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11,002 Things to Be Miserable About is a list of all the reasons NOT to wake up in the morning. Ironically enough, when you put all of them under one cover, it’s actually very funny. This decidedly absurd inventory of misery is perfect for sardonic and disaffected youth, for people seeking gifts for Traumatic Event Birthdays (like twenty-one, twenty-five, thirty, forty, and, well, anything after forty), and for anyone else with an offbeat sense of humor. Enjoy. Some of the entries are pretty basic, like imitation crabmeat, student loans, and David Hasselhoff, but other entries actually include educational things, like dust mites, which make up one-third of the weight of a six-year-old pillow. See, you can laugh and learn.
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About the Author
Nick Romeo is a fiction writer and public intellectual of whom the public is not yet aware. His current day job has sunk him into a deep malaise, which he has little hope of ever escaping.
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Death Life Hitler Erectile dysfunction Hemorrhoids Used car salesmen Your face Spam (the e-mail)
Spam (the processed meat product)
Vomiting Blind dates with ugly people Getting old Dying young Victims of lead-based paint Fake English accents February Global warming Red wine hangovers The passage of time Broken condoms Dead puppies The working conditions of migrant laborers Liberal guilt Your boss The existence of other people All the books you will never read before you die Brutus Models The hydrogen bomb Monday mornings The orchestra that played as the Titanic went down Rats Family gatherings Michael Jackson's sexual proclivities Avian flu Your inner thighs Mad Cow Disease Nostril hair High Rise Cat Syndrome — a surprisingly common disorder in which urban cats, well, jump The Third World Driver's license photos Calculus The subprime mortgage crisis Punching through a cheap wall Butt acne The Mongol invasion The IRS The influenza epidemic of 1918
Wild dogs Laundry Unrequited love Unreciprocated oral sex Bread lines Vegemite Lawyers The airline industry Gas station bathrooms Trimethylaminuria — a persistent body odor that smells like rotten fish The Thirty Years War The Hundred Years War Male pattern baldness Imitation crabmeat David Hasselhoff The air quality in Beijing Asparagus Obesity The impossibility of ever really knowing another person The Spanish Inquisition The Donner Party Sweat Bedbugs Having to hear about other people's babies High heels Alarm clocks Exploding manhole covers Republicans Democrats Memoirs by people who are boring Memoirs by people who are more interesting than you Strychnine Student loans Untreated sewage The final episode of The Sopranos
Carbon monoxide poisoning Your fortieth birthday Grain alcohol The Hilton sisters TV dinners eaten alone Bifocals Credit card debt The day after Christmas Toxic mold Jock itch Idi Amin — a brutal Ugandan dictator Birds that fly into windows and die Identity theft Polyester Chlamydia Your childhood Rhinestone sunglasses Double chins Milli Vanilli The need for health inspectors Night blindness Mange Running into your ex on your way to the gym Sex after sixty Cannibalism Your children criticizing your cooking Prostate enlargement Commercials about prostate enlargement Existential nausea Actual nausea Nuclear war Drilling in polar bear habitats Oedipus Nasal irrigation Mosquito-borne diseases Olestra Computer crashes The bubonic plague Static cling Blocks full of ugly office buildings Suburban backyards that supply their owner's sense of self-worth Being unable to escape an inane conversation Dropping your fork more than once The verb "fetishize"
Men who pose for pictures with their cars Rich people with a veneer of culture Rich people without a veneer of culture Logging Standardized tests Pus Literary criticism Lethal injection Flushing the toilet, which can spray particles of fecal matter up to twenty feet Playboy bunnies Rabid dogs Salmonella Scoliosis Flossing Alien abduction Dandruff Colonoscopies Wine in a box Unplanned pregnancies Secondhand smoke Yeast infections Commercials about yeast infections Dropping off dry cleaning The global economy Children who want to be cashiers when they grow up Fake gardens in office buildings Rodent feces Computer viruses The fall of Rome Dramatic miniseries about the fall of Rome Dentures