Things I'll Have No Truck With

September 1, 2006

Though the truck be small, it still shall not be had

Sometimes the truck I won't have with something is not really a big rig - but more of a Ford flatbed. But these must be dealt with as well.

I will not have a flatbed's worth of truck with:

  • Magazines that advertise exciting articles on their cover and then you can't find it inside. Maybe the actual title is something completely different, and then of course the table of contents itself is often hidden in several ads.

    EDITORS: Please include either the title or the page number of the features right on the cover. I hate to get pedantic with this thing but I've flipped all the way through twice and I'm starting to wonder if you just forgot to include the article.

  • Mixing the date of future releases in with today's listings in the movie times. Note to and whoever else does this: I reside in the third dimension and currently experience Time as a linear, one-way flow. It does me no good to see what movies will be playing in the future when I go to NOW PLAYING.

    There's another section for that, it's called COMING SOON.

    Posted by Chris on 09/ 1/06

    I have no (Tonka-sized) truck when magazines hide the table of contents behind a wealth of glossy ads. I understand the idea is you tour the ads, the way a store with an escalator makes you walk around the floor before going up/down. But why have the ads? You pay a cover price, so why the ad punishment? That'd be like having commercials on cable, when you pay for cable. Unthinkable!

    Posted by: simon at September 1, 2006 6:52 PM
  • April 13, 2006

    I'll Have No Truck With Peeps

    Here's a perennial favorite I'll have no truck with: PEEPS.

    People, Peeps are not candy. They are the industrial run-off from candy.

    Peeps are the marshmallow leavings from some other confection, and one day some GENIUS of the novelty candy world got the idea to catch the hot sugary drippings in a mold that is somewhat shaped like a baby chick. Pass that glob under the Pink Glitter Machine, throw a few dots on there for eyes, BINGO - you've got Peeps. I bet they're stale before they leave the conveyor belt.

    Peeps are the pigs-feet of the sugary holiday treat world - they are the last thing that can be used from that product. Creating them was a matter of pride for some manufacturer, not invention. Whatever warehouse they roll out of, there is a big sign somewhere that says ZERO PERCENT SUGAR WASTE!

    Peeps are Easter basket space-filler - that's it. They are the packing peanuts of the Easter Candy world. They are one step above the asbestos grass that comes along in the basket, and not one big step at that.

    Last week I tried Peeps again for the first time in five years or so to be sure - nope, nothing's changed.


    Posted by Chris on 04/13/06

    I love your blog! I agree - the whole basket should be full of Reese's peanut butter eggs - the big kind.

    Posted by: Vickery at April 13, 2006 3:26 PM

    I see that they have finally come down on the size of Cadbury's eggs, though - which is actually a good thing.

    Posted by: Chris at April 13, 2006 5:03 PM

    And they're not just for Easter, anymore. They've invaded three other holidays -
    I'll bet we could find their evil plan for the absolute takeover of every holiday somewhere in their site. Thanksgiving Peeps? Cinco de Mayo Peeps?

    Write your congressional representative, People! They must be stopped!

    Posted by: Wife Ami at April 14, 2006 3:17 AM

    awwww... I LIKE Peeps...

    put 'em in the microwave for about 10 sec, they get as big as your head! Now THAT'S nothing to sneeze at in ANY class of confection...

    Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at April 14, 2006 5:19 AM

    I'm not to sure that I like you dissin' my peeps. I happen to love them. Not as much as I used to, but still. It all switched around one Easter season in college. Everyone I knew; knew that I liked peeps; so everyone bought me a small army of peeps. And yes; I ate them all. But ever since, I can't stomach more than a few at a time. Gee, I wonder why? But I still love them, so watch your mouth!

    Posted by: KLUGULA at April 14, 2006 8:27 AM

    Haven't you tried Peeps jousting? Put two in the microwave, facing each other with a toothpick poking out of them. Put them close enough so when they expand, the victor lances and deflates his opponent.

    As for eating them, they seem more like something you'd scrape off your shoe than put in your mouth. But hey, however you celebrate pagan Easter, the brutal execution of Jesus and sparing of Barrabas, is okay with me.

    Posted by: simon at April 14, 2006 4:32 PM

    January 20, 2006

    I'll Have No Truck With Your Decorative Guest Towels

    I'm at your house, I've gone to the bathroom, I turn around to wipe my hands on the towel, and there's all this decorative embroidery and monogram work to contend with.

    Very pretty, but how am I supposed to dry my hands on that?

    Number one, I don't want to wipe my hands all over some heirloom, number two, all that delicate threadwork isn't going to be very absorbant, now is it?

