Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Curmudgeon Cartoonist

Bizarro is brought to you by Classic Messiah Pranks.

I think I've ranted about GPSs on this blog before, so I'll skip it today except to say that I like the GPS on my iPhone precisely because it has no voice. I find noises very distracting. With a talking GPS, I am habitually telling it to shut up.

I have a lot of bugaboos like that, mostly to do with sound. I love music, but I can't stand to hear music from a source other than my own doing. Like if I can hear a neighbor's stereo, or a car is parked outside with the radio blasting. (In Brooklyn this happens a LOT. Loud car stereos are the mating call of the local species.) Even if it is a song I like, which is virtually never because I'm really picky about the music I like (surprise), I still find it irritating and drift toward thoughts of violence or at least a water cannon.

I think I am unable to ignore sound. For instance, I cannot read in public unless it is quiet. If people around me are talking, I can't NOT hear them, no matter how riveting the book is. Even if I'm not reading, I can't stand to hear other people's conversations. It drives me nuts. I want to tell them to shut up, nobody cares where Robert went on his vacation last year and whether or not he would recommend the hotel he stayed in. In NYC this happens a lot, usually on a bus or the subway. You're right, I should probably live in a suburb or out in the country somewhere, but it's just too boring.

Car alarms make me want to learn to use explosives. People are so used to ignoring car alarms, how could they possibly thwart a theft under any circumstances? So you hear a car alarm and see a guy fumbling with a car door: you root for him to succeed and disable the alarm, or at least drive the car away.

These irritants are becoming worse lately, perhaps it is age. I prefer the term "curmudgeon," but I think I may just be an a**hole.

SPECIAL COMMENT: Thanks for all the caption submissions on yesterday's post. Many of them were funnier than the one I had originally written. Now I'm reticent to divulge it. Suffice to say that many of you have my silent respect.


Robert Finis said...

As a bassist- do I see two bass guitarists on stage with you??

I used to be able to hear much better than most people. I devoted several years to slowly deafening myself to somewhat worse hearing than other people, because it was maddening being the only one who could hear the tv screen left on two rooms away, or the faulty computer monitor, or the subwoofer the next block over.

Hearos earplugs should be your best friend- flesh-colored and inconspicuous, fit in your coin pocket, available at most drugstores.


Katherine said...

I'm in my twenties and that stuff drives me up the wall. All those people with boomboxes and ridiculously loud car stereos! I fantasize about turning them all into potatoes...and then eating them mashed with earth balance...mmm.
Anyway, being annoyed by obnoxious behavior doesn't make us jerks. If someone kicked you, you wouldn't feel like a jerk for being annoyed with them, right?

Karl said...

I watch a lot of TV (way too much) which however, is a great aid in explaining my lower IQ to friends and family. Anyway, the point is; almost everything on TV has music embedded into it; movies, documentaries, every commercial advertisement and even the news casts. Don’t get me wrong, I love music, but it has its place; to listen to for pleasure. Does it really help selling beer, cars or keeping viewers tuned in for the latest news brief where nothing but negative news is being broadcast? Does it make for a more pleasurable experience, adding snappy music tracks while a reporter states “stay tuned as we’ll have an update of those terrible flooding conditions in the Midwest”… Cue the jazzy music.

I have gotten into the habit of blocking out or tuning out annoying sounds, but wonder if that’s the right thing to do. Would a deaf person complain if they suddenly could hear noise coming from the headset of a self indulgent teenage head banger? Maybe we do get irritated and annoyed easier as age creeps up on us, but are we also tuning out soothing and pleasant sounds as well, by trying to tune out just the annoying ones.

Please don't yell at me (it hurts)!

Jeremy said...

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not stop him from taking your sweater. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

derekamalo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
derekamalo said...


i got my last 900 emails saved i know how to cover my ass....can forward year long battle between me and hero anytime..not that it matters

Anonymous said...

I don't feel at all like a jerk for being annoyed with Jeremy or his stupid comment.

Waldo said...

Ahh the GPS... I rent one with my rental when I am in LA but I have to take its advice with a grain of salt. Every now and then the "wise and knowledgeable" GPS has me going in a HUGE roundabout in order to avoid traffic. Last month it suggested/recommended/demanded a 100+ mile (not a typo - over 100 miles) deviation to avoid a 5 mile traffic jam.

But for the voice... I like to change it to the European French lady... and mock her when I don't take her suggested detour.

Anonymous said...

I'll give you this, Dan. Your comics lately have been "distracting." Not amusing or clever, but distracting enough to divert my attention from the funny comic next to it in the paper.

xen said...

I can totally relate to the thing about sounds. I love listening to MY music when writing or reading; but if music or speech comes from an unwanted source I'm not able to focus for some odd reason.

Reading a book in public is a real test of focus for me; and I tend to be extremely focused. As in, annoyingly focused.

I guess it's because I'm an introvert and hate having my train of thought disturbed. I'm disturbed enough that it is.

Katie said...

this one doesnt compare to the sports bra one. actually for some reason i really like the medusa on a nude beach one that you did that was so funny.

Yours is definitely my favourite comic strip. amazing how you have done it for so long and still come up with new jokes.

how long does it take you to draw your comic dan? your artwork alone is really well done.

Waldo said...

Sports bra you like
w malo
get the hint.

doug nicodemus said...

anon what a wimp...doesn't take too much to just come here and bitch

Anonymous said...

But it takes a man to come to this blog daily to fellate Piraro, huh?

baltimorediary said...

I'm not very fussy about music, but it seems to me that whatever the other guy is blasting is NEVER a decent song. It's always just some noisy crap.

I have this recurring fantasy of cruising down the boulevard and blasting NPR. This American Life at top volume, yo!

Garrett Williams said...

About a year ago at Wal-Mart, a car alarm went off as a guy was getting into a car. He tried to disable it under the hood, but to no avail. Everybody was giving him annoyed looks, and I even heard somebody yell to turn it off. Eventually he drove off with the car alarm blaring.

...I'm probably the only person who called the cops.