ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 22

Where's your endangered list?

By Smriti Daniel

There are some things that ought to be on an endangered list or better yet extinct. Why? Because they are hazardous to our health – mental, emotional and physical; in fact such Should-Be-Banned (SBB) objects have been known to induce cringing, shuddering, hysteria, uncontrollable rage and even nausea in victims. The number of SBBs are potentially unlimited – because each person undoubtedly has their own. Anything from screaming babies in confined spaces to certain shades of pink make the cut. I have my list. Where's yours? Let's compare!

There are only so many booms one can take

The Vengaboys:
These guys are the band from hell (and no, we don't mean this in a good way). The occasional heavy metal group might claim to be inspired by demons, but when it comes to hellishness, they have nothing on the Vengaboys. You would think that someone would have ensured this band's CDs were, if not wiped out, then at least banned in public places. But, no, they're still hip and happening. In fact there is a certain café in our very own fair city that has a Vengaboys CD which they play again, and again ... It's no surprise I only go there when I'm about to keel over from starvation.

Why do I despise the Vengaboys? No, it's not the fact that they can sing shalalala in the morning while the rest of the world is still fumbling around for coffee; no, it's not that they're so obviously trying to hard to be cute, or that they pretend to 'travel' around in a brightly painted bus that would do Scooby Doo proud…it's the sheer empty headedness of their music that offends me.

Case in point, the lyrics for "Boom Boom Boom Boom." Don't remember? I would love to refresh your memory, but in this case, ignorance is bliss. Suffice to say that "Boom Boom Boom Boom," is filled to overflowing with boom booms.

This band's lyric writing skills make an appearance in some of their other hits, such as "Cheekah Bow Bow (That Computer Song)," (yes, really) and "We're Going to Ibiza." Of course there's also the one that goes "I only kiss kiss kiss when the sun don't shine! Oh Ohoh! Oh Ohoh!" (Double shudder).

I figure that their only real competition was probably Aqua. I think "I'm a Barbie girl in a Barbie world," is all the excuse anyone will ever need to commit barbie-cide.

Warning: Cute little tykes and their squeaky shoes

Squeaking sneakers on active kids:
Travelling is one of those activities that really strains the soul. Delays, baggage thieves, messy public toilets and equally stressed co-passengers all combine to ensure you're very glad to finally get where you're going. But if there's one sound that strikes the fear of God into my heart, it's the squeakity-squeak-squeak of some little kid's sneakers.

When I pry open an eyelid and attempt to face the little monster, I always find myself a victim of temporary blindness, caused (as you have probably guessed) by the little flashing lights that blink in time to the squeaking. On a good day, I can get up and remove myself from the vicinity. However, on a bad day, I will find myself paralysed by this terrible sensation. My teeth clench, my spine shudders and I feel like someone is dragging a chalk across the blackboard of my soul.

Undoubtedly, the cute little tykes are not to blame. Instead, (as always) there's a shadowy adult somewhere in the background who thought this was either sooo adorable, or that it was the perfect way to keep track of their errant child. It's enlightening to note that these very adults would balk at handing their progeny a drum set, but will not hesitate to inflict shoes harbouring a possessed Casio on an unsuspecting public.

For those who get caught to call waiting, there are bad days and good days

Air Supply and company on call waiting:
Journalists get this a lot. It's almost a fact of life. Now there are good days, and there are bad days. On a good day it's a radio station playing The Fray. On a bad day it’s –
(a) “Making Love Out of Nothing At All”
(b) “My Heart Will Go On”
(c) Mariah Carey making yet another attempt to shatter glass.

There are actually a whole assortment of these little tunes. “Summer Of '69” which might have been (though I doubt it) a good song before every DJ on this island played it a gazillion times is a prime example, as is "You Fill Up My Senses."

Almost as bad is the little instrumental rendition of "Unchained Melody." Somebody stop me… I think I'm going to go after the panpipe player and torture him. How? Put him on an international flight and have them play his CD five hours straight.

Stop the spam! I like me just the way I am

Spam mail promising…err…well, all sorts of things:
I wish people would stop sending me e-mails that promise to triple sizes and supply me with Viagra. It seems no one is exempted from this treatment – not even women who do not in fact need either of these. How many do you get? I average about 30 a day. And If it's not e-mails with this sorta content, then its e-mails promising me more money then I ever dreamed of or a better, easier diet…which goes to show you where society's priorities lie, no?

Among the more annoying, of course, is the stuff that you can't label junk.

The ones that have "re:" in the address bar, or seem to come from someone you know, are absolutely misleading.

Of course it must be admitted that some spam is more entertaining than annoying. Ever got one of those that goes along the lines of: "I'm a lonely widow in Dubai who just happens to have millions of dollars to give away to a worthy cause?" Yes, baby, you could just be the lucky person she picks. Keep believing, hope, after all, is what keeps us alive. Just don't hold your breath.


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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.