Category Archives: Pet Peeves

This is where we discusts what really irritates us the most–what people or peoples do.

Book Reviews: John Locke Didn’t Do It This Way!

I posted this on our Indie Writers Alliance page, then I realized this might be important enough to wave it around on my author site, as well.

To my readers and fans, let me just tell you how very important it is for any author to get good, legitimate reviews for their books. If you give a book a good review, you’ve made the author’s day. On the other hand, if you give it a bad review, there will likely be gnashing of teeth. But even negative reviews are important to readers, if they’re honest–and, ultimately, that’s who reviews are for. Reviews are to help potential readers decide whether or not to buy and read a book. Reviews are good things for the consumers–for readers, the reason we write. Reviews with hurtful language, spoilers, negative because “I don’t read this genre, but I got this book for free”: those are the really lame reviews that no one needs.

Okay, so don’t even compare what I’m about to tell you to John Locke’s, “Hey, I sold over a million books in five months this way!” The following info and link is to help fellow indie authors hook up with potential reviewers in their book(s) genre(s).

What’s different? Locke said nothing about the main and now obviously secret ingredient in his plan: buying reviews! I’m not saying it’s wrong to buy reviews. I’d say it’s wrong if you’re buying positive reviews, fabricated reviews from folks who didn’t even read your book, left out the fact that you bought reviews when you go around bragging to other writers how you became so successful and left this very critical piece of the puzzle out. And then Mr. Locke sells us indies a guide-book about how we can do what he did with the most important part–the real key to his success–never mentioned! That’s ri-ight! He paid over $6,000 for 300 reviews. Now think of it, authors: paying three hundred people to go “buy” your book on Amazon over a few days’ time–the increased sales alone would shoot your title near the top of the rankings. Don’t you think if you’re giving these reviewer folks pretty good money to give a review, and there’s no real control over whether they really read the book or not, that they’ll likely give your book a good review? Especially since, if they give it a bad review, they might not be considered favorably for a chance to get paid to write review again!

Click the Image!

Click the Image!

Anyway, check this out, fellow indies! For $67.00 BookRooster will distribute your book to a genre-targeted portion of their 3,000 plus reviewers, and they’ll keep working at it until you get ten reviews. They don’t promise those reviews will be positive. What are you paying for, then? Distribution of your book to reviewers. The reviewers themselves don’t get paid, but they do get to download your book for free. If you need reviews, this might just be a way to go.

E Z Knight Versus Your Favorite Fast Food Customer Service Engineer.

(With Russian beauty Zoya & E Z’s golden retriever Jazzy Brass)
Excerpt from KNIGHT’S RANSOM, near the end of Chapter 12
© 2012 by Gordon A Kessler
Available at:

It was 1:00 p.m., and Zoya, Jazzy Brass and I were getting hungry. While looking for an In-N-Out Burger or maybe a Del Taco, I checked my cell phone video to see if I’d gotten anything useful from just prior to our shootout. It was nothing but blurred gun barrels — completely useless.

We couldn’t find any of the more popular fast-food chain restaurants — usually you find them everywhere you look in SoCal. Finally Zoya pulled into one I hadn’t tried before, a Burger Bender. We ordered three cheeseburgers, fries and drinks. Jazzy loved chicken nuggets, but they weren’t on the menu. She’d have to make due. I promised her next time we’d find a Wendy’s, and she could have it her way. It was hard telling when she’d get back on her normal diet of dry dog food and an occasional spoon of pumpkin or slice of apple.

I gave Zoya a twenty-dollar bill and she paid the kid at the window. He didn’t look like a high school student, had to be at least twenty, hair spiked, with body piercings and tattoos. Jada, my young friend back at the marina, has a similar look. But I soon found out that she wears it with a hell of a lot more personality.

The young man, obviously a career fast-food customer-service engineer, dumped the change into Zoya’s hands.

Don’t they teach kids to count back change anymore?

