Little things that annoy a lot

SMOKED SALMON: I’ve yet to open a packet without a pair of pliers - or my teeth!

ALL of us, I guess, have been drenched when we’ve turned on a kitchen sink tap and been sprayed by water deflected upwards by a spoon. After it happened to me for the umpteenth time, I began pondering on other small issues that drive me insane.

Sealed food: I adore smoked salmon, and the brand I buy has a tiny flap at one corner that needs to be peeled back before you can get at the contents. I’ve yet to make it work without a pair of pliers – or my teeth. Many other products have variations of this flap, and none ever seem to work.

Ring-pulls: On two occasions this week, the ring-pulls on the tinned tomatoes I tried to open came away from the cans. Only with a hammer and screwdriver could I get at the contents (who has can openers these days? Reminder to myself: buy one tonight).

Missing bathroom or sink plugs: When I moved into my Benidorm apartment I was amazed that none of the four basins had plugs. I measured each hole carefully, and went in search of tapones, as they are called in Spanish. I had to trawl every hardware shop in the town before I found the right ones.

Blister pack tablets: Often a circle of foil will adhere to a pill, and on two occasions I’ve had the silver paper lodge in my throat.

Tiny twin-prong halogen bulbs: Many Spanish lamps are fitted with these. I have three over the bathroom sink and three desk lamps. To replace them is a nightmare. Because I can’t get my fingers into the recesses into which they are set I have to use pliers, but all too frequently the bulbs disintegrate and I’m faced with the almost impossible task of removing the remnants.

Appliance cords: Why are the ones in Spain always too damn short? The answer, I guess, is to keep the extension cord industry afloat. Visit the electrical department of any store and you will find a mind-blowing array of the things in all shapes, colours and lengths. I must have a dozen in our apartment.

Electric sockets: Our apartment has no shortage of these, but they are all in the wrong places. Naturally! So more extension leads are required.

Screwdrivers: A week ago a five- minute job took almost an hour because I could not find, among an impressive collection of screwdrivers in my toolbox, one that would fit two screws needed to attach a bracket for a TV soundbar to a wooden shelf. In sheer exasperation I finally nailed the bloody thing to the wood.

Halogen hobs: I keep forgetting that these take forever to cool down after use. My latest boo-boo was the messiest and smelliest EVER! I inadvertently placed a plastic container of rice on a hob I’d used to cook up a curry, and 10 minutes later the apartment was filled with smoke. What I saw on the hob was a bubbling mound of melted plastic and rice – and all the fire alarms in the building went off.

Time, methinks, to start a social media page for people wanting to sound off about the small things that drive them into fits of uncontrolled fury.

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Written by

Barry Duke


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