by Nick Holle


You know what bugs the shit out of me? Pet peeves. Every guy or girl out there has a handful of pet peeves that they can’t stop whining about. “Don’t crack your knuckles. Don’t snap your gum. Don’t bounce the ball in the house. Don’t murder pigeons on Tuesdays.”

I’ve just never seen any reason to have a pet peeve. I mean, all you do when it happens is get pissed and ornery. Then you yell at the guilty party, and they get pissed and ornery. Somebody walks by, senses the pissiness and orneriness in the air, then gets pissed and ornery because of that. And now everyone is pissed and ornery, except for the pigeons who are fuckin’ dead.

Now it seems logical to me that if you’re going to have a pet peeve, you’re gonna have to carry it through. When some asshole squeezes the toothpaste tube right in the middle, you can’t just sigh in disgust and let it go on annoying you. You’ve got to get up and do something about it. I mean, since it’s our God-given right to carry firearms, you might as well take a shotgun, fire two shots through the ceiling and tell them not to do it again or they’re going to fuckin’ die. You do that, you’ll have the golden guarantee next time the toothpaste’ll be right up by the cap.

But you can't always scare the shit out of people, especially the ones you love. There’s this guy I know who used to dump his girlfriends when they left the toilet seat down in his house. He’d give them the heave-ho the instant he saw it. He always said, “Why should I have to lift up that filthy-ass seat every time I need to take a piss? Man, then I gotta wash my hands because I got a pussy pube on it or something.”

Well, then the guy up and gets married. So I asked him about what his wife thinks of his rule. He said, “Ah, man. We trade off calendar months. Seat’s up one month, seat’s down the next.” I was like, wow, he used to get rid of girls just because of the toilet seat, now he trades off months? And he said, “Well, I get the 31-day months, and she’s gets pretty creative with the B.J.’s during the other months, so it’s all good.” Ah yes, the beauty of compromise.

Of course, until I was eight, I thought pet peeves were similar to dogs and cats. Jimmy had two black labs. Lucy had three cats. Nick had five peeves and a hamster. I used to tell all the kids at school that my peeves were better than all their pets combined because, naturally, they could sing songs and form peeve pyramids.

When some of the neighbor kids arrived one day wanting to see my great peeves in action, I panicked and told them that that afternoon my hamster broke out of his cage, slaughtered all five of my peeves, hung them by their tails on his treadmill, and used their blood to paint his wood chips. All the neighbor kids started crying. One of them puked. And another ran home to tell his mom, who then called my mom who put my hamster to sleep, and I got grounded.

© 2004 Nick Holle, All Rights Reserved
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