Arsenio Hall (search) used to have a late night variety program called "The Arsenio Hall Show."
The show featured a segment titled "Things That Make You Go Hmmm," where Hall would pose a somewhat rhetorical question, scratch his chin and go "hmmm."
It was usually the best part of his monologue, and I've long wanted to prepare a list of things that make me go hmmm, but I've noticed there are more things that make me go "Grrrr!"
For instance: popcorn in movie theaters. I love movies. I could see a movie every single day of my life and never get sick of them. But the horrible sound of a hundred people simultaneously eating popcorn like it was their last meal on Earth is enough to make me want to jump out of my skin.
It's relentless. Shoomp -- the hand goes into the bucket. Shoomp Shoomp -- it pulls out a handful of popcorn. Munch Munch Munch -- breathe -- Munch Munch Munch -- breathe -- and then Shoomp, in for round two. Next time you're in the movies listen closely. Sounds like the theater was invaded by rats, doesn't it? Grrr!
To resolve this problem, of which I can't be the only one suffering, I propose headphone jacks be installed at every seat, like on airplanes. This way moviegoers can bring (or rent them overpriced at the theater) headphones to block out their neighbors' bad eating habits and, as Loews Theaters puts it, "Sit back and relax, Enjoy the show."
I was in a Broadway theater watching Hugh Jackman in "The Boy From Oz" (search) not too long ago. In what was one of the musical's more poignant moments, someone's cell phone went off. Now, at this point in our technically driven lives, too many people carry cell phones to find this too surprising.
As long as there are cell phones, people will forget to turn them off. This is an unfortunate fact that I think we can all live with occassionally.
But this person, in what could only be an attempt to avoid outing him or herself as the cell phone culprit, let it ring 12 times before it finally went to voice mail. Twelve times in the middle of a Broadway musical!
If it's you next time, just reach down and shut it off. Grrr!
Ever play Trivial Pursuit (search) with people of an older generation than yours? I did a lot of that over the holiday.
Now I love Trivial Pursuit, but the incessant rolling of the eyes whenever a question about an event or a celebrity of the past 20 years comes up is way too much for me to handle. It's always "tsk, tsk, we're all going to Hell in a handbasket" when the younger players don't know who Errol Flynn's co-star in "Objective, Burma!" was -- but when a question about Beyonce Knowles comes up, it's a "dumb" game.
Note to older folks: Pop culture icons of your day are no more important, with the obvious exceptions, than those of today's generation. Just because you've never heard of them doesn't mean they're no good or unworthy of your attention. Grrr!
OK. How about opening the other door? You know what I'm talking about, right?
You're walking into a store and people are exiting from the one door that's being held open, and a line to go in begins to form. Meanwhile, there's an unlocked door just waiting to be opened right next to the other door. Just open the other door folks. Grrr!
As far as celebrities that make me go Grrrr! ...
Britney Spears started off the New Year in Grrrr! fashion. I can understand doing something so off-the-wall spontaneous like eloping in Las Vegas -- if it were that easy, but it's not.
Britney and her boyfriend were turned away from the chapel because they needed a marriage license. In the time it took them to go to the municipal building to apply for and purchase that license, enough sobering up should have taken place for some responsible reconsideration on the nuptials.
The final and loudest Grrr! of this column has to go to Pete Rose. Celebrated sports writer Roger Kahn ("Boys of Summer"), who co-wrote Rose's first autobiography, "Pete Rose: My Story," told USA Today "he has embarrassed me" with his admission that he bet on baseball. Kahn believed Rose in the 1980s when he looked him in the eye and said he did not gamble on the game.
But Kahn's embarrassment pales in comparison to what former New York Yankee Chad Curtis (search) must be feeling. Curtis hit a walk off homerun in the 1999 World Series against the Atlanta Braves, but he snubbed NBC sportscaster Jim Grey in the postgame interview, telling him that "out of respect for Pete" the guys decided not to honor any interview requests with Grey. (The previous night, Grey peppered Rose with questions about his gambling after Rose received a standing ovation from the World Series crowd.) I cheered for Curtis!
But what a shame, in light of Rose's self-centered, profitable admission, that Curtis chose not to revel in what was most likely the highlight of his career, out of respect for one who apparently wouldn't do the same for him.
For you Chad, and everyone else affected by Rose's greed ... Grrrr!
Mike Straka is the project manager for FOX News' Web operations and contributes as a features reporter and producer on FOX Magazine (Sundays 11 p.m. on FNC), a producer on Sunday Best (Sundays 9pm on FNC), and as a reporter and columnist for Foxnews.com.