A FEW of us were at someone's house the other night when the phone rang.
It rang, and it rang, and then, not content with that, it rang some more.
"Aren't you going to answer that?" one of us asked.
The host glanced at his caller ID. "No need," he said crisply. "I know who it is."
It turns out a Scottish company has been phoning him for more than a year now, trying in vain to interest him in its services. In the early days of the relationship he typed its number into an online reverse phone directory and discovered it was one of those serial-offender companies that plague people with unwanted phone calls.
In a way, you have admire the company's finely calibrated persistence. Dozens and dozens of calls to one number, never answered nor even acknowledged. Undaunted, it will no doubt keep on ringing back once a day until the end of time, or until my friend finally cracks and picks up the receiver, whichever comes first.
I don't know where nuisance calls rank in your own hate-list but they seem to have a lot of competition.
Only yesterday, Which? reminded us of another of those maddeningly pointless little inventions to go along with cold-calling and junk mail.
Millions of people suffer from "wrap rage" - the kind of blind, unreasoning anger caused by their inability to open a package protected by moulded plastic.
Some people have even been known to use Stanley knives, razor blades or even hammers to prise open the packaging.
Even the humble tin can causes injuries to an estimated one million of us every two years, forcing us to go to our GP or local A&E.
For me the worst nuisance is junk email. It's like Japanese knotweed: take your eye off it for a second and it's everywhere.
The inbox is bad enough but the spam box is worse: loans companies, betting companies, injury-claim specialists, insurance companies, bingo companies, fraudulent warnings from phishing specialists. 'Russell!" the subject fields yell, "easily borrow £1000 to £15,000 .... Join and get an amazing 88 freeplay offer!...Your account has been credited with £5!"
I've deleted them all, except for the one inviting me to "Calculate your potential injury compensation now!" Just in case, you know, I get injured trying to open some moulded plastic with a Stanley knife one day ...
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.