I’ve Got an App for That

Tomorrow’s Monday. Ugh. With Monday, comes work… with unerring frequency, I’m afraid. Equally unfortunately, with work, comes annoying coworkers. Or clients. Or customers. I think we can all agree that at some point in time, we all experience annoying people at work. Some more than others.

I’m sure that you will also agree, annoying people are the bane of everyone’s existence. Our lives would be so much better if they jumped into a McDonald’s ball pit and were somehow sucked into the Phantom Zone (go read Superman comics, people).

We’ve all had to deal with annoying people, whether we want to or not, and I can’t help but think, there must be a solution to our shared problem.  We have apps for almost everything else, why can’t we come up with one for this? I mean, for Pete’s sake, there’s an app to help you breathe when you just “can’t even” anymore.  Why not one for dealing with annoying coworkers? Because if there’s one thing that can make us “can’t even” anymore, it’s annoying coworkers.

So, here’s my pitch to developers everywhere … and thanks in advance for the forthcoming royalty check.

Short Answers: An App for Over-Sharers

Anyone who has ever worked in an office … or just with other people … know at least one conversation hog – aka over-sharer. These are the people who will give entire speeches to the simplest of questions such as “how was your day?”

Instead of settling on, “good, you?” they’ll expound on every topic in the book from every little event in their dog’s life to which state in the United States the rash on their back looks like. The worst part about these people is when you try to change the subject to literally anything else: they’ll just open a whole new box of topics. Don’t want to talk about rashes? How about that oozing infection on their left pinky toe where the nail used to be? Simply asking an over-sharer how the weather is off limits as it will somehow lead to a topic about how they had extreme gas before lunch.

That’s where the app “Short Answers” comes in. While interactive, it does cut down on the whole “you should’ve seen what my kid did to his diaper this morning!” conversations. The app is tuned to the voice of its owner, and much like Siri, responds to a key phrase, such as “over-sharer incoming.” Once activated, all you need to do is ask your question, and when the app registers more than a set number of words in reply from someone other than its owner (for instance, you can set it to 5, 10, 15, etc.), it bursts out with a loud air-horn level alarm that will drown out any continued response until the owner of the app inputs their thumb-print.

The Short Answers app basically ensures you’ll never have to hear another story about your co-worker’s cousin’s daughter’s friend’s wedding where the dog was the ring-bearer and the cat was the flower girl, and well, you know how that turned out. And while you do indeed know how that turned out, because you’ve heard the story 500 times already, in the past you would get to listen to the story over and over again … but no more with the Short Answers App!

The Pin Sound: An App for Those in a Self-Righteous Bubble

Those who walk around the office in an almost impenetrable bubble of self-righteousness need to have their bubble burst from time to time. The Pin Sound app is the perfect solution to passive-aggressively pop their bubble, leaving them to question what exactly it was that you just did. Imagine the whiplash sound app to suggest someone is whipped, except it simply makes a bubble popping sound.

The app comes in three sound settings: bubble pop, balloon pop, and a snow globe being crushed by a hydraulic press. In order to really drive the point home that they’re trapped in their own moral or ethical bubble, the app also the option to broadcast a hologram of a pin with a halo over it. The pin will have eyes … not unlike the paperclip from the old Microsoft Word who told you that you were doing everything wrong.

The different sound settings on the Pin Sound app can be used for different situations. If a coworker joins you in the lunchroom and starts to lecture you on your food choices (but you know they just downed 6 of the 18 donuts that were put out in the break room), then use the bubble pop sound. If you’re talking to another coworker about how you take what little free time you have to go to the gym and they start preaching about their twice daily CrossFit routine, then hit them with the balloon pop sound. Finally, for that peer-level, non-supervising coworker who just loves to delegate work and tell you how to do your job, hit them with a snow globe being crushed by a hydraulic press sound. If you really want to drive the point home, maybe throw an actual snow globe at them… you know, for visual effect.

The Phone Zapper: for People Who Won’t Put Them Down

You’re in yet another lunch meeting, but the coworker you’re seated next to simply can’t put down their phone. They’re taking photos of the catered lunch, of the speaker, of the view outside the window, the obligatory selfie. On top of the infernal click click clicking in your ear as they navigate social media to post said photos, you’re also subjected to their tittering and gasps and exclamations as they watch videos that you’re pretty sure aren’t work related. Unable to filter out this assault on your senses, you just missed an important part of the presentation.  Now, you’re faced with asking the speaker to repeat themselves, thereby coming off as the one not paying attention, or just smiling, nodding, and keeping quiet, thereby unknowingly agreeing to finish a 10-day project in just under 5 days.

Well, have I got an app for you!  The Phone Zapper is the perfect app that turns your coworker’s own obsession against them. This app harnesses just enough phone-battery power to give the user a small electric jolt as they play on their phone, forcing encouraging them to temporarily put down their phone so that they can come back to reality and be a decent person.

I’m telling you; this is an untapped market. I’m sure that together, we can come up with a litany of apps to put into production. This is a chance to make millions, people. Millions.

