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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, May 21

Gapers Block

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Benjy / June 17, 2010 1:46 PM

The one that bugs me the most is people popping their gum! It takes so much restraint sometimes to not go smack somebody on the bus, etc.

Andrew Huff / June 17, 2010 1:47 PM

Currently, vuvuzelas. I remember my brother and I had those things when we were kids, and they were sort of annoying then, but apparently you have to have several thousand to really tap their annoyance potential.

Also, the chirp of a dying smoke detector. There's been one chirping every few seconds somewhere on our block for a couple years now -- every night, I hear it echoing through the alley. So annoying!

annie / June 17, 2010 2:01 PM


annie / June 17, 2010 2:11 PM

One more.... the grunts made my professional tennis players.

mary / June 17, 2010 2:17 PM

i hate hearing people pee, and im constantly annoyed that i can hear my coworker clip his nails and use an electric razor from 10 feet away. oh and of course nails on a chalkboard, but thats just painful and not so much annoying.

r / June 17, 2010 2:25 PM

How much space we got on this board?

-Agreed on low detector batteries, nail clipping

-People in the buildup to "hocking a lugi" / "farmer blowing" one's nose


-The sound of my sister sucking a water "sport" bottle (she's an adult who sounds like a toddler when she drinks)

-When people who want to be acknowledged for having good singing voices either break out in song at random moments or hum "soulfully"

-Knuckles or back cracking

At this moment, smells are really bothering me: I'm always walking on the street behind someone who is smoking, has terrible body odor or halitosis. No one wins.

Katie / June 17, 2010 2:45 PM

• Co-workers slurping on yogurt out of plastic cups.

• Incessant, off-key whistling.

• Boss clipping his nails, hocking loogies and farting at his desk all day long.

• Sat next to a chick who would suck soda out of sport bottle (like r mentioned), every day, for eight hours straight, in staccato bursts. It was like being chained to a two-year-old with a sippy cup.

Baldeesh / June 17, 2010 2:53 PM

When people chew with their mouths open.

When the boss whistles along to Journey (he's a bad whistler. Trust me).

Roderick / June 17, 2010 4:50 PM

The sound of my mother-in-law clearing her throat. Over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over. And over.

..I get to experience this for another week of my life next month...

Hal / June 17, 2010 6:21 PM

The horns of cabbies as they honk to get your attention when you're on the sidewalk, particularly when you're deep in conversation or thought. If I wanted a fucking cab, I'd be flagging one down, asshole. It's not like I forgot or something.

ear plugs / June 17, 2010 6:29 PM

car alarms, especially the one on the jeep on my street that has been going off for no reason at all for the last ten years.

gas powered mowers and edgers. for gods' sake don't we all have postage stamp lawns? get a push mower.

the sound of teeth clicking on food that doesn't require much tooth action like mashed potatoes or bananas.

George / June 18, 2010 6:19 AM

Agree with the Vuvuselas, what a god awful racket. The most annoying sound to me though has to be a baby crying in a restaraunt, especially if the restaraunt is too nice for them to be there in the first place.

Texas T / June 18, 2010 8:38 AM

The sound of styrofoam rubbing together, especially those icechests. There's a certain frequency of squeak that tickles my eardrum and it drives me crazy.

LaShawn Williams / June 18, 2010 9:08 AM

Crunching on something hard; e.g., ice cubes, hard candy, etc. I...JUST...CRINGE...whenever I hear it!

T / June 18, 2010 11:13 AM

Lately my top pet peeve has been been people who swallow their drink too loudly. Not the sippy-cup-slurpy noise described above, but the actual gulp-water-down-my-throat noise that some people can make SO LOUDLY. i mean, you sound like a farm animal - are you doing that on purpose?!?

Dylan / June 18, 2010 11:44 AM

-The hum of power lines.
-Yelling of drunks and high school kids around 3:30am or pm.

sarah / June 18, 2010 11:50 AM

the sound of hands on the surface of a blown-up balloon...the squeaking sound it makes is unbearable to me.

q / June 18, 2010 12:16 PM

I'm not easily annoyed by sounds in the daytime, but when I'm trying to sleep there are two sounds that drive me crazy.

1. Motorcycles revving their engines

2. My cat scratching on my closet door, which is just inches from my head. For some reason this is much worse to me than fingernails on a chalkboard. I've tried everything to get her to stop, but finally had to lock her out of the bedroom entirely. Now she scratches at the bedroom door instead, but that doesn't bother me as much.

eee / June 18, 2010 1:24 PM

The sound of water chestnuts being chewed.

Kids making the "angry pterydactyl screech." Doesn't it hurt their ears, too? It's such a relief when they get too old to screech at such a high pitch.

Car stereos with really loud base, turned up so loudly that I can't hear my own music with the windows rolled up due to such loud thumping.

David Grant / June 18, 2010 2:09 PM

Snack wrappers and drinks at the movies.

