So I get this e-mail the other day from someone who is apparently a career consultant.
"Oh, and get a new picture up there," he writes. "If you want anyone to take you seriously, a 'Queer Eye' 'glamour shot' probably isn't the best impression to give them. Have a good 'un ... Adam Pye."
Take me seriously? If you haven't noticed, Adam, I write the Grrr! column.
Do you think I'm looking to be the next Ted Koppel (search) here? Hello? I'm sure good old Ted is sitting in his Washington, D.C., office right now, channeling Roone Arledge's spirit and lamenting the fact that the Grrr! guy is hot on his trail. I think not.
And "Queer Eye?" Surely you could have come up with something better than that. Now, I've only seen one episode of the show, and I didn't like it all that much because it represents a stupid stereotype (ditto "The Sopranos"). I can, however, see its entertainment value. That being said, I guarantee you those gay guys make a heck of a lot more money than I do, and probably you too. But hey, thanks for the advice ol' buddy, ol' pal. I'll take it into consideration. Have a good 'un yourself. Grrr!
Sit Back and Relax, Enjoy the Show
So my wife and I went to the movies. It was the opening weekend of a big film, so we arrived something like 40 minutes early so that we could get good seats. We like to sit three quarters of the way back, somewhere near the middle of the row. As suspected, the theater filled up pretty quick, but as it turned out, the folks on either side of us left a seat open, so that we were each flanked by an open seat.
The movie started, and the Oblivions who always arrive late started milling about like dunces looking for seats (how anyone can be late for a movie these days, with 20 minutes of previews and 10 more in commercials, is beyond me). A couple spotted the seats next to us and made a beeline toward our row, squeezing their way past already seated patrons. Now, I was fully prepared to move over until I heard the woman say to my wife: "Move over so we can sit together."
I couldn't believe my ears. So I said: "No, we will not move over. We got here early because we wanted these seats. You two are welcome to sit next to us, in the open seats, but we're not moving," I said. "You'll still be married after the film," I added. The lady then took to threatening us with the "I'm gonna get the manager" line, to which I quaked openly with fear. No, not the manager!
Now, we would have moved over if she had asked, or even if she didn't say a word. They ended up sitting in the front row, where they belonged. I hope their necks hurt for weeks. Attention Oblivions: If you don't arrive on time for the movie, wait for the next showing or go home where you can behave as abhorrently as you wish. Grrr!
Lip-Sync Hell and Mispronunciations
Why do people feel it incumbent upon themselves to sing songs to which they do not know the words? You ever notice people mouthing the wrong words to songs that are playing on the jukebox or the radio? I call it Lip Mumbling. Do you think we don't notice? Or better yet, do you think we think you're cool even if you did know the words? When I was a kid I used to think "Paperback Writer" by The Beatles was really "Take the Back Right Turn." Try singing it like that next time you hear it. It makes me laugh every time I hear the song. But I was 10 years old!
And don't you just cringe when some popular singer misses his or her opening line when he or she is supposedly performing live on television? I used to get so angry about catching singers lip-synching during "live" appearances, but nowadays I just change the channel. Oh, and I don't buy their CDs.
And how about people who say "seen" when they really mean to say "saw?" "I seen him yesterday." What? To make matters worse, I know a guy who says "sawl" instead of "saw." "I sawl her yesterday," or "I sawled the two-by-four in half." Sawl!
By the way. People "try to" do something, they don't "try and" do something. And why do famous, overpaid athletes always answer questions directed at them by referring to themselves as "you?" For example:
Reporter: "Are you looking forward to playing for a winning team?" Overpaid athlete: "Well, you come out to the field and you do the best you can, and hopefully you win." What, is the reporter all of a sudden a teammate? Grrr!
So I hear auto loan companies and car manufacturers will be installing "smart starters" that disable cars if owners don't pay their bills on time. While I can empathize with the banks, how will people ever pay their bills if they lose their jobs because they couldn't make it to work?
