Now for your Grrrs:
Trina B. from Nashville, Tenn.: I really could care less about Tom Cruise, but when he gets on TV and says he's right and everyone else is wrong (i.e. "Matt Lauer, I know the history of psychiatry and you don't!") it really chaps my hide!! Tom Cruise: "There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance." Well, Tom, when exactly did you go to medical school? Mouthy Obliviot!
Roger in cyberspace: Why are most of printed Grrrrs about celebrities? I am soooooo sick of reading about celebrities! Let’s get back to the real Grrrs. Here are a few of mine.
A big Grrr goes to the car commercials that display disclaimers at the bottom of the screen in a tiny-font, 500-word essay that nobody could possibly read in the brief four seconds it’s displayed. How can that even be legal?
Another big Grrr to all the grocery stores that only place tabloids and girl-type magazines in the checkout stands. I’m a guy and I buy groceries. How about letting me thumb through Field and Stream while I wait for the Oblivion in front of me to write an out-of-state check for $3 worth of groceries? Same applies to doctors' offices and hair salons.
And lastly, it’s 2005. Don’t you think it’s time to drop the nine-tenth off gasoline prices? After all, I can’t pay nine-tenths of a penny, so why do gas stations charge me for it?
Michael from San Antonio, Texas: Fireworks-related Oblivions are in a class of their own, a danger to themselves and others ... can we come up with a special term of endearment for them? Alcohol and explosives, what a combination!
Jack in cyberspace: I love your column (a little thick on the celebrities scene lately). I read something yesterday that makes me want to pinch the guy's head off. A father of one of the New Jersey boys who died playing in the trunk of the car is claiming the police department was negligent for not busting into the trunk of the vehicle to look for the boys. A vehicle that happens to be on his property, is owned by a family member, and one of the boys was playing in previously.
Isn't he negligent for not looking there prior to calling the police? Isn't he negligent for having a vehicle on the property that obviously posed a danger to children? Wasn't he negligent for not knowing where his son was playing?
B.D. in Florida: Dear Mike, I know that the episode with Cruise and the water gun is a major issue, but I just want to take a minute aside to thank some people (other than the guy who squirted Cruise, and the cops who arrested him).
Thank you to the firefighters out West, fighting to save our forests and peoples' homes. Thank you to the guy who jumped in the Gulf and wrestled a shark to save a teenage boy's life. Thank you to all of the people who spent years working hard to catch the BTK killer. Thank you to my cousin in Afghanistan and all the rest of our soldiers fighting for freedom. Finally, thank you, Mike, for brightening my day and giving me a chance to recognize these outstanding people.
Kel in cyberspace: Hello, Mike! Would have been interesting to see the reporter's reaction if Tom Cruise had just laughed it off and then spit on him (you know, as a joke). Cheers.
Danny in Fairfax, Va.: Mike, You applaud Yahoo for taking down all chat rooms in defense of children from predators? What happened to parents and keeping the computer screen where it can be seen instead of behind closed doors? What do chat rooms shared by doctors, university students, grandmas, etc. have to do with saving children from predators?
OK, maybe the grandma one ... Years ago when I was a soldier in the Army, a stupid driver of a "cattle car" — or tractor-trailer rig used to transport troops — actually stopped on top of a set of railroad tracks in the East somewhere. You can imagine the rest ... The Army's response was to pull virtually every cattle car in the entire world off the road. Please! Drag the guy out in the street and shoot him if you want. He's an idiot and a murderer out of stupidity. What does that have to do with the thousands of other drivers and the thousands of other cattle cars on the road being of tremendous service to the military? Nothing at all, my friend. Same here.
Yes, there are scum-sucking dogs looking for every opportunity to get into little Johnny's and little Susie's knickers. That has been the case since long before the Internet was thought of. Teach kids to be careful. Demand that parents act responsibly. Shoot every known child molester in public executions. I'll support all that. But shutting down absolutely every chat room on Yahoo is just plain stupid. It only will change the value of Yahoo stock. It won't help kids at all.
Kory in Lake Tahoe, Calif.: A big Grrr goes out to Oprah Winfrey for crying “racism” after not getting let into a French store after hours. She’s doing a disservice to the black community by crying wolf at this kind of thing — it hurts the legitimacy of others’ true racist claims. She says she came from a poor, average family but states that this was “one of the most humiliating experiences” of her whole life. The truth of the matter is that she’s upset that this store didn’t bow down to the golden Oprah god. She lost a fan today.
Yo in cyberspace: I had to respond to the article about fireworks. In our town, they start selling fireworks two weeks before July 4, so you are "privileged" enough to have to deal all night with the noise. Now, I love fireworks just as much as the next guy, but when I was growing up it was a time of family get-together and it stood for patriotism.