    Can you leave me one piece of simple terrycloth not festooned with lovely needlework? How many times have I come over and ended up wiping my hands on my pants because I was afraid of soiling the damn guest bathroom towels?!?

    Give me a real towel in the guest bathroom. I'll have no truck with the decorative ones!

    Posted by Chris on 01/20/06

    Come see us in AZ - we have both normal guest towels and paper ones - pick your pleasure. I have no truck with a "towel" that has to be ironed. Sorry Marz!

    Posted by: Vickery at January 20, 2006 1:01 PM



    ....... awesome.

    Posted by: Big Fat Brian at January 20, 2006 1:37 PM

    August 4, 2005

    Begone, truck! Truly, ye shall not be had here!

    Something I will have no truck with:

    The word "methinks" used anytime after the Elizabethan period in literature.

    Give me a goddam break. This word has no place in the 21st century, much less on your website. Do me a favor. Look down at your legs. Are you wearing tights? No? Well, is there a doublet around your torso? Corset all laced up nice and tight, only to be undone by your betrothed? Are you writing thine website with a quill pen, and using Ye Olde HTML?

    No? Then lose the fancy-talk, Shakespeare, and join the rest of the groundlings.

    What an annoying little bit of fancy-lad prissiness this word is. Just know that if you use it I immediately picture you in a page-boy haircut.

    Here's the rule of thumb: if you are using this word, and you were born after 1603, then shut up.



    Posted by Chris on 08/ 4/05

    Methinks thou shouldst have no *cart* with such base, scurrilous knaves as those who wouldst murder thy most beloved Queen's English thusly. Indeed.


    Posted by: Ranger Dekiion at August 5, 2005 12:36 AM

    what, you egg!

    truly, methinks thou dost never had the pleasure of a roundel and a fairy song.

    undoubtedly, you're not exposed enough to common uses of the word "methinks."

    to open your horizons beyond your frog perspective, check out:

    you can search the entire works of shakespeare for the word "methinks"

    have at it you egg.

    Posted by: olmy at August 5, 2005 4:49 AM

    I enjoy your non-truckwiths, not least because I abuse the comments field to attach one of my own. But I'm curious, who said "methinks"? Who's the swine?

    My own abusive non-truckwith: "rock n' roll" is music, not a phrase to be spoken enthusiastically at the close of a conversation.

    Posted by: simon at August 5, 2005 7:04 AM

    And, from a grammar perspective, shouldn't it be "ithinks" anyway? Or is "ithinks" a registered trademark of Apple?

    Posted by: Just Pete at August 5, 2005 8:12 AM

    You fry of treachery! What a drunken knave was the sea to cast thee in our way!

    The only way I can have truck with "methinks" is if it is used in a band name. How about "Fancy-Lad and the Methinks?"

    To Simon: I don't have the bunch-back'd toad's name that wrote it - but if you scroll through the comments of any given entry of Metafilter or other sites I feel confident you'll find the offendors.

    And surely there IS an iThink on somebody's drawing board at Apple.

    Posted by: Chris at August 5, 2005 10:43 AM

    Last time I went to church people there were saying "thou" and "thine" a lot.

    That's why I've stayed away. That and the fellow in the dress behind the altar.

    Posted by: simon at August 5, 2005 10:59 AM

    haha! you caught the egg reference. I don't know if you noticed, but Shakespeare heaped a whole bunch of abuse on Macduff's little boy before killing him off a few lines later. in just one part of the play, he's called an egg, a young fry of treachery, a poor monkey, a prattler, a poor bird living off worms and flies, and then he's stabbed to death.

    methinks rarely was a young fry so maligned before expiring ignobly at the hands of murderers. alack for woe!

    Posted by: olmy at August 5, 2005 11:13 AM

    I think Tom Stoppard should do for Macduff's kid what he did for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and write a play concerned solely with him.

    My guess is he was a real brat to Lady MacBeth offstage, which accounts for his particularly cruel and involved degredation and death.

    Posted by: Chris at August 5, 2005 12:16 PM

    January 27, 2005

    In this town, at the end of the day, there will be no truck

    Question: Is it possible to live and work here without developing grand theories about it that you love to share with people, as if the whole world is just wondering what it's like? Answer: NO.

    I will have no truck with the people of my new city who use phrases of the type


    In this town is the apex of smarm. When someone says in this town they have achieved the pinnacle, nay, THE VERY ZENITH of smarmitude.


    Secondary to this are pearls of entertainment business wisdom prefaced by At the end of the day.



