An open letter to Britney Spears (search):
Here are three of the most important words you'll ever hear in your young life: Sign the prenup.
We don't care who you marry. We don't care how you live your life, or if you've gained weight or whether you can really sing. We do care that you've worked very hard and have endured the harsh glare of the media spotlight. For that, if nothing else, you deserve all of the fortune you've amassed before the pop tart balloon burst, much like the Internet boom did. Like many of the Web millionaires, you cashed in. More power to you.
But for Pete's sake Britney, do not get married without a prenuptial agreement.
You've learned your lesson once the hard way; don't do it again. What good is having all that money if you can't hire good people to protect it? Many celebrities have lost a lot of their money because they thought they were in love with the right person, only to sign half of their net worth away six months later. The only saving grace here is that, finally, it's a man who will cash in when this marriage falls apart. Finally there will be equality in divorce court.
I don't know Kevin Federline (search), but this much I do know. He's already got a child with Shar Jackson (search), who is currently pregnant with their second. You shelled out for your own engagement ring, to the tune of 40 grand. He's a backup dancer. That bears repeating. He's a backup dancer. Never mind the money. Why give this guy your sincere heart?
Sincerely ... The Grrr! Guy
The Grrr! Lexicon
Readers to this column have become accustomed to the Grrr! lexicon, but here's a glossary of terms for your edification:
Oblivion (oh-bliv-éon) — A person who is so oblivious to his or her surroundings that they abandon all common courtesy and commit daily acts of rudeness. Oblivions are oblivious to the very fact that they are Oblivions, which makes it difficult for an Oblivion to ever see the error in his or her ways.
For example: A line of courteous people will form at the Starbucks coffee counter, with each person ordering in their turn. An Oblivion usually stands to the side of the line, staring so intently at the Frappuccino menu that when a clerk asks who's next, they are awakened out of their Oblivion trance and will yell out their order, cutting the line as if there weren't a line at all. They're also parked in a no-parking or handicapped zone.
Another example is the movie theater Oblivion, who arrives to a packed theater with an Oblivion friend, after the movie begins. Together they will search for seats and eventually spot two separate, empty seats in the same row. They will then proceed to ask the people who bothered to show up early so they could choose the seats they wanted (non-Oblivions) and ask everybody in the row to scoot down a seat so they can sit together (most times people will accommodate the Oblivion, just to save the Grrr!).
Obliviot — A person whose Oblivionism is dangerous to others. Will stop short in the middle of a busy sidewalk to answer a cell phone, try to board an "up" elevator before it empties, and swings a lit cigarette indiscriminately as they walk. Also known to make abrupt, complete stops at yield signs and are chronic rubber-neckers.
Left Lane Vigilante — An automobile driver who believes so strongly in speed limit highway laws that he or she will drive 55 miles per hour in the passing lane, forcing people to either adhere to the speed limit or to pass on the right. Left Lane Vigilantes never use their rear view mirror, so tailgate intimidation or flashing the high beams is of no use. These are people committed to keeping you from getting a speeding ticket, and they will do whatever they have to to keep you behind them.
Self-Righteon — A person who is always right, and has to let every one know it. Favorite phrase: "I told you."
Self-Righteons will cross in front of a moving bus because they have the right of way, will rudely demand another steak because they ordered theirs well done and it came out a little pink in the middle, and usually huff and puff at the retail counter when an underpaid clerk makes an honest mistake (yes, you should get your steak how you ordered it, but for crying out loud, it's not the end of the world).
Self-Righteons, when driving, are Left Lane Vigilantes. Also known to speed up their vehicle when another driver makes a suspect move, just to show how close they came to an accident (if they didn't speed up, however, it wouldn't have been close at all). They also refuse to let anyone merge in front of them.
ImporTants — Sooo important that they can't sit through a restaurant meal without loudly talking business on the cell phone or believe that if they quit their job their employer's business would go down in flames. Note to doctors, police officers and emergency medical technicians who fit into this category: While your job is very important, there are millions more of you who don't feel the need to let everyone know that what they do is sooo important. Celebrity staffs, including public relations people (see Lizzie Grubman), are usually ImporTants.
WalMartians — These are grocery store Oblivions, who wait until their entire cart is rung up before whipping out the checkbook. These are the folks whose families span across entire shopping aisles, debating the pros and cons of all-in-one shampoo and conditioner, or who stop to chat with their next-door neighbors to catch up on the last five years.
Real-ities — People who are treated like celebrities when their only contribution to society is appearing on a reality show. Therefore, they don't get the honor in the Grrr! to be called celebrities. Real-ities will hold on to their little bit of fame with every nook and cranny of their being, announcing to everyone they meet, "Remember me? I'm the guy who had sex in the restaurant bathroom," or "I'm the Apprentice who was attacked by the tow truck driver," or "I'm the gay guy who can't keep his clothes on when the cameras are rolling," or "I'm the guy who threw water on Simon Cowell (search)."
Real-ities end up celebrities because the media brass in charge of networks can't differentiate between luck and talent. Therefore Real-ities end up hosting short-lived television shows, or win big jobs that real journalists or actors or musicians should otherwise get (William Hung anyone)?
I hope to add more to the Grrr! glossary as even more categories of Oblivions are discovered ... but then again, it would be nice to see some of these terms disappear from the face of the planet entirely.
Spider-Man Spins a Web ... Grrr!
