Social Justice for Everyday Annoyances (A Very Specific List of Things I Dislike That Should Be Crimes)

I’ve loved the idea of social justice ever since the first time I saw Judge Judy.  For the first time ever, ignorant people were finally getting their comeuppance – they were finally “ruing the day”. Perhaps it was because I had been so brazenly sold out as a child by my siblings, or simply my natural predisposition to be judge-y – but Judge Judy was an awakening for me.


She was the liberator that showed me a world where blatant stupidity could finally result in an accepted form of human public shaming. Here are a list of ten things I dislike that I think should have a social price tag attached to them.

  1. Whistling – Unless you are a Disney character, or someone who is otherwise pitch perfect and not tone deaf, you have no right to be whistling. In fact, that’s too many exceptions. No one should ever be permitted to whistle, as it contributes nothing to society, and is mostly just disruptive to everyone. It’s one thing to whistle by yourself in the comfort of your own home, like masturbation. But out in public, this is an indulgence that should be immediately reprimanded.

    That clever little diddy you just came up with off the top of your head makes everyone in the room want to punch you in the throat. And the only thing worse than whistling is witnessing someone who can’t whistle, struggle to whistle – all the while being completely oblivious to the fact that: they can’t whistle. People who do this should be forced to do their work alone in a room, wearing headphones that loop the emergency signal until they realize what they’ve done wrong.

  2. Not Replacing The Toilet Roll – As per well-known social law, it is the last person to use the toilet paper roll that must replace it with a new one. The process of replacing a toilet roll is literally two steps: (1) remove and dispose of finished roll, (2) replace with new roll. That is all. Fulfillment of this social contract means the old toilet paper roll must not be found anywhere other than the conveniently placed bin directly beneath or beside the toilet paper holder. The new roll must not be placed on the counter, or any other place that isn’t the toilet paper holder.

    Worse yet is someone who doesn’t even try to replace the roll altogether, thus leaving the remaining scraps, all the work, and an all-round shitty situation for the next poor bloke to use the washroom. No one is that busy that they don’t have time to properly dispose of a toilet paper roll. Those guilty of this crime should be sentenced to popping a squat in the backyard like an animal, or permanently downgraded to no name brand 1-ply.

  3. Poorly Written Emails and Text Messages – People who send poorly written emails and text messages, including (but not limited to gratuitous use of short forms for words that are already damn short (ex. “c”, “u”, and “l8r”) should reflect on their lives, like now. How do you communicate and expect to be taken seriously? Are you 12 years old?

    There was a time where our phones did not have full keyboards, and you had to be succinct and creative to save yourself from taking 1 hour to send a one sentence text message.  Some adults still struggle with this – and that’s okay. I understand – you are granted a pardon, Mom. But for everyone else who has a full keyboard on their phones and computers, and still chooses the send toddler-esque messages to friends, romantic prospects, or even colleagues or authority figures, I am truly baffled that you are even able to read this post. Are you just staring at the screen blankly? That is sad news because this is post is at most a grade 5 reading level. Those who write poorly written emails and text messages should be mandated to re-read this paragraph until they understand the words and feel appropriately shamed.

  4. Elevator Spooning – The elevator is, by nature, an inhumane and uncomfortable box that you are forced to share with others out of human decency. Keeping an equilibrium of personal space is key when sharing this space (and really, any space) with total strangers. Elevator spooning is when you infringe in another person’s personal space during an elevator ride, thereby selfishly maximizing your own space. This looks like spooning, in an elevator, where the little spoon faces nothing but open space, and the big spoon gets to look at the back of your head. People who commit this crime against humanity should be have their privilege of elevator use revoked, and forced to use the stairs until they show signs of remorse.

  5. CC’ing Someone’s Boss – There is no reason to ever CC someone’s boss on an email. Bottom line. The outcome is always this: (1) you make your victim appear incompetent (even if they aren’t), (2) you create the urgency that it is serious enough to illicit discipline from a higher authority (your victim’s boss) who already has enough to worry about without the crippling knowledge that someone on their team may be incompetent and must now add it to the list of things they have to address at some point, (3) you look like a little bitch. In this scenario there is no winner.

