I’ve been called a lot of things in almost a quarter-century in this business, some of which is actually fit for print.

I’ve also watched people come up with “gentle” ways to describe me, mostly because they’re trying to avoid eye contact or are hoping to steer clear of the poisoned pen’s target. I’ve heard things like “crabby” or “cynical” bandied about, mostly as a way to dodge coming out with calling me a “jerk” or a “misanthrope” right to my face. In my college days, I wore a cardigan sweater some chuckleheads coined “The Grumpy Old Man Sweater,” which apparently meant I only wore it when I was in a bad mood.

Come to think of it, I wore that sweater a lot in the evenings.

Truth is, I’m mostly just angry. To lift the line that Family Guy’s patriarch Peter Griffin made famous in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island, there’s a lot of things that just “grind my gears.” I hate a lot of things.

I mean, I really hate a lot of things. I’m not familiar with the concepts of happy summers, happy holidays or happy birthdays. Like the big guy in the red suit who somehow stuffs that cookie-filled frame down a chimney billions of times over in a single night, in a single trip around the globe, none of it really exists. If they did, somebody somewhere — a family member, your boss, an ex-girlfriend — wouldn’t constantly be screwing everything up for you.

And because it’s summer, and because you’re probably on vacation doing something amazing and posting about it on the Facebook so you can build the illusion that your vacation is better than everybody else’s (#MeTime), let’s curtail that enthusiasm just a tad.

In no particular order, a list of things I hate right now:

• The Red Sox.

• The Red Sox front office.

• The Red Sox bullpen.

Look, Matt Barnes isn’t the problem. He’s been put in a situation where it’s impossible for him to do anything but fail. He was stellar last season in the role he was built for, not in whatever cockamamie “closer by committee” garbage Alex Cora and Dave Dombrowski thought would work this time around.

• Robert Kraft.

• Soccer teams that win 13-0 and celebrate every goal like it was the greatest athletic achievement in the history of history.

• The Yankees.

• Torey Krug.

• The ESPY Awards.

This “esteemed” sports awards show gave an award to a professional wrestler this week, in a category only one professional wrestling promotion was eligible for, for a “moment” that was scripted. This show has also highlighted LeBron James, Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez over its 30-year run. Without a ceremony like this digging deep to unearth true athletic inspiration, how would we ever know anything about guys like these???

• Work.

• Bosses.

• Co-workers.

• Policies.

• Politics.

• Summer vacations.

• People who go on summer vacation.

• People who go on summer vacation and post entire photo albums on Facebook from said vacation.

• People who go on summer vacation and post updates at 30-minute intervals on Twitter of each time they eat, walk, nap, crack a beer, stand on a sandy beach or find themselves stranded in an airport. (Listen up: the rest of us don’t care. We’re busy working in the 95-degree humidity while you’re gone.)

• Cats.

• Country music stadium festivals.

• Grayson Allen.

• Hot takes.

• Sports columns.

• Cats.

I’m not sure, but I think I already mentioned this one. Either way, it’s probably worth mentioning twice.

• Tom Brady.

• Concussion water.

• When people use the term “concussion protocol” incorrectly.

• Steroid cheats.

• Steroid cheats who are never called out for it.

See also: Julian Edelman.

• Number retirement ceremonies.

When number retirement ceremonies are called “jersey retirement ceremonies.” Seems to me the jersey itself was retired years ago, or at least for the good of hygiene and odor everywhere it better have been.

• Racist nicknames.

• The NFL Draft.

• The NBA Draft.

• Coverage of the NFL and NBA drafts.

• Manchester United.

• People who say they like brutal honesty, then flip out when you give it to them.

• Winter.

• Spring.

• Fall.

• Mud season.

This might be Maine’s greatest contribution to The Weather Channel annually, which isn’t saying a lot considering it’s like Christmas Eve for black flies and mosquitoes.

• Summer.

• The end of summer.

• Salad as a sorry excuse for a meal.

• Losing.

I also hate the fact that there’s no good way to end a column like this.


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