Time to empty out the hopper of pet peeves that have been building up:

Is there anything worse than the dog eating your remote? We tried pressing on his sides to change channels but it was too much work. Finally, we bought a “universal” remote. Now there’s a big black square in the middle of the screen. It’s discouraging enough to make you quit watching TV altogether.

One of the reasons we couldn’t get rid of the black square is that the TV has some four-digit access code. Aren’t you sick of codes and passwords that keep you from accessing your own electronic devices?

Well, if we aren’t going to watch TV, we might have to talk to someone. Lately, I’ve been noticing there are people out there, who are just waiting for you to stop talking, so they can disagree. These people are full-time devil’s advocates and they get on my nerves. Why don’t they try trotting out an idea so I can shoot it down?

Or, maybe they’re waiting for your mouth to stop moving so they can tell their own story. Dueling stories ” this is not conversation. Conversation involves asking questions and commenting on what the other person said. C’mon people, we already know our own fascinating history, let’s explore someone else’s.

And let’s limit the sarcasm and eye rolling. I don’t know why people think sarcasm and put-downs are substitutes for humor. Maybe they’re influenced by the insult comedy they see on TV. If you want to be funny, try using wit.

Also, if you say you’re going to do something, do it. I think we can all agree that the most maddening human behavior of all is making false promises.

I happen to believe in controlling the flow of information. My number one rule is not to tell someone bad news, if they’re in no position to do anything about it. I mean, if they’re vacationing in Hawaii, there’s no point in telling them the dog ate their remote.

I know hate is a strong word but there’s this woman I can’t stand. She has a pleasant enough voice but every time I hear her talk it makes my blood boil with impatience. This is what she says: “To leave a voice message press 1 or just wait for the tone. To send a numeric message press 2 now. At the tone record your voice message. When you have finished recording you may hang up or press 1 for more options.” Hey, lady, all I want is the beep! And unless the options include a trip to Hawaii stop telling me about them!

Speaking of impatience, didn’t that IDOT traffic signal work on Des Plaines take forever? Well, I guess the left turn lanes are worth the wait.

Bicyclists should pedal in the same direction as traffic and pedestrians should make sure the light is green before crossing. Didn’t we all learn this as kids?

Lastly, are the White Sox trying to kill off their fan base with heart attacks? I’m having flashbacks to their fatal collapse in 1964. I know their slogan is “Win or Die Trying” but are we supposed to also die watching?

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.