The Foible is in Your Court

So, on Twitter today, eBeth asked people about their foibles. There were interesting answers because, you know, Twitter can be an interesting place.

I threw in a few of my own foibles and, as I did so, it struck me that there might be few things more revealing than those quirky dislikes which we save in our night stand drawer. Here’s some of my odd dislikes:

The Dog-From-Behind Thing:
You know when a dog walks past you and you can sense him turning and coming around the back of you? Well I don’t like that. It’s not fear, I’ve never met a dog I’ve been afraid of. It just seems sneaky and disrespectful. I will often reprimand the dog verbally. Yup, it’s a foible all right.

The Car-In-The-Box Thing:
Yellow boxes have been painted on the road for a good reason. We don’t go in them unless we are turning. It’s quite simple and it helps keep traffic rolling along. In my town, every bugger goes in the yellow boxes. In the car park outside my office, there’s only one yellow box and the locals treat it as the best parking spot. If every other parking spot is empty, they will still stop in the yellow box. Someday I will get a gun and start picking off these yellow-box-parkers from my office window – like in that movie ‘Two Minute Warning’. And Charlton Heston has passed on now, so he won’t stop me.

The Car Door Thing:
I am often in a hurry. Sometimes I move so fast that I close the car door before I am fully inside. This hurts.

The Remote Thing:
I can’t sit down and watch the telly without having the remote beside me. How can you expect me to? What if the programme starts to annoy me? What do you mean I can tell you to switch over? That’s not gonna bloody work. Give me the remote! Please, give it to me…

The Tight Sheet Thing:
I can’t be trapped in a bed with the sheets tucked in tightly all round. It’s like being in some awful kind of solitary confinement or something. What if I get one of those involuntary thingies in the night? Arterial damage could be done.

The Un-Reciprocated Greeting Thing:
I’m walking along and some bugger looks at me (that’s allowed… wait, the cat has leave to look at the Queen, as my Mum used to say) they look at me and keep looking so, out of awkwardness, I say hello… and they don’t answer back. I tell you, I bloody hate that. Where’s my gun? What do you mean the car park people took it?

The ‘Garp’ Thing:
I live on a Cul De Sac – a dead end street. Still cars speed up it like nobodies business. Garp used to chase them and warn them to slow down. I do that too. No apologies for this one, it’s my kids we’re talking about here people.

There you have it, a brief selection of (true) foibles. What do they reveal about me, I wonder? Would you care to share some of your own?

That would be nice.


Alan said...

just saw your tweet

You live at the Bottom of a Bag (cul de sac)? lots of variations with that first word....anywayzzz

I think everyone sits at the TV with the remote...I mean does anyone watch commercials?

I always loose that dang remote...that's why I don't want a wireless mouse

whatever_ista (heather) said...

I am annoyed when people fully rinse the plate before putting it in the dishwasher, thus rendering the ecological benefit of the dishwasher null and void.

I cant believe you bark after cars!!!

Mike said...

I think we may have discussed this dog thing before, but I can't stand when a dog barks at me. There's something about it that just makes me want to kill.

Rachel Fox said...

I think perhaps you need to do some relaxation exercises...breathe deeply...all that kind of thing!

I laughed at you and the car door though.


Grannymar said...

I'm another Cul-ler! Cars race past my window like they were at Mondello Park and one house later they have to turn - a real three pointer.

Other peoples cats who use my garden as a latrine and worse still cats who insist on jumping on my lap in other peoples houses.

People who feed animals from the human food at the table during a meal1 :(

Susan at Stony River said...

Is there a human emotion that combines pity and hilarity? Cause I got that with the car door...

I can't stand tucked in sheets either. Properly folded towels are my biggest/stupidest thing I think; I *know* it doesn't matter how towels are folded or stacked, but for some reason I neeeed them to be a certain way. A deeply ingrained mother-daughter thing maybe?

Dominic Rivron said...

A foiblous post.

You remind me of the way hill walkers greet each other. You see each other coming, avoid too much eye contact but, as you pass grunt, or mumble a strangled something that sounds like mornin/afternoon/evenin and carry on.

