Fifth World Problems – Sector Bravo

Posted: November 13, 2013 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m annoyed by most, if not all, things in the world.  I realize that’s a very general statement, but I’m very generally living my life in an annoyed manner.  Please don’t take offense at that, because I also fully realize that I’m very generally an annoying person.  I’ve come to grips with that – and you should too.

I described what a “Fifth World Problem” was in my first attempt at listing a few annoyances.  As promised/threatened, I’m here to share just a few more things that I have found annoying in the last couple of weeks.  Thus – Edition 2 of Fifth World Problems – appropriately and cleverly named Sector Bravo.  Note that items 1 through 4 were on Sector Alpha, previously aforementioned.  Just as a tease in case you didn’t check that out – an Advil with hair on it featured prominently.

5.  Airplane Applause

So you’re on one of those miserable things called ‘a flight’.  There are literally a thousand things that you could be annoyed at on one of THOSE things – but that just means I’ll have blog fodder for years (please hold the cheering).  The one I’m focusing on is the tendency for some people on said plane when its wheels hit the ground to break out into a randomapplause spasm of applause.  What are they applauding exactly?  The fact that they didn’t plummet to their deaths?  Seriously – if you’re going to applaud that you probably shouldn’t be flying anyway.  The pilot can’t hear you, so what are you doing?  You don’t applaud a taxi driver if he gets you to your destination, do you? Can you imagine applauding your bus driver?

<random bit of boasting>  When I received my pilot’s license many years ago, there were certainly landings that I made that I almost applauded MYSELF….but I would never stoop to the random airline applause.  Even then my girlfriend who’d I take up (and believe it or not is now my wife) never applauded at MY landings.  Wait….

Applauding an airplane landing is only surpassed in the applause category by:

6.  Movie Theater Applause

MUCH more annoying ththeatrean clapping at any type of airplane landing is the habit of some people sitting in a movie theatre to applaud when a movie is over.  Applause by definition is showing appreciation to someone for something they did.  What are you appreciating by applauding at a movie theater?  The snot-nosed kid that dripped butter on your popcorn?  The movie screen itself?  The projectionist?  Do they even still have those?  It’s just random applause that is wasted upon the ether.  If a tree falls in a forest and no one’s around, does it make a sound?  If an idiot claps in a movie theater, does anyone appreciate it?  Not this guy…. Enjoy the movie, go home, and write a review.  Don’t applaud nothingness.


7.   Waveless Driving

You’re zipping along at 70MPH in the left side lane on an interstate loving life.  You’re passing cars willy-nilly perfectly legally and at the assigned speed.  Liwavefe is good.  All of the sudden Joe Dunderhead cruising along at 60MPH (a full 10MPH under the limit) in the right lane puts on his blinker and wants to move over.  What do you do?  In my case it depends on if anyone else is in the car with me.  Let’s assume that my wife is riding shotgun for me.  In this case, I slam on the stupid brakes like a ‘courteous driver’ and let him move over.  He slides SLOWLY over to the left while I wait for the wave….and get diddley-squat.  Not even a bit of a piece of a hand wave to say thank you.  Just continuing along at 60MPH fat.  Dumb.  Happy.  I’m like the world at large – I JUST WANT TO BE APPRECIATED.  Just be a normal human being and say thank you for going out of your way to make your little piece of the road a little bit safer.

8.   Elevator Doorelevator Lag-Holding

The other day at the office two people (one being me) were waiting for 73 minutes for an upwardly-heading elevator.  (Stage set – we’re on the 2nd floor.  There are 8 floors in the building.)  It finally arrives and we clamber aboard.  I’m going to the 5th floor and he’s heading to the 8th floor.  All good so far.  As the doors are closing to begin our journey, someone shouts out ‘Hold it!’….who does that?  Anyway, the nice guy (i.e. not I) hits the Open button and let’s on two more people.  Slacker 1 presses the 4th floor.  Slacker 2 presses the 7th.  Uh oh.  Slacker 2 notes that there is a person 15 miles away that MAY have some sort of urge to use an elevator heading upward.  We wait.  In the meantime, Corner-cutter 1 slips around the corner into the elevator unseen and quietly, even meekly, presses the 3rd floor button.  Finally, Lolly-gagger 1 gets to the elevator, and says “Going down?”…..argh.  While waiting however, Loggly-gagger 2 gets on and presses the 6th floor.  That’s it then.  We are now going to be enjoying the view of every single stupid floor after waiting 15 minutes for more passengers.  The elevator takes off and stops on each floor – waiting 5 minutes on each floor and causing confusion with upward and downward passengers who can’t see the stupid arrow on the outside telling you PLAINLY what direction the elevator is heading.

I finally got to the 5th floor.  I pawed my way out of the back of the elevator, practically having to climb over the masses, got out of the doors, and you know what I did?


  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Although I’ve never applauded after a plane’s landing, I’ll give those that do their due. Not plummeting to my death is worthy of at least a finger clap. But the movie clapping? I’ve always thought that was weird. But I guess it’s human nature. At least among those who aren’t as cynical as you and I…


  2. Anonymous says:

    I applauded when I finished reading this entry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. writerinsoul says:

    Clapping. Hurts. Especially when it’s required over & over. (Why don’t we all just sit there and pinch ourselves or punch ourselves in the head to show appreciation?)

    I’ll bet you have something to say about silent clapping, finger clapping, etc…

    Great post!


  4. […] annoyances into one whole post. This is the third of the series, with the first two (here…and here) being universally lauded for their conciseness, cohesiveness and conclavity. So, without further […]


  5. I agree it’s a little weird to applaud someone who does their job to an acceptable standard, but every now and then you get onto a commuter flight and everyone is grumpy, and the pilot, flight attendants, etc make it fun. Kulula Airlines, in South Africa, is renowned for that. Those guys deserve a couple of hand claps in my opinion.

    And holding the elevator? Oh man, couldn’t agree more. There’s a bank of them, people! And the one I’m on? It will come back, I promise!


  6. […] can no longer be held by the sheer magnitude of my cranium. I’ve done two of these previously – Sector Bravo and Sector Alpha, so feel free to check these out for more random […]


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