and finding pee all over the seat. What is HAPPENING in there? Maybe you’re a hoverer, fair enough. But if your distaste of public conveniences is such that you’d perch uncomfortably over the toilet to avoid making contact with it, then surely you’re aware that leaving the vicinity in such a state makes you just as culpable as those you fear yourself. SORT IT OUT, YOU’RE GROSS.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Six apparently ‘normal’ behaviours I’ll never understand

  1. Ew. Peeing on the loo seat? Seriously? Gross.

  2. misssbgmail

    In my experience of working in a pub, if you DON’T ask if the customer wants coke or diet coke roughly 50% of people complain that you didn’t give them diet when they asked for coke. That’s why bar staff ask. Also, the peeing on the seat thing? Men do it WAY more often than women; I know this because I used to clean the toilets after we closed. Men also pee on the floor, the walls, and occasionally the ceiling, which is REALLY GREAT when it drips in your hair after a long shift.

    Just so you know.

  3. I like to ask after every meal if I have something in my teeth. People still don’t tell me.

  4. R

    Children during rush hour oh my word… At least the school holidays are over so the seats usually taken up by lap-sized* children are free.

    *The real bugbear on a packed commuter train

  5. All of the above. See also: not flushing the loo when you’re done. Why oh why wouldn’t you do that?!

  6. Pingback: R is for… Rachel in London | Broke in the Big Smoke

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