A book by Thomas McKeon


For the past several years, in December, I’ve posted a list of rants called “The Festivus ‘Airing of Grievances’ Project.” The idea started when a coworker started posting three positive thoughts online each day, and was admittedly running out of ideas, when another coworker bet me that I couldn’t post at least three negative thoughts each day. I did and referenced Festivus after one of my favorite “Seinfeld” episodes. Many seemed to enjoy the posts while others joined my suicide watch. Each year since, people have asked for more so it’s become kind of a painful, anti-holiday tradition.

This book is a compilation of some of those rants, with a few new ones added as I’m not quite right with the world.

If just one person gets just a little something out of this book, then of course I would consider it to be an abysmal failure. Hey, I need to move some units here people.



Copyright © 2017 by Thomas McKeon

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Memory Foam mattresses with amnesia: I’ve been trust falling back into an ever-deepening tempur crater each night for the better part of 5 years. In the morning I’m stuck like a physically-stunning Greek statue impressed in its custom-cut, protective foam shipping container.


Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

Telemarketers: Calls always come in during dinner or while putting the kids to bed. [Ring, Ring]…”Hello?”….First a pause…then a click and then…”Hello, Mr…MaKennon? How are ya doin’ today sir?” If there is ever a time for the kids to learn curse words from me it’s in this involuntary, Tourette-ian-like moment. “Go F$ck Yourself!” [slam!] “Who was that, Dad?” Recovering, then deflecting “Ah…it was Santa…I doubt he’s coming now.” “BWaaaaahh!”

Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

80s-90s Sitcoms: Every show has a fat, stupid husband and a hot, mean-spirited wife who always catches him doing something wrong. The reality is that sometimes the hot wife doesn’t catch the husband.

Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

How about the Local Nightly News doing away with the stupid teasers?: “Who’s trying to kill your children while you sleep?… Tune in at Eleven.”

    – Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

Caillou: Every time I hear that deranged Charlie-Brown-lookin’ kid giggle I want to go on a killing rampage.

Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

Vitamin x is good for you; [10 Years later] Vitamin x causes cancer; [15 years later] Some Vitamin x is good for some people some of the time…maybe…if you’re French.

Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

Lifetime Channel: Always “one woman’s struggle” against the tyranny of men.

Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

Movie “reboots” as they’re called now: Not a remake but a different story, actors and characters from a movie of the same name but trying to capitalize on the success of the original. The newer “Karate Kid” was about a kid learning Kung Fu. I think I’ll make a movie about a trade embargo and call it “Star Wars.” Oh wait, that was Star Wars: Episode 1.

    – Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

America’s Funniest Home Video (AFV) is one of my kids’ favorite shows but they may as well rename it “America’s Fathers Getting Whacked in the Crotch (AFWC).” Every show you’ll see some unsuspecting male, minding his own business in the corner of the TV screen holding a rope to a piñata, and on the other side of the screen some sugared-up kid spinning around like the Tasmanian Devil with a baseball bat. You know what happens next. I’ve seen it so often on this show that after the first two frames of a scene and I know instantly which blunt object is going hit whose nether region. When I watch my own home videos I half expect an errant fungo to come spinning into the frame and nail me in the tenders. Which reminds me, I need a new cup.

    – Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

I’m not a coffee snob by any means but Starbucks coffee is just bitter battery acid. I really want to like it. I like the stores, located everywhere, with their soothing adult-contemporary music and inviting, cozy decor. And the people working there always seem friendly and happy. Yet, every time I drink their coffee, I get a look on my face like I’m chewing on a wasp and I end up buckling over with massive cramping, desperately begging passers-by for an epidural until I eventually collapse to my knees in agony, eyes cocked skyward and arms stretched out wide, as I shriek out to the heavens “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?!” You know, as I read this back, I think I just have an ulcer.

Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

Charlie Brown Christmas tree: It’s always bothered me that the tree Charlie Brown picked out was all bare and branchy but when the gang fixes it up, with a flurry of arms and ornaments, it’s suddenly full and festive. I don’t think it’s the same tree. It’s obvious to me now they swapped out the tree using some kind of animation trickery but freezing the DVD down frame by frame I still can’t see how they pulled off the switch. The point, I thought, that there was beauty in the gangly tree and not that they can make it look good & normal with enough tinsel and ornaments. What kind of message does that send to the nation’s trees?

    – Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

Jägermeister: Oh dark, vile seepage from Hell’s septic tank, what havoc you hath wrought lo these many years. Faces–nay, the fabric of space-time itself–disfigure from a mere molecule of your wretched stench. I curse you in the name of all that is holy.


Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

When politicians feign outrage at any misstep made by the opposing side, no matter how small. “Perhaps the good Senator from Illinois would care to explain why his car did not come to a complete stop at that stop sign on the corner of Grant and Main last Thursday afternoon. If he doesn’t follow the rules of the road, who knows what OTHER rules he’s bending. The American people deserve an answer!” Politicians have to be thick-skinned to reach office so the “outrage charade” they put on just to drum up controversy is insulting to both sides and a huge time waster.

Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

Decent computer printers are now under $100 but their ink cartridges cost at least that much, paid out every two months. And imagine what 3D printer “cartridges” will cost when they catch on. Forget drugs, we need a War on the Ink Cartels.

Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

Basketball players, especially pro basketball players, who need to slap everyone’s hand between free throws. Do they really need constant reassurance like that? What are they, aging Hollywood actresses? “Hey Shaq, we believe in you man…(side of the mouth) even though you just chucked that first free throw over the backboard.”

Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

At the beginning of the stop-motion classic “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” Kris Kringle and the elves pronounce the family matriarch’s name as “Tawn-ta” but when Kris is older, and Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney takes over the voice, he pronounces her name “Tan-ta.” I’m sure the producers were too afraid to correct Mr. Rooney and we are forever stuck with this blatant disregard for continuity. Jules Bass and/or Arthur Rankin Jr: Each year we are all reminded of your cowardice and we will never forgive you. Never!

 – Grievances, by Thomas McKeon

Purchase Options

A few bucks for a lotta laughs






“Been following the Airing of Grievances project for a while now, so great to finally have all these nuggets of misanthropy in one handy volume. The nuggets (not sure what else to call them) are always spot on and I find myself shouting “I KNOW, RIGHT!!!!!” frequently.

The pictures are a nice add. Tom obviously has no compunctions about using child labor, and that’s reassuringly un-PC. Also this seems cynically targeted at the pre-Christmas present buying market which is a chilling reminder of the author’s cold, calculating mind.

Highly recommended.”

James M.

“Bought one for the family party this year.

PLAN: going to drunkenly scream out a page number every time someone brings up politics….

let the good times roll”

Kathleen L.

“I purchased several copies and everyone has enjoyed them so far!! Standing in the back of Christmas Eve mass my mind wandered to the comment in the book about Christmas and Easter PSLs – too funny and on target. Easy read to pick up and put down- a good laugh to be had on every page. Looking forward to reading more of this author’s works – and hoping that he gets the attention of Hollywood.”
Kathy G

“Tom McKeon has an amazing sense of humor. His writing style is dry, on point, and incredibly relatable. It’s almost Seinfeldian in nature. I’d like to see this not just in print but transformed into television or big screen. He certainly has his next job cut out for him but I know he can tackle it. Can’t wait for version two. Hope I don’t have to hold out till next Christmas.”
Carrie S.

“Hilarious! We purchased several for friends and family as gifts! Nothing but great positive reactions! I suggest this for all who appreciate good humor! Looking forward to the next one! :)”
Cami H.