    Let's make it into a game. 10 points for an In This Town, 5 for an At the End of the Day. 20 if they are holding a Starbucks coffee when the say it, 40 if it is uttered into a cell phone while driving. All four at once? JACKPOT! YOU WIN! GO HOME!

    Of course this is the most unfortunate and frankly stupid pet peeve that I have. It's a bit like going to a musical and complaining because there are songs.

    Posted by Chris on 01/27/05

    I hate 'at the end of the day' so so much. But like you said...why? why does it bother me to such an extent? I can't answer you it just does. I get sick whenever anyone just says "the industry"

    god. GOD! STOP IT.

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 27, 2005 2:22 PM

    This reminds me of a similar phrase I hear from time to time: Welcome to Chicago.

    Blizzard? Welcome to Chicago.
    Cubs balls it up again? Welcome to Chicago.
    Dog got sliced in half? Welcome to Chicago.

    Posted by: isaac at January 27, 2005 2:25 PM

    Almost as good as "don't like the weather? Just wait a minute" which every city uses as if rapidly changing weather patterns are unique to their city. I've heard it in Chicago, Rochester, Syracuse and Toledo just to name a few.

    Posted by: friend jessica at January 27, 2005 2:45 PM

    It reminds me of an Onion photo caption a few years back:

    NYC Resident Sees Squirrel in Tree; Shakes Head, Smiles, and Says "Only in New York."

    And I'm still laughing about "Dog sliced in half? Welcome to Chicago"

    Posted by: Chris at January 27, 2005 2:49 PM

    November 16, 2004

    Spontaneous Intersection Presidents

    Just because I stopped using the Things I'll Have No Truck With category for a while doesn't mean I've gotten lax. On the contrary there are still a whole host of people and issues with which I share many things, but truck is not one of them.

    And to prove it, here's one now.

    Those people who feel it necessary to give me that kingly "wave through" at an intersection, even when I already have the right of way and don't need special permission from them.

    I suppose I could look at it another way and just be thankful that they're acknowledging they won't hit me as I take my rightful turn. But for some reason it comes across as them granting me special dispensation out of their benevolence. I don't like it. Whether I'm on foot or in my car, I don't like it.

    Imagine me walking in front of their car, stiffly holding out the palm of my hand towards them as I did. REMAIN STOPPED! PEDESTRIAN IN CROSSWALK! DO NOT ACCELERATE AT THIS TIME!

    I think they'd find it a little unnecessary as well.

    Dear sir in the schmancy Jaguar: We are all equals here. You don't get to be Intersection President just because you want it.

    And to demonstrate the illegitimacy of your presidency, I'm going to give up my turn and wave YOU through the intersection now. That's right, there's been a coup.

    Oh, I see you're annoyed now. 'Why isn't this jerk walking?' you wonder. 'Did I not, in my capacity as leader of this great intersection, grant him passage?'

    Sir, you can stay there and be annoyed for as long as you want. I am a petty man, and I can wait.

    Posted by Chris on 11/16/04

    Chris, you can respond to this comment now. Go on.

    Posted by: isaac at November 17, 2004 7:31 AM

    I am responding to that comment now.

    Posted by: Chris at November 17, 2004 7:55 AM

    September 8, 2004

    No Truck With Fake National Companies!

    Here's something with which no truck shall be had, by me or mine, be it a rental truck or one purchased outright:

    So-called national companies that are in reality no more than a loose federation of franchises, with no central standards or accounting of their practices.

    People! I'm not asking for a company to be able to scan my retina or my voice and immediately output my entire transaction history! I know that what you arrange with one person at the phone company generally is immediately forgotten! We don't live in the Minority Report world, and while some companies display a Borg-like disdain for humans, they have not yet gotten the hang of the Borg inter-hive-mind communication. Fine! I can understand that! I accept it!

    And I'm also not asking for every company that does business in more than one state to implement some sort of over-arching database to make everything uber-convenient. I don't expect the kid behind the counter at McDonalds #5172 to know what I ordered at McDonalds #9181. I don't expect Starbucks barristas to universally know that I like tall lattes.

    But some companies seem ready to hand out their logo on a shingle to just about anyone that thinks it might be cool to hang one outside their window!

    Even if I don't expect every single franchise to do everything the exact same way, how about if they occasionally talk to one another? Some example offenders:

    1. U-HAUL.

      For all the information the individual U-Haul franchisees seem to be responsible for in Chicago, for instance, I could easily qualify as one of their authorized rental locations sitting right here in Santa Monica. I own no trucks, I keep no records, I never answer my phone, but I AM listed on the U-Haul website. What gives with that?

