Guest Posts

This list needs culling, yet is irritating in missing out the best examples I can’t quite think of:

Waiting for computers to do things. Getting trapped by computers finishing things when I have to go somewhere. It’s rude.

Someone you want to check out walking the opposite direction on the other side of the road getting blocked by a tree or a pole.

People in front of you walking into the shop you want to go into and lengthening the queue.

People turning right in their cars.

People taking their time to start at traffic lights when with a bit of good timing we could all start off together before the lights change.

Anxiety waiting for the ATM to decide if you can have some money when you know it’s probably going to.

People trying the toilet door when you’re in there.

People being in there when you’re trying the toilet door.

Single socks

Darryn Hinch

Cyclists when you’re driving.

Drivers when you’re cycling.

Pedestrians when you’re cycling on footpaths.

Cyclists when you’re walking on footpaths (presumably, I wouldn’t know).

Pedestrians when you’re driving

Drivers when you’re walking

The experience of hypocrisy in moving between any of these categories.

Meryl Streep

Woody Allen

People who recognize you when you don’t recognize them.

I don’t mind it the other way round, I just stay quiet.

Michael Parkinson


Not writing



Car parks

People who spend much more time than they save compiling minimalist emails, especially when they’re all lower case without punctuation (that must take ages) I really could throttle them especially when they’re some kind of big wig trying to make yourself feel up yourself for using capitals when we all do most of the time

Alan Jones (no, he’s beyond annoying, makes me murderous)

Women who assume I’m sexist just because I’m old and might be a bit.

Men in their forties

People who say ‘do, this, do that, THANKS’ (actually I think that’s funny)

People who say ‘I need you to …’ especially when they’re not police or army or something. Why do they think I need to know what they need? I need them to know they should FUCK OFF

Margaret Throsby

Straight art history

Hip art history

‘Theorists’ who don’t KNOW anything

Positivists who can’t THINK.

Coercively pretentious intellectual snobbery, e.g. (sent me from a colleague in London): ‘Re. my paper, I really like your outline Fabio. The only problem with my collocation is that I will talk about time-images in relation to the spatiality of post-war Rome and the emergence of a modernist aesthetic stemming from  Rome’s cityscape. In other words, it’d be more bergsonian and deleuzian than warburgian and benjaminian (though of course there is a filo rosso which links Benjamin and Warburg to Deleuze and Bergson). I’d propose to change the focus from Warburg/Benjamin to ‘Anti-linear Temporalities’. In this way the concept of the panel should sound more inclusive, but let me know what you all think.’

People who constantly inflict their problems on you but never have the guts to seek the therapy they need.

People who accept your curiosity in them as a God-given right without ever seeking to return it. (I call them ‘one-way valves’)

Tydeman Road, near the port here. I will drive miles to avoid it.

Being ignored when you walk into a shop.



Couples who lavish excessive affection on each other when they’ve been together for years, especially in the company of singles who haven’t had partners for years. What are they trying to prove?

People who take offence at a deliberate exaggeration when explaining it makes it far less funny than it was in the first place.

People who gossip about other people so viciously you’re sure they’ll do the same to you (I’m thinking particularly of …..).

Left wing academics from the University of Melbourne who brag about how few hours teaching they have to do.

People from Melbourne and Sydney who shit on Perth’s parochialism when they haven’t been to Paris, Rome or New York.

TV celebrities I’ve never heard of who show no particular talents when they’re interviewed.

English people confidently pronouncing on the inadequacies of Australia.

Increasingly, English people.

People who pronounce themselves Citizens of the World when they haven’t seen much of it.


People who are always annoyed.

People who think that knowing their own faults exonerates them.

People who apologise for doing things they needn’t have done in the first place.

Blokes who assume I share their low opinion of women.

Barristas, as opposed to people who just make good coffee.

Too much coffee

People who don’t see the good in dim people, including many dim people.

Roads you can’t cross because of an interminable stream of widely spaced, fast-moving traffic.

Science programmes that draw out the suspense of a story that could be told in about three minutes.

Newspaper features on the Anzacs, the Battle of Britain, the Nazis.

The Australian Newspaper

Chris Allan

Michael Cathcart (I used to know him)

Philip Adams saying Gladdies and ‘this little radio programme’ and being excessively flattering to ALL his guests

Michael Parkinson for priding himself on disliking any of his celebrity guests when his only cause for fame is interviewing them (badly, for the most part).

Certain British radio programmes, chiefly Songs of Praise, which is not just annoying, but soul-destroying.

Bruce Forsyth, and yet I saw a rather moving ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ in which he ‘owned’ a more than slightly fraudulent ancestor who was a brilliant landscape architect but constantly abandoned women who cared for him and died living by himself in a hotel just before he ran out of money. He acknowledged certain of his own characteristics in him and placed flowers on his wholly untended grave while continuing to express disappointment in him and in himself. It made me think he had chosen the wrong career but I don’t know what the right one would have been.

It annoys me that I’ve been meaning to make this list for years but could only think of one or two items at a time and now it’s all come flooding out but a lot of these are in a different category from annoying and now even thinking about it is getting too serious. It should be things you hardly notice, not go to town on like some weirdo obsessive compulsive. Annoyance is not the same as dislike.

People who piteously blame themselves in lieu of changing.

People who seek refuge in cynicism on the delusional assumption that it’s a more objective state of mind.

Unconvincing optimists.


Most student essays, especially conventionally competent ones, safely covering the ground, unless I’ve discovered their authors have been doing something significantly more interesting in their spare time (I mean interesting to me)

People judging people all the time.

Frieda Khalo (mostly)

Salvador Dali (mostly)

Val Doonican

Christopher Pyne

The decorative feature that surmounts the Melbourne opera house (and probably the one on the Canberra Parliament)




Telling anecdotes you’ve told before without catching yourself, particularly to certain people you don’t know very well yet and sometimes just to certain people however well you know them. Not knowing why I do this or what is it about the people that make me do this.

The Poetica programme on ABC radio with the footsteps theme tune.

A lot of period dramas, unless I like them.

Most of the 7.30 Report, and having to wait for segments I want to see after the dross.

Losing the 7.30 Report ‘cos of government cuts

An aweful lot of interviews with men in suites who are good at their jobs but probably nothing else whose ‘terms of reference’ implicitly exclude any other ways of looking at the world.

Most sport commentators, including, eventually, Roy and H.G., who, to be fair, probably got fed up of themselves.

Flacko, eventually.

Far too many Americans for the quietness of my conscience.

Jeans that work their way down my thighs all the time.

Quentin Hogg

People who don’t know who Quentin Hogg is.

Petula Clark (maybe not)

Jimmy Edwards

The Goodies

What’s his name: Humperdink, Engelbert

Tom Jones (maybe even the novel)

The Elvis cult

The Da Vinci Code (and whoever wrote it)

A lot of English departments and an awful lot of the novels their staff write The Book Show and the woman that runs it and the bloke she’s married to, especially after that ghastly quizz show he ran, what was it ‘Rankles’ or something

Renault cars


Most new housing estates


Stretch limmos

Generation Y

People who go bonkers when their cars get bumped in car parks, and who get out and walk around them, accusationally.

‘The Middle East’

The Royal Family

Clive James

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy Clarkson

Getting to quite like Jeremy Clarkson despite myself.