Running into old friends you would have preferred never to see again Asbestos Pesticides Broccoli NORAD Disco Boils People who order expensive things when they know you're paying Tapeworms Men with Napoleon complexes Anorexia Cellulite Pigeons West Nile Virus Lice Dust mites, which make up one-third of the weight of a six-year-old pillow Aerobics Piranhas Guar gum Spontaneous human combustion Shoulder pads Acid rain Tsetse flies The Riddler High school orchestra concerts Styrofoam Ugly bridesmaids' dresses Ugly bridesmaids Electrocution Fake silver rings that turn your fingers green Alphabetical organization Totalitarianism Artificial grape flavoring Roadkill Minivans Smallpox Freud Critics Investment bankers The nonexistence of mermaids The abduction of Helen of Troy High blood pressure Tuna noodle casserole Receiving fund-raising calls during dinner European men in Speedos Spiro Agnew Conjunctivitis The increasing rates of childhood allergies Losing your virginity to the wrong person Seabirds strangled by six-pack rings Benedict Arnold Velociraptors The meatpacking industry The meatpacking district Ruddy-cheeked heroines in Victorian novels Getting invited to your ex's wedding Library fines The weak dollar Shark attacks Gorgeous weather in Florida when you're not there Other people kissing Ashlee Simpson
The Godfather: Part III
Forgetting to change your underwear Remembering to change your underwear, then realizing none of your other underwear is clean Hangnails Scrapple Back hair In-laws The extinction of the dodo bird Crack Vanilla Ice Tropical resorts in desperately poor countries Keeping up with the Joneses The smell of subway stations Pet psychics The Great Depression Gas prices The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
People who refer to all Latinos as "Mexicans"
Checking your work e-mail from home Credit card offers Dentists Hairy toes High school Shakespeare productions Genital warts Being put on hold Dogs wearing sweaters Sausages in a can The fact that you are no longer seventeen Rabies
$800 ergonomic chairs and your inability to afford one Hope Cryogenics The Crusades Gentrification Thai prisons Poodles Emo The Energizer Bunny Your best friend losing twenty pounds Belly button lint Not knowing how to change a tire Scorpions The fact that Scandinavia has a higher rate of English literacy than the United States Waiting in line Necrophilia Being awake at 4 A.M.
Appendicitis Litigation Speed bumps People who actually pursue their childhood dreams Getting poked in the eye with somebody's umbrella Store clerks that ignore you while they talk on the phone Daylight saving time Cold grease People who put nonrecyclables in recycle bins People who put recyclables in trash cans Arthritis The Jonestown cult suicides Running out of toilet paper School lunch Pets that are accidentally left to die in hot cars Pets that are left to die in hot cars on purpose Insurance companies Dental fluorosis Jingoism Studies that show that the average father spends less than thirty minutes a week talking to his children The Malthusian catastrophe — a predicted return to subsistence living due to population growth outpacing agricultural production People who blog about their personal lives The stomach flu Sixteen-year-olds with expensive cars Having to swipe your own credit card at the grocery store Pompeii Children who misbehave in restaurants Fender benders Finding out that your lover is gay (when you're not)
Finding out that your lover is straight (when you're not)
Radiation The death of Elvis Vending machines that don't work, but take your money anyway Leg cramps The Macarena Bad pickup lines Alligators in the sewer system Inside jokes that you don't understand Futility Hollywood endings Coupons that expire before you remember to use them Hair in the shower drain The eight spiders, on average, that you eat each year in your sleep Chlorofluorocarbons Britney Spears' kids Your bank account balance Noiseless choking Small talk
