You're a good person. I can tell this about you already. You're kind to your neighbours and the people you work with say nice things about you when you're not around. At Halloween, you give out the best candy and the local children will attack anyone who tries to throw eggs at your house. It's obvious that you are not any of the annoying people listed below, who really need to be told just how annoying they really are.
1. "The Book Was Better" Person. This particular jackass appears whenever someone proclaims to have just enjoyed a movie based upon a popular novel. If you happen to be walking out of the local cineplex, whether it be the Harry Potter series or even the latest Stephen King flick, this person will insist on letting you know "the book was better". This is that person's way to be pompous and brag about the fact that he probably reads more than you do. If you are that person, here's a newsflash: the book is almost always better than the movie. We already know. That's just a given. A book is hundreds of pages and a movie is two hours. Plus, when you read a book, you essentially create a movie in your head. Of course you think your movie is better than the one that was actually made. So, yeah, the book is better. If the movie was always better than the book, there wouldn't be books. More importantly, please know that no one is impressed with how much you read.
2. Professor "The New Version Sucks". This special doctor shows up whenever he sees someone enjoying any kind of remake, especially a cover tune by a popular band. You see, he's cooler than everyone else because he's aware that there was another band who did the song first, and everyone knows that automatically means the new version is lousy... especially in music. He gets extra snide if the new version sells better than the old version. See, that means it really sucks. Does he ever like a remake? Yes, but only when no one else has ever heard of it. This also includes the person who scolds you for watching an English remake of any movie originally made in another language. He's seen the original Swahili version of Fast and Furious 6, and the one made in Hollywood pales in comparison.
3. The "That Band Sucks Now That They're Popular" Fan. This guy wants you to know that bands are never cool once they decide they want to earn a livable wage. If some band finds success, learns to actually write music, and somehow gets a platinum album, this person will turn his back on them completely and call everyone who likes them a "Poseur". He'll let you know that the only "True Fans" of that band are the people who illegally downloaded their badly-recorded demo that is awkward and clumsy and has nonexistent production values. If the members of a band want more than to play to 60 people while living in a van, they're sellouts and have no talent. He's always a contrarian, and the only Van Halen member he likes is Gary Cherone.
4."Cell Phone Screamer". You're in line at a coffee shop or sitting on a subway. The guy behind you decides to show the people around him how important he is by speaking so loudly to the person on the other end of his cell phone that he probably could have just opened the window and shouted across town. Sure, it's the 21st century and he's screaming into a piece of equipment with a button on it that controls the volume. But that technology ignores self-importance. It's much preferable for him to stand in a quiet area and scream into the receiver as if he were using a tin can with a string attached to it.
5. The "SNL Isn't Funny Anymore" Critic. At some point while visiting the water cooler, you might hear a co-worker talking about a particularly funny sketch she saw on Saturday Night Live. That's when this particular nimrod shows up to proclaim to everyone that SNL hasn't been funny since the original cast. This often-repeated line seems to be said nowadays because, well... you're just supposed to say it. But here's the deal: In over 30 years on TV, it most certainly has been as funny. In fact, it's often been hilarious. And yet still people show up all the time proclaiming "SNL isn't funny anymore, and it hasn't been in years." Moments later, this same person will freely admit that he hasn't even watched the show since Anthony Michael Hall left the cast. But, you know, he's decided that it sucks.
It's highly likely that you're not any of the aforementioned five annoying people. If you are, there's still hope for you, my friends. Put down that book, turn off the original version of "The Pina Colada Song", and go watch The Shawshank Redemption. Then come outside and tell everyone how much better that movie was than the book.
Ward Anderson is one half of the talk radio show "Ward and Al", which can be heard weekday mornings on SiriusXM satellite radio, channel 167. His first novel will be published in spring 2014. He hopes there's a movie version and that it's just as good.