TV News Anchor: “A disturbance measuring 3.4 on the Crawford Annoyance Scale was reported in suburban
“The ‘toothpaste dribble on a clean shirt’ resulted in muttered cursing and a delayed meeting at an undisclosed company headquarters. No after-swears have been reported.”
“A toe-stub measuring 4.5 Crawfords was recorded in the area last year, with authorities deploying bags of frozen peas to affected area residents.”
“In other news…”
The Crawford Annoyance Scale is gaining popularity in the media, and is designed to quantify those petty vexations which can lead, occasionally, to violent homicide. Here is a handy guide:
A rating of one is given to incidents where the sugar spoon has lumps glommed all over it because someone didn’t wave the utensil around after having it steamed up by a hot beverage, or it being accidentally dipped it in the milk of their cereal without subsequently rinsing it off. Most frequent offenders are young children and doddering old relatives, neither of whom respond to verbal disciplinary reminders.
A two Crawford rating is associated with the appearance of black or white sock boogs on the carpet in the changing area of the bedroom. Sock boogs incite spouses to remind you that it’s your turn to vacuum this weekend, when what you had in mind was several naps and a good book. Exasperated gasping is often observed at this level.
Level three annoyances are the most common. Examples include remembering to empty the stinky leftovers out of the fridge just after hearing the garbage truck depart, or discovering a tiny amount of your favourite cereal left in the big box after fantasizing about the enormous bowlful you were going to consume. Short, colourful curse blasts are common at events of this size and duration.
Level four irritations are reserved for the Microsoft Word computer program. Persons observed shrieking at their computer, “I KNOW you’re not responding!” are experiencing a Level 4 event and should be avoided.
Level five readings are for persons stuck behind drivers who do not advance into intersections on green lights while turning left. Advancing into the intersection on a green light is perfectly legal, so come on, ease out, ease out, that’s it, ease out, then when the light turns yellow you execute your turn when safe to do so. Yes!! Well done!
Failing to advance into the intersection means lurching into your turn after the light turns yellow, which is illegal, and which is VERY ANNOYING to those people behind you who could have gone through the intersection if you knew some BASIC DRIVER TRAINING YOU MORON!! Voluble profanity, gesticulations frequent at this level, combined with exasperation measureable by seismic equipment.
Level six is extremely annoying and is confined to bathrooms. After cleansing your magnificent body in the shower, squeegeeing the walls, and drying various bits of yourself, you discover that you have forgotten to rinse a soapy armpit and are smearing soap goo around with your nice, clean towel. Forced to reverse the end-of-bathing ritual, you re-start the shower, suffer the brief cold squirt of water, rinse the offending area, then restart the process. This event usually occurs when running late, which also serves to amplify the magnitude of muttering and after-cursing.
Level seven is confined to the loading of dishwashers by members of the opposite spouse. There is the proper (my) way of loading the dishwasher, based on sound fluid dynamic principles and science, and there is some other way, which is all muddled up and much less efficient. You do not have to have so much space between the bowls, and don’t put the big cutting board on that side since it interferes with the spray whirly thingy. Put it on the other side, away from the cutlery. Just so.
Glass-shattering squeeks, produced by clenched teeth, have been recorded during these events, accompanied by powerful earth tremors. Relationships have been known to topple during annoyances of this magnitude. Very dangerous. Avoid regions where this activity is common.
Level eight disturbances have never been recorded, but are thought to occur while speaking with customer service representatives of the federal government.