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I recently read an article about pet peeves, those  somewhat trivial things that drive us crazy and   make us question other people's sanity.   

 It seems like everyone has pet peeves, even our   pets. Our dogs are peeved that the shoes we   leave lying around are never flavored. And  they absolutely hate working for free in beer   commercials. Isn't there a minimum wage of one   bone an hour? Someone call the American Dog   Union.   

 Our fish are peeved that they never get any   privacy. How would humans like to live in a house   of glass? And how would they like to eat flakes all   day? In a big bowl of water.   

 Our cats are peeved about their irregular feeding  times. It messes up their tight schedules. They   often have to interrupt their dates with the sofa   cushion.   

 Unfortunately, pets have trouble expressing their   displeasure. They can't talk and they haven't quite  mastered the art of obscene gestures. We   humans are so blessed. We have all the tools of   communication. We can make statements with   almost any body part. And even our clothes.   

 But despite our communication skills, we seem to  always get on each other's nerves. As a result,   we have more pet peeves than even Congress   could handle.   

 As a public service, I've decided to suggest some   possible responses to a few common pet peeves.   These are only suggestions and should be   followed only after reading all the fine print on  the classified pages of your local newspaper.   

 There are usually two types of responses: polite  responses and effective ones.   

 Consider these situations:  

 ---A telemarketer wakes you up at 8 a.m. to ask if   you'd like to receive the new Elian Gonzalez NFL   Visa card. It features a picture of the Cuban boy  wearing the helmet of your favorite football team.   

 Polite response: "Yes, please send me one and   please keep calling me with similar offers. And   please give my number to other companies,   because my friends never call."   

 Effective response: "Please take me off your   calling list or I'll send my personal friend, O.J.   Simpson, after you. He has a lot of free time."   

 Even better response: "Hold on while I put my   5-year-old on the line. He likes to talk. And he has   a perfect credit record."   

 ---As you are opening the latest issue of Cat   Fancy, a subscription card falls out of the   magazine.   

 Polite response: You pick up the card and give it   to your neighbor, who also fancies cats.   

 Effective response: You pick up the card and   drop it in a mail box. The magazine will pay for the   postage.   

 Even better response: Before mailing the card,   you fill it out with the name and address of your   favorite politician. Those cards will soon be   outlawed.   

 ---You're waiting for an eternity at the fast food   drive-up window. You are hungry and angry.   

 Polite response: You take a deep breath and   continue waiting, realizing that the restaurant is   probably understaffed.   

 Effective response: You place an order, then   drive off to another restaurant. They'll get the hint.   

 Even better response: You park your car and   haul your lazy butt into the restaurant. It'll be faster   and the exercise may burn some of that lard.   

 ---You receive mail inscribed with words like   "urgent" and "immediate attention required."  When you open the envelope, you find that it's   just a solicitation (junk mail). 

   Polite response: You reply to the mail, making   sure you include your credit card number. If   possible, write it on the outside of the envelope.  

 Effective response: You toss the mail in the   trash.   

 Even better response: You send an empty   envelope inscribed with words such as "check   enclosed" and "cash immediately."


 ~~Copyright 2001 Melvin Durai  

 For a free subscripton to Melvin Durai's weekly   columns, send a blank message to


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