Pet hates. Everybody has them. Those trivial things that have the ability to immediately put you in a bad mood. Maybe it’s the way that creepy Uncle Jeffrey licks his lips before giving you a kiss? Or perhaps you hate it when strangers in the bank queue randomly start talking to you in an attempt to pass the time? Often it is something so small that other people don’t even notice, but regardless of what it is, a pet-hate is a guaranteed way of rubbing a person up the wrong way.
Personally, I have a number of pet-hates. I can’t stand it when people use apostrophes in the wrong places, I get irked when my name is mispronounced, and don’t even get me started on women who insist on wearing hair scrunchies! But there is one thing that annoys me above all others: baby-on-board signs. What is their purpose exactly? Why should we drive more carefully because a baby is in the car? Does the owner of said sign believe that their child’s life is more important than anyone else’s? And why is it that 9 times out of 10, a person who is driving like a moron has a baby-on-board sign stuck on their back windscreen? Needless to say, every time I see a car pronouncing that “Little Tyler Is On Board!”, I immediately feel irritable and subject whatever poor, unsuspecting passengers are in my car at the time, to a rant pretty similar to the contents of this paragraph.
I realise that this hatred of mine probably seems irrational to you, but that in itself is the true nature of a pet-hate. Everybody who knows me well is very familiar with how I feel about these signs – thus making me a prime target for a practical joke. My sister, who lives in Johannesburg, flew down for the weekend to surprise my mom (and to torment me). She, being well aware of my little pet-hate, decided it would be funny to stick a “Baby In Car!” sign on my back windscreen without telling me. So oblivious Karen gets into her car, looks into the rear-view mirror as she prepares to reverse, sees said sign and yells “What the hell is THAT!?!!!”, bolts from car, grabs the offending sign, and shoves it into her cubby-hole...where it has been ever since!
So although baby-on-board signs are still my number one pet-hate, at least now I can have a quiet chuckle to myself whenever I see one. And I have a great story to tell whenever someone opens my cubby-hole and asks me why I have a “Baby In Car!” sign inside.