Rotting elk carcasses Laughter Sunlight People who hit their children on the subway Original sin The fact that the French get six weeks of paid vacation annually The improbability of having sex with attractive strangers Times Square at rush hour Tourists who spend five minutes looking at each monument Public housing in East Berlin in the 1970s The distributions of the world's resources Twilight Bad liars Good liars The use of lingerie to revitalize failing marriages Birds that shit on you The pillage of valuable antiquities by English gentlemen Complaining The heat death of the universe The end of chivalry Twelve-year-olds who pose as sex goddesses on the internet People who refuse to admit they're gay The failure of the world to acknowledge your genius Expectations of reciprocity Self-pity Mozart's premature death at thirty-five Nepotism that doesn't benefit you Autumn Reading Beckett when you're depressed People who pretend to listen while they wait to speak Children who still believe in Santa Claus Self-indulgence Self-restraint Your grandparents' recollections of youthful hopes and passions Scalping Militant vegetarians The destruction of the library of Alexandria The lengthening of shadows in the evening Bestiality The inevitable tyranny of social institutions Clouds Waiters with delusions of grandeur Actors The impossibility of saying just what you mean Aporia Playground taunts Wagnerian sopranos Your stomach Unexamined lives Closely examined lives Retailers of copy machines Having to work late Kilts Red-bearded men who like killing babies The average American attention span Judas Lower back pain Fire alarms when there's no fire Fire alarms when there is a fire America Watching Natalie Portman movies with your wife Saggy breasts Interminable Oscar broadcasts MFA programs in creative writing Claudius Sylvia Plath and ovens The death of Socrates Evolutionary explanations of love Slow postal workers Beethoven's deafness Eye contact with mountain lions Facing-page translations of Shakespeare into modern English Marriage Divorce The obscurity of Alfred Russel Wallace, cofounder of the theory of natural selection Imperfect bladder control Public beheadings Fraternities An ammonia-scented body odor, which is a sign of liver disease People majoring in business Deriving pleasure from the misfortunes of others Transparent attempts at flattery Impalement False pleasantries Colonialism in Africa Mean people Sprawling slums of corrugated tin shacks The terror felt by children in the dark Coitus interruptus Myths in which parents unknowingly consume their children in stewed form Knowing allusions to James Joyce Sibling rivalry Blood-drenched dynastic succession struggles Euphemisms People who speak loudly in public places Arranged marriages The Second Coming Industrial waste The sinking of Venice Pacifists Determination Tired waitresses Counting calories Richard Simmons The Penguin Airborne pathogens Custody battles King Lear Manual labor The British spelling of "colour"
Compassion Temperatures at which your face hurts Slurping noises Nihilism Death in the afternoon Misquotations from the Greek Being born Rejection The doctrine of predestination Funding for the humanities The battle of Wounded Knee Freezing to death in the gutter Carbohydrates Siberia Homes that lack indoor plumbing Graves, worms and epitaphs Anthropomorphism Overly quaint pastry shops The effects of ethanol on car engines Custer's last stand Cotillions Second marriages Love Liposuction Sarcophagi Puppet theater Saying "vagina" in a nonmedical context Verdi's Requiem
The smell of feet in the summer Landed gentry Anchovies Shotgun weddings The clubbing of baby seals Wives of sailors lost at sea Mediocrity Intestinal parasites Scientologists who claim to be persecuted The noses of former boxers Cleaning products that cause cancer The Cobra Kai Theatrical political protests Jargon Cauliflower Hemorrhagic strokes Countries you've never visited and never will Sharing toothbrushes Daytime television Bureaucracy Bad credit Property taxes Propaganda that makes people go to war and die Self-expression Chapped lips Megalomania The Gaza Strip Studies showing that office workers are interrupted every three minutes, and take twenty-three minutes to get back on task Open-mic night at the local comedy club Love letters from people you don't love anymore Cyanide Psychosis The assassination of John Lennon Getting struck by lightning Migraines Root canals Hip replacements Pedophilia Not winning the lottery The vastness of the sea Commuting
"Television legs" — blood clots as a result of watching TV for too long Dead flowers The apocalypse The Dow Jones Industrial Average Cosmetics tested on rabbits Midlife crises Divas Graduate students The fact that you are reading this book People who let their dogs lick their ice cream cones Flogging Hydrochloric acid Dehydration Hyperhydration Sophomore slump Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis Expired airline miles Coronary artery calcification Vacuuming Bear markets Bear attacks Bear Stearns
