What grinds my gears 3/4/20 (Public bathrooms, VeggieTales and talking hair color)


Katelyn Vargas, Sophie Fowler, and Samantha Dickerson

“What Grinds My Gears…” is a new series here at The Seahawk in which our writers talk about things that bother us but are not quite big enough deals to warrant a full opinion article. These are not world-changing issues—no, we are talking about small annoyances.

For example:

Stop hogging the public bathrooms! (Katelyn Vargas, Staff Writer)

I cannot count how many times I have gone to use the restroom at a restaurant, or any public place for that matter, and another person is taking up the stall for no reason. If you want to be unsanitary and use your phone in the bathroom, can you at least do it at your own home or not when there is a line of people waiting for you to finish your business? Fine, maybe they do not care that they are inconveniencing a few adults that can most likely control their bladders, but if you hear a child saying, “I’m going to have an accident! I really have to go!” and continue to hog up the stall, there is a special place for people like that. The amount of germs in public restrooms are so overwhelming, and to put those germs all over the phone that you put on your face and hands…ya nasty. That is a whole other issue on its own, but before we get off on this detour, wash your hands, please. Now back to hogging bathrooms: do not do it. It is inconsiderate, and public bathrooms are not your home away from home, so do what you have to do and leave.

The need for authentic vegetable representation (Sophie Fowler, Contributing Writer)

Many of us grew up with fond memories of the iconic children’s home entertainment series VeggieTales. We laughed at the unforgettable skits and we knew the silly songs by heart. But what most of us did not take into account in our early years is the blatant and demoralizing mislabeling of fruits as vegetables. This is a major issue that I believe many to this day are still unaware of, are silent on or deny vehemently. However, the evidence is glaring. Take for instance Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato. These two have posed for years as vegetables, never making a comment on their appropriation of the vegetable kind. Throughout the series and movies in the franchise, Larry or Bob or both get the most fame, screen time and best content to work with. Their vegetable privilege on the show needs to be acknowledged so that future talking-food-show-for-children creators will be aware of the problem and be encouraged to create main characters that actually uphold the title’s implied subject matter. And this is not to say fruits cannot appear on the show; it is that we the fruits should not be in leading and monopolizing roles under such a title and that we stop labeling those who “look” like vegetables as such. Often audiences look skin- or peel-deep at the food and do not ask further questions about this warped representation. We as a society are at fault as we do not properly teach our children at a young age to not assume anything, especially if a food is a vegetable. It is 2020 already. I encourage our generation to be the one that exposes such chronic and degrading issues to the public. It is time to stop giving the vegetable label to others who are not entitled to it.

Middle age+ people that point out an “unnatural hair color” (Samantha Dickerson, Editor-in-Chief)

I generally do not like it when people rudely comment on how others are dressed or how they present themselves and try to make them feel inferior because of it. Aside from the fact that it is detrimental to someone’s mental well-being to criticize how they present themselves openly in a public form, it is also incredibly rude to voice your opinion on someone’s style choices when you were not asked. It particularly ticks me off when I see a person above the age of 40 comment on someone below the age of 30 with an “unnatural hair color.” If someone wants to dye their hair fluorescent orange and you do not know that person, it is perfectly fine for you to keep your opinion to yourself. Unless someone asks for your honest opinion, no one wants it. The same goes for every other style choice “young” people make.