Fifth World Problems – Sector Charlie

Posted: August 20, 2014 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

See….there’s this thing I do. I find things that annoy me and I write about them. Believe it or not, that provides me with blog fodder for months at a stretch. Some things that annoy me I could go on and on about – while others are just worth a short little mention. Because of that, I’ve come up with a way to combine all my short little 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 ado, comes the third installment of minor things that annoy me.

9.  Half-Sleeve Winter Coats

Let’s think of what you would need to brave the world on a sub-zero day. Hat? Check. Toboggan? Check. Boots or Galoshes? Check. Winter Coat? Check. Sleeves? Wait…..   There are actual garments out there that are made to resemble winter coats. But they are really trying to trick you – for you see there is a dirty little secret in the Winter Coat Garment World that they are trying to sneak over on us. Some of these otherwise fine winter vestcoats…wait for it….DON’T HAVE SLEEVES. I swear that’s the truth. And what’s even more astonishing is that people actually WEAR them. And don’t ever complain about them. These same people throw out phrases, when asked why an odd garment like this should be worn, respond with:

“You only need to warm the core…”


“It gives me better range of movement…”

When in actuality they are THINKING:

“I forgot to check that it had sleeves when I bought it…”

So don’t come at me with your sleeveless wonders. I was at an outdoor concert the other night and not only did this guy have a ‘vest-like’ winter coat on – he was also wearing a short sleeve shirt underneath. Moral is – just buy sleeves and don’t be a nuggler.

10.  Naming Winter Storms

Since we’re on the winter theme here, how about the Weather Channel now naming winter storms? Trying to throw some human element on a completely inhuman event makes absolutely no sense. My guess is that they are simply being more dramatic since obviously a named storm is more terrifying:

“Beware of Winter Storm HERCULES!!!!!!”

Certainly beatsweather

“Beware of that cold front coming on a line northwest of South Hill running up the northern plateau of the Appalachians that could potentially drizzle a few snowflakes here and there, causing the entire area to be panicked by the possibility of one tire slipping two inches on a mostly dry road.”

From the Weather Channel website:

“Our goal is to better communicate the threat and the timing of the significant impacts that accompany these events. The fact is a storm with a name is easier to follow, which will mean fewer surprises and more preparation.”

Fewer surprises? Please. Winter ownership. That’s all they’re after. Because God forbid you use the winter storm name that the Weather Channel bureaucracy has deemed appropriate outside of the Weather Channel.

The Weather Channel wants to own the weather. Boom.

11.  The Great Shoe Lace Conspiracy

I have bought approximately 6 pair of shoes in the last few years that had ties. All good, right? But did you ever really take a close look at a pair of newly purchased tie-enabled shoes? I can guarantee you that you have never noticed this – but now is the time for all of us to rise up and make a stand.

For you see, ladies and gentlemen – there is someone at the great shoe-maker in the sky that is playing us for fools. Every single pair of shoes that I’ve bought recently has the same issue.

The shoes are laced differently on the left and right shoe.

While I wait for you to get back up into a sitting position….let me explain. On the right shoe, the first lace is ALWAYS holed underneath the hole, so it appears as if coming out of a cave on the outside of the hole. All well and good until you look at the left shoe – and see that some enterprising person has laced them the OPPOSITE way – so that the lace actually wraps around the top of the lace hole and plummets into the abyss that is the tongue from an acute angle. To pictorially demonstrate:


On an “Inside the writer’s studio” moment – you wouldn’t believe how long it took me to draw this picture. Figuring out the difference between the laces while drawing it was a true challenge and one that I hope meets with your unmitigated approval. Now back to my whining.

It’s definitely some sort of conspiracy or some type of secret message intended to burn down the curtain at the center of the fabric of the American way of life. You can scoff all you want, but when the Russians or Chinese come marching into Downtown, USA wearing their crocs and galoshes, while we fumble around trying to tie our shoes properly – who’ll have the last laugh THEN!?!?

I have more – but I’m still reeling from the great shoe debacle, so they’ll have to wait. I’m also still trying to figure out how I managed to work the word ‘galoshes’ into this blog not once, but TWICE. Amazing.

  1. I love the drawing of the shoes and so appreciate your dedication to your readers in creating it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s all part of a sociological experiment. What you fail to understand is that all shoes are embedded with tiny monitors. First, they record which way the shoe-wearer’s toilet roll goes. Is he/she an innie, or an outie? Then, when the shoe-wearer has to replace one or both laces, the shoes record which way the laces go. They then correlate the toilet role and shoe lace information. In recent, more sophisticated processes, they have also started comparing the incidence of ho-hum innies and outies, who let the paper hang the way they find it, with obsessive innies and outies, who are compelled to turn the roll in toilets away from home if it isn’t facing the right way, before they can use it. All this information is being relayed to the Illuminati, and is crucial to their plan for global domination.


    • Holy crap. I had no idea it was this sinister. I just thought it was a random employee who didn’t get the memo that was the cause of the catastrophe! I also,didn’t know that the toilet paper over the toppers were in on it as well. Very illuminati-ing of you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. writerinsoul says:

    Okay. I have a life-long problem, and sadly your illustration doesn’t show this key part. See, one of these lacing methods ends up with the laces sticking out so they can be tied (and the other does not), BUT I NEVER REMEMBER WHICH IS THE RIGHT WAY TO START. I’m embarrassed to admit how often I get it wrong. When changing laces I now try to remember to leave one “sample shoe still laced” so I can see how to put the new one.


    • Oh lord you are exactly right. The one that comes out wrong is impossible to tighten. Of course the number of lace holes greatly influence the shoe to tie ratio, limiting the possibility of a stuck grommet. I’ve been known to leave a hole up filled just to ensure tightenability.


      • writerinsoul says:

        I have a hint sometimes half-way through that things are going awry if laces aren’t lining up to properly enter the little fabric tunnel in the middle of the tongue.

        My OTHER problem: one lace almost always longer the the other when complete. My efforts to fix usually make it WORSE first. (“Damnit Jim! I’m an artist, not an engineer.”)


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