Just occasionally you meet an "opter outer"...

Jim Murdoch said...

What's worse than an un-reciprocated greeting is holding a door open for someone and they walk through without acknowledging you. That makes my blood boil.

I don't mind being tucked in. When I was a kid I made my bed so tight that I had to slide carefully in the top and then I'd stick a pillow at my back to enclose me even further. I also couldn't sleep if a door was open, even the wardrobe door. Now only the loo door closes in the flat. All the rest are wedged open.

The yellow box thing annoys me but the underlying principle of not playing by the rules annoys me far me, especially games - what is they point in having rules and not playing by them? I have no concept of playing for fun.

As for remotes, I'm quite possessive of them. What I hate is sitting down to watch something and one of them has gone walkies. They shouldn't. They should know their place.

Grace said...

That's hilarious, love the car door one!
I also live in a Cul-de-Sac and to solve that same problem they (whoever "they" are) recently built in about four or five new speed-bumps
Now people complain that they can't speed anymore, and I'm thinking "So you would have before? In a cul-de-sac?!"
They had to put one (practically) right outside the entrance to the Montessori, which is scary. Won't somebody think of the children, et cetera!

Matthew S. Urdan said...

Nice post. I'm with you on the the tight sheets thing. First thing I do upon checking in to a hotel is to pull all the sheets out from the corners theyve been tucked into. Can't stand that. Strangely, I'm mostly a briefs guy. While I do wear boxers occasionally, I prefer the security of briefs so I'm not always flopping around. Plus they do a better job of keeping me anonymous when I'm ogling the hotties on the river from behind my sunglasses. ;)

PS...what happened to your entrecard? Have you given that up?

Matthew S. Urdan said...


cats won't come near me when I visit other people's houses. They know I can't stand them and I sense the feeling is mutual. Dogs on the other hand.... I haven't met a dog yet that doesn't go weak in the knees for my ear or underarm scratches. And when I scratch their sagital crests, it's utter contentment. For them, that is.

Ken Armstrong said...

Alan: So fast in the reply! Cul de Sac is a dead end street in our multi-cultural edge-of Europe existence. I feel you knew this... :)

Heather: Oops, guilty. If a plate is high on grot, I *may* *occasionally* rinse... not any more though. No way.

Mike: You and I have this in common. Here's hopin' we don't ever bark at each other.

Rachel: I am the least relaxed person in the world. Is that coming through in the posts? :)

Grannymar: I'm allergic to cats so that's my excuse when I try to kick them (and never succeed). :)

Susan: Pity? Oh no. I feel like John-Merrick-Stuck-In-A-Car-Door now... :)

Dominic: See, I would attack that hill walker on the loneliness of the hill and I would pull his woolly socks up round his neck...

Jim: I will carefully note that you don't mind being tucked in although I can't honestly see the eventuality arising. :)

Grace: People who speed often have not clue of the danger they are bringing up their street. It is a serious problem for me when I encounter it and I cannot be silent.

Matt: Dude! There is *waay* too much info in that comment. :)

Yes, I'm choosing to 'rest' EC for a time. We haven't been doing much together lately, in truth.

jh said...

Great ones! Made me think of my own. Two that come to mind: I don't like telephoning people I have never met. The second, I always rip off the first sheet of toilet paper in public bathrooms so that I don't have to use it. Weird. Thanks for making me think about these funny and strange things!

Boda Weight Loss Blog

Matthew S. Urdan said...


I was going for the "is he actually reading my comments since he ignored my last email make him open his eyes and take notice" effect. :)

But even so, writers can't be embarrassed about such things. We put it all out there when we put it on paper and try to get it published. Putting our feelings and raw emotion and honesty out there on paper and subject for criticism is far scarier and more "naked", if you will, then a brief sentence about a preference for boxers or briefs and penchant for the "boys" to bounce around or not. Oh, and btw, every once in a while it's fun to go commando for the ultimate freedom. Damn those tight sheets!

Matthew S. Urdan said...

RE: Entrecard. Well then Ken, maybe now you'd have a moment to try facebook? It's pretty darn cool.

Ken Armstrong said...