I'm sick of hearing celebrity reporters or news anchors begin news reports about the success of "Spider-Man 2" with the words, "Spider-Man spins a web of [cash, success, ticket sales] at the box office." Get original. Any copywriter producing that overused phrase should be suspended for a week without pay.
Now For Your Grrrs
E.Z. in Round Rock, Texas: My Grrr is Oblivions in neighboring offices and cubicles listening to their voice mail messages on the speaker phone. It's really not that difficult to pick up the handset, and the rest of us don't need to hear your messages. In fact, if they contain sensitive information, we oughtn't. If you can't pick up the handset because you're doing something else with both hands, you may not be paying enough attention to the message itself, which may be why I hear it two or three times.
Richard M. Netzer U.S. Navy (ret.): I stopped reading editorials 10 or more years ago because they pissed me off. Many were way too left and many way too right and the ones that were in the middle pissed me off because they were for the most part true. But the American public was too polignorant to understand the truth of it. After all, Clinton was elected twice. I encourage you to put up something that defines the words that are submitted. Mine is DreamOcrat! (A sect of politics that erroneously believes all humanity is honest, fair and good..)
— Richard.. see the glossary above.
Craig Moore in New Mexico: The thing that Grrr's me is when Oblivions cross the street while not only walking very slowly, but walking diagonally. It takes them two or three times longer to get their lazy keesters across the street. Most of them don't even look before they waddle into the street. It is bad enough when they make you wait because they don't want to expend any more energy than absolutely necessary to get across, but to also walk diagonally makes them more than an Oblivion, it makes them an Obliviot.
Marcy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa: Now a California woman is suing McDonald's for failing to use a healthier cooking oil in all of its frying. Come on -- you're eating at McDonald's for crying out loud! Only a true oblivion would believe McDonald's food should be inherently healthy... Grrrr to all of those people who want to blame others for their own unhealthy, unhappy lives and a double Grrrr over the fact that they all seem to choose rich, deep-pocket companies to blame! Money won't make you skinny, healthy or happy!
Nick Brindisi in Cyber-Space is legally blind, and has this to say to his fellow human beings: Be not afraid ... Folks, we don't bite and you won't catch some dreaded disease (if you talk to us). You may discover that we have many frustrations, dreams, ambitions, desires and goals that are not so different from yours ... So, the next time you see a person who is blind, deaf or has some other obvious disability, try and take the time to know the person. You will never know what treasures is locked up inside that person!
Doug Anderson in Georgia: My GRRR goes to the Critikons. You know them, they find reasons to hate anything you like. For instance, you take a Critikon to your favorite restaurant and the steak is two milli-degrees too cold, the waiter forgot to refill their water after the 13th glass, etc. It does raise a moral dilemma, though... if I GRRR at a Critikon does that make me one?
Alice in Texas should be a travel consultant: If you do your homework online and get a really reasonable flight, BEWARE! You are the first one bumped, because they are OVERBOOKING every flight! Know your rights for involuntary bumping: don't let them buy you off with a travel voucher. They owe you CASH too!
Damon replies to my July 4 fireworks Grrr in my last column: Ya know what, I have been (including this year) one of those numbskulls lighting off fireworks in the neighborhood. But I'll tell you what: I won't be doing it anymore after one of our fireworks went sideways this year instead of up. Someone could have been seriously hurt. After that and your column (you were pretty much right on the mark)... I'm done.
Amy in Brandon, Miss.: Here's my Grrr... My cell phone provider sent me an advertisement by text message. I don't pay for a subscription to text messaging... they charged me a fee for the text message! Grrr!
Bill Parker in St. Paul, Minn., loves onions: I am your diametric opposite on that subject. In fact, I would have given my right arm to do what you did as a child: bite down on an onion when you thought it was an apple. I would have been ecstatic! In fact, one of my fondest pleasures is to wait until I'm not going to be around anybody for about three days and just eat an entire raw
Vadalia onion at one sitting for a snack!
Roger in Upper Michigan: WalmarTians are similar to the genus KmarTians and Home DepoTians who often demonstrate the same behaviors.
Levi Gill in Colorado has this critique on the Grrr! column: I greatly enjoy reading your Grrrs; I find them very humorous, while also appreciating all that is said. You make some very good points about people. But as I was reading this last article of yours, I got to thinking. I realized that in some ways we are all Oblivions or ImporTants. Each of us has the tendency to act without thinking about others around us. So, perhaps instead of Grrring and becoming mad about the many Oblivions and ImporTants, perhaps we all should smile and think quietly to ourselves, "I really hate what this person is doing, but I sure hope I have never acted this way towards anyone else."
— Levi, that is the point of the column. Thanks for pointing that out, and I certainly hope more people "get it."
The Cutting Room Floor
Check out the FOX Magazine eBay! Live segment up in the video section. The convention was in New Orleans, and needless to say, your humble Grrr! Guy had a good time.
Stupid Lit'l Dreamers
This week's SLD mention goes to artist Toby Dials, who contributed the Grrr! cartoon up in the photos section. Visit Toby's Web site.
Until Next Week ... Grrr!
Mike Straka is the Director of Operations and Special Projects for FOXNews.com, and contributes as a features reporter and producer on "FOX Magazine," "Sunday Best" and FOXNews.com. As an actor, Straka appeared in the film "Analyze This," co-starred in the Off-Broadway hit "Tony n' Tina's Wedding," and has appeared in various TV commercials and programs.