David L in Cary, N.C.: In response to the parking lot justice of Bryan Y: I had the opposite experience. I saw a woman back out of a parking space and slam into a vehicle parked in the next row ... not a minor bump. I wasn't surprised when she drove away. I sped around the other side and followed her out to get her tag number, then back to the lot to wait on the victim to arrive. He came out within a minute or two and I told him about the hit-and-run. His response was, "It's a company car, not mine." He didn't even take the description or tag of the offender.
Tom S. in Alexandria, Va.: You are so right: Malls are nothing short of the "living rooms for the great unwashed". In the summer it's air-conditioned, and in the winter it's heated. There's the food court when it's time to eat and movies if you get bored. Here in the national capitol region, you can see the legions of losers from D.C. just milling around and now the latest are our "guest workers sans portfolio" who are making good use of these "shopping elephants". Someone needs to determine how much money is spent by these folks. I bet it would not cover the cost of policing the place.
David H. in Richmond, Va.: Dude, do like I do. Don't go; shop online. It's easier, quicker, cheaper in the long run, and far less painful. Keep up the good work.
Mindy C. writes: I laugh at the stroller Oblivions at malls. But its not just them who expect you to get out of their way. It's practically everyone. Just before Christmas, I was having to use crutches for an injury. I tried not to leave the house if possible, but when I did, the people walking around me were completely oblivious to my situation. I tried not to be in anyone's way whenever possible, but I lost count to how many times people with carts, strollers, kids or just by themselves would push past me, never apologizing.
TC in cyberspace: I try not to get too Grrr'ed up over many things, but the Florida punks with the bat got me Grrr'ing. Actually, it even woke me up last night (that in and of itself makes me feel like reaching for a bat with these punks). I don't have any pearls of wisdom on how to shift the American psyche toward more pertinent issues; the only thing I can say is that I could not agree with you more on this. Maybe a couple of public "equalizer beatings" in prime time on national TV would do the trick.
Robert S. in Port Jefferson, N.Y.: Have you noticed that "art" is only considered "good" and an artist is only considered "talented" when exploring the "dark side"? Novels, poems, screenplays, paintings, statues, photography, movies and television -- every aspect of art in our culture reveres the exploitation of our worst selves. Where is it written that exploring the beauty of man is banal? Here's a big Grrr for what "art" has allowed itself to become and for those of us who have not registered our protest for this condition.
Dr. Michael in Illinois: Here's my Grrr: college students who want the world handed to them on a silver platter. I'm a professor and I am sick and tired of students who come to me at the end of the semester with a range of excuses for their poor performance. They expect me to give them extra credit so that they can pass a class that they have a) rarely if ever attended, b) failed to turn in assignments for and c) performed little better than a third grader on the exams. What right do they have to get ticked at me because I won't reward them for behaving irresponsibly??? Grrr! My guess is that they've had too many educators over the years who have let them get away with this behavior so here's another Grrr! to those teachers who have helped to create this situation.
Randy in Denver, Colo.: OK, this is the sixth time writing in, here's hoping I make it this time. Mike, I love the column and read it every chance. As far as the Lohan and Vanity Fair row, well you are giving them what they want. That is: more magazine purchases. These actors and the magazines that cover them know perfectly well that if there becomes some sort of disagreement between the two, it becomes public and other media outlets start writing about it, it means more sales. These two know exactly what they are doing. Mike, please don't feed the beast writing about it as well.
Randy, does that mean I shouldn't publish your email?
Felix in the mall elevator: How about a different point of view concerning strollers? I'm talking about the mall elevators. The only people who have to use the elevator are people with strollers and people in wheelchairs. Despite most malls placing the elevators close if not next to the escalators, people crowd into the elevators making life difficult and uncomfortable for the people with wheels. And the escalator is usually much faster. There can't be that many people with escalator phobias.
Brian B. on the highway writes: Let me explain what is not a left-lane vigilante. Someone who drives at the speed limit in the left lane, and stays in the left lane because they keep having to pass slower right lane drivers and they don't want to have to weave back and forth from lane to lane ... They are not doing this to keep speeders from speeding. They are doing it because they have a legitimate reason to do so. That is enough. It also happens to be a fact that they owe nothing to people who want to break the law by speeding, though this is not a reason why they are staying in the left lane. So if they want to scoot over to allow a speeder to pass, this may be considered an act of kindness, but scooting over is not something that a speeder has any right to expect them to do.
Charles on customer service: I find it unbelievable that so many companies put their most mentally challenged, uninformed, clueless employee in charge of answering the tele. The customers' first contact to the company should be someone that is the most informed. I've had more than one person, that answers the phone tell me that they don't carry some item that in fact they do.
Brock H. in Portland, Ore.: You're exactly right about the malls, which is exactly why I do most of my shopping online. Besides getting better prices and easily finding color and sizing alternatives, I don't have to deal with all the Oblivions at my local mega-mall.
T. Woods writes: I hate when people sit in their car with the blinker on waiting for me to unload my bags so they can have my space. Then other cars trying to get through the parking lot have to go around them. I take my sweet time when I have someone just waiting for my parking space. I unload my bags, make sure my daughter is all strapped in, take a leisurely stroll to the cart return, make a call on my cell and whatever else I can do to waste time. But mostly to no avail, because no matter how long I take, they're still there! This also happens at the workplace. These people could have parked and walked to the store five times, but they are so desperate for that spot that they will annoy everyone around them. Thanks for your column. I love it!
Susan writes on monikers: You're column is great. Obliviots, WalMartians, ImporTants, etc. are all clever, well-fitting monikers. But what about the people who either write into the column trying to coin a new cliché by making up their own names or asking you to do so (as our fitness guy who wanted to watch the Rose Bowl demonstrated)? Come on, stop trying to jump on the "clever nickname" bandwagon. It's annoying. Leave the moniker-making to the Grrr! guy.
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