      (Look for my saucy letter to U-Haul for their part in our moving fiasco in this space. They will RUE THE DAY.)

    2. BALLY'S GYM.

      Wife Ami had a membership at Bally's in Chicago. (I disdain Bally's as known purveyors of oontz music.) So she had to get on the phone to the national chapter or whatever and make all sorts of account changes and get dispensations to go to their gyms out here. What gives?

      Why couldn't you just walk into any Bally's and have Hans Oontzman at the front desk make an address change? What is the point of a membership if you don't belong to the whole of Bally's? But no, special calls had to be made.

      The most amusing thing was how Wife Ami couldn't see how this could have been made any easier for her. "All I had to do was call the national office and have them make the change!" She said. "What could be easier!"

      "How about walking into any Bally's and just presenting your card," I said.


      There are so many ways I will have no truck with insurance companies. But this narrow bit of non-truckedness is their franchise, or branch situation. In order to switch our insurance out here, all we have to do is locate another agent, then arrange for that agent to call the old agent, who will send our paperwork or whatever. What gives?

      Why am I having to introduce these agents to each other like some sort of insurance agent yenta, when of course they all already know each other from their Annual Gloating Convention, held as a part of the Pentaverate Conference in the Bilderbergh Hotel? How about at minimum, providing a list of possible agents? Better yet, WHY DON'T YOU JUST MAKE THE ADDRESS CHANGE IN YOUR NATIONAL DATABASE, AND BEGIN YOUR HARD, UN-ENVIABLE TASK OF CHARGING ME THE HIGHER CALIFORNIA RATE?

    Let me sum it up this way: the information has to get from one branch to another. If your company doesn't feel responsible for it, and if I'M acting as the inter-office courier, of my own account info, then I should at least get the special courier rate.

    Posted by Chris on 09/ 8/04

    don't be crabby.

    Posted by: friend jessica at September 9, 2004 7:07 AM

    maybe this is a bad time to tell you about the inter-state blog reading fee i charge ...

    Posted by: kjk at September 9, 2004 9:57 AM

    July 28, 2004

    The thinking man's "truck" entry

    Something I'll have no truck with:

    Any use or derivation of the phrase "It is the thinking man's _________." Is anything smarmier than this shoot-from-the-hip insult? Even when it's apt, I hate it.


    Posted by Chris on 07/28/04

    July 13, 2004

    I'll have no truck with this (read: I don't like it)

    LISTEN! I don't like it when you people write something and then include a little parenthetical telling me what exact meaning I'm supposed to glean from it.


    -While companies strive to reduce this two-thirds tax through lower labor costs (read: outsourcing), researchers are looking further down the road.

    -Rumsfeld's memo outlined how prisoners might be placed in uncomfortable physical positions (read: stacked naked in a human pyramid) to make them more forthcoming during official interviews.

    -The film critic was so worldly and wise that his observations simply could not be conveyed within the popular context (read: zeitgeist) of one language.

    Much like other formatting issues I have no truck with, this modifier is an unnecessary stage direction for how the text is supposed to "sound." When I see (read: ) I always imagine the word coughed loudly into a fist, or delivered as an aside to the audience to clue everyone in to the author's cleverness.

    Lord knows I'm guilty of including unnecessary stage directions in my writing, but ultimately, whatever meaning is meant to be (read: ) in your sentence should be in the sentence itself. If you include a (read: ) in your sentence, then go ahead and include everything I need to know inside those parentheses, because that's all I'm reading.

    So as I have spoken, so let it be done.

    Posted by Chris on 07/13/04

    on the other hand, this opens up a whole new range of writing/stage directing possibilies. not only can you now supply (read:) but also (how to read:): "Lord knows I'm guilty of including unnecessary stage directions in my writing (read in whiney woody allen voice: i was just padding the text to reach the 100 word minimun)..." or "A GOOD dog would limit itself to two "serious" stops (read: exactly as written, but in sydeny greenstreet voice)."

    Posted by: kjk at July 14, 2004 11:16 AM

    Damn, you're right. Now I'm seeing the possibilities too. But now that I've come out publically against it, I can't go back! They'd call me a flip-flopper! A waffler!

    Posted by: Chris at July 15, 2004 5:16 PM

    May 10, 2004

    A thing of which I'll have no truck

    People who begin an email or message board entry with "Ummmm..." or "Uhhhhh..."

    This is the sign that the text to follow will be snarky, sarcastic, and superior, and should be skipped. Usually it has something to do with someone not following the precious posting rules on a message board, which followers of this irregular category will know is something also of which no truck shall have I.

