Festivus 2018: Our readers’ top grievances and complaints from a ‘garbage, garbage’ year

The alternative holiday known as Festivus can be traced to the classic 1997 episode of Seinfeld called “The Strike.” (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television Inc.)
The alternative holiday known as Festivus can be traced to the classic 1997 episode of Seinfeld called “The Strike.” (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television Inc.)
Published Dec. 19, 2018|Updated Dec. 5, 2019


When it comes to Festivus, the anti-consumerism, alternative holiday Seinfeld writer Dan O’Keefe unleashed on the world in the classic 1997 episode “The Strike,” there is no tradition more important than the airing of grievances, not even the feats of strength.

You may ask: Why are we and others around the world still celebrating a made-up Dec. 23 holiday from a beloved '90s sitcom?

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 know you could fix, if only someone would listen.

And so, for a third year, we've collected hundreds from our readers. Here's a selection of what we received, with the names they provided.


A Star Is Born. Bradley Cooper talks like Batman. It's ridiculous. — S. Novak

The end of Infinity War. — Hope Guzzle

I got a problem with whoever thought it was a good idea to remake a classic like Magnum P.I. Awful. — M.W.

I'm so sick of people being influenced by social media personalities. Online influencers are the dumbest thing to happen to society. — Robert Maxwell

I've got a problem with prescription medication commercials telling us not to take said medication if you are allergic to it. DOH!!! — Malinda Grant

This last year I found out that Seal's Kissed by a Rose song doesn't say "kissed by a rose on the grave." It actually says "kissed by a rose on the gray." I'm still confused, nervous and lost by this news. Why, world? — Danielle C.

One thing that I can't stand is when people think that Jethro Tull is just a person in the band. — Scott Bradford


Pet parents, you're not "parents!" When did you ever change your dog's blown-out diaper with poop all over them? — Hunter Yorgesen

My neighbor sits at his kitchen table and picks his friggin' nose every night. My window is directly across from his window and I can't take it anymore. — Gregory Gregg

Brand-new ugly sweaters made for ugly sweater parties. — Hoffman Shay

I've got a big problem with you people who ask for recommendations on the internet and end it with "Aaaaand GOOO." Where am I going? Why was I waiting? I am not Usain Bolt! I don't need to be told when to go! — Joy Bramble

It really grinds my gears when I call my wife my "bangers and mash" and she takes it as a negative. — Caleb Why

My husband told me, "You're the bangers and mash, babe," and I don't know how I feel about this. — Dee C.

Dogs in my Publix downtown annoy me. I have no problem with service animals but there are barking, jumping, ill-mannered dogs at my Publix and it's not cool. — Lori Hedstrom

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Women who leave the toilet seat wet with pee! If you're afraid to sit on the seat, at least clean it before you leave the stall! — Frances Baldasari

Robo calls. — B.P.

People who wear headphones while shopping in the grocery store. — John Pearson

Restaurant servers who don't write down the order because they think I'm going to tip them more for their profound act of mentalism, remembering my order correctly. Pro tip: You're not really as good at remembering as you think you are. Everybody understands this except you. — Shawn McDonald

The poor tippers of the world! If you can't or won't tip your server or bartender, stay home! You're paying someone to wait on you. The cost of your food does not cover the cost of the service you enjoy. Like it or not, most servers and bartenders don't make a living hourly wage. — Lizzy Mac

What is it with people who get off an escalator and just stop? — Greg Sanderson

People need to stop calling every funny picture on the internet a "meme." Memes have a specific definition: "Something instantly recognizable, without context, that a large percentage of society recognizes." You made a funny picture of your kid saying something! You didn't make a meme! Don't know you or your kid, but he ain't that witty! — Brian J. Simms

I hate people who think it's okay to break into my house, sneak around for an hour straight, make it look like they stole stuff, but instead they summoned a demon and ate all my ice cream cake. — Nicole Mohnacs

