"Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things. I am tempted to think there are no little things."Bruce Barton
It kind of really bugs me every time people tell me that I shouldn't sweat the little things. It really, really does. Okay, by being bugged I'm actually being the case in point here but we can't help that now, can we? Little things just bother me, and I'm not talking about those abstract little things like petty rivalries, baseless jealousy and tiffs with the girlfriend (I'm remarkably immune to those - just ask Phoebe). I'm talking about the littler things; miniscule micro-moments of fly-sized annoyances which we wade through on a daily basis like your professor's jarring verbal crutches, something stuck in your teeth which no amount of fiddling with your tongue can dislodge, or a toilet bowl which won't flush because someone flushed it a minute ago. Things like these frustrate me, mock me. They tell me that there's absolutely nothing I can do about them, in spite of how insultingly small they are.
I messed up my backspace key a couple of weeks back and now, it only registers half the time. It breaks my rhythm every time I punch a dud. It always take a second for me to realise that I have missed a beat, by which time I would have already ploughed on for another word or two, needing to backspace more than ever. That's why I haven't been blogging very diligently - it upset the system of my ordered world. It reminds me of that insect of a classmate I used to have in primary school who would stand beside me, reach behind my neck and tap me on my other shoulder to make me look the other way. Even after I knew it's just him and I no longer even bothered to turn my head, he wouldn't stop. He'd keep at it long after the novelty expired, all while laughing gleefully like a retard. I swear I can still feel him tap-tap-tapping deeper and deeper into a bleeding wound in my soul. That's how the tap-tap-tapping of my faulty backspace key feels like to me.
Yesterday, I broke my mouse wheel, and it really put into perspective just how much I've grown to depend on the thing. Every time I forget it's broken, it reminded me with that smooth, catchless rolling of a disengaged cogwheel - an impotent motion, a bloody waste of joules - and boy, did it bug me half to hell. I never knew just how many bajillion things on a computer screen were moved by it till it died. I remember when I first got a mouse with a wheel a few years back, I thought to myself "Wow, what a pointless invention." My life was all peachy and gay before they created it and I have no doubt that being able to scroll through things quicker won't make it a whole lot more peachier or gayer. Of that, I was completely right. It did not make things better. It just made me depend a whole lot on a really tiny little wheel that really doesn't give a lot in return. It was okay when I didn't have a mouse wheel back then. It's not fucking okay now.
It bugs me how much we tacked ourselves to another eleventy billion other little things like this. Your standard QWERTY keyboard has more than a hundred keys (go count, I'll wait), each and every one integrated seamlessly into your routinal everydays; that's more than a hundred ways for your day to derail. Just knock out one and all of a sudden, your keyboard becomes a hostile animal. There's another twenty possible disappointments on your cellphones, some handful on your mp3 player, a few other hundred thousand odd ones spread all around your life in the form of electric switches, window catches, doorknobs, belt buckles, toilet tank levers, milk carton pop-caps... the full spectrum of the mundane out-of-focus background which only becomes high-def when your backspace keys and mouse wheels fail you.
We are all living in the comfort of a rickety hammock strung together using the littlest things in life. That's what's bugging me. Little things do matter.
Good ones included, fortunately.
Here's a random, unrelated list of another few things I can think of right off the bat which also bugs me;
- People using the word 'creative' - even when it's used in praise of me. Its like a nail on a chalkboard screech to my soul, I don't know why. Hey, I didn't say it was rational.
- Also, words like 'proactive', 'comprehensive', and 'mugging' (in reference to rote-learning, not the other one with the criminal). I hate the first two because people keep peppering their sentences with them like they are some universal placeholder words which automatically convey formality and scholarship. They don't. They just convey retardation. I have this feeling that the people who use them don't really know what they mean. As for 'mugging', I hear it every day coming out of the mouths of my lecturers and colleagues. Go learn some new words, for Pete's sake. I die a little inside every time I hear words like these.
- Bloggers blogging with a Thesaurus on his or her lap. It's freaking obvious, okay. I hate to break this to you but using big words doesn't make you sound smarter. It just shows how big a fake you are. One simple thing everyone needs to know is that synonyms don't always mean the same thing. There are small nuances in their definitions which only (a lot of) reading can teach you. Quarrel and argue aren't the same. Joy and elation aren't the same. Thesaurus-suckling poseurs and writers aren't the same. Read, purple prose.
- Medical students who blog about normal stuff using medical terms. Even when used by their intended meanings, they still sound stupid. Like 'nasal congestion' for stuffed nose, 'tachycardia' for heart beating fast, 'tachypnoea' for panting, 'lacrimate' for weep, 'rhinoviral infection' for cold... it's a very long and very ugly list. Those words belong on a medical report or in a case presentation, not in your blog unless you're writing a very factual post about diseases. It's very, very weird to see words and phrases like this when you're writing about your everyday life. I know you're a big time medical student but you don't need to show off and remind other people about it in every other sentence, okay.
- Couples celebrating monthly anniversaries. Firstly, the prefix anni- refers to 'year', not 'month'. Secondly, is managing to stick to your boyfriend or girlfriend for a whole month such a monumental achievement for you that it warrants celebration? If yes, you might want to re-evaluate your relationship or something.
One peeved guy,
k0k s3n w4i