Breaking News… of a Sort

Labor Day, generally speaking, isn’t usually equated with a day of peace… it’s just not the theme for the holiday. But, still, miracles happen, and one such miracle happened in Maryland today. In fact, it’s a day that will go down in history.

Let it be known, that on Labor Day 2019, after a long-standing feud of 10 odd years, hostilities came to a halt, as peace talks, successful at last, brought about a temporary truce between two bitter foes. Weary from battle, these faithful warriors laid down their arms… umm, teeth… and sheathed their claws to meet, on common ground, for a well-deserved nap.

Will this newfound (dare we even say it!?) friendship last once these lifelong enemies have awoken? Or is this truce truly temporary? No-one in either camp is willing to end their slumber prematurely, so the future is uncertain.

For now, let’s simply revel in the unexpected tranquility and contentment reigning over the realm.

Tomorrow, as they say, is another day.

How do I insult thee? Let me count the ways.

The older we get the less we understand the slang that these young kids use nowadays. Or, wait, is that just me? Hey, I’ll admit… I’m just not picking up what these young cats are laying down these days, you dig? What exactly is a “yeet” anyway?  It sounds like the newborn offspring of a species of goat that only lives in the mountainous regions somewhere deep in the Andean Mountains. The insults we grew up with were more scathing. There was nothing more insulting than walking down the street and hearing someone yell out, “hey, nerd!” Brutal, I know.

To be truly creative, though, we need to go back a bit further. We need to take it back to a point in history where insults were truly scornful, and yes, inspiring. I’m talking Shakespeare. Now, Shakespeare knew how to curse, but he also knew how to throw insults with the best of them. Oh, who am I kidding, he WAS the best of them. I mean, the man made up new words when those readily at hand would not do, for Pete’s sake.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite Shakespearean insults, in no particular order. Trust me, folks, we need to bring these gems back into circulation.

Thou art as fat as butter. (Henry IV)

If you really want to get your point across to someone, you need to compare them to something with high fat content and not something fat by default like the world or their mother.

More of your conversation would infect my brain. (Coriolanus)

Why settle for calling someone stupid when you can go one better and describe exactly how their words are affecting you? Instead of saying, I’m all the more stupid for having heard this… try telling them that their word salad is literally infecting your brain. It would devalue their argument so much that they’ll have no choice but to submit to your Shakespearean wit. You could tell them that your insult was from Shakespeare, but they probably don’t even know who J.K. Rowling is, let alone Shakespeare.

I’ll beat thee, but I would infect my hands. (Timon of Athens)

We’ve all met those annoying people we would love to whack over the head if it would get them to stop blathering. Continuing Shakespeare’s odd fascination with infections, you can tell these folks that they are simply too loathsome for the figurative (of course, figurative) beating they so rightly deserve. Despite their seemingly good health, merely touching them would put you in a state of near death due to their gangrenous personality. I know, right!?  Awesome insult!

I am sick when I do look on thee (Midsummer Night’s Dream)

I’m starting to think Shakespeare had a thing with the bubonic plague. Apparently, you could infect him with sound, touch, and now… simply looking at someone makes him sick. But hey, he does have a way with words.  This would be the final topping on the cake for someone with a lovely outer skin but an ugly disposition. Bonus points if you mix this with the phrase about butter.

You Banbury cheese! (Merry Wives of Windsor)

Not a lot of people will know that this insult was originally meant for skinny people. You see, Banbury cheese was very thin. Stupidly thin. And back in Shakespeare’s time it was more prominent to be plump, so calling someone skinny was just plain insulting. However, nowadays this insult goes beyond looks, as every good insult should do.  Cheese is smelly, cheese can be ridiculously obnoxious, cheese can look lovely on the outside and be rancid on the inside, cheese can make you want to vomit. Just take your pick. Viewing it a different way, cheese is supposed to be thick and rich and decadent, so the fact that Banbury cheese is ludicrously thin with more rind than actual cheese is rather stupid. Hence the person you’re calling a Banbury cheese is a stupid-head (of cheese). Plus, I just like the way it sounds.

You whoreson cullionly barber-monger! (King Lear)

I’m not exactly sure where Shakespeare was going with this one as it’s contained in a scene where people were throwing words all over the place. However, I assure you that using this is the equivalent of firing a bullet from your mouth and it would absolutely destroy whoever it is aimed at. Just walk into your local dive-bar and use this phrase at random, then watch everyone freeze, impressed with your mighty wit.

Away, you three-inch fool! (The Taming Of The Shrew)

Thinking back on my English Lit days, I believe that Shakespeare used this as an insult to someone’s height, but let’s be real about using it today, you’re going to insult another area of someone’s life that they really, really care about when it comes to length. Instead of directly insulting some guy’s junk with a “why, you have a small wiener sir,” drive home the point by dropping this line that gives a very specific length. I can’t think of a better response to those crude ‘negging’ pick-up lines too many of us women endure every time we go out.

So, there you have it. Some grade-A, well-honed – if not contemporary – put-downs for your insult arsenal. One for every day of the week. Now, get out there and make me proud!