The chain letters you people send me through Facebook Instant Messenger. I receive the notification that someone has sent me a message, I click on it thinking it's something important, and it's a freakin' letter telling me the devil already said I wouldn't forward it, so I need to prove him wrong! — Cathy Yelvington

I have an issue with people asking for money so they can participate in a marathon, bike ride, mission trip, etc. It's all supposedly done for charity but if you really wanted to raise money for charity, forego the activity and just give them the money. All they're really doing is getting people to subsidize an activity they want to participate in. — Katie Swanson

Wearing Ugg boots in Florida. — Susan David

I sit next to a guy in class who goes "ahhh" every time he takes a sip of coffee. — William Engels

People waste so much time (and fuel, and their hearing, and clean air) on mowing lawns, removing leaves, and blowing snow. It's practically the definition of a Sisyphean task. — Brandon Jacobs


I got a lot of problems with people who whistle while they work in an office. Stop it. It's annoying and childish. — Shannon O'Neill

I think as courtesy when you come to work, even if you're allowed to have your cellphone, you turn off the text noise. Especially in a shared office! — Andrea C.

I spent 3.5 years doing my degree and they only tell me right at the end, hey, you just wasted your money because THERE'S NO JOBS. — Susan Smith

Co-workers, what's the deal with leaving unused time on the microwave? Are you somehow gifting me those 13 seconds left on there? What am I going to do with 13 seconds? — Jeffrey Dean

How come companies hiring can ask how much you'd like to make yearly, but you can't ask them how much they're paying until the third interview? — Evan Frabell


I became allergic to dairy products this year. Every time I want a bowl of ice cream or a cream cheese bagel I need to pregame with a Benadryl to avoid the itchiest hives I've ever experienced. Thanks 2018, you garbage, garbage, garbage year. — Kara Hood

The efforts to stop global warming are not sufficient and nor is the funding to get humanity on Mars so there is no future. — Arjun Gandhi


I'm sick of hearing every day how offended someone is by (fill in the blank). Hey, peeps: How about you spend more time making your corner of the world a little better (that is, be important) instead of scouring the internet to find something to complain about (that is, feel important)? Your constant state of being offended offends me! — Connie G.

I am tired of you people trying to erase history. Leave Christmas songs alone. Leave the candy cane alone! I am over it! — Laura Heckaman

That Us vs. Them mentality leading to ... everybody's offended by everything! — Kacie Shea

I don't like those who think they need to defend tradition from some unknown "they." Or more recently, this "everyone" offended by Rudolph, Christmas songs and just about everything the collective "we" like. In reality it's more likely a Russian social media hacker? — Alan Rickman


It is St. Pete, NOT ST. PETES!!! — Brenda Conover

"It is what it is." — Dave Garfello

Anyone who uses the word "bespoke" or the phrase "working in that space." — Doug Trent


Hey, airlines. Don't call your pilots by their first name. No one feels safe when Captain Jack or Bob are up there. Captain Jack Jones or co-pilot Bob Smith are much more comforting! Stop. — Lisa Kothe

That my boyfriend was sent to prison for a suspended license when he never had one to suspend. 18 months. — Christine Brown

I am tired of all the people with BMWs parking in 1.10 parking spaces to prevent others from parking next to them. I will continue to park right next to you anyway if you don't stop. — Ryan Velez

Airlines that keep announcing they won't be serving peanuts on the plane because somebody on board has a peanut allergy. Just s--- can the peanuts for good, already! — Melanie Stanek

I have a problem with U.S. 41 and the jerks who decided to tear it up right now! You couldn't wait until after snowbird season? You had to do it NOW? Commuting to south county is nearly impossible now without practically peeing myself! — Susanna Lovett

When you think a UFO is trailing you, but it's just those LED headlights. How far ahead do you need to see on a well lit road in bumper to bumper traffic. Your high beams/LED lights are blinding me! — Mary Jacenich

People that drive the wrong way into the Euclid post office in St. Pete. You know who you are. — Lisa Wilson

Either start charging for the Veterans Expressway express lane or get rid of it. All it does is jack up traffic. — Jeremiah Gargagliano


