Warning: I’m venting, and it’s no laughing matter


Amy Fenster Brown

Everyone has pet peeves. Everyone has things that annoy them to no end. And everyone has to let those things out to free the space in their mind being taken up by negativity. 

Because you and I have built this relationship of acceptance and trust, I feel I can vent to you, and you will support me. You probably can relate to some of it. And you likely have some venting to do of your own.

Usually, I’m funny and upbeat, sometimes downright bubbly. Not today, folks. I’ve got to let it out. 

I’ve said some controversial things in my time, but none gets as big a reaction as when I discuss my hatred of eggs. I know almost everyone loves eggs in all of their many, disgusting forms. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can find eggs on the menu. Sometimes I see it as a burger topping. Yuck. So gross.  So, so gross.


I hated the musical “Rent.” I like that one song about 525,600 minutes  but other than that, no thanks. The one time I went to see it live, I walked out at intermission. I didn’t care to see how it ended. Either the guy writes his perfect song and they all die, or the guy doesn’t write his perfect song and they all die. Meh.

I can’t take it when recipes call food “boats.” When a huge order of sushi arrives on one of those little wooden boats, I like that. Food on a boat. Cute. But stuffed zucchini boats or spaghetti squash boats or taco boats? I don’t understand why it would be called a boat. Its zucchini stuffed with other stuff, so the name “stuffed zucchini” is plenty descriptive. Everything you need to know is right there in the name. Why boats? Why?

On social media, lots of people do talking videos. When they start with, “Just wanted to hop on here real quick …” I lose it. We see you. We know you wanted to go on here and talk to us about something. And it’s never quick. You can say it’s real quick all you want, but we know that is code for: “I don’t know how to start this video, so I’ll tell you that I wanted to talk here, say it’ll be real quick, suddenly get comfortable and keep talking.” 

Just. Start. Talking. 

Also on my list: Foods described as tasting like other foods. If it’s nutty and it isn’t nuts, it annoys me. Why would cheese taste nutty? Why would mushrooms taste meaty? They’re mushrooms. Stop calling them meat. 

The automated voice filling in for a real-live person answering the phone at many businesses is lying. She says to listen before deciding what to do because the menu options have changed.  Look, Lady Voice, we know the menu options haven’t changed. The business doesn’t want you to hit zero to talk to a real person, and they know you’re smart and realize that to get what you want, which is usually an actual human to talk to, you just have to hit zero. So they say the menu options have changed to trick you into hitting 1 or 2 or 3 to get recorded information and not bother an employee. I’m on to them. It’s not nice to lie. And I’m going to let them know that when I hit zero and get connected to a living, breathing person. 

I love cooking show, but a few things drive me crazy. When the chef puts in an ingredient and doesn’t scrape it all in, it makes me mad. If they’re pouring in honey from a measuring cup and then don’t use a rubber scraper to get out all of that honey they just wasted like a whole tablespoon. When they pour the cake batter into the pan and don’t scrape the batter from the bowl they’re losing like five entire bites of cake. 

What about vague and incorrect descriptions of ingredients, like when they say “a little bit of olive oil” and dump in, like, half a cup? That’s not a little bit. It’s a lot o’ bit. Tell it like it is, TV chefs. We can take it. 

Also, when browning or boiling something, who came up with the terms “browning off” or “boiling off?” What is that? Is browning or boiling not good enough anymore? 

I’m really going to end this one with a bang. I’m going to name all the shows and movies I’ve never seen because people hyped them up too much and it made me lose interest and not want to jump on the bandwagon. “Forrest Gump.” “Princess Bride.” “Harry Potter.” “Frozen.” “Titanic.” “M*A*S*H.” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Everyone under the sun is trying to persuade me to watch Mrs. Maisel, mostly non-Jewish friends who think because it’s a Jewish comic and I’m Jewish and funny, I’m going to love it. They’re probably right. I’m sure I would love it. But I can’t bow to the peer pressure. I don’t want to break my streak of rebellion. 

Please tell me you could relate to some of those things. Seriously, I want you to tell me. I want you to email a list of your top three annoyances, just so I know we’re all in this together.

Columnist Amy Fenster Brown is married to Jeff and has two teenage sons, Davis and Leo. She volunteers for several Jewish not-for-profit groups. Fenster Brown is an Emmy Award-winning TV news writer and counts time with family and friends, talking and eating peanut butter among her hobbies. Email Amy  at [email protected]