Crazy People: Revving-Engine-Outside-My-Window-at-5am Guy

Dear Revving-Engine-Outside-My-Window-at-5am Guy:

Thank you for revving your engine at 5am for 20 minutes outside my window. The exhaust cloud filled my place.

Sir, you don’t need to warm up your engine for more than a few seconds. It is 55 degrees at night in LA in the winter. This isn’t Canada. Thank you.

-Sleepless in Gas Fumes

Crazy Drivers: Angry-In-Rush-Hour Gal

Angry-In-Rush-Hour Gal sees every rush hour as a battle to the death, even if it takes them two hours to get home no matter what.

Today we were inching along…stop, go, stop, go…in rush hour traffic at 505pm on Wilshire Boulevard in LA. I stopped momentarily to let a car turn left in front of us.

Angry-In-Rush-Hour Gal in the car behind me leaned on the horn.

Really? That makes you mad? A car turning for one second is holding you up? Where are you going to go?

After the car turned left, we moved up…one space.

3 Crazy Drivers on the Highway

The highway is made to get you from one place to another hassle-free without the slowdown of traffic lights, garbage trucks, and slow, slow, slow city buses. For the most part, it works. Except there is a special breed of crazy person on the highway you’ll find nowhere else.

Get-Out-Of-My-Lane-Oops-There’s-My-Exit Guy

Get-Out-Of-My-Lane-Oops-There’s-My-Exit Guy rolls up on your bumper because he is in a HUGE hurry. To avoid him driving through your rear window, you move over. He zooms past, only to realize he is missing his exit, cuts back across IN FRONT of you, nearly wrecking both your cars.

Ms. Turn-Signal-On-Then-Off-On-Then-Off

Ms. Turn-Signal-On-Then-Off-On-Then-Off turns on her turn signal to exit the freeway. Except she’s not sure where the exit is. So, she turns the signal on, changes her mind when no exit shows up for a mile, turns it off, and so on. This goes on for ten miles.

Mr. Carpool-Lane-Slow-Driver

The carpool lane, sometimes called an HOV lane, is set aside for people with two or more passengers. Mr. Carpool-Lane-Slow-Driver takes that as an invitation to slow down to 10 miles-per-hour below he speed limit, backing up cars in the lane for 45 miles.

Crazy People Online: Mr. I-Need-Help-Hey-Screw-You

Mr. I-Need-Help-Hey-Screw-You is a peculiar crazy person you see in online forums and social media groups like Facebook Groups. He asks for help and then tells you to screw off when you lend a hand.

This is the scenario: He is distraught, at the end of his rope, wants some advice and direction. He rants in detail, explaining in endless paragraphs what he really wants and wondering why the Universe has conspired to block him from the goal. “Why? Why me? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy” he cries.

So if I know how to help him, against my better judgement from painful previous experiences, I reach out to help. I offer suggestions, tips and insight. I address directly HIS stated concerns, laying out a possible plan.

Then he rails, “What are you talking about? This doesn’t help! I’m in pain! Hey, screw you!”

Oops, I went against my rule. I should have seen it a mile off. Never wade in to these forum threads. Never, ever, ever.

Yes, he has a problem, but he doesn’t really want help.

Not from me. Or anybody else.


“Hey, can I borrow your phone?”

Outside the shower at the gym I heard, “Hey, can I borrow your phone?”

The sound of the rushing water made it hard to hear. Is somebody asking another person if they can borrow their phone? Who takes their phone to the showers?

“Hey, man, can I borrow your phone?” I hear again. I turned off the water.

“Are you talking to me?” I called out beyond my shower stall.

“Yeah, man.”

I pulled back the curtain. A hand from the next stall was sticking out of the shower next door, cupped like they expected me to pour soap in it.

“Can I borrow some soap?”

“Oh, soap. I thought you said phone.”

Who borrows soap?

“Here, take the whole bottle.”

I left quick.

Crazy People at the Gym: The Conversationalists

The Conversationalists are usually two women or men who sit around on the equipment like it is a grouping of living room furniture. Rarely do they lift any weights or use the machines. Most of the time, they sit and talk about everything under the sun except the task at hand. Going to the gym is more of a social occasion than a fitness goal. The gym should go ahead and put a lounge area in the workout rooms to make it easier for The Conversationalists to relax.

Crazy People at the Gym: Mr. and Mrs. Super-Fit-Excess-Sweaters

Now that my various hospital stays have subsided — at least for now — I decided to join a gym. My goal is to lose the weight I gained while healing, and hopefully some more.

My gym has three long rows of elliptical machines, stair-steppers, and treadmills facing a bank of TVs on the wall. As is my habit, just like in 4th grade, I take the back row and begin observing people.

One married couple is entertaining because they work out together. They are young 30s-ish, in great shape, the kind of couple that probably met at the gym, married, had 2.5 kids and still work out together. The problem is, they are rarely apart. The hit the weight machines together, run the treadmills right next to each other, smiling at each other the whole time.

And God knows they are fit. I watched as they both ran at double my lethargic speed, like gazelles on the Serengeti, moving effortlessly. I barely work up a sweat, but it pours off their body from the hard effort they put in. The treadmills spin and churn under their fast feet, while mine moans along with my tired stride.

I try to distract myself from their physical superiority by immersing myself in the Jerry Springer show on one of the TVs. There seems to be a serious fight among the guests, and two women have pulled each other’s wigs off during a round of fisticuffs. Ten minutes later, I spy the fit couple still running at high speed. Their bodies are taught, muscles driving, sweat pouring. A lot of sweat. Their treadmills and the surrounding treadmills look like they were hosed down by the fire department.

