Shane K. in cyberspace: I just finished reading your article online, “Grrr! You're Sober. Now Shut Up!” From my point of view, you should have considered how pushy people are sometimes when they are drinking and others are not. If you think that sober people are obnoxious, you might want to observe when someone is drinking who does not know when to stop asking you to have alcohol with them. Sometimes the only way is to let them know you don’t drink. Maybe then they will stop pestering with the same offer. I get tired of people offering. I don’t appreciate alcohol being pushed on me repeatedly by the same people. I don’t drink and I never will.
Steve in Raleigh, N.C.: While it's true that some people give unsolicited gym advice, I do often (when I'm in a public gym) offer advice to people who are doing an exercise incorrectly when it might injure them. So, not all of us are just out to show off our knowledge.
Richard O. in Rochester, N.Y.: Who gives a &^%* if you don't care to hear that a recovering addict or alcoholic has clean time! Sounds to me maybe you should try a good shot of some dope so that you can honestly say that you have a right to downplay a person who needs to verbally pat himself on the back and just share it with someone else that he made it! I could care less if your poor little ears have to hear that.
T.A. in Jacksonville: Mike, thanks for the latest Grrr! on the celeb sober boy. I have been sober now for 10 years and I don't expect people to congratulate me for behaving the way a person is supposed to behave! Here is a little insight for you: Most people who drone on about their sobriety haven't been sober long enough to realize that they are exhibiting the same self-centered behavior that landed them on the bottom in the first place.
Chandra in cyberspace: Sobriety, for many, is not something that should be swept under the rug. Addicts should be proud of their sobriety — and that means acknowledging that they are addicts. An addict's fight for sobriety is, and should be, a part of who you are, because addiction has been a large part of their life. I dare say that journalism is part of who you are — it has shaped your attitudes and your life. The same is true for addicts. Addiction has shaped who they are in ways that those of us who aren't addicts can't understand. Even if you don't agree with what I've said, thus far, we should all acknowledge that a sober addict is better than a using addict, and we should encourage sobriety, not ask that it be swept under the rug.
Tim O. in cyberspace: As a guy who has had to (successfully) fight alcoholism for about eight years now, I couldn't agree with you more! Too many former "alchies" whom I know are so dang serious about alcohol that they really are a downer to be around. They depress other alcoholics when they talk about it. I don't think they realize how depressing they can be when they open their yaps about what their problem did to them. I, however, still like to go to parties and bars occasionally with my friends and family and have a good time being out with them. My wife, my dad, my friends all love me going because by the end of the party (as the only one sober) my stories become hilarious to everyone else. The added bonus (and another reason why they love for me to go) is that they have a ready-made designated driver when they want to leave. I want my friends and family to just simply act normal around me, and the best way to do that is to not make a big deal about my not drinking. It's my problem, not theirs! I usually make jokes about it like "Now everyone be sure to make up for what I can't drink" or "I quit drinking for health reasons: If I didn't quit, my wife was going to kill me!" etc. That works very well. Believe me, most former alcoholics hate those few who try to act "holier than thou" about alcohol. They do indeed need to shut up.
Cathy in Cincinnati: My Grrr! is the recorded telemarketing calls I get at work all the time. While good steps have been taken for individuals to limit the amount of telemarketing calls they get with "no call" lists, business-to-business telemarketing is getting worse. If my company isn't important enough for you to call in person, you're wasting my time. I'd be willing to bet that the level of customer service these companies offer is just as annoying.
Michael F. in cyberspace : The most obnoxious people are the ex-smokers. They always come up with the "unproven, unresearched" second-hand smoke theory that’s going to kill them. Although they smoked for 30 years, someone else's smoke is bad for them.
Kathy in Wisconsin: In response to Imani in Indiana: Here's a little hint: If you write out your check or swipe your debit card, and THEN put your items in the cart as the cashier is processing the rest of your transaction, you won't be unnecessarily holding up the line, and people won't breathe down your neck! Mike, it's always fun when the Oblivions write in! Keep up the good work!
Tony F. in Cleveland: In response to your Grrr! titled "What's With All the Questions," I have another similar Grrr! If I am watching a movie with others, and the plotline is confusing or something odd happens, why does everyone ask, "What just happened," or, "What is going on?" I don't know. I'm watching the same movie you are. I didn't write the script.
Justin in Kingsland, Ga.: Coming out of the grocery store last night, I heard a guy talking to his wife. The guy said, "Handicapped people get all the parking spaces up front, when we who can walk have to park further out. Maybe we all should become handicapped." Look, I'm "slow to anger" and all that, but I really wanted to help him get his parking space on that one. Most handicapped people would gladly walk an extra 500 feet to their car if they could. To top it off, guy is only parked six spaces out from the front! That's an extra 40 feet, or approximately 13 steps. What a jerk.
David C. in cyberspace: My Grrr! goes to the woman at the grocery store that was a customer ahead of me this weekend. The woman had run in the store real fast to pick up just a few items: Diapers, diaper wipes and two packs of Marlboros. When she came up $1 short, she stared at her load, and opted to put the diaper wipes back, regardless of the five surrounding customers, and the angry-looking cashier glaring at her. What ever happened to making sacrifices for your children? Surely you could get by on just the one pack for today? Does your child's hygiene and comfort come second to your addictions?
Susan in Colorado: We live in Colorado and I am growing to despise early spring through the late fall. It's a gorgeous time of year. The leaves are turning colors and the weather perfect — and the obliviots are on their bicycles. We have bike lanes but apparently they are for other people. It is perfectly acceptable to ride in the center of the lane going up the mountains on the blind curves, or steep hills. Hello? You are riding in the mountains — of course there are steep hills! And there are bike lanes to keep you out of the way! Or they choose to ride two or three abreast and ignore cars coming behind them.