The Universal Face of Annoyance

The mailman for our building – a man whom I often run down to say hello so I can hear his complaints (he has a very particular style of complaining that makes me really happy) – well, he was on the other side of our block dutifully* delivering mail, when he saw that someone from another shift had delivered our package to the building across the street.

He was so annoyed, sooooo** annoyed, that he took the package, walked around the block, into our building, up four flights of stairs, to hand me the package and correct this heinous blunder by some unnerving fool, even though he still has to come back later to deliver the rest of our mail. “It SAYS the address on there, IT SAYS IT ON THERE! 123, not 132!” he exclaimed in exasperated frustration.

Like this, but backwards. Actual space stuff via Dailymail
Like this, but backwards. Actual space stuff via Dailymail

While staring at his face, I had about a million flashbacks to every time I’ve experienced this emotion or observed it in others. It was the best: like staring into the universe of a very particular emotion as it recedes into the past, connected to every emotion that came before it and will come after it, every eye roll, every grunt or sigh, every desire to flip over a table, every “I just can’t” that has existed in all of the languages of human expression. Exhilarating.

*Why hasn’t this word been shortened to ‘dutily’?
**Oh the frustration of writing an assignment for school or work and not being able to convey how much you mean something by adding extra letters because it’s not ‘proper English’.  This is why the majority of the populace cares not for grammar, and neither shall I.

FLTHW: Burlington Coat Factory

Facts Learned the Hard Way (FLTHW) (or on stumblingly fulfilling the Life Long Learner* mission alliteratively taught to students at Ocean View High School):

Burlington Coat Factory in Hoboken, New Jersey in the 70's/80's. Image via http://images.ookaboo.com/
Burlington Coat Factory in Hoboken, New Jersey in the 70’s/80’s. Image via http://images.ookaboo.com/

A couple of weeks ago a very amiable fellow student in my improv class was giving a fantastic monologue about an interesting adventure in a winterous Burlington, Vermont, and I zoned out as all I could think was, ‘That must be where Burlington Coat Factory comes from,’ and ‘That makes sense that Burlington Coat Factory is from there… cold + Burlington = coats.’

… I was wrong. It’s from Burlington, New Jersey. Couldn’t the universe have given me that one?

*There has to be a person out there, whom I can relate to now more than when I was a mere student, who is really proud of creating and circulating that little line across America. Someone who has the satisfaction of I started that. This post is dedicated to your cheeky satisfaction.