There are always little things that people do that faintly irritate others. So faintly that they barely register, and are certainly not worth mentioning in mixed company. To casually do so would suggest a petty and neurotic nature, and who wants that? But this is a Saturday morning and very little is going on. Remember Holden Caulfield sitting on that bus and noticing the way a guy is trying to hide that he’s picking his nose? We all think this stuff.

I inwardly flinch (i.e., not so you’d notice) whenever I see a cluster of eight or ten people standing or walking together. It’s ever-so-vaguely threatening and it invites a faint feeling of contempt. The herd instinct is one of the lowest imaginable behaviors, connoting fear and/or uncertainty and a general lack of Gary Cooper-like qualities. I’ve always rebelled, even when I was five, against the idea of huddling with any group, for any reason. I would huddle for warmth, I suppose, but that hasn’t happened yet and what are the odds at this stage?

I also don’t care for anyone who takes little baby sips out of a bottle of any liquid. I’m talking about raising a bottle for no more than a second and sipping maybe half a jigger’s worth of beer or Coke or whatever. I scowl ever so slightly when I see this. Actors always baby-sip, perhaps having been taught this in acting school. (Or because they don’t want to take 15 or 20 man-swigs should the director ask for that many takes.) I only know that it looks spazzy. If you’re going to sip something, do it like Bill Murray would, with a certain leisurely cool. Don’t be weird or herky-jerky. Tilt your head back and sip a little more slowly and allow a little more liquid — a healthy half-mouthful, say, or roughly two jiggers worth — to slide in and be savored. Now that I’ve written this it’s going to be all the harder to deal with baby-sippers.