Now for Your Grrrs:

Peter D. in Cyber-Space about the Grrr! Column: GRRR to the small-minded folks who get extremely irritated by the smallest of annoyances, like waiting five minutes too long in line at the coffee shop or getting cut off on the freeway, when there are much bigger issues to gripe about! Many people the world over lack the most basic of amenities that you and I take for granted, yet you focus on the most trivial of problems.

Craig J. in Hunt, Texas: A simple question. Why is steroid use/abuse suddenly such a large news item? Our supposed role models, the former governor of Minnesota and the present governor of California were admitted and known steroid abusers. To add to the hypocrisy, President George H.W. Bush named Schwarzenneger Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. What a joke!

Daryl H. in Cyber-Space: There are already laws in place that make steroid use illegal. So what makes you think another law will help? With all that is going on in the world (the war in Iraq ) you would think that Mr. McCain would have bigger fish to fry. You people should come down off your high horse and take a look at what's going on in the real world and I don't mean the MTV show. We (the public) already spend enough money on professional sports and I don't think we should have to spend anymore. If they can't clean up their acts (players, coaches, ext.), then fire them and get people who can. And please quit blaming someone else for their downfalls and start putting the blame where it belongs — with the people that broke the rules.

B. Veazey in Culpeper, Va.: It appears that while you were at lunch sometime last week, Oprah Winfrey snuck into the luxurious FOX News offices and wrote your column. Her bleeding heart excused the illegal steroid use by pro athletes and blamed it on society! Please change your password immediately to prevent this sort of highly illogical drivel from getting into the Grrr! feature.

Jeff L. in Cabot, Ark.: Just had to write and see if you had a catchy name to associate with this type of idiot. My 12-year-old son dropped his wallet in the parking lot of Best Buy last weekend. Of course when we figured out where he dropped it and searched the area, it was already gone. Two days ago I get a call from someone saying they found it lodged between their hood and windshield. Of course the money he saved up to buy Christmas presents was long gone. I am very thankful to the person who took the time to track us down and call me, but a huge GRRR!! goes to the idiot who would take a 12-year-old's Christmas money that he had saved for months and worked hard for. What would you call someone like this? I know what I do but it is not printable.

— Jeff, quite simply, I'd call that person a thief. However, now your son knows that theft can in fact happen to him (not just somebody else), so he will be more careful next time.

E. Knight in Cyber-Space: I was driving to a local drugstore last night to get my wife some cold medicine when all of a sudden a truck comes barreling out to the parking lot (completely disregarding the stop sign). This causes me to stop in the middle of the road (fortunately there wasn't a car coming) as I was turning to the parking lot. This normally wouldn't have been an issue, except that he was coming out via the entrance. The exit was to the far left. Then, he had the courtesy to flip me off because I had suddenly made it difficult for him to exit.

Kelley in Atlanta: Here's my GRRR, which is also my number-one pet peeve: licking one's
fingers to separate papers, magazine pages, plastic shopping bags, currency, or whatever. It is a filthy habit! I ask these people, usually office workers, cashiers, tellers: Would you want to be handed something that I spat on? I think not! So, please, finger-lickers, stop this!

M. Milazzo in Westlake Village, Calif.: GRRRRRR to the people who send those idiotic chain letter e-mails to me stating that if I don’t forward it to 15 people in 15 minutes, I will have something wicked and horrible happen to me for 15 years! Yes, I break these chains all of the time because I respect people that I know and would never subject them to this ridiculous notion. It also insults me that people I know don’t care enough about others who may not have 15 other people that they could prospectively send it to. GRRR to those of you who include me on your “forward” list to clear your mind and an even bigger GRRRR to those who start these stupid chain letters. Amazingly enough, most of them from business addresses! Here’s an idea, why not try working instead of assaulting my inbox with your junk mail. You’re worse than SPAM.

Carolyn H. in Cyber-Space: I love your column and read it every week. Every time I have a "Grrr" sort of day, I tell my husband, "THAT's what I'm going to send off to the Grrr Column!" In the spirit of the holiday season, I thought perhaps you might consider posting a few "Un-Grrrs." Here's mine: Yesterday while leaving Wal-Mart, I wheeled my cart to the cart dropoff place inside the store so I could just carry my bags out to the car and not worry about bringing the cart back up. Apparently it was a busy time, because no other carts were there for customers to pick up on their way in. I heard a voice behind me say "Look honey, she's leaving a cart" and turned and saw a woman and her teenage son approaching. She made some funny comment about me leaving the cart if I could handle all my bags, but then her son did something that floored me (and I think his mother also). He said, "I can help you out to your car with that if you like." That certainly lifted my spirit — just that someone unexpected would offer to be so kind to a complete stranger. What a NON-blivion!

