The All “What Am I Missing?” List

The universe would be a boring place if everyone liked and disliked the same things. Even so, it’s hard not to look at certain popular people, places, food, events and media and wonder, “What am I missing?”

If so many people adore something I don’t, is something wrong with me? Maybe, maybe not, probably yes. After all, I’m about to judge stuff when my only real interests include fantasy sports, Game of Thrones and random rambling that nobody will read.

Fair warning: This list is all over the place. I’m neutral to some, dismayed at others, and some complaints will sound like Abe Simpson yelling at clouds. And if I’ve acknowledged a passion of yours, don’t take it personally, dear imaginary reader. With exception to the second-last inclusion, perhaps I’ll grow to see the light.

 

Horse Racing

Do the horses know they’re racing? Are they happy when they emerge victorious and downtrodden when they fall short? Do they have any idea that they’re winning or losing? Was American Pharoah just trying to get jockey Victor Espinoza off his ass the whole time while winning the Triple Crown?

Better yet, how has horse racing not yet run into intensified Internet outrage over whipping animals for sport? And in a world where he have the technology to fly across the world through the fricken sky, how is riding a horse still a captivating sport? When you’re a step down from NASCAR, you’re not in the best shape.

 

Friends

The TV sitcom, not the concept of human companionship. I have a confession: I’m just now working my way around to watching Friends. Filling a cavernous pop-culture gap, I’m roughly midway through the second season, and I’m not sure why I keep watching.

It’s fine. A warm, easy watch that offers some silly chuckles and moments of greater substance every now and then. But likes its modern successor, How I Met Your Mother, it’s a solid comedy that wouldn’t sneak its way into my favorites list.

Perhaps I’m too spoiled by newer lightning-fast joke factories like 30 Rock and Veep to go back to a multi-cam, laugh-track 90s sitcom. And perhaps Community and Bojack Horseman have widened my appetite for weirder and darker humor. Who knows how I’d feel if I had watched Friends earlier.

Right now, Ross is annoying and kind of a jerk. His interest in Rachel comes of as creepy infatuation rather than love. Joey is slimy, but every friend ensemble has one of those. Chandler has just made quips in the background for all but two or three of the episodes I’ve seen so far. Monica’s “I’m already in my mid-20s and I’m not even married with children” shtick feels especially outdated. And boy is Phoebe dumb. The writers eventually give her a brain, right?

Also, Ross is way too handsy with Monica. Dude, stop touching your sister so much.

 

Friends

The concept of human companionship, not the TV sitcom. I’m sure other people are great and all, but I just never learned how to form and maintain relationships with other human beings. Oh well!

 

T-Shirt Tosses

Who has ever worn an oversized T-shirt advertising some plumbing company that they procured (for free!) at a sporting event? When a person dressed as an animal about to pass out from overbearing heat starts tossing out clothing, why does everyone collectively lose their minds as if the fabric contains the secret to happiness or the cure to every disease?

(Note: I wanted to include the clip when Marge Simpson responded to “Who wants a T-Shirt?” with “I do! Wait…I don’t” and sat down, but I couldn’t find it.)

 

Not Putting Back Weights in Proper Spot At Gym

Were all those matching games from childhood for naught? Surely it’s not hard for an adult to know that 25-pound dumbbells belong in the designated area labeled with the 25 numeral. (Yeah I know I’m a weakling. Shut up.) Not only do people mess this up, they mess it up all the time.

This is bothering me so much that I recently spent two minutes rearranging all the disorganized dumbbells. Even though it didn’t affect the weights I was using in any way. Maybe I’m the nut in that scenario, but I genuinely don’t understand how a grown person can bungle this easy task. This isn’t even an attack on lazy jerks who just leave weights on the ground, but people who fail at matching a number with its equal.

 

Italian Food

It seems like there isn’t a culture’s cuisine more universally adored, and I don’t care for any of it. Well, besides pizza. I’m not a monster.

