For some of us, it's the automated voice that answers the phone when we'd rather talk to a real person. For others, it's the fact that Starbucks insists on calling its smallest-sized coffee "tall." Or perhaps it's those pesky subscription cards that fall out of magazines. Whatever it is, each of us finds some aspect of everyday life to be particularly maddening, and we often long to lash out at these stubborn irritants of modern life.
In Life's Little Annoyances, Ian Urbina chronicles the lengths to which some people will go when they have endured their pet peeves long enough and are not going to take it any more. It is a compendium of human inventiveness, by turns juvenile and petty, but in other ways inspired and deeply satisfying. We meet the junk-mail recipient who sends back unwanted "business reply" envelopes weighted down with sheet metal, so the mailers will have to pay the postage. We commiserate with the woman who was fed up with the colleague who kept helping himself to her lunch cookies, so she replaced them with dog biscuits that looked like biscotti. And we revel in the seemingly endless number of tactics people use to vent their anger at telemarketers, loud cellphone talkers, spammers, and others who impose themselves on us.
A celebration of the endless variety of passive aggressive behavior, Life's Little Annoyances will provide comfort and inspiration to everyone who has ever gritted his teeth and dreamed of sweet retribution against the slings and arrows of outrageous people.