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  1. Life & Culture

Festivus: Readers’ top complaints about 2019 and ‘those dang scooters’

Let the airing of grievances for 2019 begin. Here’s what annoyed you most.
Festivus dinner as depicted in the "Seinfeld" episode "The Strike." [Sony Pictures TV]
Festivus dinner as depicted in the "Seinfeld" episode "The Strike." [Sony Pictures TV]
Published Dec. 17, 2019
Updated Dec. 29, 2020

UPDATE: Read the grievances for 2020 here

You may ask, why are we and others around the world still celebrating Festivus, a made-up holiday from a beloved ’90s Seinfeld episode?

It’s because we like it. It’s cathartic. It’s funny. It’s a good way to see what’s on people’s minds in a given year. It’s an opportunity to gripe about those peeves you just know you could fix, if only someone would listen.

When it comes to Festivus, there is no tradition more important than the airing of grievances, not even the feats of strength or the unadorned metal pole.

And so, for a fourth year, we’ve collected hundreds from our readers. Here’s a selection of what we received, with the names they provided. Some entries have been edited for clarity.

DRIVING AND TRANSPORTATION

Drunk folks on those Uber Scooters, easily. I feel like I’m playing Carmeggedon everytime I drive through Ybor, but instead of credits I’d get 20 years upstate if I hit them. — Dick Ferguson

E-scooters!! My family has actually had to ban me from ranting about them because it happens so often. I’ve never had an inanimate object fill me with so much rage. My Christmas wish is that they will all magically disappear! — Nicole Hiers

Those dang scooters are the worst! They run you off of sidewalks, they cross the road without a care in the world, and don’t follow any rules of the road when they’re on them. And when they’re done, they’ll just throw them in your yard! It was a novel idea at first, but they forgot the ultimate rule: people suck. — Tom Pruim

Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell’s scooter program. — Grant Stern

Nothing is more “Grinch” than the fact that if you make less than $25,000 at USF you get an $8 discount on your parking pass. A dean making $150,000-plus pays $270, a minimum wage employee pays $262. — Martin Connett

Tampa’s lack of efficient public transportation continues to hold back its development and status as a modern, desirable city and contributes to its legendary traffic problems. — Teigen

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Last minute mergers on I-275 SB EXIT 45B. — Viktor Roman

People who drive exactly the speed limit but don’t stop at stop signs or use their turn signal. — Katie Page

Rubberneckers. It wouldn’t be a trip down 275 without traffic due to an accident in the opposite lane. — Tim

Pedestrians who don’t walk the extra 10 feet to the crosswalk and almost make murderers out of drivers. — Steve O’Toole

POP CULTURE

Do we really need a TV commercial about ED with men holding curved carrots not pointing in the correct direction? Yeah, I went there because somebody had to. — Kim MacCormack

The ending to Game of Thrones! — Stephen Haile

The saying “okay boomer." I’m a Gen X-er and I find it obnoxious as hell. — Jared Overson

I gotta problem with you boomers! You ruined the world for the Gen X, Xennial, and Millennial generations and then you have the nerve to sit there and complain that we are the ones who aren’t as good as your generation! You’re right! We’re better! — Jason Millett

What was with the ending of Toy Story 4!? Most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. I prefer to believe the movie does not exist. The franchise ended after the third movie when Andy went to college. Biggest screw up of 2019, hands down! — Kieran Andrews

Adam Levine. — Sierra Park

BUSINESS

It’s 2019 and we still make glitter. — Nick Calvelli

It is almost 2020 and cereal still isn’t in a Ziploc bag. — Larry F. Hollandsworth

Target in Largo remodeled and moved everything down half an aisle, just to spite ME. — “A rudderless shopper"

Costco took the macadamia nuts out of their premium mix! — Janet Polkovsky

Customers at Starbucks who want to pay it forward. While I appreciate their generosity and good intentions, for some reason, whenever I get guilt tripped by the cashier to try return the favor, I always get stuck with a higher bill! — Vin R.

