Michael Deeds: Summer pet peeves: concert idiots, campsite litter

mdeeds@idahostatesman.comJuly 5, 2013 

Annoying people lurk everywhere, and they are remarkably crafty when it comes to spoiling summer for the rest of us. So let's revisit a therapeutic column from 2008: We'll call this "Summer Pet Peeves 2: The Cash-In Sequel."

I'm just trying to help my fellow citizens here. Lots of summer pinheads don't even realize they're a nuisance. This column - which probably should be updated and recycled annually - is for them. For Idaho. We deserve a perfect summer in this gorgeous place.

You'll recognize many of these seasonal knuckleheads. They're not easily eradicated. And this is by no means a definitive list. If you have your own steam to blow off, fire away online after the article.

• Outdoor Concert Stander: Dude. Sit the #$% down! Geez, at least take a load off during Willie Nelson's ballads. Especially if your last name is Nowitzki, and you're standing right in front of the stage. Yes, standing is universally viewed as acceptable behavior, but it's also a "majority rules" situation. Proper form is to self-regulate and consider whether you're spoiling other folks' night.

And since we're on the subject of summer concerts ...

• Loud Concert Talker: Why did you even purchase a ticket? Shut. It.

• Porta-John Obliterator: What the hell is wrong with you? See a doctor.

• Hula-Hoop Hippie: Leave your space-hogging toy home or get a Birkenstock bounced off your dome.

• High-Back Chair Guy: Come on! That's a lawn chair. Bring a low-back chair, or don't wince when someone "accidentally" spills a $7 beer in your lap and stands in front of you.

Zoinks. Before that rant, I actually thought I liked outdoor shows.

More warm-weather whining ...

• Bicycle Gang Member: Newsflash! You are not Lance Armstrong. Your neon outfit has no function besides attracting butterflies. Still, what irritates motorists is that you and your shaved-leg buds ride side-by-side-by-side instead of in the bike lane. You know that bicycle-friendly "Share the road" bumper sticker? It works both ways - and applies double to arrogant Spandexers on Hill Road.

• Bicycle-Blind Driver: On the other hand, why do so many Danica Patrick wannabes think it's OK to pass cyclists then turn right and cut them off? I almost laid down my bike trying not to get run over when someone turned into an Albertsons recently. Please. My kids want a dad.

• Doggie Superfan: I'm so glad you found someone who loves you for who you are. But why do you have to bring your "best friend" to every festival and farmers market? Some of us don't enjoy having our crotches sniffed on restaurant patios, either.

• Loooong Leash Owner: I appreciate that you put your pooch on a leash. Honest. But there's enough play in that thing for Marmaduke to wrap around my leg 16 times and go take a dip in the Boise River. Why even bring a leash if it's 1,000 feet of retractable uselessness?

• iPod-Addicted Greenbelt Exerciser: Let's make a deal. If I am expected to cheerfully chirp "On your left!" when I roll up from behind on my bike, it would be nice to know that you can actually hear me. Ever consider listening to, like, nature? Birds? Water? (By the way, cyclists, if you don't say "On your left" when passing, you're the jerk.)

• Slow-Driving RV/Camper Puller: Oh. No. You. Didn't. Did you just skip another slow vehicle turnout on this mountain road? Do you realize how much dust you're kicking up at 11 miles per hour? Forgive me, Lord. I shouldn't have these thoughts. But ... blow a tire!

• Campsite Litterbug: You're worse than Loud RV Generator Doofus. Worse than Campground ATV Racer. Unfortunately, you're also so pervasive that I don't even know if it's worth mentioning. You're a dreg of society that can't be stopped. Empty cans. Cigarette butts. Dirty diapers in firepits. PowerBait containers and tangled tackle on nearby banks. Do you realize how freaking disgusting it is when Fido rolls around in that toilet paper you left in the bushes? Eww.

• Kayaker: Yep. Rafters all wish you would visit Niagara Falls. Sorry.

• Hot Springs Squatter: You've been in it for two hours! If you spent half that much time in a gym, we wouldn't be horrified to approach your hirsute physique and beg for a turn. Let someone else use the hot springs this century. Please, Yeti?

Wow. Speaking of soaking, I'm now covered in sweat. Cathartic as this summer-pet-peeves exorcism is, it works me up. I need to cool off. Unfortunately (and credit to website commenter "idahobaker" for this one back in '08), Soda Fountain Hog no doubt will be in front of me, taking FOREVER filling a Big Gulp.

Ice? ... No ice? ... Coke? Diet Coke? Sprite? ... Dr. Pepper? ... Suicide?

Now there's an idea, pal.

P.S. Keep smiling, Idaho, and have a great summer.

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