I figured by the looks of him, he’d have a heck of a time counting back more than a nickel anyway.

He gave us the drinks.

They’d overflown their lids, and soda was dripping down the sides of the cups.

We asked for napkins.

He stuck a wad of them out the window.

A minute later, he handed us the bag of food.

We had to ask for straws.

He passed us half a dozen for two drinks.

We had to ask for ketchup.

He handed us mayonnaise instead.

I told him we wanted ketchup not mayonnaise.

He gave us a fistful, without reply.

We asked if there was salt in the bag.

He said, “No.”

We waited. Ten seconds later, I asked, “Well, can we have some?”

He didn’t say anything, but grabbed a handful of the tiny salt packets and stuck them out the window. At least a half dozen fell to the driveway beside the car door.

Zoya cupped her hands to receive the rest. He’d passed us enough salt to season every potato in Idaho, let alone two orders of French fries.

At that point, I considered pulling Zoya’s Mac 10 out from under the seat, pointing it at him and informing him that I was a trained assassin and had snuffed more people than he had stainless steel rings on his face and dick — there were at least twenty on his face alone.

Instead, I swallowed the venom surging in my throat, and we thanked him.

Then…and this is the kicker — what do you think the little shit said in return?

Come on, guess?

He said, “No problem.”

I don’t know that you’ve noticed, but my day began two popcorn farts less than great, and it was turning out three root canals and a kidney stone more than terrible.

I was stressed. I’d had a bad day. My head was about to explode from the pressure building inside. My good nature was stretched across my face like a two-bit condom over a pineapple — let’s say it developed a few holes.

To start with, first thing this morning, I get the finger from an old woman. That alone would ruin many a man’s day. But then I discover my goddaughter has been kidnapped by people who want me dead; a boat blows up that was supposed to have been mine; I find a good friend beaten into hamburger by guys trying to kill me; I get shot at; I nearly fall off a cliff; I have to kick a big bald guy’s ass; and then, to top it off, I only get half a BJ before finding out I’m being setup to be murdered.

Okay, that was just this morning. Next, the goombas who took a pot-shot at me come back and riddle my beautiful classic muscle car full of holes. I have to leave it in a heap of smashed up, smoldering metal because the cops are coming and, if I stick around, they’ll arrest me, and I’ll go back to prison.

So far today, I’d done nothing wrong — so far.

And then the kid at the fast-food window says, “No problem,” in response to our polite “thank you” without so much as a glance at us.

*  *  *

I stretch over Jazzy and Zoya to the little convertible’s driver side, get a foothold on the center console, and then reach into the drive-thru window. Jazzy and Zoya lean out of my way.

With my fists full of the server’s uniform shirt, I pull him to me and our noses touch.

“All right, booger-eater; listen to me this one time.” I start low and slow. “Your job is to wait on us; provide us with courteous service and a quality meal,” I say, my voice coming out louder, words faster. “We; your customers — the reason you even have a job — say ‘thank you.‘ And how do you answer? With a smile and a respectful ‘you’re welcome — thank you for your business. Please come again,’ right?”

My eyes are bugging, spittle comes out unintentionally with my elevated words.

“No-o. You say,” I whine with a sneer in exaggerated imitation, “‘No problem,’ as if you feel the need to tell me it wasn’t too damn far out of your way for you to do the job you’re being paid to do —”

I take a deep breath, “— instead of what you’d be doing if we hadn’t come to your little window: sitting on your dumb ass, atop a box of frozen beef and sawdust patties, listening to gangster rap while popping pimples with one hand and rubbing your balls like they’re Aladdin’s lamp and you’re wishing you had something more than a three-inch pecker with the other.

No problem? You say no problem to your neighbor when you pull a turd out of his toilet that got stuck sideways and clogged it up. You say no problem when you stop and fix a stranger’s flat tire in the rain, even though you’re going to be late for work. You say no problem when the guy with no arms standing beside you at the urinal asks you to shake the dew off his lily and put it back in his pants for him — that’s when you say, no freaking problem!”

