Murphy’s Law – Things that piss me off

Joel Murphy

We are only one day away from “Batman Day” (which isn’t a national holiday yet, but I’m still working on it), the day when the greatest movie since Citizen Kane is finally being released.

You would think being less than 24 hours away from the greatest day in the history of modern cinema would have me feeling giddy and childlike. In theory, today should be like Christmas Eve, a time to sip egg nog and daydream about the wonderful present the mysterious, chubby-cheeked man from a far away land (in this case, England’s own Christopher Nolan) will be delivering to all of us good little boys and girls tomorrow.

But, as much as I would like to be overcome with bliss at this moment, I just can’t get in to the Batman Day spirit quite yet. Before I can let my troubles roll by and focus on the true meaning on this wonderful holiday, I feel I must purge my soul and get a few things off of my chest. So, in order to get my mind right for tomorrow’s big event, I’m going to dust off an old favorite and share a few things that piss me off.

As always, these are in no particular order …

Having to wait this long to see The Dark Knight.

Robin. Thank God Christian Bale said he would stop doing Batman films if they ever tried to bring in Robin. Taking a hard stand like that to keep this new series of Batman films from heading down rubber nipple highway almost makes up for the fact that the guy playing my beloved Dark Knight was once in Newsies.

Comcast. First of all, stop making up words like “Comcastic.” Just because your company sucks so bad that regular words don’t adequately describe how shitty you are doesn’t give you the right to add new words to our lexicon.

And secondly, kudos to you for the new series of commercials claiming that you are the official cable provider of Gotham City. It is actually rather fitting that Comcast is Gotham’s cable provider – after all, the city is so overrun with crime and corruption that it takes a six-foot-tall man dressed like a bat to try to restore some semblance of order. So the stronghand tactics you use to run smaller cable companies out of business and the villainous tactics you use to screw over your customers would make you fit right in. Here’s hoping once Batman is done with The Joker and Two-Face, he can take some time out of his busy schedule to shove a Batarang up your CEO’s ass.

Jimmy Fallon – especially now that he is taking over for Conan O’Brien.

Buying concert tickets. I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point it became impossible to buy tickets to big name concerts online unless you are a ticket broker or you have an inside connection. I tried to buy tickets for the Dropkick Murphys show back in March, but the tickets were sold out before they ever went on sale online to the public. The same thing happened last week when I tried to buy tickets for an Eddie Vedder solo show here in Boston.

In both instances, I did a Google search online and saw that ticket brokers (which is just a fancy name for scalpers) already had tickets, which they were benevolently selling for up to $1,500 (which is only 20 times the ticket price). Why can they get tickets ahead of time, but average fans can’t? When did it become such a scam?

That commercial that keeps telling me to send in my old gold for cash. I don’t have any old gold and if I did, I sure as hell wouldn’t send it to you.

Whoever hired Jimmy Fallon to take over for Conan O’Brien.

Automated phone systems. It’s bad enough that I have to wait on hold to speak to someone from India who is trying to talk with an American accent, but still somehow pronounces my name like it rhymes with “Noel,” but having to deal with an automated phone robot to even get to the person from India drives me insane. And Virgin Mobile, don’t think that naming your automated phone robot “Simone” and having her talk in modern slang is doing anything to make me any less annoyed.

Telling me that my call is important to you. Once I get through Simone or whatever other automated phone robot is keeping me from talking to an actual person, then I get to sit on hold for an extended period of time (Virgin Mobile at least has the decency to play good music while leaving me on hold). What drives me insane while waiting is the stupid message that all of these companies feel the need to insert in the middle of the hold music that says something like, “Your call is important to us, please continue to hold.”

First of all, if my call was important to you, you wouldn’t make me run an automated phone gauntlet and then put me on hold for 20 minutes before allowing me to talk to an actual person. So cut the crap and stop pretending like I’m anything other than a dollar sign to you. And secondly, every time you stop the hold music to play that stupid message, it makes me think that I’m going to get to talk to an actual person – so I actually end up more disappointed than I was before you played that stupid message.

The parents of whoever hired Jimmy Fallon to take over for Conan O’Brien.

Xbox 360s. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my 360. Games like Gears of War and Assassin’s Creed are incredibly fun to play and the Xbox Live component is far better than what any other console is offering. If all that wasn’t enough to make me happy, Xbox recently announced a partnership with Netflix that will allow Netflix subscribers to access streaming movies for free via their 360s.

So why do Xbox 360s piss me off? Because I can’t seem to get one that works. When I got one in December of 2006, it was broken before I even took it out of the box. Since then, I have had two more 360 consoles give me a “red ring of death.” Each time, I have to mail the 360 in and wait several weeks for them to send me back a working console. Next time, you bastards are coming to my house and fixing the damned thing while I stand over you with a hockey stick.

Jimmy Fallon’s parents.

Random Thought of the Week:
Happy Batman Day!

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at

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