“Funny nightstand read! –  I’m not sure who recommended this book to me, but I would like to thank him. Grievances is an enjoyable quick read that lightens the mood after a stressful day. The author’s rants, (some of them), hit too close to home; it makes me feel like I know the guy.”

Joe R.

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“McKeon has a franchise opportunity with his clever sarcastic and snarky observations of daily life. Chuckles, grins, snorts and guffaws abound.”
Jacques L.

“My in-laws in Minneapolis thought I was losing it over the Thanksgiving holiday as I repeatedly burst out in Tourette-like spasms of laughter while reading Grievances over the kitchen island; same thing for the flight to Minnesota…”who’s the solo flier cracking up alone in his seat?” Grievances gives hilarious catharsis to the incredibly stupid crap that everyone (but yourself) does that bugs the hell out of you. McKeon’s humor is so understated that he has been called a comedic mime. But here, he lashes out at hundreds of all too common annoyances that subtly plague our daily lives—the molten lava Gino’s pizza mini-pockets that actually scarred the roof of my mouth within minutes of me reading about its diabolical tendencies in McKeon’s book, the carnie-like miscreants that both work the Costco sample booths and those that drive to Costco for a semi-square meal…. The best part of McKeon’s rants occur when you can sense the seething anger and maniacal typing that went into creating these pearls of perturbing misbehavior—you can hear McKeon laughing like a madman at the keyboard as he penned this gem of societal self-analysis. Read it, burst out laughing repeatedly and then buy another as a gift for those that typify its grievous conduct–just to see if they get the hint.”
Matt M.

“This is one of those books that makes anyone in the room with you while you’re reading it think that you’ve lost your mind… since you’re constantly laughing out loud (for real). Puts in print things I’ve thought but never said out loud.”
Rob P.

“Hilarious! Made a great gift for several office coworkers as well.”
Shannon D.

“Great read ,makes you realize you are no alone even though I fancy park and wear a vest. Can’t wait for the next book.”
John S.

“Really funny! Very well written :)”
Patricia S.

Your Review Here

“We were reading it out loud at the table on Thanksgiving…hilarious! The back cover alone is worth the price of the book. I bought ten to give out as Christmas gifts. Although I take umbrage at the acknowledgement page, every blurb has something that has bugged you at some point, even if you didn’t notice it at the time. McKeon reminds you that you should be offended by the banalities of our times. He has a real talent for it. He has the gift of glib. He’s the master of misery, the captain of curmudgeonry. Grievances is the opposite of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. It’s a true achievement. Maybe the funniest book I ever read.”
Tim R.

“Hilarious. Now I am ruined because I will never be able to see a Prius, a bicycle seat or a lego the same way anymore.”
Lyn O.

“I have loved this book!! My kids keep looking at me like I am crazy as I am literally laughing out loud!! Every grievance is easy to relate to, and leaves you looking around for someone to share these with! When ordering go ahead and order 2, one to keep and one to gift!!”
Candice F.

“Funniest book I read in a long time, the author is one of the wittiest people I know, unfortunately, I don’t know many people so that’s not saying much. I bought this book for every relative in my family and a house warming gift for my friends. Tried to get a sign autograph copy for me but the author threatened me with a restraining order.”
Scott S.

“Hilarious! Spectacular read that provides a lot of laughs and insight. Grievances is a perfect gift for family and friends.”
Amazon Customer

“This is the best book! I gifted 5 of them to my friends for Christmas. We had lots of laughs reading it together. Can’t wait for volume 2! Hopefully the author will create another one in time for next Christmas! This is a must have!”
Amazon Customer

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About the Author

Thomas McKeon is a Well-Intentioned Husband; A Father to 3 Boys; A Brother to 6 men; A Son to 2 slightly embarrassed parents; A Reformed Soccer player; A Golf Cheat; An Occasional Guitar Player; A Horibal Spellar; A Volunteer; A Flailing Entrepreneur; A San Francisco Native and now a First-Time Author (not that self-publishing counts).