"Bennifer" — the brief and highly publicized union of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez Ethics Raw beef The writers' strike Alex Mitchell, an English bricklayer who suffered a fatal heart attack from laughing too hard while watching The Goodies
Dating advice from your grandmother Public urination Botulism Cholera Hypertension Taking out the trash People who actually think that the glass is half full Getting stood up Getting stood up because your date is dead Erosion Fight-or-flight hormones Getting honked at (by geese)
Getting honked at (by motorists)
Honorable mention Cleaning the bathroom Moldy sponges Lack of closet space Inflammation The smell of nail polish remover Rotten vegetables Peeling paint Unibrows Unabombers Magazine articles that tell you your flaws are beautiful Christmas sweaters The fact that a desk has four hundred times more bacteria than a toilet Highly effective people January 24 — National Compliment Day Terror and pity Toenails The eruption of Mount St. Helens Panty thieves Arson Mexican Jumping Death Spiders Irritable bowel syndrome Tension headaches Your pants size Polio Dysthymia — a chronic depressive disorder Leaving the lights on just to increase your roommate's electricity bill Women who don't realize they're pregnant until their water breaks Dogs with banal human names The right to bear arms Girls who think any guy who's not interested in them must have a disorder, probably Asperger's Syndrome Girls who think any guy who's not interested in them must be gay Huge warehouses of expired products that were never opened Bus drivers who are a bit too happy to see the children after school Waiters who ramble on about their lives Broken dress straps Teenagers discovering the wine cellar Painfully vigorous hair brushing Having a third job Working at a restaurant that has one CD on continual loop Unsentimental estimates of how many years people have left to live Designer garbage cans People too busy to have lunch because of back-to-back meetings with their interior decorator and life coach Couples who simultaneously talk on their cell phones The moth-infested lace of antique wedding dresses Boring relatives from middle America Accidentally printing a hundred-page document when you meant to print just one page Brussels sprouts Vacations ruined by the children you shouldn't have had Automatically rejecting unfamiliar ideas Seven-year-old boys forced to have phone conversations with distant relatives The guillotine Pigs' feet Mercury levels in tuna Cellulose Getting the middle seat on an airplane The decline of the rainforests Your job Pneumonia Bullies who stuff people in trash cans Combination Christmas and birthday presents Inequity Soy bacon Ugly hats Not getting a holiday bonus Hairstyles in the '80s Hairstyles today that look like hairstyles in the '80s People who answer their cell phones in movie theaters The huddled masses yearning to be free Gingivitis Gossip Elderly parents Chairman Mao Tax breaks for wealthy people Working on Sundays Not knowing which fork to use Cuckoos Cuckolds Mephistopheles Parallel parking Monsters under the bed Forgetting other people's names Other people forgetting your name The Peloponnesian War Restaurants that charge for bread Slavery Typhoid Radon Trying to get a taxi when it's raining Men wearing toupees Capitalism Communism Macramé
Brecht The unlikelihood of your ever attending the Academy Awards The electric chair Inadequate security measures at nuclear power plants Syringes on the beach Dust Middle school band concerts Cheap gin Having to sit in the front row at the movies People who don't wear deodorant Alcohol poisoning Unbearably loud music in trendy restaurants Tear gas Jeffrey Dahmer Flat beer Cold-hearted snakes The fact that it's illegal to dance in most New York City bars The Berlin Wall People who misspell your name People who mispronounce your name Japanese encephalitis Car accidents Bad poetry Shock and awe Face lifts Solitude Company Jacobean revenge tragedies Sympathy cards Week-old lasagna
Excerpted from "11,002 Things to be Miserable About"
Copyright © 2009 Lia Romeo and Nick Romeo.
Excerpted by permission of Abrams Books.
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