The Old Coot complains yet again, #827

This is the 827th Old Coot article that’s erupted through pen and paper (and keyboard) over the past 15 or so years. Most of them have voiced some sort of beef about the world we live in, the world I live in anyhow. By the time I’ve finished scribbling and typing I’m laughing at the complaint, and more importantly, laughing at myself. 

More than six of these eruptions have aired my ongoing gripe with the “Weather” people. One article earned me a call from a U.S. Weather Service meteorologist, to defend their warning system, that at the most inopportune times, interrupts my TV screen with irrelevant (and annoying delivered) alerts that don’t affect my area, or if they do, are what I would call, normal weather. I complain that they have made us afraid of thunderstorms, snowstorms, winds, rain, heat and cold waves, making the latter seem even more severe by replacing actual temperature measures with wind-chill and heat index numbers, adding to the fear factor.   

Even more of my complaints have focused on the big three – politicians, bureaucrats and corporations. A corporation, by legal definition is an “artificial person,” but it seems all three entities often fit that “artificial person” description, producing rules, laws and policies that defy common sense. 

I’ve complained about people who clog up and slow down lines due to their inability to follow line protocols. I’ve thrown my gender under the bus endless times for our lack of ability to fold cloth items (T-shirts, sheets, blankets, etc.) for our inability to notice obvious things in the world around us, to make a bed without it looking like a dog chased a cat under the covers and an inability to come to terms with the good-bye process that our wives employ, taking ten minutes or more to say goodbye when leaving a gathering of friends. Often, with us standing at the side and chomping at the bit to just GO! 

My complaint today is rather mundane, but it raises my blood pressure when I encounter it. I’m hoping it irks you too. But who knows? Maybe it’s just an old coot thing. 

I go to a sports bar or restaurant to consume unhealthy food and an adult beverage or two where there is a wall of TV’s.  No sound is coming from the speakers because they are on different channels and would only add to the din in a place that is already noisy. But most often, not a single TV is in a closed caption mode. You get a picture but little idea of what is going on. If you ask the waitress, waiter or bar tender to turn on the closed captions, all you get is a blank stare and are then told, “Only Joe knows how to do that, and he’s in the back. I’ll tell him when I get a chance.” This, from high tech young people who grew up in the electronic device era and yet, can’t or aren’t allowed to mess with the TV remote control. And, it’s not just sports bars that are closed caption challenged, health care waiting rooms, airports, train stations and many other lobbies as well. 

The customer used to “always be right” but now we’re left out in the cold, the cold of silence. 

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