    If someone was actually that bad at their job, your bitchy email is not going to be the tipping point. If someone is not performing their duties, people will collectively know, and your stirring of the pot just looks vindictive. The only reason someone’s boss should be cc’d on an email is to provide positive feedback, and praise to a high performer, as this can be overlooked by bosses who are busy addressing all the other emails they were cc’d on. People who foolishly commit this error should accept that they are being shit-talked HARD by everyone else who was on the email.

  6. Saying “That’s Not My Job”- People who refuse to help a customer, or a colleague by claiming “that’s not my job”, should have their paycheque reduced to help the company find some other person whose job that could be.  Perhaps, your unwillingness to help and go above and beyond your pay grade is why “you don’t get paid enough to do this shit”.

  7. People That Walk Slowly On Sidewalks – Bitches got places to be. I know you think you’re being relaxed and laid back – casually taking in the sights and appreciating your surroundings.  You’re a slow walker. You need to change this – people have been murdered for less in the city streets. Do your due diligence and move to the side, clearing the way for people who actually know where they are going.  

    Other sidewalk related offences are walking and smoking, and large groups that walk in a horizontal line taking up the entire sidewalk. This isn’t Sex and the City, bitch.  Give people space to walk without feeling like they’re back in elementary school playing Red Rover.  These people should be swatted at the back of the head with a rolled up newspaper, and lead around with leashes so at least someone will give them a sense of direction and purpose.  

  8. Schmoozing – Call me old fashioned, but I really believe that schmoozing is a slimey word and slimier practice.  Schmoozing, to me, is having the audacity to ask a stranger for a favour – to trust you blindly without really getting to know you.  Have you ever talked to someone and just felt like they wanted something from you? That is what I mean by schmoozing.  I would rather do things the hard way, earning friendship than simply schmooze my way to the top without building trust relationships.  I think the schmoo-zee should punish the schmoo-zer via indignantly tossing a drink in their face, preferably the drink the schmoozer just bought for them as social lubrication.

  9. Farting in a Subway car, or any other enclosed space with other people – This is just cruel.  Public transportation of any means is shared space.  They are basically containers for other people’s farts and bodily fluids – a dutch oven of unclaimed odors. Generally speaking, in a perfect world, there would be no such thing as the Toronto Transit Commission or its equivalents all across the world. There would be teleports, or city-wide mandates to ride bicycles to work.

    Alas, this is not a perfect world, and people fart on subways directly after having eaten what seems to be either a dead animal, or a particularly menacing burrito.  Not cool. Especially in a subway where there aren’t any windows or likely any air conditioning units. These people should be publicly reprimanded and forced to maintain eye-contact with the hobo sitting across from them for the duration of their journey.

  10. Engagement Photos – I struggle with this one, because I know good people who have done this and it’s just a personal choice and really, people should just do whatever they want to do. But something about it just grates at me. On the one hand, I love love. I do (no pun intended). But on the other hand, I feel like engagement photos should be for the family instead of shared like a press release pre-wedding. I sometimes wonder who the photos are being taken for - them or the public? And if its the public (and you aren’t Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes) why would anyone be lining up to see a whole album of overpriced stock image-y photos of some other couple standing by a train track or a barn or somewhere they’d never be otherwise, when we all know they’d more likely be found at a dive bar, or at home binge-watching Law & Order SVU.?The only people interested in engagement photos (as evidenced by every comment section, ever) are moms (bless ‘em), and distant aunts and family friends trying to make a play for relevancy. I haven’t thought of a punishment for this one yet, because of my conflicted feelings. Although if I was going full-Trump I think I’d sanction these people to also post before vs after ‘disengagement’ photos in the event of divorce. That seems a bit harsh though. But this whole article is harsh so who the hell cares.

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Of course, these are a mere few examples of the vast array of annoying behavior that takes place every day, all across the world. And as a disclaimer, it should be noted that all these aforementioned rules apply at all times, except for the times when I do them.

Arianne Tong1 Comment