Nowadays, they are making them so much bigger and noisier and your obliviots are just using them to basically be disrespectful to their fellow neighbors, trying to pretend they are patriotic. I have a handicapped daughter, and the sudden explosions of the “bombs” going off send her into terror, along with the dog.
I also have a WWII veteran living next door and I have seen the look on his face when one of these goes off. It is not funny … Our town is very good about having a free fireworks show in numerous places that you can attend. Why do people not use this instead of taking the chance of one of them or their children getting hurt?
I have found that it is their idiot parents, usually fathers, doing it. They are certainly a good example for their children. Last year one of these neighbors continued, in the daytime, having his "fun." I was out cleaning up a garbage bag full of remains that had landed on our vehicles, scratching them, and in our pool, clogging up our filter and also this older gentleman's yard.
I asked him if he would now stop because it was bothering this veteran and terrifying my daughter. He had the gall to call me "unpatriotic” and “Hitler." I just looked at him thinking it was a good thing I didn’t have a weapon because at the time I had one brother on alert and one already in Baghdad. All to protect his sorry ass!
I did let him know that just because he could light a match to a firework did not make him patriotic or a "man." So —- people, think before you are out enjoying this July 4. Do it on July 4 and do it for the right reasons! And these other idiots who do it for two weeks or longer, just think of all the good you could do with the money that you are spending. Why don't you do something really patriotic and use the money to buy something for our troops they could use right now since they are fighting for you?
Stressed mom in N.J.: Michael, on my way home from outlet shopping for half-price sandals for my son, I thought that it would be nice to treat him and my nephew to the Wild Safari at the Six Flags in our area. To my utter shock and dismay, the cost for my vanload of two adults, two baby girls (who were free) and two 4-year-old boys ... $76.28!
Are they kidding me? How can anyone afford a 20-minute ride through there? My son cried. I did feel bad and maybe I'll go back with just him and lie about his age. I mean honestly, I can purchase a family season pass to the Philadelphia Zoo for that. I know these places must have an enormous overhead, but come on. They used to have a flat fee of about $ 20 per car. It was absurd and I thought maybe you would be interested.
Tom in Columbus, Ohio: In response to Jennifer about taking responsibility for your actions, I couldn't agree more. I would ask you to marry me, but I already am married. That would be a big grrrr!
Mike in cyberspace: My GRRR! is to the people who make microwave popcorn at the office, then bring it back to their desk so everyone spends the afternoon smelling it. I mean, come on, couldn’t you find something that had a more potent smell to eat at the office?
No Limburger cheese or anything like that in the fridge? The entire office ends up walking around salivating just because one person couldn’t eat their popcorn in the cafeteria like everyone else does. I mean seriously, take the five-minute break and just eat the popcorn somewhere that the entire office isn’t going to be smelling it. Or maybe I should just hide open cans of tuna fish around the office. While I may still smell it, at least I’ll have the satisfaction of having created that stench for the popcorn offender(s).
D’Niese in cyberspace: Hi Mike, I know you have not had time to address the Hermes snubbing of Oprah yet, so I’ll get my two cents in first. I am a white female and was snubbed at the Hermes store in Beverly Hills. They took one look at me and assumed I could not afford anything in their shop and tried to ignore me. I have a tradition of purchasing a scarf whenever I travel as a memento of my trip. It makes me remember the lovely time I had in that town, country etc. while on vacation.
So, when I finally did get someone’s attention, I asked to see a scarf from the display case. She acted as if I might contaminate them, so only took one out at a time when I asked to see others. This made her job much harder as I then had to see many more scarves to make up my mind!
I did indeed purchase a scarf from the store, it happened to be the very first one I looked at! Had they not been so snooty, she may have made a friendly sale in half the time and been able to get back to the gossip session with the other sales clerks. There were no other patrons in the store at the time. So, I guess I can now place myself in the “Oprah” class of shoppers. I think Hermes treats everyone the same: badly. I don’t think it had anything to do with race.
Karen in cyberspace: What's up with Hollywood lately? Are they running out of good scripts and ideas? Why does it seem like one out of every two movies is either a remake of a TV series or of a previously released movie?
This year alone there's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "The Bad News Bears," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Bewitched," "Herbie: Fully Loaded," "The Longest Yard," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and "Zorro."
And I've heard rumors of "21 Jump Street," "Back to School," "Baywatch," "The Pink Panther," "The Blob," "Bride of Frankenstein," "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," "The Fly (again?)," "Footloose," "Foxy Brown," "Get Smart," "Land of the Lost," "Logan's Run," "The Love Boat, "The Munsters," "Pet Cemetery," "The Shaggy Dog," "The Three Stooges," "To Catch a Thief" and "Wonder Woman," just to name a few. Grrr! There's so much talent out there — please take a chance on some unknown who has a decent script and an imagination!