C. Rice in Cyber-Space: How come everyone got upset when Ashlee Simpson was lip-synching on "SNL" but no one says a word when year after year the Macy's Thanksgiving parade has performers from some Broadway musical lip-synching? Some of them actually have the nerve to hold that NBC mic as if they were singing! While I am on the subject, doesn't NBC realize that no one outside of New York cares about Broadway musicals anyway, and the word parade suggests things passing by, not a stationary group of people pretending to sing for the camera?

— Mr. Rice, the big difference is usually — it's a shame that I have to qualify that — but usually the people who land on Broadway can indeed sing. So if they're lip-synching for the sake of a parade, I can forgive them. It's those manufactured singers making millions of dollars ripping off the public by selling fake talent that really Grrrs the people who are upset about Ashlee's lip-synching.

B. Beck in East Fallowfield, Pa.: Two words to debunk what you said about to be competitive in sports you have to take steroids: Lance Armstrong.

— Oops... my original response .. "Huh? Please tell me you're kidding," was my misunderstanding of what B. Beck meant. I thought he was implying Lance was on steroids. My mistake. Too quick on the keyboard. Thanks to all the emailers who let me know.

Jim Hoyne in Fort Collins, Colo.: Screw those overpaid prima donna athletes of today! I won't pay to see those guys at one of their "whine and cheat" stadium escapades. The best basketball in the world was the team play of the Bird/Johnson/Jordan teams, all pre-steroid craze days. The greatest hockey ever was the glory days of Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky and Chicago's Denis Savard, leading rushes up the ice, back and forth, non-stop. THOSE were real athletes leading REAL teams. It was a thrill to see them play.

D. Pilgrim: Your article about not blaming the players is a crock. Not that the blame shouldn't be shared by owners and Major League Baseball and the player's union, but
who is at fault if not the guys that stuck needles in themselves. Giambi is a cheat. Bonds is a cheat and a liar. They have condemned themselves to any damage they receive.

Felicia B. in Tenn.: Where are these athlete's consciences? What happened to being responsible for your actions? If you take banned substances to improve your performance to cheat, you are a disgrace to your fans, and certainly no role model. What is this saying to our kids? This steroid problem must be nipped in the bud, and the people who use them should be held accountable. Not everyone is doing it. I'd much rather compete using my own natural talent and stay clean than to use drugs to help me gain fame and fortune. The Olympic scandal is really a shame. People who have been exposed in the drug scandal are an embarrassment. When you put winning above everything else, it takes away from the true meaning of the sport: playing for the love of the game, and sportsmanship. If you do not win, it isn't the end of the world!

Matthew from NMU: I have a Grrr! for Kenneth Trayor (last column), whose picks for 2004's best movies were "Shall We Dance" and "Spider-Man 2." He did it wrong! At the end it should read, "'NUFF said," not "enough said." Or I guess I've just been reading too many comic books. Great column, even my girlfriend loves it!

Rachel in Fla.: I encountered one of the worst Oblivions ever last week. I was in the lobby of my office building waiting for the elevator with a few other people. When the elevator doors opened, the lone passenger, having reached her floor, stood in the DOORWAY of the elevator (not kidding) and began going through her big, fat day-planner! So, the elevator's not going anywhere, nor can anyone enter it. I was waiting for the elevator doors to smash her when one of the other people waiting said, "Um, ma'am? We'd like to get on the elevator now." Her only response was "OH," and she moved just enough to let us all squeeze past her.

— That, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly the definition of an Oblivion.

E. Berry in Webster County, Neb.: About the movies, we are lucky enough to have in a nearby small town a theater that is owned by the city, and run by volunteers. It is only on Sat.-Sun.-Mon., and admission is (are you sitting down?) $3. Mondays are half-price! They have current movies, like "The Incredibles," "Ladder 49," "Saving Christmas" and "The Polar Express," etc., cheap popcorn and treats, and even write numbers on the bottoms of the containers so people will bring their trash to the can and see if they've won something. They win my Stupid Lit'l Dreamer Award hands down! Happy Holidays to you, Mrs. GRRR, and Baby Maxine!

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