Christmas - the season of good will to all mankind or is it? Not if you read the following articles it isn't.
8 minutes 22 seconds is how long the average Briton will wait before loosing his or her rag (temper), according to a new survey. The 'Point Of Impatience' as the broadband provider Talk Talk calls it, arrives after 3 minutes 38 seconds if you're waiting for a website to load, 5 minutes 4 seconds if you're holding on the phone, 5 minutes 6 seconds if you're watching the kettle as it boils (as you do. PW) and 1 minute 3 seconds after Simon Cowell (a man we 'love to hate'. PW) opens his big mouth.
OK so the last statistic probably isn't true but the survey did also show the following .......
It takes 8 minutes 38 seconds if you're waiting to be served in a restaurant, 10 minutes 1 second if you're waiting for friends to show up, 10 minutes 43 seconds if you're waiting in for a tradesman, and 13 minutes 16 seconds if you're waiting for a reply to a voicemail or text.
So what happens beyond this so-called Point Of Impatience?
37% cancel a service, 38% demand to speak to the manager, 27% start shouting, 26% slam down the phone, 14% walk out, and 3% throw something across the room.
And it's getting worse. Most of us admit to reaching boiling point faster than before, with 'frustrated youngsters' almost five times more likely to get physical as the over 45's.
Certainly well beyond the Point Of Impatience were these two neighbours who now face a £160,000 legal bill.
A row over six square metres of front garden cost a battling neighbour about £160,000 in legal costs.
A COUNTY COURT judge ruled last year that the plot, which is home to a few shrubs between two driveways, belonged to (we'll call him) 'A.' Not happy with the decision, his neighbour 'B' took the case to the COURT OF APPEAL where he was unsuccessful again, and was ordered to pay the costs of the whole action.
One side's legal bill was estimated at £70,000 after the county court hearing, and the appeal court case is expected to add £10,000 on each side.
All of that money spent on a mere six square metres. Was it really worth all that arguing over?
And talking of arguing there's been a fair amount of that happening at the World Pie Eating Championships.
The world pie eating championships proved once again to be a controversy-strewn battleground as the sole woman competitor stormed out and officials banned gravy after rumours of doping with cough mixture.
Drama also engulfed Harry's Bar in Wigan, the contest venue, as the owner entered a protest against the exclusion of Wigan pies in favour of rivals from nearby but 'foreign' Adlington.
"We were stunned," said one of the town's local pie-munching favourites. "My mate and I have been practising for weeks on small soft Wigan pies, and at the last minute, they've substituted these monsters." (For the full version of this saga click HERE).
And finally, ROAD RAGE. Said to be on the increase, and though thankfully rare, there have even been reports of people being killed as a result of it. Is this traffic light the answer then?
Among the winners of this years Red Dot Design Awards one concept is catching the imagination of the online gadget community: the EKO traffic light. Damjan Stankovic's design is much like any other stop light except for one crucial difference - it incorporates a progress bar so you can work out how long you'll have to wait.
A good idea or bad? Thinking of some of the other places that have similar gadgets (the x-ray department of our local hospital, a post office which, OK, doesn't tell you how long you'll have to wait, just the number of people in front of you) I'm trying to think if this makes the waiting any easier and therefore increases the length of time before we reach our own personal Point Of Impatience or not. Probably not but it does give us something else to moan about which might, just might, take our minds off how long we've ben waiting. - at least for a while.
All today's newspaper articles were edited versions courtesy of the Guardian.