The over-mike'd cooking utensils and bubbling stew pots on cooking shows.

Sue / June 18, 2010 3:25 PM

I second kids making the "angry pterydactyl screech", clipping nails, and the "whale noises" my husband makes while sleeping on his back. Not snoring, and not loud, but annoying.

Tracie / June 18, 2010 3:58 PM

I definitely second the loud car stereos, now that it's summer. No one ever blasts music that I like. Have you ever heard Miles Davis, Philip Glass, or Portishead at earsplitting decibels? If I owned a car, I swear I'd even the score.
Also, the sound of the EL car. Rubberized wheels, anyone?

fluffy / June 18, 2010 7:01 PM

People popping their gum, the drill at the dentist office, car alarms, the loud 'thud' when a bird crashes against a window, the screeching of brakes right before a car crash, drunk people singing Journey songs, yodeling, someone learning how to play a basoon, and I can't stand to hear my Mom cry-it breaks my heart and annoys me at the same time.

pwnager / June 19, 2010 7:24 PM

I absolutely despise when people randomly break out into song.

oldgp / June 19, 2010 10:05 PM

These are so great. A kind of Post Secret.

Fingernails clipped in public.
(I know it's not a sound but I also hate it when women apply makeup on bus or train.)

Robins at 3 am with their loud tuneless trill.

Dennis Fritz / June 20, 2010 10:36 AM

Glenn Beck's voice.

Cheryl / June 20, 2010 10:47 AM

Chewing gum. Not just the cracking or the popping, the fact that everyone who chews gum chews with their mouths open. It's just disgusting.

Paul / June 20, 2010 11:48 AM

Cabbies using their horns to try to get rides annoy me too. That practice should be banned.

They're tearing the house down behind me, and resurfacing the street in front of me. Steam rollers, excavators, backhoes, jack-hammers and giant resurfacing machines and their accompanying material trucks, all at full-throttle. I'd trade for a couple thousand vuvuzelas right now.

Charlie D. / June 21, 2010 7:15 AM

Loud people camping next to us...

Meems / June 21, 2010 11:26 AM

I second the honking, the construction noise, my cat scratching at the door. But everyday I take a walk on my lunch hour from the hospital I've come to hate the sirens. I know they're important, but between that, trains, traffic, etc I feel like moving to the mountains sometimes. But then I'd start to hate the quiet.

Carrie / June 21, 2010 11:50 AM

Currently- the helicopter flying overhead every night at 11pm. It goes on and on and on for like 30 minutes. It's loud.

I also get annoyed with sounds I can't figure out. they make me nervous. I think the kids upstairs are running a fan in their bedroom, but I'm not sure, so then my mind wanders and I think it's a wire going crazy in the walls. I know it's not that, but still. I also get annoyed with the same kids dropping stuff all the time. I mean really? It's like their hands are slicked in olive oil and they can't hang on to anything. Whether it's a bowling ball or a pen, they are constantly dropping stuff.

to mention what others have... people clipping their nails in public. I cringe.

Euripides Trousers / June 21, 2010 12:26 PM

Car horns as doorbells.

Flip-flops slapping their feet.

Rich / June 21, 2010 12:30 PM

The sound of any Politician using the word "Transparency" makes me cringe (liars!).

The sound of a Politician putting on a White Sox cap makes me cringe (bandwagon!).

The sound of a Politician scolding ANYONE makes me cringe (hypocrite!)

Anon / June 21, 2010 4:29 PM

People chewing gum with their mouths wide open, and also popping it. Annoying.

Also, the sound of when s's are pronounced very sharply, almost like a whistle. Hurts my ears.

Spook / June 21, 2010 10:25 PM

The fat and ugly "Imperial" Gangster gang leader who's laugh is so loud and abrasive that I can hear it even though he lives around the corner on the next block!

The women next door who curses and screams at her four or five (?) kids!

Delta / August 18, 2010 8:27 PM

Babies crying, dogs barking and whining repeatedly, cats persistanly meowing and scratching, car horns, when people pertend that they are mentally ill and make that disrespectfull and annoying noise, burping, hammers, people singing one line over and over, obnoxious ringtones, and diesel engines.

Lynne / November 17, 2010 2:06 PM

Agree with over-miked cooking shows. Especially when the mike is right near the chef's throat. Can't stand hearing Andrew Zimmern on Bizarre Foods chewing and swallowing. He also sniffs his food before eating it, which I find rude. His back teeth smack together even when he's only eating something soft--GROSS! My husband sucks his teeth after eating something hot and spicy and I want to rip his face off when he does it!
My cat whining all day.
Loud commercials.
The clicking, popping camera sounds you hear on YouTube videos...drives me nuts!

PattyCake / April 12, 2012 1:02 AM

The most annoying sound to me is when a person writes with Sharpie on a cardboard. The sound literally causes me to feel icky. It's difficult to explain but it does.

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