On the beat

Life’s little irritations

Photo: Bucher lawn maintenance: Large rocks protecting the driveway

By Jim Bucher


As I am now back and refreshed from my vacation in sunny California, it’s time to get back into the swing of things. It’s tough with that jet lag and three-hour West Coast time difference, but then got to thinking, “Jim, you just got back from a nice trip. What are you complaining about?”

Could it be because we all complain a little too much? My kids think that’s all I do.

“Pick up your rooms! Why is the bathtub red? Did someone color their hair?” And my favorite is when the cat throws up and I’m the only one that seems to see it … and step in it.

I tell my kids, “When you’re paying the bills, you can complain all you want. Until then, I will complain.”

Is the reason because as Americans we are spoiled? Am I spoiled? Are we all spoiled? Can I use the word “spoiled” again? See, I’m complaining…

Besides, what’s the difference from a negative comment or a complaint? If we didn’t have negative comments, what would Fox News do?

My question to you fine readers is, “What is your biggest complaint?” Send them my way. I would love to hear them. In the meantime, here are a few of mine.

Airport security: I touched on this a column or two ago and I guess we don’t want to do without. But the long lines, the strip down, the shoes off … I mean, come on. The only thing that’s fun is the strip search, but that’s for another time.

How about gas prices? Don’t get me started. Never could figure out how the same gas in the storage tanks underground at your neighborhood station with gasoline already in them – and I assume paid for –jumps 30 cents in price when it really hasn’t moved since the last fuel truck topped off the large tanks. Somebody explain. And why, oh why, does it jump 30 to 40 cents a gallon overnight, but it takes two or three weeks to drop a few cents here and a few cents there? I don’t get it and never will.

Parking meters: OK, I know we need them for revenue, but do the meter maids or parking enforcement folks really need to hover over them, waiting to pounce when “EXPIRED” pops up? Come on, I’ve seen it and have also noticed a guy that looks like me feeding the meters for others. I know it’s illegal to do so, and next time I see that dude that looks like me, I’ll inform him.

What about police officers who pull you over for texting, but I see them using their “data ports,” or whatever they’re called, while driving?  Makes no sense whatsoever.

Drive-thrus: Is there a fast food restaurant that actually has one of those speaker systems you can understand? I mean, really, we have top quality sound systems available in 2013, but they use the “tin cans with a string attached” system? Can I get an “Amen” on that?

Air: Why do gas stations charge for air? Will it be taxed next?

Traffic lights:  This was the subject for one of my first columns. The light system at the Main Street on and off ramps to I-75 border on the ridiculous. It doesn’t matter what direction you’re going, you stop at every one. And why, oh why, can’t you turn left going south on Main onto I-75 northbound unless you get the green arrow? The line of sight isn’t a problem in the mornings or late afternoon, and it bottlenecks up. It seems to me that needs to be looked at again.

Are you listening traffic light people?

Driveway: Why do people think they can turn around in my driveway? This is a pet peeve handed down from generations of Bucher’s living in the same house in Five Oaks. But what always seems to happen is they run up on my grass. So, I placed two big rocks at each end near the street which makes it a little intimidating and many times those huge chunks of rock ends up in the street. I hope a muffler ends up out there one day, too. I know, I know. That’s awful, right? But it’s so irritating replacing the grass so many times.

Food prices: Have you ever looked at your shopping cart after you check out at the grocery? Dollars don’t go very far, do they? I remember when 100 bucks could fill a cart. I know, fuel prices to deliver goods are up, then that cost is passed on to us, but one or two bags of groceries for about 50 bucks? Wow! How do any of us make it?

OK, I have many more, but I want to hear from you. Send me what irritates you (my column excluded please) – your pet peeves – to my email here at the Dayton City Paper.

Right now I have to go because I’m writing on my laptop, I don’t have the AC unit and the battery is dying. Why can’t they make batteries that last longer?

There I go complaining again. …



For more than 25 years, “Buch”  has been a local television icon. Known and loved by thousands in the Miami Valley, his followers describe him as trust-worthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and a role model. When it comes to promoting your business, Buch has the ability to grab your customer’s attention. Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.


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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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