The Funny Art of Complaining

Feel aggrieved? Don’t stew. Raise a stink! These people did.

the Funny Art of ComplainingYasu+JunkoI don’t mean to complain, but … OK, actually, I do. And I’m not alone. We all do it. And our gripes can get so ugly that we describe the very act as “venting one’s spleen.” Such is the world today that we will whine about anything (“Ugh … Why does global warming always happen to me?!”). Just like every other creature that roams the earth (“Why does Earth have to be so muddy?!”), whiners come in different shapes, sizes, and attitudes. See if you recognize yourself in any of the following descriptions..

Impossible to Please
A man who robbed a Wendy’s in Atlanta was so put off by his skimpy haul that he called the restaurant twice to voice his disapproval. That’s better than what police say Arthur Bundrage did. Bundrage approached a Syracuse, New York, bank teller and demanded $20,000. When he got home, he discovered he’d been shortchanged. Outraged, he stormed back to the bank to tell them what he thought of their service. That’s when he was arrested.
—Source: Associated Press

Easily Offended
For all the money spent on vacations, is it too much to expect perfection? These travelers didn’t think so. Here’s a taste of what they told their travel agents:

  • “On my holiday to India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food at all.”
  • A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained that his soup was too thick. He was inadvertently slurping gravy.
  • Following a trip to a national theme park, one angry woman complained that the sun was so hot it melted her ice cream.
  • An air traveler voiced her disapproval of all the clouds in the sky, saying they ruined her children’s game of Eye Spy.

—Source: Toronto Star, telegraph.co.uk

Snidely Whiplash
An unimpressed guest sent this missive to a British hotel regarding its decor:

“The ’70s style really is making a comeback, isn’t it? The fact that yours is actually original gives the place that touch of authenticity … The lighting was also very good—and bright. No point in having a great interior if it’s too dark to see it, and you never know when you might have to indulge in a bit of complex cardiothoracic surgery, so it’s better to be safe than sorry, I say.”

Next: Richard Branson gets slammed with a zero-star review

Richard Branson Virgin Airlines Zero Star ReviewRichard Branson received this note from a passenger after a zero-star meal on Branson’s Virgin Airlines:

“On the left, we have a piece of broccoli and some peppers in a brown gluelike oil, and on the right, the chef has prepared some mashed potato. The potato masher had obviously broken, and so it was decided the next best thing would be to pass 
the potatoes through the digestive tract of a bird …”

—From dearcustomerrelations.com

Tech Savvy
Confronting a neighbor is so 1990. Now, we can relabel our Wi-Fi networks to do the dirty work for us. According to BBC News, instead of the typical innocuous network names like “wireless1,” some apartment residents are encountering more creative ones such as “Stop mooching our Internet,” “Stop slamming the door!!!” and “Stop wearing heels!”

Resort to Curses
No, not the @#$% variety of cursing, but the old-fashioned eye-of-newt kind. That’s what comedian Eugene Mirman did in a letter he published as an ad in the New York Times. It was addressed to execs at Time Warner Cable after an installation appointment had been canceled. In it, he wished the following upon the suits:

  • Every board member’s cell phone [should] ring loudly [and] announce their weight.
  • Your second-born will smell like hot buttered popcorn. It’s not that bad at first, but eventually I bet it will be maddening.

Passive-Aggressive
Not looking to get into a screaming match? Take a clue from this Christmas card, in which one neighbor writes to another: “Sorry we have lost touch. I guess I have to accept your not wanting to be friends anymore. Enjoy the holidays.”

This note from one roommate to another: “I cleaned most of the apartment so please keep it tidy while you move out. —Kelsey
P.S. Go to hell.”

When a grandmother didn’t receive a thank-you note from her 20-something granddaughter, she wrote it herself and sent it to the ungrateful young lady. It read: “Dear Grandma, Received the check. Thank you! Love, Megan.”

—From passiveaggressivenotes.com

Next: What happens when humorist Philip Roth tries to edit his own Wikipedia page

Philip Roth attempts to edit his own Wikipedia pageJust Plain Incredulous
Writer Philip Roth recently took to the pages of the New Yorker to share his disbelief that a popular online resource did not consider him an expert on the works of Philip Roth.

“I had reason recently to read for the first time the Wikipedia entry discussing my novel The Human Stain. This item entered Wikipedia not from the world of truthfulness but from the babble of literary gossip—there is no truth in it at all. Yet when … I petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, [I was told] that I was not a credible source: ‘I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on his own work,’ writes the Wikipedia administrator—‘but we require secondary sources.’ ”

Bring Out the Big Guns
Jerry Wojcik signed up to get three to five text messages a week from the Buffalo Bills. When he started getting six or seven, he decided that that was just too much for a football fan to read, so he sued the NFL team to the tune of $500 per “unlawful” message.

Not to be outdone was Warren Nyerges. He paid cash for his house in Naples, Florida, so he was surprised when Bank of America foreclosed on it. The dispute was settled after Nyerges hired a lawyer. But the bank refused to pay Nyerges’s legal fees. So Nyerges turned the tables and foreclosed on Bank of America. His lawyer, accompanied by a sheriff, arrived at a bank branch with the intention of confiscating money, furniture, and computers—worth the equivalent of what they were owed. A moving truck was even parked outside. The bank quickly produced a check for the fee.

—Sources: ESPN, Time

Complaint of Lasting Interest
A night at the opera was ruined for the great Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw when a fellow patron of the arts took her seat in front of him wearing a feathered nightmare. Shaw was so horror-struck, that he penned this screed to the London Times:

“At nine o’clock (the opera began at eight), a lady came in and sat down very conspicuously in my line of sight. She remained there until the beginning of the last act. I do not complain of her coming late and going early; on the contrary, I wish she had come later and gone earlier. For this lady, who had very black hair, had stuck over her right ear the pitiable corpse of a large white bird, which looked exactly as if someone had killed it by stamping on the beast and then nailed it to the lady’s temple, which was presumably of sufficient solidity to bear the operation. I am not, I hope, a morbidly squeamish person; but the spectacle sickened me … I once, in Drury Lane Theatre, sat behind a matinee hat decorated with the two wings of a seagull, artificially reddened at the joints so as to produce the illusion of being freshly plucked from a live bird. But 
even that lady stopped short of a whole seagull.”

—From lettersofnote.com

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Popular Videos

Andy Simmons
Andy Simmons is a features editor at Reader's Digest.