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by Mike Masterson | June 6, 2023 at 3:27 a.m.

I unleashed torrents of feelings a while back by asking readers to share their pet peeves. It began by listing a several of my own and asking who else had some to offer.

So today, here are some of my valued readers' latest peeves, right after I slip in just one more of my own.

My jaw tightens each time I hear a person in a group begin to tell a story only to be interrupted before they can finish their point by another who jumps in rudely to start one of their own.

It goes something like this. Storyteller: "I was once in a terrible six-car pile-up where eight people ..." Rude Interrupter: "Oh, that reminds me of the time I had to leave the highway to ..."

I call these stories "toppers" because they are designed to shift attention to the interrupter rather than politely allowing the person who began the conversation to finish. Whatever happened to manners and civility in society?

Reader Tom Beckett had a backlog of peeves. Here, he shares several. "First one, people who have no awareness of their surroundings. Every time I go to Walmart, there's always someone walking to the parking lot who is not paying attention to anything going on around them. They don't even have to be on their phone.

"I grew up in New York, so I can't imagine walking into a traffic lane anywhere without looking. A good way to get killed. These folks have an awfully high level of trust in their fellow humans. Given that many drivers are not paying attention either, it's amazing more pedestrians aren't flat run over.

"Another is drivers who can't make a left turn. I have to concede, at 64, my distance/speed judgment of oncoming vehicles isn't what is used to be. But I see drivers waiting to turn left ahead of me watch a gap in oncoming traffic go by into which I could have turn twice, sometimes even three times before moving.

"Then there are those who don't know how to use an acceleration lane. We have one here in Siloam Springs where you enter U.S. 412 westbound from Arkansas 59. They'll come down the entry lane, get to the point where it turns next to U.S. 412 and stop precisely when they should be picking up speed and blending into traffic.

"How about those who get into the left lane on a four-lane highway and won't yield? Please just lead, follow, or get out of the way. It doesn't matter how fast the guy behind you is going or wants to go. You're not the guardian of the left lane. Blocking traffic is discourteous, dangerous, and illegal. Move over.

"Finally, one of your readers mentioned people who won't pull off to the side of the two-lane highway to let faster traffic pass. I think he was referring to vehicles like dump trucks, or concrete trucks, which tend to be slow and ungainly.

"That's a common practice in Texas, where the lanes are wide and there are shoulders. Most roads I've encountered in Arkansas are sorely lacking for shoulders to pull over. And if were I driving a heavy truck, such as those, I'd be really reluctant to pull off onto anything that was not fully paved.

"Pulling my truck into grass at the edge of the road is a good way to roll over. His suggestion is a good idea, but impractical on most two-lanes here."

D. Brown in Farmington tell me, "I hate it when people park directly across from my driveway (having the entire street to park), making it difficult to back out from my home without hitting their car."

Mike Koone in Morrilton is peeved by music blaring along a peaceful Arkansas stream. "My wife and I love to float the Buffalo River and Crooked Creek. While relaxing and enjoying the peace and silence of the river, the last thing I want to hear is somebody's loud and obnoxious music. It totally ruins the experience!"

Rhonda Hotchkiss says her pet peeve is semi-truck drivers on the interstates who pull into the left lane to pass another semi, but can't get past them for miles, thus blocking the highway. "Many times I've been cut off by them as they change lanes. Slow cars in the passing lane that camp there also drive me crazy. It was interesting to me to read most pet peeves have to do with drivers and driving.

"Thanks for your informative and insightful columns. And for sharing your most difficult health journey. I'm praying things improve for you on a daily basis."

Francine (Fancy) is peeved by a number of things at the supermarkets. "How about people who put their carts right up to the shelves so you can't see or retrieve what you want? Even worse, when you ask them to move, they give you the 'side eye' like you have done something wrong.

"Lots of other pet peeves to add: Carts left in parking spots when the lot is crowded. People eating produce while it is still on the shelf. People having a cart full of groceries going in the '10 items or less' check-out line and getting away with it! Children running through the store unattended while their guardian is oblivious to their absence."

Don't be shy about sharing yours, valued readers.

Mike Masterson is a longtime Arkansas journalist, was editor of three Arkansas dailies and headed the master's journalism program at Ohio State University. Email him at

Print Headline: Feeling peevish


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