Columns 2007

Hall of Infamy 2007 Winner

Has the year really gone by this quickly? Can it already be time for my 2007 Hall of Infamy induction ceremony? For those of you new to this, my Hall of Infamy enshrines all those people, places and things that so annoy me each year that they alone are responsible for most of my wrinkles and gray hair. Since 2008 is an election year, I’m sure there will be many, many nominations for next year’s honor so it’s time to wipe the slate clean and make some executive decisions on who or what has truly earned the top honor for 2007.

As a quick reminder, Tom Cruise, Donald Trump’s hair and anything to do with reality TV have achieved the highest of honors in that they’ve been retired to a permanent place in the Hall of Infamy and are no longer eligible for nomination.  Any pseudo-celebrity who was arrested, jailed or in detox this year is not eligible for nomination either. I mean, even a Hall of Infamy needs some standards.  Consideration was given to some nominees whose racist rants made people sit up and take notice. In the end, it was decided that those people had had their moment of infamy and didn’t really deserve any more time in the limelight.

So, with a drum roll playing somewhere in your brain, I now bring you the nominees for this year’s honor. I thank all who contributed to the list. Don’t be disappointed if your favorite didn’t win this year. I’m sure he, she or it will continue to annoy you through 2008 and you can always nominate them again next year.

In the spirit of the season, the first nominee to be announced is any and all Christians who use Jesus to justify being mean, abusing others and acting morally superior. That’s what you think Jesus would do? Really?

Next nominee is any attempts to modify the English language for obfuscation purposes that usually have politics as the motivating force. It will come as no surprise that the Nixon administration created this category with press secretary Ron Ziegler’s famous line, “That statement is no longer operative.” Now the Bush administration challenges the supremacy of that remark with their comment on the failure to capture Osama Bin Laden.  It is not, they insist, a failure. It is merely “a success waiting to happen.” Quick. Get the Advil. The headache is returning.

I should probably have an entire category dedicated to the things people do while driving that so annoy me, and apparently many of you based on the sheer number of times this comes up.  People who don’t use turn signals at all are second on the list only to those who put the signal on as they turn. Hey, idiot, by that time I’ve figured it out. Also in the driving category would be people who are drinking coffee, talking on their cell phones and writing a note to themselves while steering their car with their elbows.  They may have to be retired to the permanent wing because of the overwhelming amount of annoyance they cause the rest of us who think that when driving a car you should actually drive the car.

A new nomination this year, from a field we don’t normally see mentioned, is vegetables. In particular, wet vegetables.  Why do stores now drench their vegetables all the time. It is impossible to buy baby carrots that aren’t slimy from being so wet in their bags, or that don’t get so slimy within days of purchase that they could be used in labs as Petri dishes.

But finally, when all the votes are counted – which is fairly easy since I get the only vote – this year’s winner and new inductee in the 2007 Hall of Infamy for Annoying Me Beyond Belief is the packaging on my toothbrush replacement head. It took a scissors, knife and pliers to get into the product. It had enough packaging around it to protect a space capsule during re-entry.  During this coming year, as we face the reality of global warming, polluting our environment, and my aging hands, I can only ask manufacturers to seriously consider how much plastic needs to be around toothbrush bristles before they can be considered safe.

Happy 2008. Let the new nominations begin.