Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the 100th installment of What Annoys Jeff this Week. With nearly two years of weekly annoyances under my belt, the only thing I can say from the writer’s perspective is that despite living in a universe that seems personally intent on agitating the shit out of me, I always look forward to Thursdays. They’re the day I get to compact many of the small issues into one great big ball of pissed off and launch it out into the world. It may not be classy, but it’s cathartic.
I thought about working up something special for this auspicious occasion, but decided quickly that the best tribute would be letting it out the same way I do every Thursday – a simple list and brief description of the week’s three most pressing annoyances.
1. Technology. Honestly, I don’t know who I would be if I weren’t wrapped in the warm electromagnetic cocoon of modern technology. That’s also the problem. In a week that’s been a near constant battle with my laptop, with my wireless router, and my internet provider just to stay connected, I wonder if perhaps I’ve put a bit too much reliance on the network. Yeah, that’s really not so much a question as a statement of fact. Still, I’m pretty sure what I’m really looking for is a system that works flawlessly all the time and not a way to disengage myself from it… because the only thing more annoying than having every bite of universal data at your fingertips is not having it when you want it. Stupid double edged sword.
2. Insurance. I got a notice this week that my prescription drug plan cost is going up about $40 a month. The cost of my general insurance plan is jumping this year too, but that’s not what annoys me, really. After all, the insurance premiums and out of pocket costs are basically just the price I pay to avoid being dead. As far as I’m concerned, not being dead is basically worth every penny I need to pay. Quite frankly, I don’t want healthcare in the country to be “average”. I want to nation’s best hospitals and corporations to dump money hand over fist into developing innovative treatments and medical equipment. Like it or not, 300+ million people can’t all get the best care on the planet, but over time the ideas they pioneer at the best hospitals can develop into common practice across the country. That’s good for everyone. Until then, if I want to drive myself eyeball deep into debt to get treatment at Hopkins, Sloan-Kettering, or the Mayo Clinic, that’s my decision because at least for now I’m the one paying the bill. When someone else foots the bill and tries to be all things to all people, we inevitably end up with a mediocre “standard level of service,” and I like being alive entirely too much to let any government entity of company decide what treatment checks off the box that says “good enough.”
3. Chicks. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but love for you ladies out there. You’re soft and curvy and smell nice. I love the way you walk and the way you talk… but after 35 years I still have no ability to understand the way you think. Although I am an accomplished man with many skills and talents, the ability to read minds is one that, thus far, I haven’t mastered. I’ll keep working on it, but in the meantime I’d consider it a personal favor if you could just go ahead and tell me what’s on your mind rather than letting me speculate wildly on my own. Trust me, left to my own devices my mind can conjure notions that are generously described as “bleak.” And that tends to be a situation other than good for everyone involved.