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  1. Life & Culture

Festivus Airing of Grievances: The top gripes, peeves and complaints of 2021

We asked you to complain in the tradition of “Seinfeld.” Once again, you delivered, especially about the rent.
The alternative holiday known as Festivus can be traced to the classic 1997 holiday episode of "Seinfeld" titled "The Strike." In this scene, Frank Costanza, played by Jerry Stiller, participates in the Airing of Grievances.
The alternative holiday known as Festivus can be traced to the classic 1997 holiday episode of "Seinfeld" titled "The Strike." In this scene, Frank Costanza, played by Jerry Stiller, participates in the Airing of Grievances.
Published Dec. 23, 2021

Why are we and others around the world still celebrating Festivus, a fictional holiday from a beloved ‘90s Seinfeld episode?

It’s because we like it. It’s funny. It’s a good way to see what’s on people’s minds in a given year, and because there is no Festivus tradition more important than the Airing of Grievances, which can be a cathartic way to put the past year’s gripes behind you.

There were, as always, plenty of complaints in 2021. For a sixth year, we’ve collected hundreds of them. Here’s a selection of what we received.

Cost of living

Tired of worrying my rent is going to go up 1,000 percent. — Brooke Jones, Tampa

The rents went up 500 percent, and downtown Clearwater still smells like eggs. — David M., St. Petersburg

With the inflating cost of living it has effectively become impossible to take advantage of everything Tampa Bay has to offer like we used to. — David Dzien, Tampa

I can’t afford a house nor the cost to go back and finish college. — “Over 2021,” Tampa

Family

When my 12-year-old son calls me “bro.” Last I checked, I was still “mom.” — Carybeth Hobbs, St. Petersburg

If I took a shot for every time someone asked me when I was planning on having a baby I would have died of alcohol poisoning. — Angelica Rodriguez, Clearwater

My husband! He believes COVID is just a cold and refuses to get vaccinated. — Susan Frankel, Pompano Beach

If I could not be snoring, I would not be snoring. — “Full Name,” Tampa

The plethora of things blamed on COVID: longer phone hold times; increased prices; longer delivery times; pushed out appointments; having to sit outside in the rain while drinking your Starbucks because inside seating is blocked off; not being able to return merchandise; my wife refusing to remove her mask when we kiss. — George Nieman, Tampa

Development

The urbanization of East Pasco. There are houses going up everywhere, the traffic is horrible and our native wildlife has nowhere to go. — Julie Black, East Pasco

That a whole community with infrastructure and thousands of homes, schools, parks and community centers can be built in two to three years, and a few lane additions to a road takes 10 years. — Liz Iaconetti, Lutz

The imposition of the SunRunner bus stations on First Avenue and the unconstrained construction downtown bringing more lane closings. — Colin Ward, St. Petersburg

Business

Why did Lorna Doone cookie company redesign their packaging to individually wrap cookies into packs of 4. We didn’t need more plastic, and now it’s a hindrance to devour the whole box in one sitting. — Miracle Maxine, Richmond, Va.

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Ever since COVID hit, things have been closing earlier and earlier. You can’t even go to Walmart drunk at 2 a.m. anymore like a true American. — Sierra Layko, St. Petersburg

Why do you include the stumps in my bagged romaine lettuce? I know I need roughage, but I am not eating romaine stumps. — Mark Nelson, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Who are all these people who are buying extended warranties for their vehicles over the phone? — Parrey, St. Petersburg

What’s with all the air conditioning? It’s 80 degrees outside, I’m wearing shorts, having a good time, and then I go into a store and BAM! it’s 66 degrees all of a sudden. I go from a nice sunny day to the middle of winter when I’m trying to buy some fruit. — Jessica Gantzert, St. Petersburg

Why are websites so desperate for me to get their newsletter? Is anyone actually reading these newsletters? — Amie B., Louisville, Ky.

Brewery owners who want to cater to kids should just open a Chuck E. Cheese instead. The kids are bored and the parents don’t watch them. — Amy Dodd, St. Petersburg

Restroom signs reminding only employees to wash their hands. — Darryl David, St. Petersburg

Entertainment

Pete Davidson! — Guillermo, Tampa

Pete Davidson didn’t date enough women. — Habius Porpoise, Ottawa, Ontario

That Samantha isn’t in And Just Like That... — Veronica Cruz, Wesley Chapel

Thinking the Sex and the City revival would be a funny, relaxing relief from the hellish real world. Oh, it’s a “comedy” about death and grief? Great! — Sophia Loraine, Ocala

2021, the year they should’ve stopped making Tiger King sequels. — Corrie B., Pasadena, Calif.

Remember when everyone bought chess sets when the Queen’s Gambit came out last year? Did any of you actually use them??? — Emily Rogers, St. Petersburg

Everyone stop recommending TV shows and movies. I didn’t watch any of them last year or this year and won’t watch them next year. — Olivia Drobne, Redwood City, Calif.