Just because a person is receiving home health services do not assume they are sitting home waiting for you. They can still go to the grocery, doctor appointments or maybe just sat down to a hot meal. Have some common courtesy and set a time for the visit. — Melissa Grundy

Another year unemployed due to my age being over 50. It started at age 52 and has lasted 7 years. — David J. Manning

OTHER HUMANS

The people on the corners of the street in downtown St. Pete trying to get you to donate to save the earth, or children, or the whole damn world. I get it, there are problems, but pestering me on my way to and from work multiple times a day, multiple days a week is downright annoying. I get anxiety about what excuse I can come up with next. If I’m going to donate, I’m going to research and do it online, not sign up with some overly eager hyper person on the corner of a street. — Heather

People from outside Tampa Bay not realizing how degraded the environment already is and not supporting efforts to preserve it. — Chris Howard

People’s breath. — Eduardo Gonzalez

Didn’t get to shake the hand of the parking meter bandit. — Rain Turner

Pedestrians who don’t use the crosswalks on the beach. Or even worse, use the crosswalks and don’t bother to push the blinking light button. They’re there for a reason, and there’s a ton of them. — Anonymous in St. Pete Beach

Old people who do all their grocery shopping on Saturday or Sunday when they had absolutely nothing going on during the week. — Barnold McPhobson

People, a click pen is a pen. Not a toy. You click it once to write and leave it so you can pick it up and write again! You do not have to keep clicking it, because that would be moronic. — Evie Miller

People who can afford to eat out but don’t tip. — Dan Nash

Learn the concept of “personal space” when you stake out a spot on the beach. A group of four decided to set up camp next to me, and they were so close that I could literally reach out and touch the person closest to me . The kicker was that the beach was practically empty that day! — Daisy Grey

My brother thinks he’s the biggest expert on Festivus just because he has a couple of books about it but I’m the one who first brought it to our family for an annual party 15 years ago. — Renee Nelson Grey

I guess this applies to about 75 percent of Florida’s population, but old people who still use paper checks to buy $5 worth of stuff. Join us in the new millennium while you can. — S. Johnson

People who are checking their phones while walking and just stop. — Sue Jones

People who play videos/Facetime in public with full volume. I don’t want to hear your stuff. — Kelly Bauman

Fishing line entanglement and other man-made injuries the wildlife is taking. Rescued two birds today with four hooks in one and a swallowed hook! Respect from the fisherman is being lost. — Aiden Mikhail

My grandparents on Facebook sharing every picture and post that says “I posted this picture of ______ and Facebook removed it. Share this picture to show your support!” — Jay G.

People complaining about the alligator trappers in the neighborhood. — Matt M.

I’ve got a lot of problems with the people that put cilantro on everything!! It’s disgusting!!! — Mary Edgar Godfrey

ANIMALS

Too many dog parks! There’s dogs on the streets, dogs in bars, dogs everywhere! We need a cat cafe for people to sit, hang out with cats, and meet like-minded people who hate being outside and prefer the company of the Best Pet. — Jessica Gantzert

Dogs at my Publix store downtown St Pete. Every time I shop there they’re barking and jumping on people. Publix policy says they can’t ask for proof that they’re service animals so people take advantage. It feels more like Petsmart lately. — Eileen Stafford

Cats don’t get enough respect. — Tina Maher

My dog thinks my new Roomba is a toy and wants to destroy it. Chill out dude, she’s cleaning up after you. — Caroline Roth

I’ve got a problem with people who fly and put a “therapy dog” vest that they bought online for $20 on their pets. The airlines are turning into a flying pet shop. — Jeff Williams

SPORTS

Having my NFL watching and eating experience ruined by hearing the name “Booger” used. I change channels or turn down the volume. — Troy Groover

Went to this place and was overcharged for drink. Way overcharged for food. Worst part was the owner seemed completely uncaring and oblivious. #Sternberg. — Frank Butler

The Lightning getting swept by THE COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS ARE YOU KIDDING ME. — Ben James

We thought we saw lack of respect and love for one another in past few years, but nothing compared to 2019. To break the cycle, I even started to respect the Buccaneers (please don’t tell my nephew). — Gail Sideman

Jameis Winston...'nough said. — Julie Black

Two words: Stu Sternberg — Kevin Jay, Belleair Bluffs

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Scientology’s strangle-hold on Clearwater and the fact that no officials are complaining to the IRS for violating 501c3 requirements. Somehow, I doubt this gets published tho... — Michelle Papes