 

Kevin Hart

This is Dane Cook all over again. Kevin Hart has somehow parlayed running around the stage and wailing his arms around into a wildly successful stand-up career, which he has further transitioned into movies. Movies in which people pay money to see him act in a leading role.

I’m sure Cook and Hart are perfectly nice dudes. Maybe they’re the funniest guys in their respective group of friends, the life-of-the-party types who loosen the mood and always find their way at the center of the crowd’s attention. But neither tells particularly funny jokes with actual punchlines. Isn’t that how comedy usually works?

 

Hashtags

Admittedly, this is the most grumpy of all of these. Ranting against hashtags is meant for 54-year-olds, not a 24-year-old who writes for a sports website typifying new-age media, but nothing irks me more than the overuse of these unnecessary space-fillers.

They look atrocious, and 90 percent of the time they add nothing to the conversation. It’s especially irritating when someone uses them with reckless abandon. Really, are the “#Mets falling in #NLEast because of their injuries #Wright #Murphy #dArnaud #NoOffense #SMH #ImDyingontheInside”? What did hashtags add to that jumbled mess? Use your words. Actual English words.

#IKnowIJustSaidIDislikeDaneCookButIListenedToHimonComedyBangBangOneTimeAndWasPleasantlySurprised #HeCameoffAsGenuinelySincereAndILeastStartedToRespectHimMoreAsAPersonCommittedtoHisCraft #HostScottAukermanMadeAGoodPointAboutWelcomingHimOn #BecauseWhoIsHetoJudgeAndSayAnExtremelyPopularComedianHasNoMeritBecauseSomePeopleDontCareForHim #CookStillIsntForMeButImSurePlentyofPeopleCantStandLouisCK #ResentingAnybodysSuccessisAPettyAndDarkWaytoLiveSoCongratsDane #ThisIsIncrediblyToughtoTypeIRegretCapitalizingEachFirstWordButItWouldHaveBeenEvenTougherToReadOtherwise #IfYoureStillReadingGiveYourselfAHandHellGoRewardYourselfWithaCookieYouDeserveItChamp #YOLO

 

Confederate Flags

As a Knicks fan, I can somewhat relate to people refusing to give up on the Confederacy. Both are terrible losers hanging on to misguided principles for far too long–it’s goinking pretty well for the Warriors, Phil. Both are embarrassments to humanity, but I still wear Knicks shirts despite their awfulness. Especially the one with the 90s lineup (Starks, Houston, Johnson, Oakley and Ewing) in 8-bit. Love that shirt.

But if James Dolan decided to force his black players into unpaid labor, I’m 99.99 percent sure I’d stop wearing Knicks apparel. If they joined forces with the Eastern Conference in hopes of not paying black players, only to get their asses kicked by the Western Conference (especially when LeBron switches side to the West. Good lucky Delly!) and get banished from the NBA, I’m 100 percent sure I’d shamefully bury any evidence of every cheering for the Knicks and buy myself a Stephen Curry jersey.

I wouldn’t be caught dead representing the losing side of a shameful moment in NBA history. Hell, I wouldn’t even wear that 8-bit shirt, and that’s my favorite god damn shirt.

 

Workaholics

This is the most perplexing entry on the list to me. Hell, it’s probably my inspiration for making the list. Everyone around me with similar taste in TV enjoys Workaholics. The stars keep popping up on several of my favorite shows–Blake Anderson appeared on Community, Arrested Development and Parks and Recreation. They’re clearly highly regarded among fellow comedy nerds, so what am I missing?

From what I’ve seen, it’s an uneven, inconsistent attempt at replicating It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia with millennial stoners instead of raging alcoholics. It just didn’t do it for me. When I saw an episode that intrigued me, I’d get quickly disappointing by the next, pushing me right back to square one.

Hey, we all don’t have to like the same things. But when it comes to Workaholics, I just can’t shake the feeling that I must be missing something. Maybe one day down the road I’ll find it while giving it another chance.

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