Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


Top 10 Things That Make Me Cringe So Bad I Want to Curl up in a Ball and Pretend They Don’t Exist

There are some things I don’t like. And there are some things I kinda hate. Then there’s a weird category of things that make me cringe so bad I want to curl up in a ball and pretend they don’t exist. (Kinda like the way your laptop, in a similar predicament, will default to a blue screen to prevent irreversible damage to system integrity.) Maybe I’m too sensitive, or maybe these are the most embarrassing phenomena known to man.

They are, in no particular order: 1. Fake laughter in awkward social settings.

2. Open letters.

3. The television programme Family Guy (& and anyone who has ever laughed at it & their mothers.)

4. The word ‘pack’ (as in press, bonus or fanny…)

5. The phrase ‘bits and pieces’.

6. English cricket fans referred to as the ‘Barmy Army.’

7. The word ‘craic’, esp. painted on pub windows, esp. when prefaced by the words ‘ceol agus…’, esp. when accompanied by cartoon image of fat-headed rugby guy scoring try.

8. When newspapers and magazines try to make insignificant events or items sound salacious by referring to them as that whatever… a la Elizabeth Hurley and that dress. (Actually, I’m not sure if they still do this. I broke up with the girl who used to read those magazines about five years ago.)

(b) When newspapers and magazines start refer to insignificant events/controversies as Whatever-gate.

9. BTW you know that quality he has that makes people think rugby player Paul O’Connell is an admirable sporting hero? Well, that same exact same quality makes me think the guy is mentally ill.

10. When anyone sings the “Hey baby, let the free birds fly…” bit in the Fields of Athenry I just wish the ground could open up and swallow them or me or both of us. Cringe-worthy song to begin with, but “Hey baby” sends it into hyperspace.

11. Pejorative characterisation of opposing school of thought as the “Such-and-Such Brigade.”

12. Scottish people who wear kilts to sporting events.

13. Hen or stag parties who wear specially made t-shirts, on which each participant’s name is identified. “Mad Dave”, “Crazy Kevin…” etc.

Antonym: For some reason, I love the word ‘rumpus’… I don’t really use it myself, but whenever anyone else does it makes me smile like a madman.

February 12th, 2010.

30 Responses to “Top 10 Things That Make Me Cringe So Bad I Want to Curl up in a Ball and Pretend They Don’t Exist”

  1. Chris Says:

    I’d agree with 1, 7 and 9 but I’m not really bothered by the rest. I would like to submit for consideration:

    1. People who can’t sing but think they can, performing in public.

    2. (Most) Jokes parents make.

    3. Female comedians whose repetoire consists solely of comments about how bad they are at comedy.

  2. Eoin Says:

    Well, these are my own neuroses obviously. Of them all, I’d have to say Barmy Army is the one that get me most. I can’t even look at the words on the page where I’ve typed them.

    Parent jokes I think fit into the category of any bad jokes greeted by fake laughter in any formal/professional/awkward social context…

  3. marcboy01 Says:

    Re number 3, deliberately picking the funniest thing on tv and saying u hate it reveals more about urself than the prog. Its hilarious dick get over it. I’ll explain it to u if its over ur bonce. What i HATE is folk talkin Rugby when no one short of a few middle class ‘pre tents’ gives a toss.

  4. marcboy01 Says:

    Re number 3, deliberately picking the funniest thing on tv and saying u hate it reveals more about urself than the prog. Its hilarious dick get over it. I’ll explain it to u if its over ur bonce. What i HATE is folk talkin Rugby when no one short of a few middle class ‘pretents’ gives a toss.

  5. Eoin Says:

    In my opinion it is an utterly derivative, creatively bankrupt, hack piece of crap.

  6. Paul Says:

    Whenever I meet anybody who hates Family Guy and wants the people who make it to die a lingering painful death, I know I’ve met a true friend.

  7. fintan mezz Says:

    I don’t get the bit about letters. Don’t like opening them or you don’t like reading them full stop? Either way your nuts.

  8. Lisa Says:

    North Americans who mix up “good” and “well”. “I’m doin’ good!” No you’re not – you’re doing well. In a similar note and I hate myself for my pedantry but I can’t help it, when people leave out “-ly” at the end of words. “The snow is coming down super heavy”. Again – I think you find it’s in fact coming down heavily.

    Misuse of literally. It does not literally rain cats and dogs.

    I have to stand up and leave the room if certain reality television shows are on.

    Most of the other peeves are snowsports related and therefore somewhat esoteric (eg: people who stop under the lip of jumps, anyone who tries to perpetuate the the whole skier vs snowboarder myth, blatant lies on the daily snow report).

  9. paul Says:

    I love jokes that dads tell. Looking forward to being able to tell them myself, repeatedly, and always get a laugh out of them.

  10. Chris Says:

    @Paul – Evidently your parents have a better sense of humour than mine.

    Bear in mind this is not a things that annoy me list because that could go on forever. Its things that produce that awful feeling inside where you feel like your soul is dying a bit out of embarrassment for the people involved.

