A few years ago, while I was living in Cologne, West Germany, and doing my service to the dishwashing industry — an almost compulsory step for any aspiring writer who is years away from anyone reading his work — I said to my friend Rob, “Just wondering Rob, how many pet hates do you have?”
I was in that kind of a mood. It was the greenfly that had caused it. The lettuce I’d been washing in the sink was infested with many thousands of them — very much alive — and there was the boss, telling me that “the customers won’t even notice once the dressing is on it.”
Rob said: “Good question, loads I should think. It’s not something I think about too often.”
And that was how it started; within minutes we’d decided it’d be a fine idea to record as many of these pet hates as humanely possible. I went home feeling decidedly inspired. I was full of hate and annoyance for numerous things in Germany and across the world, and was really looking forward to getting it all down.
A week later, I appeared at Rob’s door propelled by a hell of a lot of pet hates. I didn’t have the list with me — it was too long and the local internet cafe didn’t have a working printer…come to think of it you could barely get online if you were able to fight your way through all the smoke — but I had a number, and a number was all I needed. So we compared how many we both had. Rob looked understandably apprehensive.
Me: Approximately 5,000, with more coming all the time.
Quite a win on my part, I think you’ll agree. Rob stood no chance. He really needed to get a life, and soon.
At first, Rob was skeptical that anyone could hate the world and the things in it that much — especially such a massive optimist as me — but after darting home to grab my trusty floppy-disk — I was using this ancient Apple Mac computer which was the size of one of those massive eighties TV sets — I soon proved him wrong. I won’t go into many of the pet hates here, but I will say that they were legitimate; things everyone finds annoying, more or less. Things like that moment when you meet a stranger in the street and you both move the same way repeatedly, embarrasing you both, and the annoying way in which, when you wake up in the morning from a dream, you believe that you’re a giant stag in a forest who can run 500 miles per hour. Just unfair stuff like that, really.
Sadly, I haven’t got the list anymore — it died when the computer did. But don’t let that dampen your spirits if you’re thinking of doing a list of your own any time soon. There’s nothing like a good pet hates list to put a smile on your face.
Did you enjoy this post? Well, if you did that pleases me! My disability-related comedy novel, The Number 3 Mystery Book is available in paperback here and from Amazon UK. If you live in the US, you can get it from Amazon US here. Thanks for reading and goodbye.