I’m glaring at him. He’s gaping back, as are Zoya, Jazzy, the burger joint employees and the few customers who can see me from the inside.

“No problem?” I ask quietly, but with a ragged edge. My next words come out from between my barred teeth. “Of course it was no damn problem, you little freak!”

The kid is in shock. He finally stutters, “Yu-you’re…wu-welcome — s-sir!”

“There. Was that so goddamn hard?”

I let him go, push off and slip back into my seat without looking at him. I answer, “No problem.”

Zoya, with her heavy Russian accent, says, “Have … nice … day!” and we pull away.

*  *  *

 I took a deep breath and within five minutes I was feeling pretty good.

Dog Park for Toddlers? How about crossing the track during the Indie 500?

It happened again today. A small child was hurt.

There are a lot of really great young parents out there. They love their children dearly and only want what’s the very best for them. Sometimes they don’t think things through before they do them, deciding, “Oh, how much fun it would be to take Junior to …” Some folks who haven’t been to a dog park have no idea what goes on there.

Well, here’s your warning, good-intentioned but inexperienced parents: what goes on at a dog park is utter chaos!

What? Chaos at a dog park? Someone should do something! Someone should enforce order so that all dogs walk, not run; lick, not play bite; romp and play like kiddies and not run amok and wrestle like … well, like — dogs!

If you’ve been to a dog park, you know that most of the animals are out there just having a great time. Even my sweet Jazzy Brass, one of the most pleasant dogs you’ll ever meet, gets a little nuts. It’s the dogs’ place to be dogs, to do what dogs do. They want to chase each other, play bite and wrestle. There are small dogs, and huge dogs, and as long as the “alpha” male or female doesn’t come out in them, the time spent in the park can be a blast for both dogs and their caregivers.

But, if you’ve visited one of these fun places more than a couple of times, you’ve most likely seen some little accidents, sometimes not so little. Adults have even been known to get mowed down by dogs being dogs. These dogs don’t watch where they’re running, they’re just enjoying the chaos at the time. A person can easily get hurt, if they’re not keeping an eye out. The canines are excited, they’re letting off steam. You’re the cheerleader when you’re at the park, and your beloved companion is the player. If you’re a smart cheerleader, you don’t go onto the playing field in the middle of a game without being sure you won’t get trampled.

As soon as I saw it, I knew there would be trouble. A young mother with two small dogs and a medium-size one on leashes had entered the park’s main gate with a toddler in her arms. Hmmm. Obviously, she was thinking of how much fun was about to be had, but not considering she was leading three primed and ready rugby players onto the field of a very active game in progress. Within five seconds, she was down on the large concrete entryway, and she had dropped her little girl face first onto the hard surface, as well.

What could I do except run to her and try to keep the excited pack of dogs that quickly gathered away from mother and screaming child while they attempted to recover and find their legs?

Damn it! What a shame for the little girl who ended up with a bloody chin and a huge knot on her forehead. Accidents happen. This young mother certainly would have never risked her child’s wellbeing had she actually considered the danger.

It’s one of my pet peeves and this is a warning to others, old and young, short and tall. Dog parks are for dogs to play and have fun — to be dogs. It’s not a place for an overly aggressive dog. It’s not a place for elderly who can’t move out of the way of a large pack running at full speed. It’s not a place for a toddler even with close supervision or in a stroller. Sure, it’d be fun to see Junior reacting to all the nice little puppies. How about keeping Junior outside the fence? Here’s an idea; what about taking Junior to a pet store (the puppy mills that supply them are a whole other story)? Even better, take Junior to see all the really cute doggies and kitties at the local animal shelter!

Please stop and think. Don’t bring your small child inside the gate of any dog park. And, when you go with your best friend and constant companion, keep on your toes and be ready for a great time!

Grouchy-Grumpy Man’s Pet Peeves

I hope I don’t lose any readers when they find out how uptight and anal I really am.