  11. Darragh Says:

    -That Ray Shah guy who won big brother a while back
    -The saxaphone solo at the start of Nordie politics show ‘Hearts and Minds’
    -Irish fifty and sixtysomethings in an audience doing that stiff handclap thing to a musician
    -Family guy boxsets in flats
    -Cocks from Cork with acoustic guitars in the Oxegen campsite at 4am
    -The Galway Arts festival
    -The ad for California with Arnold Schwarznegger in it
    -Ray Darcy
    -The Denny ad with the wedding
    -toady smug internet words such as “EPIC FAIL/EPIC WIN/INTERWEBS/PWND” etc. Ooooh they make my brain hop and crawl.
    -staged wedding photographs

  12. Darragh Says:

    Oh I forgot to mention prats who sarcastically say “clearly” with a smug little chuckle as a retort to things.

  13. Eoin Says:

    @ Paul – deadly, wanna come over to my house to play some day after school??

    @ Fintan – I mean open letters published in newspapers. Invariably cloying and disingenuous.

    @ Lisa – did I ever tell you about my only ever skiing trip? It was in Maine, at a local ski resort, not generally frequented by tourists. The only other beginner skiiers were all under five years of age. Sense of shame was surpassed only by the certain knowledge that if I fell on one of those kids, they would die.

    @ Darragh – some excellent choices, esp. the Hearts and Minds thing. Urgh.

  14. Eoin Says:

    Been working kinda hard the last few days. Went for a nap after lunch (interviewed Marina and the Diamonds, not as hot in real life, and kinda dim.) Woke up – it’s half twelve at night! The only thing I’ve eaten today was a slice of toast at 11am.

    The shop in Rialto is closed and the only take out still doing deliveries is something called Tennessee Fried Chicken. It’s on the way. Dooo-dooo-dooooooooom.

    UPDATE: It’s here. Feast your eyes. http://www.eoinbutler.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/tennessee-fried-chicken.jpg

  15. stu Says:

    Classic hate list from Bob Byrne:


    Me,I dont hate anything, except other people. Those fuckers are a constant source of disappointment.

  16. Darragh Says:


  17. Darragh Says:

    OH fuck i hate family guy. I would go down in a scenario with loads of dudes against a computer game. I really hate that show.

  18. Loreana Says:

    This song is the soundtrack to my embarrassment.
    I have a reoccurring nightmare of some overly enthusiastic person from Cork doing AA Road Watch style narrations over it and Keith Chegwin, Pat Sharp and Anneka Rice running around an obstacle course doing an egg and spoon race in the middle of a field in Shropshire with canned laughter and onlookers doing some sort of awkward lunging dance moves.
    That’s my concept of Perpetual Hell.

  19. Lisa Says:

    Ignominy of being outskied by toddlers is a common. Stick with snowsports, they only get better as you along.

  20. Lisa Says:

    The snowsports that is, not the toddlers. Though those too.

    Unclear syntax is the scourge of the earth.

  21. kankan Says:

    i hate the fact that my tea does not last as long as a party on sat night. boo

  22. Eoin Says:

    @ Darragh – OWNED

    @ Loreana – Christ, you can’t have Cheggers, Pat Sharp and Anneka Rice without having Timmmy Mallet in as well… come on, it’s only fair!

    @ Lisa – I think your original syntax was fine… exemplary even

  23. Eoin Says:

    @ kankan – you drink tea at parties? rabid, right-wing Fox News fan, by any chance?

  24. Paul Says:

    Seeing McSavage ‘busking’ – thankfully now he’s on RTE so much easier to avoid.

  25. massey Says:

    I’d have to say RTE comedy (any and every)

  26. albinicus Says:

    groups of people walking on footpaths
    people who chew with their mouths open

  27. Alan Moloney Says:

    The words “foody” and “nourishing” and all who use them make me cringe harder then a small dog taking a shit.

    Other then that, any time that bellowing cringe factory Katherine Lynch appears on my TV.

  28. Eoin Says:

    I’ve only seen that Katherine Lynch thing on television in the pub with the sound turned down but it looked appalling altogether.

  29. Lisa Says:

    I’d like to think I’m a reasonable and tolerant person.

    But I’m not. Misuse of the English language (be that grammar, syntax, spelling, punctuation etc) makes me twitch compulsively. I’ve seen some – unintentional – whoppers on Facebook recently. “Lettuce know when you’re coming to visit”. “We were running a muck.”

    @Alan: the use of “company” or “store” in any food-related business names sets me off for some reason, eg; “The Cheese Company”, “The Bagel Store”. Of course it’s a fucking company, it’s a business isn’t it? (Right, right, could be a sole trader I suppose but seems unlikely) Just seems to fetishise things or something.

  30. Colin Says:

    Family guy is just a sketch show, one random joke after the other with a threadbare storyline. The Simpsons format now resembles it, which is sad.

    This is the most viewed Family Guy clip on youtube – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lich59xsjik

    Pretty representative of the show.

    (Hategate 2010 – the Eoin Butler Rugby Affair.)

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