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Wood Working: Contagion: Please, don't get us started about all we hate

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My beautiful wife came home from a shopping spree on the other side of the river recently and she was in high dudgeon.

Seems she had bought a new plastic wastebasket for the upstairs bathroom. It was a beauty, with a sleek wood-grain finish.

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Pasted to it was a label that said "BEAUTIFUL PLASTIC WASTEBASKET BY PLASTICALL -- $14.95."

Was the label removable?

"Not on your life," steamed B.W.

"These cheapos won't use a decent glue," she said as she scraped away at the label. "Look, I'm ruining the sleek wood-grain finish."

I HATE it when manufacturers do that," she said as she handed me my "present," a sleek plastic gravy separator, with a label glued on the same exasperating way.

B.W. was on a roll.

"I HATE it when grocery stores put up 'sale' signs in a prominent general location. Like for Nature Valley Granola bars. The signs never tell you which are on sale and which aren't. I always end up with the varieties that aren't. And by the way, I HATE it when you eat granola bars in your office and get crumbs all over."

She continued without prompting.

"I HATE road back-ups that occur when a lane is closed and some vehicles line up patiently in the open lane while some insist on staying in the 'to-be-closed' lane until the absolutely last opportunity."

"I also HATE stores that supersize purchases. Like who needs 24 packages of Nestlé's toll house chips? Or four rollers of Scotch tape?"

"And it's those same stores that play Christmas music before Thanksgiving and after Thanksgiving. I HATE 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.'"

I suggested that perhaps she should stay off I-94 and shop on the Internet.

"I HATE the Internet," she replied, warming to the challenge.

"I HATE those Internet pop-ups that lead you to believe you can subscribe to something for free, only to find out when you hit 'continue' that your credit card bill will be affected."

Get thee to a nunnery, B.W. Or just calm down, like me.

I very seldom become exorcised over things that are merely the way of the world inhabited by imperfect human beings. I realize that I'm just one link in The Great Chain of Being and that a little rain must fall on my bald pate once in a while.

Of course, I have some pet peeves, but I don't let them bother me.

I HATE to hear the phone ring when I'm in the john and must race to the phone only to find that it's someone from Thailand telling me I have just two more days to purchase maintenance insurance on my 2004 Hyundai.

I HATE people who pretend to look at me and listen to me while they are cooking up a rejoinder that has absolutely nothing to do with what I'm saying.

I HATE TV ads for wonder drugs that can cure just about anything from piles to heart disease, but warn people to be careful if they happen to breathe air or eat food or live in the Midwest.

I HATE it when Turner Classic Movies features a Steven Seagal festival in prime time and then shows good movies at three in the morning.

I also HATE seeing in the TV Guide that "All Quiet on the Western Front" is on at 7 p.m. and staying home to watch it only to find that it's not the good version with Lew Ayres, but the silly remake starring Richard Thomas and Ernest Borgnine.

In fact I HATE Ernest Borgnine. The same goes for other remakes, like "Anna Karenina," "David Copperfield," and "Pride and Prejudice."

I HATE it when a restaurant server tells me, "I will be your waitron."

I HATE it when my daily newspaper runs a short news story and says, "If you want to know more, check the Star Tribune website for names, places, dates, and interesting details."

And I REALLY HATE it when the Pioneer Press runs two stories about Gopher football on its front page when all manner of hell is breaking loose in Libya and other uncivilized countries.

Boy, I'm mad as hell and like the anchorman on "Network,' I'm not going to put up with it.

In fact I'm thinking of moving to another planet when one becomes available. I also HATE it when scientists predict that will happen any day now.

Dave wouldn't hate it if he heard from you. Phone him at 715-426-9554.

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