Bucs, Bucs, Bucs, Bucs, Bucs, Bucs, Bucs, Bucs, Bucs … — Mack Draught

Those alarm clock uniforms the Buccaneers wear are awful. Bring back the creamsicles, dammit! — Drew Mitchel



I'm mad that the Ybor ballpark is dead and potentially baseball in Tampa Bay. — Sal Canete

I've got a problem with gazillionaire golfers (you hear me Phil & Tiger) charging $20 to watch them play for $9 million. They should be paying us! — Gregory Premer

Enough already of the scheming ownership of the Tampa Bay Rays! The absolute gall of MLB and Stu of demanding a stadium with a next to nothing investment irks me over the edge of fandom. I want you guys to pay the early termination fee and move to Vegas, or Nashville or Charlotte, anywhere but here. — John Brennan


I hate how Kohl's takes the Kohl's cash off first, then the coupon. They should do it the other way around! — Joseph Franklin

Self checkout lanes are the worst. Why do I have to wait behind a woman checking out with a full cart of groceries to buy the one item I came for? — Joe Dutch

Publix needs to bring back that yummy, buttery, fresh garlic bread. — Paula Bostick

Target took the "Dollar Spot" at the front of the store and re-made it to the "crap too cheap to sell section." Some items are now $1, some $3, some $5. Give me back my DOLLAR SPOT! — Stephanie Hansen

I am p----- Target stopped selling popcorn at their cafe. — Jennifer Jones

Duke Energy's monopoly in St. Pete means consumers keep paying for energy facilities that never get built while execs get bonuses. Unfair! — John Wilcox

Stores? Ya'll need to turn on the A/C. I know it's December, but it's frickin Tampa not Wisconsin. — Jennifer Myers

Can we all just admit that CrossFit is a cult? — Lindsey Forrest

Boneless wings are not wings! — Greg Hampton

I'm tired of seeing new construction suddenly begin on a vacant lot and getting all excited about what new business will be opening there, only for it to be another bank or a Pizza Hut. The market's saturated, folks. Let see some Korean joints and arcade bars! — John Gardner

It all started sometime in the last five or so years. Every time I order "iced tea with lemon" the server responds with "sweet tea?!?" I try to let it go, but sometimes I have to explain to them that if I wanted "sweet tea" that I would say "SWEET TEA!" — Irene Few

Ten items at Publix, 10 bags. Seriously? And with knots tied in them too. — Peachy Keen


Removing Pearls Before Swine from the comics. — Kanfer Alexander

Muck racks like yours that are spreading propaganda that helps to destroy this great nation of ours. — Sam Hyde

I really could use more tomfoolery from this publication! — Eric Klinker

The gentleman reporters on Channel 10 often don't wear neckties. — Marie DeSimon

"And Twitter went nuts" is a terrible idea for a news story. Stop it, world. — Dawn Paolillo

My first grievance: None of my local papers air my grievances! Tampa? Is that where Del Boca Vista is? — John Berti

Tampa Bay weather experts who predict temperatures seemingly so precisely. "Clearwater 81, Largo 80, Tampa 82," etc., instead of "somewhere in the low 80s" or even less specifically like "kinda warm," or "not so hot," to reflect their real level of accuracy. — Bill Bauer


There are too many states, please remove three. I am not a crackpot. — Cameron Webb

Political mail. It's a joke and waste of money. It never made me change my vote. — Mike Legnar

You that support an obvious crook, Donald Effing Trump. — David Wright

For the media to stop reporting such one side anti-Trump stories nonstop. — Kris Naarden

Americans complaining about Donald Trump. You voted him in, fools! — Non American


The one shoe laying on the side of the road. How did you get there? Why are you alone? You creep me out! — John Blakely


Seinfeld's Festivus episode "The Strike" airs Thursday, Dec. 20 at 11 p.m. on WTTA Great 38 in the Tampa Bay area.

Contact Christopher Spata at or follow @SpataTimes on Twitter.