The White Shoe Irregular:
It was fun while it lasted.

Selections from "The Vent," a Weekly Feature in My Local Newspaper, in which Elderly Residents of a Small Community Anonymously Attack One Another, Offer Unsolicited Advice, and Lament the Decline of Civilization

Quinn Warnick

• Those of us with good hearing dive for our clickers as soon as the sound of advertising on TV gets too loud. Those of us who do not hear well do not dive for their clicker. They don't hear the advertising. Advertisers, get the message. Tone it down. You are not going to be listened to, and that's all there is to it.

• I need someone's help. I moved to [city] a couple of years ago. I have tried to assimilate the best that I could. I have friendly neighbors and good stores to shop in. But there is still one thing that I have been unable to do, and this is where I need someone's help. To truly assimilate, I will need three to four old rusted junk cars; four to five old rusted junk trucks; a couple of boats; two or three broken-down tractors; a couple of campers are a must. With someone's help I can scatter these around my house and be just like some of my neighbors.

• Thanks to the teens who sat behind my grandkids at "The Lord of the Rings" Monday night, the ones who were making obnoxious noises and throwing gumibears at them throughout the movie. It was extremely rude for you to ruin the movie for them and the surrounding patrons. Do your parents realize that their animals had escaped? Had I been there, you would have been kicked out!

• Fellow parishoners, move to the center! Those that arrive later feel unwelcome and sometimes annoyed when they must climb or stumble past you to be seated.

• The other day, I noticed some potato chips with the slogan, "Betcha can't eat just one!" on the back. This disgusted me to the fullest. A potato chip company is challenging you NOT to eat their chips. I hope they go straight out of business, trying to confuse customers with a slogan like that.

• Just last Saturday, I was shopping, when a young kid, roughly 15 years old, jumped out of nowhere and screamed the horrific words, "DEATH TO ALL!" Then he cackled madly and ran off. Now, I'm new to the area, and it makes me wonder if all of the teenagers here are so troubled and rambunctious. He gave me quite a scare! If I was one of his parents, I wouldn't tolerate that kind of tomfoolery for a second!

• These days, it's commonplace to see teenagers frolicking around in utter joy, but yet oblivious of their horrible acne. I'm not making fun of them, because I know there's nothing they can do. But there is something their parents can do. I always see these amazing products on infomercials that work within weeks. Think of your acne-ridden children!

• Yesterday I was horrified as I sat down to watch a favorite show of mine on television. During the commercial break, I saw an advertisement for a skateboarding game. In the commercial a man was shown with a skateboard halfway up his anal area. This was just disgusting. Companies these days will do anything for a few extra bucks. I am very disappointed with the advertising industry these days. They must offend the innocent in order to sell their ridiculously priced product. Disgusting.

• One thing that irks me are women who are always exposing their breasts for male photographers as though that is all that makes a woman what she is. The young wannabees are famous for this, as well as some of the older actresses. Too much emphasis on sex and not enough on love, decency, and respect for each other.

• Recently I have seen a numerous amount of immature conduct pertaining to the citizens' holiday lawn ornaments, a.k.a. lit-up reindeer. I have seen these reindeer in some quite obscene and grotesque positions!

• What is with the spinning tanks on the cement trucks? It's like they have hampsters or squirrels inside running in a little exercising wheel. Those spinning cement trucks are really an eyesore, because they remind me of a hampster I once had named Randy. Randy was a quick little guy who could run fast on the wheel, but he wasn't fast enough when our cat went after him. Let's try to cut down on the spinning trucks, guys.

• To the people who leave shopping carts in parking spaces and don't put them away: I'm sure you have your reasons, but whatever they are, there is a simple solution. Ask for a bagger to accompany you! He or she will see to it the cart is returned to the store, preventing inconvenience and damage for other shoppers. There is no reason not to take advantage of this servicel; that's what it's there for.

• I live alone with my cat, Mr. Tabs. He is a rather obese cat but he is still a great cat. His weight makes him a susceptible target to all the mangy strays. As he eats from his bowl he is often attacked by sometimes even three cats at once. I have to get my broom to defend poor Tabsy, but sometimes there has been much damage already done. More importantly, the price of cat food is not cheap, and I hate paying to feed the neighborhood population. Not to mention how much trouble my neighbor's hedgehog is. When it gets loose, it wreaks havoc.

• To the cowards who broke into my storage area: I hope you needed what you stole more than I did. I am on Social Security and could not afford to lose what you took. I hope you needed it for new shoes or a meal, but I doubt it. Thank God for surveillance cameras and fingerprinting. You will tell someone, who will tell someone, and we will catch you. Don't be surprised if someone comes knocking on your door.

• To the service station owners in our town, please clean your gas pump handles more often. They are so gross!

• I can't believe how inconsiderate some dog owners are! There are invalids in our neighborhood who are unable to sleep at night because dogs are barking on all sides of them. If you can't keep your pets inside your house at night, please go to one of the pet supplies stores and buy the collars that are designed to discourage barking.