20 People You Don’t Want to Be: The Short List

Imagine a world without these types of people, and how bright and less aggravating it would be.  There’s still time to change.  We can do this.
Sidewalk bicycle riders: The root word is “walk.”  Sidewalks are for pedestrians and kids learning to ride bikes.  If you are over 12, then helmet-up and get in the street where you belong. 

Old Boys:  An extension of what was once called the “Peter Pan Syndrome,” wherein fully-grown males dress like a child with a soul patch, desperately hoping to look cool enough to get high with their 14-year-old sons or seem cute to teenage girls.  If your mother had meant for you to wear clothes with Ed Hardy’s name on them, she would have named you Ed Hardy.

The Overdeveloped
Physically: The person who loves his/her abs and glutes and buys $300 sneakers or a $3000 bike to serve them can never fully love another person.  Livestrong?  Keep it to yourself.
Intellectually: For eight years of college and a $200,000 student loan, you should be able to lord it over somebody, I guess.
Spiritually:  It’s all “Namaste” and “First Things First” till someone suggests you don’t know your ass from ajari, then it gets nasty, fast.

Consensus builders:  Annoying browbeaters who think that joining the PTA or being president of the homeowners association is their Patrick Henry moment.  And stop using our name every fourth word.  

Native Sons:  You’ve never been to Ireland, Africa, Cuba, or any part of Asia, have you?  So lose the shamrock tattoo, dashiki, and congas and stop over-identifying, already. 

The “Back-in” Parker:  In the name of God, do the math.  I mean, honestly, what is the advantage in spending three minutes struggling to back your car into a space in order to save 11 seconds driving straight out and going the wrong way?   We’re waiting.  All seven cars of us.

The Starbucks Executive:  You’ve set up shop on a table for four—laptop, iPad, screenwriting books, maybe a small printer, right?  Great.  But unless you’re actually getting your mail here, please don’t look at us like we failed to check in with your receptionist.  All we want is a cup of black coffee.  To go.

The Starbucks Coffee Aficionado: Really?  It takes that long to order a cup of coffee to your impeccable standards?  Double-shot-non-fat-half-caff-soy-fair-trade-African beans with a steamed top?  The entire math load for the Manhattan Project was less complicated.  Phone it in, pick it up, and be done with it.  Or grab a V-8.  Thanks.

Indecisive drivers, shoppers, and walkers:  Lead, follow, or pull the damn cart over. 

People who over-occupy their space:  A primary law of physics says that two pieces of matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time.  Absorb this.  And you who tailgate: do you actually believe that we can go faster than the car in front of us?    

Handwash Skippers:  Please.  In the name of human decency, wash your hands.  You know what you touched.  No one else wants to touch it.  No one.  Hot water, a little soap, 30 seconds.  Do it.  Even dogs clean their paws.  No one should have to post a sign to remind you. 

The School of Smug: Hipsters, reactionaries, and snarkers:  Passive bullies by any other name.

Tofus:   Ordinarily unoriginal types who take on the flavor of the last NPR or Fox News story they heard, or the last bumper sticker they read. 

Life Coaches (or any kind of coach without an actual team):  Those who can, do.  Those who can, and want to share it, teach.  Those who can’t do either charge big money to give suggestions to the rest of us.  Please.  Enough.

“Fun” Freaks:  Not everything has to be made “fun.”  Some things are just not fun.  It’s okay.  Life is a learning experience that defies fun most of the time, so enough with the “edu-tainment.”  Traffic school should feel like a shitty waste of time.

People to whom God speaks directly: We’re not making eye contact for a reason.

Rehabaholics:   People who have converted all of their personal failings and character flaws into pharmaceutical-ready or responsibility absolving “conditions” always in the “process” of being treated.   It’s the Build-a-Bear approach to self-improvement, cheered on by hundreds of entrepreneurs who know a self-absorbed sucker when they see one.  Swallow your pride, change, and don’t tell anybody.  That’s character.  Shame is good.  Really.

Evergreen Students:  47 years old, 38 semesters, 11 majors, winner of PELL Grant “Applicant of the Year” since 1982.  Enough said.  Rent a cap and gown and get on with it.
NFL’s:  Nobody…Listens.  No matter how clearly you articulate your food order, explain your problem to the call center representative, or answer the receptionist’s questions,  they will always ask you more questions that force you to repeat what you've already said as if you never said it in the first place.   So PFA: Pay…Attention.  I’m only going to say it once.
Ranters:  Self-righteous types who only see the need to change in others, although we can’t think of any specific examples at the moment.  We’ll get back to you.


  1. Nice rant: always good to close with the self-effacing acknowledgement. Enjoyed the insights and observational humor. (Too bad I wasn't listening.)

  2. Hahahaha!!! Oh My Goodness Mr. Carney! LOVED IT!!! NFL's and Build_A-bear approach to self-improvement!!! LOL!!! Thanks for the laugh this morning! :)

  3. I love the Starbuck Executive... I see them all the time. You might need to post a new list every month... LOL... Thanks

  4. Uh, oh...I might just be "The Starbucks Coffee Aficionado." There is only one hot drink I order from there ever...but it has to be JUST RIGHT or I hate it. I'm not a real coffee drinker. Darn it...how do I get off this list?


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