    Now that I'm about it, I also deny truck to all those that speak this way as well. Because it's certainly not confined to the electronic word.

    Bottom line: Unless you are actually using "Ummmmm..." or "Uhhhh..." in its correct usage, which is to stall for time while you think of what you're supposed to say next, then it should not be employed at all.

    Posted by Chris on 05/10/04

    Well, sorry to pick such a tiny nit on my first trip here, but.

    It's actually things WITH which you'll have no truck. Not "of."

    I have no cite, unless you really, really need one. I'll dig one up somewhere. {sigh} :::runs off to find a cite for a phrase of which we are the only two possible users:::

    Posted by: Michael at May 12, 2004 11:37 AM

    NO NO NO - no cite needed. I believe you, I thank you, and am appropriately chastened. I declare this blog immune to all criticisms of its who / whom usage, however. THIS IS A WHO / WHOM-FREE ZONE!

    Posted by: Chris at May 12, 2004 12:17 PM

    February 25, 2004

    Another thing I'll have no truck with

    Self-Appointed Message Board Police. Why is it that no matter what the topic, no matter what the political leaning, no matter even if there IS no political leaning, even if it's just a comedy site: where there is a message board, there are message board police?

    And I'm not talking about the site administrators that have to make sure nobody uses bad language or steals email addresses or pick up underage girls. I'm talking about regular posters who appoint themselves the Defender of the Message Board Integrity.

    These are the people that aren't usually commenting on the subject of a post or thread - but on HOW GOOD of a post or thread it is. Is it worthy of the Message Board's stated principles? Does it abide by the site guidelines? These are the concerns of the Message Board Police.

    God forbid you stray off topic with these people, or submit a bad URL, and HEAVENS FORFEND you post something that may have already been put up in the past (on Metafilter in particular this is the worst of the cardinal sins). Step out of line and the Message Board Police are right there to SLAP YOU DOWN SWIFT AND SURE WITH THE RIGHTEOUS ANGER OF GOD.

    These people always seem to keep a line open to the site admin to report when someone's "flame" gets out of hand. They seem a bit like the little smart girls that tattled and sat in front of the class.

    Posted by Chris on 02/25/04

    are you repeating yourself? i've seen this truck picture before ...

    Posted by: kjk at February 27, 2004 1:30 PM

    No - the truck is the official "logo" of the "I'll have no truck with" category.

    Posted by: Chris at February 27, 2004 3:30 PM

    that reminds me... i need more themes in my life ... sigh.

    Posted by: kjk at February 28, 2004 8:09 AM

    October 22, 2003

    Other things I will have no truck with

    1. Using asterisks to indicate that you really *really* want to emphasize something.

    Folks, we already have the ability to speak boldly, and the ability to speak from a certain slant. And if we're in pure plaintext mode, there's always the antiquated method of using all caps to indicate that you REALLY mean to emphasize something.

    The advent of electronic communication like emails or web pages makes the HOW of human communication a lot different, but I maintain that it has not affected the WHAT. There's no call to draft the special characters into service as some sort of markup for your thoughts.

    Similarly, people who do the faux HTML-markup of their text make me <DAFFY DUCK VOICE> SOOOOOOOOOOOOO </DAFFY DUCK VOICE> mad!

    2. Any film criticism - or literary for that matter - that cannot resist using the phrases fin-de-seicle or zeitgeist deserves to be disregarded.

    My feeling is, and this goes for number one on today's list of Things I'll Have No Truck With as well: If you call yourself a writer then you should be able to express yourself with the words of one language alone. Leave the special formatting to the publisher and leave the foreign phrases to the diplomats.

    (Previous things I will have no truck with.)

    Posted by Chris on 10/22/03

    August 5, 2003

    Things I'll Have No Truck With

    Here's an excellent article on advocacy of a certain position and why it sometimes leads to narrow-mindedness. And if there is one thing this blog will have NO TRUCK WITH, it is NARROW-MINDEDNESS.

    The parallel with baseball fans championing / demonizing a particular manager exemplifies what I hate about political discourse. This is what I was talking about with my mini-rant on Lileks and also a bit when I was blasting Instapundit.

    I found this on Metafilter, by the way, which is exactly where you should go if you ever find yourself with ten minutes to spare and need an excellent web diversion.

    On this same topic, John heard Giuliani give a keynote address at the conference he's attending in San Fran, whichever one it is, and has a great assessment, also articulating something that makes me irritated about discourse.

    I beg of him however to move his purple bar over a bit, as it has been committing Contentas Obscuras for a few days.

    Posted by Chris on 08/ 5/03