I've created this page to catalogue all those subtle methods people use to annoy other members of the population - either consciously or subconsciously. There are two main reasons for doing this:
- If the people you're around seem to fly off the handle for no reason, this list might tell you why.
- If you're going out of your way to annoy people, you might as well do it properly.
If there's something that drives you mad, get it off your chest and contribute it to the list. As the list expands, we can break it up into separate sections, but for now they'll all be lumped together into one chunk.
Methods of annoying people
How to Annoy Others
- Find an accomplice and a narrow doorway. Stand either side of the doorway, blocking it completely, and start to have a long, drawn-out conversation about the weather.
- If you have an answering machine, always turn up the volume to maximum before leaving the office.
- (in small, busy car parks) Park diagonally across two car parking spaces.
- (in large, empty car parks) Do your utmost to block someone in.
- If you're in a busy high street, stop suddenly to peer through the nearest shop window.
- Always steal the last bit of cake.
- If your place of work has a coffee room, wait until it's really busy then stand in front of the kettle / coffee machine / fridge as appropriate. If you have accomplices, stand in front of all three.
- When speaking to people on the telephone, take ages to get to the point.
- Never have enough change on you.
- When using apostrophes, always put them in the wrong place.1
- If you buy a mobile phone, make sure that you get one that plays the William Tell Overture. Badly.
- When using your mobile phone, always make sure that you start the conversation by announcing 'I'm on my mobile!' loudly. This works best on trains, where you have a captive audience.
- When at the front of the checkout queue, say that you'll just be a moment, then dash off to find that last elusive item of shopping. Return seven minutes later.
- If you have a bad cold and you're stuck in a quiet lecture theatre or library, sniff and snort loudly. This works particularly well if other people are eating at the time.
- (whilst watching television - subtle version) During someone else's favourite programme, cough loudly during critical sections of dialogue. This works particularly well with murder mystery shows.
- (whilst watching television - not-so-subtle version) During someone else's favourite programme, hum irritatingly. Stop when someone looks at you. Start again when they look away.
- (to annoy people who smoke) Introduce small quantities of gunpowder from a toy cap-gun into a cigarette taken from the subject's pack. Replace the tailored cigarette and wait.
- (to annoy people who smoke) Hide their lighters.
How to Annoy Yourself
If you feel your life is running too smoothly, you might want to try some of the following techniques to throw a few rocks in your path:
- When travelling to catch a train, always underestimate the time it will take you to get to the station.
- When going away on a long holiday, make sure you leave lots of perishable food in the fridge.
- If you're going on a long road journey, never plan the route beforehand.
- Buy the fastest, most up-to-date computer you can lay your hands on. Two weeks later, it'll be out of date.
- When going on holiday, always leave your packing until the last minute.
- Never enter your friends' phone numbers into your mobile phone - try to remember them yourself instead.
Slightly Odd Annoyance Techniques
- (in an elevator) If you and only one other person are in an elevator, tap them on the shoulder then insist that it wasn't you.
- (in an elevator) If you and only one other person are in an elevator, hum the first line of
"It's a Small World" over and over.
- (in an elevator) Make explosion noises whenever anyone presses the elevator buttons.
- Sit next to someone you know and repeat their name over and over again loudly 1 inch
away from their ear. For an hour. Repeat as necessary.
Special Offer: New Millennium Annoyances
- If you're writing the word 'Millennium' down, always spell it with one 'n': MILLENIUM
- If you're saying the word 'Millennium', always pronounce it incorrectly: MINNELLIUM. It's incredibly funny the 4,035th time you hear it. Really.
- Throughout the year 2000, state with increasing regularity, "Well, that's the first time I've done (insert arbitrary activity here) in the New Millennium..."