Matt: Sorry about email, it's been rather a crazy time... I stopped to ponder the significance of it and it slipped away from me. As you guys say, 'My Bad'. :)

Facebook? 'Don't think so, I'm trying to consolidate my efforts in specific ways and I don't think Facebook will do it. :)

hope said...

I once read an article about an American G.I. trying to explain to his new wife, who was Asian, what a Cul de Sac was. He thought he'd done a good job when he overheard her at a party telling another neighbor how much she loved her caring new neighbors and how close they all seemed. "We don't have Cuddle Sacks in my home, but we should." ;) You remind me of the oddest things.

I will stand behind you on the cat thing...well, not directly behind you so I won't get kicked.

My confession...I think Twitter is a waste of time and technology sending conversation [and proper English skills] towards obscurity. That said, it's a personality quirk. There is no WAY I can make a statement with so few characters. :0

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, where to start.

I have to have my desk facing the room. I will NOT face a wall or place myself in a situation where someone can walk up behind me. I have not a thing to hide, just don't like people sneaking up on me.

The toilet tissue must always roll over the top, when placed in the holder.

No rattles whatsoever in the car, whilst I am driving. Drives me batty/er

I am some times in such a hurry that while I'm ending a conversation I hang up in the middle of the farewell. Not as often I've done it as the person at the other end is saying goodbye. Weird.

Laura Brown said...

When I buy a new book or magazine I have to take the third one back, never the first or second. I'm sure some part of my brain is still worried about boy cooties or something. It's likely a deep seated thing based on having a brother.

Laura Brown said...

Facebook is a time sucking evil thing. I wish I had just stuck to ignoring it. Now I can't get through the day without going to Facebook several times to check on my farm, my career as a rock diva, my other career as the mayor of a city and the other thing where I don't seem to be able to keep a job but I'm still a celebrity, and my collection of eggs.

Aerté Du Draumr said...

hmm I can't stand open doors when Im sitting in a room

The way girls and certain folks round my part o the world will never talk about you behind your back...its always more to the side, so you can't always see them but you can most certainly hear them as they talk about you in sthe third person and cast you significant(invisible) looks...maybe thats just a teen thing

Yeah Im weird about remotes too prob cuz I'm a chronic Channel-surfer

I hates it when people pruposely mixes up theirs words and grammar what so they can sound more "ethnic"... even if it is a major flaw of mine

p.s That door thing had me Lmao.

Reese said...

I have absolutely done the Garp thing! We lived on a Cul de sac when my kids were small. I was a maniac chasing cars down.

Also, I'm guilty of making people like you uncomfortable. I don't stare, but sometimes make people say hello. Cruel, i know. I like to mess with people. like starting a conversation in the elevator!

Carrie Berry said...

OMG, I was expecting something else with your Garp comment. whew.

Bella7 said...

All of the above (except the dog thing) We should team up Bonnie and Clyde style. Oh and those who park on double yellows, especially near schools, are on the list.

Anonymous said...

I honestly had to think hard about my foibles. I think perhaps that it's because they aren't "foibles" - or I don't treat them as such - if I possess them.
It suggests weakness and I think foibles are not weak, just a part of who you are. What makes you a three-dimensional person.

On the 'remote' thing. My ex-girlfriend used to put the remotes on *top* of the telly. That eight feet of distance, when you have to get up and retrieve them can feel like a mile when you've just sat down.

I used to eat a lot of polo mints. Such is the hard life of a tube of polos, that many of the poor little fellas are broken when you open the packet.

These are weak polos. I never ate them. I would only eat whole, complete polos. Some days, if you followed me down a street, you would see me discard those weak, broken polos, one by one. I had been known to only eat a couple of mints from the one tube.

I don't eat polos anymore :)

As for the previous commenter - if I hold a door open for someone and they don't thank me, I just say "You're welcome" in a normal voice. Not accusatory. I just pretend they've said it.

Always enjoy your blogs, Ken.

Simon Ricketts

Ken Armstrong said...

Simon: It's a great image, the trail of broken Polo Mints behind you as you meander down the road. Somebody should cartoon it. :)