On the Job
And speaking of jobs ... Nothing Grrrs me more than people who actually believe that if they quit theirs, their company would go down in smoke. Here's news for you, they won't. Even if you are a key employee, the company will survive. Shut up! Stop complaining about your peers, bosses or corporate management. If you could do it better, then start your own company. You are only bringing other people down. Now, if you worked at Enron, you'd be justified in complaining, but at least you had Playboy (search) to fall back on. Grrr!
Rosie O'Donnell Gets Married
Who cares? And don't tell me she's doing a community service by flying out to San Francisco to get married. It's not like the story didn't get covered without her star power. If you haven't noticed, it's all over the news. She's just another woman in a same-sex couple who tied the knot. Let's not make it anything more than that. Grrr!
Now For Your Grrrs!
Mike Miller writes: I went into the grocery store the other day to buy two items. The woman in line in front of me looked at the sign that says "Express Lane: 10 items or less," then looked at her cart, then back at the sign, then stayed right where she was. I counted 38 items in her cart. Grrr!
Shelley E. of Wenatchee, Wash., Grrrs!: Grrrr!!! To the oblivious customer at the grocery store last night who had $300 worth of groceries and waited until the cashier was TOTALLY FINISHED ringing up the purchase before even getting out her checkbook!
Robin W. of New York City Grrrs!: People who block the passing lane on the escalators. Everyone knows that the right aisle is for people who want to ride up at their leisure, but the left aisle is for people who may be in a hurry and want to speed things up by climbing the stairs as the escalator moves. But, there's always someone who parks themselves in the passing lane and won't move aside for you to pass.
Mary Anne Grrrs!: Have you noticed the tendency by about half of those who speak in public these days do the "double is"? That is, every time they say "is," they say it again! For instance, "What I think about this is, is that it is totally dumb!" Of course there are some instances when the "double is" is necessary, but I wish that people would stop and think about that second "is" before it pops out of their mouth!
Holly in Maryland Grrrs!: I called a lender to obtain a pay-off figure for a loan today. The lender's response? "I'm sorry to hear you want to pay it off early, is there a particular reason?" I want to get out of debt, and they try to make me feel like I'm making a big mistake! Grrrrr!
Cassie M from North Wales, Pa., writes: Your column is great! As a stay-at-home mother of four young children, your column gives me a wonderful chance to escape and get a good laugh. Love the "Oblivion" term -- have encountered many oblivions in my life. Unfortunately, I saw myself in one of your "Grrrs!" today -- I always announce to my family/friends what I'm going to order from the menu. Now I'll get a good laugh every time I'm at a restaurant (but I won't announce my choice to the table any more!)
Matt Brown Grrrs!: How about the people who call up to a radio station that is doing an all-request weekend and these people request the same songs they have heard every day for the past 20 years? "Hi, this is Classic Rock 92! What can we play for you?" "Hey man, I would love to hear some Zepplin!" I think people could be more original and use the chance to hear some of those less frequently played songs or (now here is a thought) request songs from some different artists.
Matt ... when I was in college I was a DJ at a '50s-themed club called Wurlitzer's. We played music ranging from the oldies to disco and some modern rock (this was around 1990), and used to lip sync songs in costume during "Showtime" (I try to wipe it from my memory but my father whips out the video whenever somebody new visits). It used to Grrr! me to no end when the same people, night after night, would badger me to play the same songs, like "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" or "Brown Eyed Girl." And then they'd scream and run to the dance floor like it was the first time they'd heard it. If I never hear those two songs again for the rest of my life, I will die a happy man!
Most people don't have an original thought in their head. And most of them can't see past what's right in front of them either. That's why they call me the Stupid Lit'l Dreamer!
Until next week, Grrrrrrrrrr!
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 9 p.m. on FNC), and as a reporter and columnist for Foxnews.com. Straka appeared in the film "Analyze This" and was an actor in the long-running Off-Broadway hit "Tony n' Tina's Wedding."