Your Grrrs...

Jody H. on Sharon Stone: I'm sick of seeing interviews with Sharon Stone as she talks about how utterly famous she is and how she has gained such stature in the world and how she can do anything now that she is famous. Get over yourself. I have to roll my eyes when she says she has broken a few glass ceilings for women in the entertainment industry. Women were showing their thang long before it occurred to Sharon. And as far as being so famous, most of the younger generation says, "Sharon Who?"

Dewey in Illinois: Why is it that airports are allowed to get away with canceling flights when they get busy by claiming the "weather" is bad somewhere two states away? The smaller flights get cancelled and the companies do not have to give the money back. This is bogus. In O'Hare we were told the flight was cancelled because of severe weather in the "Madison area." It just so happened that I knew someone in Madison and called them. There was no bad weather. I tried telling the desk person this and might as well have turned on a rude switch. Someone, somewhere needs to start holding airlines accountable for at least giving us a refund. Grrr!

K. Kenney writes: My latest Grrr is also related to shopping. Why is it that lately you have to give your name, address and phone number to buy anything? I was in a hurry the other day and was picking up a pair of shoes for my son that were on hold. We had found the shoes at another store and had already been through the hassle. I was just picking them up from another store. The saleslady wouldn't ring me up unless she could "enter me into their system." I explained that I was in a huge hurry and just wanted to buy the shoes. She acted like I was a huge rude turd because I refused my address and number. Even the grocery store is requesting my phone number. What happened to my right to privacy? I have started giving everyone the wrong number and address.

Thomas in parking space: I have a Grrr that I have not seen in your column yet: Have you ever noticed how some people seem incapable of parking within a marked space? If you are in the last spot in a row, you have no excuse for not being able to park within your designated slot. Why don't people, upon seeing that they are not correctly parked, ever correct themselves, instead of forcing everyone who parks after them to park all screwed up? Doesn't that bug the crap out of anyone? And please, when parking parallel, park as far up against someone as possible (while still providing space for them to get out of their spot) instead of taking two spots. Grrr!

John in NYC: I read with great interest your column (and the resulting Grrrs that followed) on the selfish nature of our society. For years now I've believed that the great majority of our "societal ills" are a direct result of plain old selfishness. Too many people are completely unable to understand that it's not "all about me." Much of the rudeness and violence that constantly fills our daily news is a direct result of selfishness ... of not caring at all about the lives of other people around us.

Tim in Chicago: Here in Chicago, the law requires that I have one of those newfangled pieces of technology glued to my face if I want to talk on the cell phone while driving. I talk to my wife while driving to see if she was able to leave work on time, if not, then I have to change my route home and pick up both of our children from day care, because we in the Midwest live a fast-paced life as well.

Molly in Pacific Northwest: I empathize with anyone trying to dodge a perfume salesperson or fragrance sections in stores. During what was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration a while back, I got sprayed in the face with a tiny bit of pepper spray. My eyes burned and watered, my throat was irritated and my voice got hoarse. Today's perfume with all its toxic chemical fixatives and preservatives has the same effect, not just on me but on a lot of people. I wish fragrance-wearers could understand that when they use perfume or cologne, other people have no choice of whether to breathe it or not. It's in the air and we have to breathe that same air. Finding breathable air on buses, trains, planes, in restaurants, stores, theatres, etc., is difficult at best. If you have respiratory problems, then you're out of luck. Many businesses and institutions are establishing fragrance-free policies. Search for "fragrance-free" on the Web and be amazed at the health problems associated with fragrances.

Dana G. writes: To Megan J. (Who mentioned Obliviots who leave their Starbucks Coffee cups on grocery store shelves): Leave Me Alone! After realizing that I just paid $4 for a cup of coffee, I must discard the evidence at the first convenient place to avoid being discovered as an idiot who just paid $4 for a cup of coffee.

Pat L. in Syracuse, N.Y.: Grrr to the unions in this country. They aren't content with driving their own companies out of existence -- now they are targeting Wal-Mart for assassination. Truth is, nobody is going to pay $15 for a MacBurger so that unskilled burger flippers can support a family of six. Unions need to go the route of dinosaurs and other extinct animals.

Tim C. writes: I'm not one that uses my iPod all the time, but it is on me at all times. I was so glad I carry it once I hit the mall for some Christmas shopping last year. To be able to wander around the mall and be in my own little musical world was worth every cent I paid Apple. Oh sure, there were still a few aggressive greeters who thought they could welcome me loud enough to get me to pop out my ear buds, but they are easily ignored when you have some quality rock 'n' roll jamming in your head. I now will not go shopping in any store without my iPod. It might seem rude, but I'm OK with that. I go shopping to buy things I need, not to be sold something I didn't know I needed.

Mark W. in cyberspace: Grrr to the woman in the supermarket who does not know that when the clerk turns off the light in their lane that they are closed. In a recent trip, I was on my way to checkout when the cashier turned off the light (after being instructed to go on break by the manager) as he was ringing up a customer. I only had a few items, but since the cashier was trying to go on break, I (as well as a few other people) went to a different line. One woman apparently thought the line was just for her so she proceeded to walk up and begin placing her items on the belt. When the cashier politely told her that he was closed, she made a big fuss about how she had already began removing her items from her cart, she was in a big hurry to get somewhere and that the service at the store was terrible. Grrr to her for thinking everyone should cater to her.

Julie F. in cyberspace: I hate the cell phone guys perched in the middle of the mall that try to shout you down when you try to walk by. Gee, who doesn't have a cell phone? If I want a new phone, I will come to them. Other than that, let me walk in peace.

Susan in Tennessee: Talk about having to sniff hydrochloric acid walking through the fragrance department of the mall, what about having to sniff it on a daily basis in your office. Why do people think that just because they like a certain scent, everyone else in the world will like it too? They figure if a little smells good, a lot will smell even better. Sorry, but it stinks. There are so many days that I which I had some of those nose plugs the swimmers wear.

Tim in Cyberspace: I agree. Going to a mall is an exercise in frustration. And its not just ducking and dodging the "hucksters" that gets to me. Strange things happen to people when at the mall. First, they forget how to walk in a straight line, thus impeding the progress of those attempting to move in an orderly fashion -- I propose calling these people "meanderthals." Second, parents of small children maneuver their strollers as if they were bulldozers. I've personally been clipped in the ankle on numerous occasions by these "Strollosers." Finally, why do families/friends find it necessary to hold their reunions in the middle of the most heavily traversed aisles and walkways? No need to coin a new word for this one. Obliviots!

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