Actually, I personally think I’m a laid-back sort of guy, very accepting of others—a kind of do-your-own-thing-as-long-as-it-doesn’t-hurt-anybody-else kind of person. Still, I find myself cringing throughout my day from obvious, rampant rudeness. Typically, it’s me wishing people were more thoughtful and considerate of others when I see something happen that goes against what I feel is proper.

So, here’s my basic list of Pet Peeves. Do you have some you’d like to add, or would you like to comment on mine? Please do.

Language and Rudeness:

1. People who substitute “No problem” for “You’re welcome,” “My pleasure. Please come again” or “Anytime. Let me know if I can do anything else.”

If you’re going out of your way to help someone, sure, saying “no problem” is courteously telling someone that it was not a problem—no trouble at all—to lend a hand.

Now, if you’re a fast food engineer with a paper hat and name badge that has a happy face on it, it’s your job to serve the public—of course it’s no problem…that’s what you’re getting paid for (if you’ve read Knight’s Ransom, you understand exactly how I feel)!

2. The use of the extra word why when saying “the reason why I…” instead of “the reason I…”

3. People who don’t answer when you say “Hello”—and don’t make eye contact

4. People who interrupt, especially in the middle of your answer to their question

5. Negative people with nothing positive ever to say

6. Bosses and other people who are liars and/or without integrity

7. Men who cuss publicly, in crowds and around women and children

8. People who feel that cigarette butts are so small that it’s not really like littering when you leave them on the sidewalk or along a walkway

TV, Movies & Video Games:

9. TV shows with explicit language and content that are obviously not for children, but purposely have elements that attract children to watch

10. Video games for children that contain sexual or very violent content and excessive depictions of sex, horrific injuries, deaths, severed body parts and blood

Driving & Cars:

11. Drivers who don’t use their turn signals to turn or change lanes (usually due to not having a free hand because of the cell phone to their ear)

12. Drivers who carry their little doggies on their laps while they drive

13. Drivers who text while they drive, especially in heavy traffic and when first in line at stop lights

14. Drivers who eat and drive with their knees

15. Drivers who block a second stall when parking

16. Drivers who stop at a four-way before you and then insist that you go first (especially when they’re on the right side)

Pet Owners:

17. Dog owners that let their dogs beat up on less aggressive ones, using the excuse “they’re just being dogs”

18. Dog owners that do not clean up after their dogs in public places, especially sidewalks and bike trails

19. Dog owners that don’t restrain their animals

20. Dog owners that put their animals in situations where the dog barks all day (especially apartments or back yards)

Rudeness & Put-downs:

21. Women and men who live in glass houses and tease others who have big noses, ears, are balding, overweight, flat chested, short or in some way less than perfect, and in ways that are beyond their control

Phones & Usage:

22. People who text in the theater during movies, especially when they’re seated toward the front of the theater

23. Long phone menus when all you want is to speak with someone or leave a message

24. Loud background music while on hold

25. Phone menus that list nothing that applies to your needs

26. Phone menus that take you in circles

27. People who answer their phones during a meeting and just sit there and talk while the meeting continues


28. Elitist writers who think they are “authentic,” “literary,” more “real” or someway above others—especially those who poopoo “commercial,” or “popular (pulp)” fiction

29. New writers who have just learned a standard writing convention and who make it their crusade to ensure every writer, experienced and novice alike, strictly abide by this rule as if it is to never be questioned

31. Writers who think they’re experts at their craft after only three or four years of writing

My Pet Peeves about Readers?

I have no pet peeves concerning readers. They’re all absolutely perfect—the reason I write!

32. Oops, there is one: Readers who read the last page before the rest of the book, and readers who don’t read the prologues or the epilogues of books that have them. Okay, sorry–that was two.

All right, now that I’ve told you of all these little annoyances I find in my life, I need to ask, “If I know I’m a hypocrite, does that make me not one?”

Come on! Get mad! Tell me some of your pet peeves!