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)?
Stupid Lit'l Dreamers — This is a term of endearment. When I was a page at CBS TV my friend Joe Long, who was also a page, would call me at whoever's phone I happened to be answering that day and disguise his voice as some media bigwig or another.
"Is this Mike Straka," he'd say. "This is Rupert Murdoch calling. I have your resume in front of me and ..." Suddenly, he'd break into the Supertramp song "Dreamer," singing "Dreamer, You Stupid Lit'l Dreamer," English accent and all. We'd laugh our butts off.
I still am that Stupid Lit'l Dreamer. What the hell? Dream big, and never let no get you down.
Don't forget that no matter how many "Nos" you hear, it only takes one "Yes" to make your career.
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.
Mike Straka is the Director of Operations and Special Projects and columnist for FOXNews.com and contributes as a features reporter and producer on "FOX Magazine." He was also in the movie "Analyze This," and has appeared in various commercials, theater, and TV roles.