The 16 Worst Things Ever, Ever
You’ll have to allow me a moment of personal indulgence, here, because this list is motivated by the fact that I have the world’s worst toothache and have to sit with it for another 24 hours until my dentist rips the world’s worst molar from the determined grip of the world’s most masochistic gums. Toothaches, eh? They’re the worst.
Or are they? In an attempt to make myself feel a little better, I’ve listed a bunch of everyday horrors that, while not being as eventfully awful as a bad toothache, are far more likely to be permanent weekly fixtures in your otherwise fulfilling life. No one’s safe from these babies. Karmic balance means nothing to them.
Papercuts hurt like no other cut; stinging, needling, wheedling little zingers that don’t give you reason enough to head for painkillers but still fuck up everything from typing an email to washing your hands. May we remind you how floppy and weak paper is? Look at it this way; in the world of injury-by-wild-animal, getting cut by a sheet of paper is the equivalent of being decapitated by a cockroach. Man, fuck papercuts.
2. Kneecapping yourself off the underside of your desk
So you’re halfway through an Excel sheet and you feel the need to change position, little knowing that your brain has already sent a message to every nerve ending in your body to rush like a battalion of riot police to the tip of your kneecap, so that they can raise voice as one into a transcendent aria of purest, jaw-gapingest pain. Whacking your kneecap off the underside of your desk is worse than stubbing your toe. Yes it is. It totally is.
3. No smartphone
What time is the next train? How much is £9.99 in euros? What’s that word for the thing you’re thinking of? How do you spell internitme intremidd intermittent? How many Best Actor Oscars has Tom Hanks won? What time is the golf on? All these and many other weightless but consequently frustrating questions will pop into your head, at breakneck speed, the second you realise you left your smartphone at home. And worse, your internet-ravaged attention span will mean you’ll forget your smartphone is AWOL before each new question, causing you to mindlessly reach for your pocket/bag before snapping your hand back in white-hot rage time, after time, after time.
4. Late bus
Oh for GOD’S SAKE. You’ve got a million things to do, it’s cold, it’s starting to rain, there’s THIS MUCH traffic, and there’s no bus. Five minutes is a thousand years when you’re waiting on public transport, and there’s something about a bus even slightly delayed that turns us all into cantankerous city bankers with fuse-fizzled TNT up our holes.
Anything that sidles up the crack of your arse uninvited is a bad thing. That goes for you too, bra straps and crotch-sagging tights. And we all know that there are just some social occasions where you can’t be seen hopping around on one foot with your entire fist inside your trousers.
6. Stuffed nose
When your nose is blocked, there’s only one thing you can think about, and it’s not what you’re having for dinner or whether or not the Fitzgibbon account is secured. Having a stubbornly blocked nose means that everything outside your nasal passages becomes moot, null, void or anathema. The nose is everything. Oh my nose. My poor nose. I can’t breathe. My nose. My nose is blocked. Oh my nose.
7. Loading instead of saving
So you know when you’ve just come past a really challenging part of whatever video game you’re wasting your life on, and you’ve done it well, as quickly and as cleanly as an Irish Mammy plucking dirty socks from her adult son’s bedroom floor (‘Ma! Get out! This is my alone time!’)? And then you go to save, but you skip right past the Save option, settle on Load, and end up back where you started for no good reason but your own lapse in functionality. Joypad-through-the-telly time.
8. Not getting a text back even though you just replied to a text
‘Hey, are you around Sat lunchtime?’
‘Yup, sure am. Why?’
You get up, blearily get out of your jammies, shower, brush your teeth, go downstairs, crack open a boiled egg, realise you never have boiled eggs, wake up.
10. Spots where you can’t hide them
It’s bad enough that medical science was lying when it said spots were only for teenagers, but getting a spot (at the grand old age of twenty-seven) right on your cheek/chin/side of your mouth/under your nose? That’s just not right. And it always happens right before an occasion during which someone will take zany photos with the potential of showcasing to a huge audience the spontaneous joy of your social life, but which will instead showcase to Mark Zuckerberg and his evil empire the spontaneous eruptions of your facial plains. Woe.
11. Barking dogs
The worst thing about barking dogs is that you can’t really berate them for barking. They could well be barking because there’s a prowler on the loose, who may or may not be of the feline persuasion. Or the postman’s coming. Or they’re hungry. Or they’re thrilled. Or there’s a crow. In short, dogs bark and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it, which sucks because after ten minutes of it you’ll plump for being robbed or pecked to pieces by a Hitchcockian flock over listening to one
more canine interjection.
12. Sore feet
See ‘stuffed nose’. When you’ve got sore feet the only thing you can think about is how sore your feet are and how much you look forward to a time when your feet aren’t sore, which may as well be a million years away because sore feet sore feet sore feet sore feet.
13. Lukewarm coffee
‘Well, I’m delighted I got that paragraph down. Thesis, let’s be having you. It’s looking a bit more even now, and I have the run of my thoughts beautifully. I shall take a congratulatory sip of my coffee while I ponder how to open the nex… SPLEEEAARGH! THIS TASTES LIKE SPIT!’
Looks like you’re going to have to spend the journey listening to students loudly broadcasting their radical adventures with jagerbombs and ostentatious sex.
15. Waving at the wrong person
They wave. You panic. Do they know you? Do you know them? Fuck, you’re sure if they come a little closer you’ll know them and you can’t not wave when they could be someone you know who will then go on to call you a snobby fuck for the remainder of the calendar year. You wave. Hold on. Are they cross-eyed or… looking at… someone… behind you… You hurriedly reassign your raised hand as a scratching post for your right boob.
16. Making that farting noise on a leather couch with strangers present
You didn’t fart and you can prove it. Cue panicked booty-shaking against the upholstery as the polite company you’ve just compromised fish their monocles out of their sherries and proclaim that bowel control isn’t what it used to be. The fart police, kids. Ever vigilant.