Things I don't understand

I like to think of myself as being a fairly smart guy. I’m generally pretty good at figuring things out given enough time, thought, desire, or need. But here are some things that I’ll never understand:

Why my washing machine has a soak cycle
Soak this.(6k) Have we really gotten so coddled and stupid that our washing machines need to have a special cycle to soak clothes? Isn’t that what sinks are for? What if my clothes aren’t thoroughly soaked at the end of the soak cycle? Do I have to run through the cycle again, or can I just leave the clothes there in the water? The owner’s manual is silent on the matter. I should call the 1-800 number to make sure.
Why people jog
I exercise regularly. By some standards, I exercise a lot. Among other activities I frequently swim, cycle, hike, and snowshoe. But one thing that I don’t do is jog. I won’t even run for the bus: another one will be along in a few minutes and I’ll still have my pride when it arrives. I don’t understand what possesses people to jog. I’ve never seen a jogger smile. I see swimmers, cyclists, hikers, and snowshoers smiling all the time. But the best I ever see from joggers is a kind of strained grimace that looks more like they’re having their arms twisted off by an auger than it looks like they’re enjoying their workout.
Joggers I’ve talked to about this claim that they smile all the time, yet I’ve seen no first-hand evidence. And more to the point, these same people have been unable to find even a single smiling jogger among all the smiling inline skaters, pedestrians, and cyclists clogging the recreational paths on an average weekend. So why do people jog? No one who jogs even claims to enjoy it. They all yammer endlessly about the pain in their knees, ankles, or hips, and one jogger I know even called it a sickness. I couldn’t agree more.
“Wash garment separately for best results”
Why should I have to wash something separately for best results? How is it in my clothes’ best interests for me to do one hundred little loads rather than dumping everything into one big load? I understand why I might want to keep my whites from my colours, but why do the labels on my black helmet liner, black pullover, black scarf, and black gloves — all made from the same kind of fleece — insist that they each be washed separately? Do I need to do a separate load for each glove, or can the two gloves be combined into a single load? You might be getting the idea that there are a lot of things I don’t understand about laundry. You’re probably right.
Why people still use car alarms
Seriously. When was the last time you heard a car alarm and thought, “Oh no, someone’s stealing that car!”? The novelty wore off about twenty years ago and they’ve been nothing more than a nuisance since. If I was walking down the street and saw someone under the hood of a car trying to cut off the alarm, I’d be much more likely to help him than to call the police.Which brings us to…
Why stores use those useless exit alarms
You know, the ones that beep incessantly whenever you walk into one store in a mall with a bag from another store. I’ve spent hours walking through store after store, setting off every alarm during both ingress and egress, and no one has ever stopped me. Much as with car alarms, no one pays any attention to them anymore. On the exceedingly rare occasion that I’ve actually looked back at the cashier after setting off an alarm, he’ll just wave me out of the store with a friendly smile.
I firmly believe that I could walk into the store of my choice, spend an hour conspicuously loading up my backpack with contraband, and I’d still be waved out the door when the alarm went off as long as I stopped at the counter and paid for a single item on my way out. We’d just roll our eyes at one another, smile that knowing smile, share that thought about how useless those alarms are, and I’d be on my way. I wouldn’t even necessarily have to buy anything: I’d just need to make sure to set the alarm off on the way into the store. And really, how difficult would that be?
I once set off an exit alarm at Blockbuster, despite carrying neither contraband nor merchandise from Blockbuster or anywhere else in my knapsack. The culprit: the hard case for my sunglasses! That’s right, apparently the anti-theft alarm at Blockbuster can’t tell the difference between a liberated DVD and the sunglass case that I’d been carrying around for some five years.
Not only did the Blockbuster employee immediately identify the cause of the always-false alarm (“Do you have a hard case for those sunglasses in your bag?” he asked as soon as the alarm sounded), but he was satisfied when I showed him the case and again triggered the alarm as I walked through the gates. My overstuffed backpack could have been full of smuggled copies of Gerry and Blockbuster dude would never have known. So there you go. If you ever want to pocket movies from Blockbuster, just be sure to have a hard case for your glasses in your bag.
Why people buy ringtones
Okay, let me get this right. You’re actually willing to pay to have your phone play a tinny rendition of Stairway to Heaven when someone calls you? Ringtones were a US$3.5 billion business in 2003, accounting for 10% of the music business. Can you imagine a more colossal waste of money? People, do everyone a favour and set your phone on vibrate. You’ll not only save yourselves some money, but you’ll make everyone around you much happier. At least until you start yapping away on your phone.
Why salespeople shadow me whenever I’m shopping for furniture
It’s bad enough that they accost me the second I’m inside the door. But when I make it clear that I’m just browsing and will ask for help if I need it, they still feel the need to follow me around the store. Oh, they try to be subtle, but it’s difficult not to notice that the same guy in a suit and tie is always — always — exactly one aisle away from me. It doesn’t matter where I go in the store, what tortured path I follow, how long I sit or how quickly I run, I look to my left and there he is, skulking behind the floor lamps.
Dude, I know you want your commission, but believe me when I say that there’s no faster way to get me out of a store than to follow me around like a third-rate spook in an Ellery Queen novel. And another thing: if I’m heading for the door, it’s too late to rush over and beg me to buy that leather sofa. Maybe if you hadn’t frightened me into leaving, I would have had the opportunity to sit on it for a few minutes.
“The Overnight”
For some reason, most TV weathercasters insist on referring to “the overnight”. As in, “A storm front will be moving in during the overnight…” Why can’t they just say, “A storm front will be moving in overnight,” like the rest of the world would? I’ve never heard anyone use this particular abomination in any context outside an overnight weather forecast. Sorry, I mean a weather forecast for the overnight. What makes the overnight so special that it needs to be nouned?
Guys, you know what I’m talking about. Pre-flushers are those annoying men who flush the urinal before relieving themselves. And then inevitably walk away without post-flushing. Don’t get me wrong, I can certainly understand the desire to stand in front of a nice fresh urinal. But what exactly makes you think that it’s socially acceptable to leave your effluent behind for the next guy to pre-flush? Do you ever use a toilet in someone’s house without post-flushing? Are you marking your territory or something? If you must pre-flush, go right ahead. But don’t even think about leaving that urinal without a post-flush.

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