Cloth scratchers really know how to make me cringe. Their fingernails dragging across their clothing trying to get through the skin…makes my teeth feel a metallic shock. It grates my flesh, piercing through to the vein and slinging through them like a bad hangover. That sound is my nails-to-chalkboard without a doubt. In fact, cloth scratching existed far before the loud crunching pet-peeve and the leaving drawers or cabinets open pet-peeve. I would venture to say that cloth scratchers inhabited the pet-peeve list prior to over-the-shoulder computer lurkers, name mis-pronouncers, meeting ruminators, dis-chivalrous male commuters, and never-ending automated prompts.
The first time I was crippled by cloth scratching was around 1985 when my then three-year old brother lifted his arms to the red-drooping fabric of mom’s Mercury Cougar and slid his fingernails across it. His little maniacal laughter didn’t come near searing my eardrums like the sound of the cloth beneath his nails…it caused my nerves to ball up into the fetal position and beg for mercy.
This cloth-scratching pet peeve could very well be my weirdest pet peeve…could even be the weirdest pet peeve in the world.