Festivus is continuously overlooked and left out as a core curriculum subject in schools across these United States. We gotta do something about that. There oughta be a law! — Tom Budzyna

Trump. That is my ONLY grievance for 2019. (Ok, Yankees losing to the Astros is a close second). —Janice Sann

I wish the Democrats would let our President do his job and stop with all the obstruction and resistance. However, beings the Times is a liberal newspaper I probably won’t see this grievance!! — Frank Cristalli

My Grandmother died over Mother’s Day, and I really miss her complaining about Trump. I fear that losing her vote is going to help Trump get elected again. — Tara

Impeachment proceedings on TV, ruining my daytime TV routine and wasting my tax dollars, to boot! — Theresa Gushaulis

The on-going and utterly ridiculous investigations and attempts to remove President Trump from office by the Democratic Party and media. The fact this is has been on-going even since prior to his election in 2016, proves how much of a farce it really is. — Jody Kenyon

Juan Orlando Hernandez. The corrupt president in Honduras. — Carlos Arita, Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Politicians. All of them. Worldwide. Done with the lot of them. — Stephen Hladio

The mayor’s staff responding to legit questions and concerns of its citizens with old “sassy” memes from 2014. — Nicole Olaniel

USF Consolidation and Preeminence, absurdity of life, fake out, no money for you and the plan without a plan. — A USF faculty member

Putting increased property tax revenue (by way of more apartments and condos) before infrastructure sufficient enough to handle it. Stop building apartments, you morons. — M.M.

Daylight savings time. — Spring Kathleen Prince

America began rounding up immigrants, separating children from their parents, and allowed six kids to die in custody. — Steven Thomas Howell

EXISTENCE

Tiny little buttons on the sleeve of a shirt that no man can manage with one hand, let alone while rushing to get ready for work. Who has this kind of finger dexterity? A safecracker? — Stu Biffley

I realized that I can’t see my ears without using a mirror. That’s actually really upsetting. — A. Road

My grievances lie in the root causes of global revolts, thus spreading fear amongst shallow men with shallow dreams... with metallic souls and revolting needs. — Julian Donnel

Everyone on their phones too much and not enjoying their loved ones in the moment. No social media can replace the eyes, the laughter, the touch, the soul connection. — Lisa Fehling

Chronic migraines. — Riley T.

I wish I was taller. — Matty H.

The hospital for not calling me to tell me I had obstetric cholestasis, so I was itching madly for a month thinking this was just a regular pregnancy symptom. Also, weekly fasting blood tests while pregnant. — Vivienne Craig

Impatient drivers, parents who expect teachers to magically fix all their problems at home, Donald Trump, news media that reported on Donald Trump (stop reporting about him), Rays going cashless (no wonder everyone is in debt), insurance costs, cost of medications, knowing I’m nowhere near retirement, I-4 traffic, malfunction junction (remember that fix... it didn’t work), Starbucks (I don’t even like coffee), shopping at Walmart, waking myself up snoring. — Brent Dunn

Rising rents and low wages. It breaks my heart but I’ll be looking for a new city and state in 2020. — Benjamin Jayce

I’m annoyed at 2019 interest rates. I’m a retired widow living on one social security payment, which is not easy. I was so happy when my savings started to earn a little bit of interest to help my retirement income. Then, rates started falling again. My housing and medical costs are going up, fast. My fixed income is going down. My ship is sinking. I feel like the only way to earn income from my savings is to take on risk I really can’t afford to take. I can’t lose my nest egg. I don’t have time to make up losses. I remember the days when safe interest rates were reasonable. I miss those days. I don’t know how long I can make this work, but I sure am annoyed, and honestly, scared. — Elissa Leonard

There is too little time left for our planet to be a home we love and too little action to do anything about it! — Arjun Gandhi

LANGUAGE

Overuse of the word iconic. Iconic movies, images, celebrities, etc. Stop already. — Amy And

The continued improper use of “Quotation Marks” on “signs”. Still sketchy in “2019." — Dawn Mockler

“Like," " So," and “I mean,” are not the ways to begin a sentence, especially by TV reporters. — Charlain Ralston

HMMM

Why are trees allowed to litter the country with leaves every fall? We all pick them up like it’s perfectly okay. We have to stop enabling them. — Robert Toy

I actually have no complaints. Maybe I should. — Don Alexander