I look again at the TV bank and settle on a show featuring a couple trying to decide from among three different houses. The first house has an exceptional wine cellar, the second has a great yard but lousy basement, and the third is historic and charming, but oh, my, it will take months to renovate the kitchen. What will they decide? They make an offer on the charming one, and I know they will soon be on another show called “Renovation Projects We Regret.”

Fit couple is sweating more than ever, the sweat rivers flowing off them, creating a small pond near their machines. Seven minutes later, the pond has become a lake. I see families of geese and ducks moving across the water, occasionally diving for fish.

As the home shopping show ends, the water has risen. My ankles are covered, but I keep walking. Some gym-goers have climbed up on the rails of their machines as the water moves ever higher. I look up to see a police helicopter flying low beneath the closing gap between ceiling and water level. A rumor spreads the police are looking for a family that tried to swim to the exit for safety, only to find they couldn’t open the door from the inside.

The water is up to my chest now. I wonder if I will get electrocuted. Fit couple keeps running, sweating, and smiling. They are holding hands now, looking into each other’s eyes across the treadmill divide. A small fishing boat pulls behind me, a man standing on the bow of the boat, casting into the area near the ab machines. I see a group of teenagers speed by in a water-ski boat near the from windows, two of them skimming the water behind taught ski lines. s

Finally, fit couple wind down their workout, their ocean of sweat filling the gym. You are supposed to wipe down a machine after using it, but I don’t think they will be able. The machines are seven or eight feet below the surface now. Might as well drain the place, hose it down with rubbing alcohol and set it on fire.

Crazy People at the Gym: Mr. My-Headphones-Are-Bigger-Than-My-Head

Like many people at the gym, Mr. My-Headphones-Are-Bigger-Than-My-Head is into listening to music while working out. To get the best sound, he uses only the best headphones possible. And to duplicate the live concert experience, he likes to use giant headphones that spread out from his head like moons on a planet that never escaped gravity enough to go fully into their own orbit.

Crazy Golfers: Throw-One-Down-Let-Me-Show-You Guy

This dude is similar to Mr. Instructor. Like Mr. Instructor, he hands out unwanted golf tips with the enthusiasm of an MLM seminar leader. But he takes it one step further. After you hit a shot, he immediately gives you a golf tip, then says, “Got another ball? Throw one down and let me show you.”

This might be alright if the guy didn’t do this all day to every person he meets on every shot they take, and if he actually knew anything beyond what you learn your first year in the game.

Crazy Golfers: Mr. I-Can’t-Believe-It-Didn’t-Drop!

Mr. I-Can’t-Believe-It-Didn’t-Drop rolls his putt 12 way wide of the hole, but acts like it nearly went in. As the putt travels by the hole, he jumps in the air, bends his body at the waist, yelling “OHHHHHHHH! Almost!” He acts as if the ball singed the edge of the cup, but in reality the ball had no chance at all since you could fit a trash dumpster between the hole and the ball.

5 Crazy People You See on the Bus

After I got fired from my last job, I got rid of my car to cut expenses.

I ride the bus all the time— here are five crazy people I see everyday.

Mr. My-Concert-is-Your-Concert

This guy likes his music so much, he wants to share it with others. He has headphones on, but don’t worry, he’ll turn the music up so loud it feels like you are right there in the front row of the concert.

Mr. and Ms. Shuffle-Butt

Mr. and Ms. Shuffle-Butt are constantly talking to each other in some vague European accent. They shift seats constantly, unhappy with each choice they make. If one likes it, the other doesn’t, and a flurry of discussion, complaining and funny faces ensues each time. This goes on the whole hour you are on the bus.

Mr. Sit-Too-Close

The whole bus is empty except for you. Mr. Sit-Too-Close gets on and sits right behind you. That’s not creepy at all.

Mr. Make-The-Whole-Bus-Wait-While-I-Find-My-Pass

This guy is usually on his cell phone as he boards. He money or pass is not at the ready, and he takes his time finding said items, all the while talking to whomever on the phone. Take all the time you need, sir. These thirty of us already on the bus don’t have anywhere to go. We are just riding around.

Ms. Mayor-of-the-Bus

She should run for Mayor of the bus, because she would win going away. She knows EVERYONE who gets on, their family and their dog. Within minutes of boarding, she and her nearby friends are shrieking with laughter about some story while your eardrums bleed.

Crazy Golfers: Mr. Delusional-Handicap

Mr. Delusional-Handicap insists he is a single digit handicap. Every chance he gets at work, home and with friends, he slips in the conversation that he is a 7 or 8 handicap. But the day you play in the same foursome, he is OB on the first two holes, hits it in the lake on the third hole, and triple bogeys the fourth hole. Don’t worry, though. He has an excuse — several actually. “These aren’t my usual clubs.” “My hand was injured.” “I pulled my back working on my house.”

Crazy People: Miss Officious

I pulled my bike over to a safe spot off the road near OSU yesterday. Checking my phone under a bright blue sky, I noticed a car slowing to a stop as it turned in a driveway behind me leading to athletic fields.

I turned to look. A lady rolled down her window, peering at me through large sunglasses, saying slowly in a scolding tone, “That’s a bad place to stand!”

Huh? Who are you? Mind your own business, you nut. I’ve always been amused by dorks who feel they must advise everyone in their path how to live their lives. They rush around, acting as self-appointed busy bodies to save the rest of us.

My “Word a Day” email came in this morning with the perfect word: “Officious: Excessively eager in offering unwanted or unneeded advice or help.”

Suddenly Miss Officious realized the the GoPro on my helmet was recording away.

“You’ll have to delete that!” she said. “It’s my right!”

“Actually, you are wrong. You have no right to privacy in public,” I said. “But thanks for the unwanted advice!” I smiled. She sped off.