Life's Little Annoyances: True Tales of People Who Just Can't Take It Anymore

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9780805080308: Life's Little Annoyances: True Tales of People Who Just Can't Take It Anymore

What can you do when the world is pushing you over the edge? More than you think.

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.

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Review:

Somewhere between passive aggressive and passionate aggression lies the perfect humorous response to an irritating event. Writer Ian Urbina—who started this project by writing an article for the New York Times and attracting legions of the slightly annoyed—has compiled a lovely collection of non-injurious (but highly mean) solutions that soothe the cranky soul.

The introduction gets off to a brilliant start: Urbina coated a pint of his frequently "borrowed" ice cream with a thick layer of salt, driving his ice cream thief of a housemate to furiously outing herself as the culprit. Additional tales offer websites that reject unappealing date prospects for you, examples of anti-honking haiku distributed on telephone poles all over Brooklyn and a flat-out heartening recounting of the original parking meter fairies in Anchorage, AK.

Heartening fairies and websites providing confrontation avoidance techniques aside, this is no typical relax-and-be-nice book that help readers calm down and appreciate life. Instead, it offers the dual purpose of giving everyone a chance to appreciate the sheer creative genius lurking in your average curmudgeon while inspiring the world to further feats of nearly meaningless anger management Jill Lightner

About the Author:

Ian Urbina is a reporter for The New York Times, based in the paper's Washington bureau. He has degrees in history from Georgetown University and the University of Chicago, and his writings, which range from domestic and foreign policy to commentary on everyday life, have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Harper's, and elsewhere. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, son, stepdaughter, and a nuisance of a dog.

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Urbina, Ian
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Book Description Times Books, New York, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: new. first Edition Second Impression. 191 pages. With plates. A celebration of the endless variety of passive aggressive behavior, this book will provide comfort and inspiration to everyone who has ever gritted his teeth and dreamed of sweet retribution against the stubborn irritants of modern life. Multiple copies available this title. Quantity Available: 2. Category: Humour; Social and Cultural History; Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: 001317. Bookseller Inventory # 001317

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