2014 was a year of big ups and big downs, each one meriting discussion, but that’s not what’s going to happen here. Instead, I’m going to focus on the little things.
By little, I mean petty annoyances that don’t even qualify as first world problems. They’re the sort of things that bug me at the time (or perhaps multiple times), but not to the point where I would even consider firing off a tweet.
So before we get to the one small victory, here are four things that mildly annoyed me in 2014:
CIBC Bank Machines Not Displaying the Balance as an Option
When I withdraw money from a machine owned by the bank I do business with, the CIBC, it gives me three choices. I can either continue banking, which I generally don’t want to do, exit with no receipt, which means it doesn’t tell me my balance or exit with receipt, which means I’m helping to kill a tree for almost nothing.
Sure, I could very easily continue banking to get the balance, use my memory of what’s in my account or click on the app on my smartphone, but why should I have to? Other banks offer “display balance” as an alternative to printing a receipt, why can’t mine? The programming can’t be that hard to do, and I bet thousands of people have a small piece of paper printed up that they throw away just because displaying the balance isn’t an option.
YouTube Removing the Rick Roll Star Wars Trailer
A day before the Star Wars Episode VII trailer was supposed to be released online, I saw in my Facebook feed that someone had already filmed it in the theatre and uploaded it, so naturally I clicked. It looked legit: shaky camera, movie screen, Disney and LucasFilm logos, then Mr. Rick Astley graced us with his presence singing Never Gonna Give You Up.
It was honestly one of the best Rick Rolls I had ever seen. Unfortunately, a few minutes after I had shared it, it was gone.
Why, YouTube, why? I get removing fake trailers pretending to be real, but this one clearly gave up the pretense with the first few bars of the song.
I know Disney’s lawyers aren’t known for their tolerance, but the company does understand satire and its newly acquired fanbase (they’re releasing an unaltered original trilogy on BluRay). This is clearly satire that plays to that fanbase. Removing it just makes no sense.
No Northbound Bus Stop on Girouard and Upper Lachine
First off, I am well aware that people in NDG have way more significant public tansit woes than I did for most of this year. Those could very easily make up a post on this site and have on many more established media outlets.
My issue pales in comparison to overcrowded 105 busses that don’t even stop to pick people up halfway through the route, but this post isn’t about the important stuff. I’m not going to go to Marvin Rotrand with this issue, but I will spill it here.
Why is there no northbound bus stop on Girouard, corner Upper Lachine? There is a southbound one. If I’m taking the 17 or 371 down, I can get off where I need to, but in reverse, say coming from a friend’s house in St-Henri, no dice (unless I play dumb and nice and ask the driver if he can please stop).
The busses pass that corner but don’t stop, instead they turn right towards Decarie, stop at Decarie and deMaisonneuve, then head up to Shebrooke, turn left and take…you guessed it…Girouard! Why do they do this? They’re NOT Vendome busses no matter how hard they try to be.
Maybe it’s difficult to continue up Girouard, you may say. Well, the 420 NDG Express does it. It passes right by the corner of Upper Lachine without stopping until it gets to Sherbrooke beyond Girouard Park.
This is no longer my issue as I now live downtown, but it was a repeated small annoyance for most of 2014.
Cats and Dogs Who Speak Human Languages…Poorly
I’m talking, of course, about certain memes. Animal memes where cats and dogs have miraculously acquired the ability to communicate in English (or another human language) yet have, for one reason or another, stopped before learning proper grammar.
This is akin to a human discovering they are able to fly without mechanical aid and then only using this skill to occasionally fly to the dep down the street. If a cat or dog was able to master human speech, it would be a miracle animal and wouldn’t stop at basic words, it would become more eloquent than you or I in no time flat.
Now, if these memes are meant to represent what the animal is trying to communicate translated into English rather than a world-shaking ability, fine, but the same still applies. Doge can be excused, he’s just mocking hipsters, so can any cat that uses the phrase “I sits” instead of “I am sitting” or “I will sit” as jargon. Grumpy cat’s grammar is fine and so is this cat’s:
But the rest? C’mon.
The Victory: That I Can Write This Post
I guess it’s a small victory that I am sitting here writing this post, venting about minutiae on the internet isn’t something I pioneered. But in a way, it’s a huge personal victory.
I’m sitting here, alive, in the warmth with a roof over my head, enjoying some leftover liquid cheer from Christmas and typing away about small stuff that annoyed me this year. People may even read this, in fact, some will. Maybe they’ll even identify with some of the points I made and like it on Facebook or re-tweet (if you haven’t done either of those things, please do both).
In that way, I’m lucky, and if you have the time to read and enjoy this, so are you.
Happy New Year!