Politics and government

The Biden administration changed COVID testing requirement to 24 hours prior to returning by air to U.S. This is crazy when flights are delayed so frequently, sometimes by several days. It could mean multiple tests to get home. The only ones who benefit are the test manufacturers. — Duffy Altman, Clearwater

I want a governor who at least occasionally works in his office. — Ray Shaw, Sun City Center

The ladies from The Red Hat Society can’t wear their red hats out on the town for fear of being associated with another red hat society that showed up on the U.S. Capitol steps on January 6th. — Jeffrey Armstrong, Gulfport

As an honorably discharged veteran living now in Tampa Bay, I visited Bay Pines VA hospital and was subjected to forced viewing of Fox News on every TV in the waiting room. — Ken, Clearwater

Pandemic life

The people that still won’t vaccinate because they “did their own research.” C’mon! — @ashleyale via Instagram

Tampa Bay Times fear mongering about COVID. — @marquette_elise via Instagram

Anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers who are directly responsible for allowing COVID to last indefinitely. — Alicia Ruffolo, Largo

Dr. Fauci having the raw nerve to say an attack on him is an “attack on science.” — Hugo Dinguez, Miami

People who don’t believe in science. I got a lot of problems with you people! — Diane Wold, Orlando

Sports

Raymond James Stadium’s no bag policy. My purse isn’t just decorative. I use it to carry my wallet, prescription sunglasses, phone and period supplies — all necessary items for a Bucs game. — Laura, Tampa

I saw the Rays get demolished by the Red Sox in the Trop and I was surrounded by obnoxious Boston fans. — Charlie Shupp, Largo

When the final buzzer sounded at the Stanley Cup Final I felt pressure pushing my entire body forward. It’s what being caught in a tsunami must feel like. I was shoved hard into the row of seats below. Head first. One horrendously broken finger (requiring surgery, thereby ruining my entire summer) and a deep gash required a trip to the ER. And first aid at Amalie Arena had to cut up my favorite pair of jeans! — Michelle Colesanti, Valrico

Tennis players who complain about pickleball players and talk like only tennis is legit. It’s like craft beer drinkers who have to convince everybody that their beer is the only beer. We don’t care. We are enjoying our thing. — Frank Butler, St. Petersburg

If the Rays cant get a crowd, while very good, why should Tampa invest in them? — Ray, Ybor City

Other humans

As a New Yorker that moved to St. Pete this summer, I’m annoyed by how many New Yorkers moved to St. Pete this summer. — “Autoerotic Aardvaark,” St. Petersburg

That time someone honked at me for crossing the street too slowly. I’m still thinking about it. — Kat Grosek, Boca Raton

It’s 2021 and people still out here smelling like BO everywhere. Lockdown is over…shower y’all. — William McDaniel, Springfield, Mo.

Transplants who snap photos of lizards like they’re on an African safari, crawl along the left lane like they’re part of a parade and distort the local economy like they’re filling up Disney hotel rooms. As a fifth-gen native, I feel like I’m just an employee in this city-shaped theme park. — Lawrence Murkoph, St. Petersburg

Going out with friends who are a couple that make every moment with them feel like you’re witnessing their foreplay. Get a grip. Or loosen it rather. — Dierdre Foxwell, St. Petersburg

iPhone users in group chats that include Android users who like, love, laugh at or emphasize messages. — Stacie Butler, Tampa

People have been especially terrible this year towards retail workers. I’ve witnessed people acting like absolute monsters, and then in the same breath complain about nobody wanting to work anymore. I CAN’T IMAGINE WHY. — Louie Marie, Clearwater

Guy in Publix shopping in a T-shirt with a big AK assault rifle image and the words, “I AM THE WOLF ... THIS IS MY TOOL.” What a ghastly message for the supermarket. — John Miione, Seminole

People eating meat every single day. — Nancy Sanford, Largo

People who don’t wear earbuds in the supermarket. Sorry your partner doesn’t trust you enough to go shopping that you have to FaceTime them the entire trip. — Debbie K, Tampa

Fashion

Crazy long, super sharp nails. I don’t care how fancy they are, they stress me out! — Nicole Hiers, Tampa

Global warming is making it hot, but not hot enough to justify wearing a tank top in the fall. — Daniel Owen, Chicago

Work life

Having to return to the office, hence dealing with traffic, giving up sleep, no time to work out, no time for self, and once again rushing, rushing, rushing in the rat race that never ends. — Tired McDuffy, Riverview

My co-worker won’t get vaccinated but gets offended if she isn’t invited to my parties. — Luz Criollo, Apopka

I’m a nurse at a large hospital, and the amount of contentious patients and visitors we’ve had this year is far above anything I’ve encountered. It’s a far cry from “Healthcare Heroes” and “We’re all in this together.” Let’s try and remember that everyone we meet, no matter their job, ability, political views, sexuality, gender or race, is still a human being deserving of respect. — Dave Schmitz, Sarasota

Some of you really came up into my job refusing to wear a mask, demanding help without any sort of manners, stood inches away from my face and still had the audacity to have some of the hottest stank breath I’ve ever smelled behind sometimes double layered masks. — Amanda Fernandez, Tampa

Customer: Treating you like garbage because it’s been a “rough year” due to COVID. Customer service worker: Has also been living on the planet Earth and dealing with COVID. — Becky Feltz, Orlando

Any adult who has a child in the public school system, especially if that child is in 5th grade and in my class. — “A Disgruntled Teacher,” Wilmington, Del.

Driving

Big loud motorcycle guy whose $1,000 aftermarket pipes aren’t loud enough so he installs a stereo system. Really, guy, we heard you rolling up to the stoplight, but now we have to listen to 2 ½ minutes of Bad to the Bone? — Bill McGill, Largo

Why do dudes who have zero reason to own jacked-up pickup trucks have jacked-up pickup trucks? Bro, you are an actuary. — Carlton Singer, Palmetto

Florida drivers, can we try to just pick a few rules of the road and agree to follow them. We can even assign them days of the week as to not get tedious. — Kelli Smith, Zephyrhills

Who in the heck developed that s-curve going to 4th Street North? That thing has been a death trap for decades. No one seems to know if they’re going straight or turning right or what lane to be in. Chaos and havoc. — Brandy Stark, St. Petersburg

Those drivers who wait until the last possible second to get into the line for I-4. You are what is wrong with Tampa traffic. — Lesley Whiddon, Tampa

‘Firemen’

Why don’t we call firemen “watermen.” They bring water, not fire. — Dana Speer, St. Petersburg

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