One of my favourite books of last year was The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes. If you haven’t read it, you really should.
One of the things from the book that has stuck with me is the concept of a ‘shovel list’. A lot of bloggers have been writing their ‘bucket lists’ recently, but a shovel list is not quite the same. As Helen Walsh (one of the book’s characters) describes it; ‘it’s a conceptual thing. It’s a list of all the people and things I hate so much I want to hit them in a face with a shovel.’
I decided I’d have a go at writing my own. I’ve had to limit this list to my top ten, otherwise it would be my longest post ever. But here goes…
1. People who wee on the seat in public toilets, and don’t clean it up. There is no worse feeling in the world that pulling down your breeks, lowering your arse onto a cold seat, and discovering that the previous user has left an unwiped puddle. Boak.
2. People in the supermarket who use their baskets and trolleys as weapons, rather than somewhere to put their groceries. I’ve noticed these people a lot more since I’ve started doing my shopping with a small boy in tow. Poor DorkySon has had numerous near misses with baskets being swung wildly around right at his head height.
3. People who decorate their cars. The worst offenders are those who stick plastic eyelashes on their headlights, closely followed by those who apply stickers of flowers, butterflies and hearts to the paintwork. Give me strength. There are a lot of these people living in my area, and they provide a constant reminder of why unfettered capitalism is a VERY BAD THING.
4. The entire UK Cabinet. I would happily do away with this lot. Every last one of them. Never mind whacking them individually, let’s just get a GIANT shovel and drop it from a great height onto the Cabinet meeting room tomorrow morning.
5. People who tut that you’re holding them up as they watch you struggling up or down steps with a pram. If they’d give you a fecking hand it’d be a lot easier…
6. Lightbulbs. The problem with lightbulbs is that there’s too much choice; too many different sizes, shapes and fittings. That’s before you even get to variations in wattage. We seem to have drawers and drawers full of redundant lightbubs we have bought in error that don’t fit any of the fixtures in our house. Or they fit, but due to their energy efficiency you can’t use them with the dimmer switches. A nightmare, the whole thing. Let’s get rid of lightbulbs.
7. John Lennon. I accept that an ‘actual’ shovel is somewhat superfluous to requirements for this one. But still. The most over-rated person in the history of world.
8. People who post vague, passive-aggressive Facebook statuses. Either say it, or don’t, but keep your drama to yourself.
9. Children’s soft play centres. Like giant petri dishes full of toddler germs. I have seen poo in the ball pit, puke on the bouncy castle and, last time I was there, a small child plucking an earwig off the floor and eating it. They are noisy, they are smelly, and they are decorated in garish, nausea-inducing colours. Hell is a soft play centre on a rainy Saturday.
10. People who bring oversized suitcases onto aeroplanes and then get grumpy with the cabin crew when they can’t fit said suitcase into the overhead locker. These tend to be very puffed-up, self-important looking folk, who act like they just don’t have time to stand around at the baggage carousel for ten minutes and waited for checked baggage like the rest of us. Pfft.
What things and people would make it onto your shovel list? Feel free to list them in the comments below, or write your own post about it!
I’m so chuffed that this post has inspired a couple of other people to write their own shovel lists too! Invisible Woman has done hers as a written post, and Nyssapod has done hers as an audioboo. Love them!