Your Grrrs: April 20, 2006

Your Grrrs ... don't forget to play Spot the Oblivion below...

Jane writes to Harry G.: Mike: You’re probably too polite to respond to Harry G.’s rant, but I’m not. I think Mr. G is delusional. However, if he was ever, in reality, an athlete, my guess is he wasn’t very good, or he would be too busy with his “privileged” life to be very bitterly responding to a mostly-for-fun column. He protests too much! I also doubt he ever slept with anyone’s sister (except his own, maybe) without paying for it. Mr. G … you are just not believable, but you do have a colorful fantasy life!

Curtis in Columbus, Ohio: This reader's response gave me a good laugh reading it today. It is by far the most ignorant and sad attempt at bullying that I have seen to date. I'd like to nominate this guy for "Obliviot of the Year" for the next election. The fact that you have to trip people and sleep with their sisters and/or girlfriends is proof enough that you are the one who needs a support group, or maybe just extensive psychotherapy. It seems that you are the one to be pitied, but I won't stoop to your level. Instead, I feel compassion toward you in the fact that you will never live life to its fullest and be truly happy with what you have versus what you need to get next, causing you to lie, cheat and steal to get it.

Brad H writes: We all have a Susan Wal-Martian somewhere in our lives. We also know them as “One-Uppers.” No matter what you have done in the past, they have one up on you. For instance, about two years ago, a couple of Navy Seals were killed in Afghanistan. My one-upping coworker said they were some of his guys from Seal Team 6. I pressed him as to when he was in Seal Team 6, and he said “Vietnam.” Now, having worked with these elite warriors in the past, I proceeded to inform him that Seal Team 6 did not exist at that time. His silence was all I needed to know that he is a lying. Feel free to call out these One-Uppers in front of their peers. I guarantee that the nonsense falling from their lips will cease, at least until they have the need for more undue attention.

Mary Beth writes: I am sick of hearing about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I don't even know where to start I am so sick of them. He is making ignorant comments left and right. So what, he is into Scientology. Why do we care? I don't care what he thinks of people needing anti- depressants. He's not a doctor. He's not even a respectable person. He's a smart aleck who makes mediocre movies that are usually memorable due to the talent of the other actors in the movies with him. He seems to have gotten further than ought to on his looks. As far as his relationship with Katie Holmes, she is a 27-year-old child, paired up with a 44-year-old fanatic bully. Of course, she is now a member of the church of Scientology, of course, she didn't make a peep during labor and delivery. God forbid she have postpartum depression. Ugh, the whole thing disgusts me, and what is even more disgusting is the amount of media coverage he is continuously receiving. There is no reprieve from having to hear about him or see him any time I just want to read or listen to the news. On top of that, the sheep that follow his every move and will most likely blindly follow his belief system without thought or question simply because he's Tom Cruise.

Bennie N. writes: As I started reading the news this morning, I realized that Tom's girlfriend had a baby. This must be some kinda kid. Special more than the millions of kids born each day? Special because Tom is gonna eat part of it? Special because a baby is born out of wedlock? Tom is an entertainer, much like Krusty the Clown. He gets paid big bucks for that. Other than being an entertainer, did he cure the common cold? Did he invent something? Has he fought for America's freedom? Did he go into a burning building and pull someone out? Was he on the coast leading the rebuilding from Katrina? Would it not be nice to report the babies being born to people while their fathers are away at war or in the service? That, my friend, is special. Tom is not.

Melanie Z. writes: Hey Mike ... am I the only one who thinks it's beyond irony/cosmic fate/ Scientological twisted luck (read: PR op) that Brooke Shields happened to give birth on the same night as "Kate"? (And both girls, no less!)

E. in cyberspace writes: I work with one of the worst Susan Wal-Martians in higher education. She has done everything you had in your article, but I think I've got one better. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis several years ago. Waking up one Tuesday morning with vertigo, I called in sick, just saying I wasn't feeling well, not wanting to get into the personal details of my symptoms. On Wednesday morning, waiting on the office voicemail was the following message: "I must have gotten what you had because now I'm not feeling well." Her vertigo lasted a week. Did you know that MS is contagious? Well, now you do.

Dan in Hawaii: I cannot believe that an assertive and articulate guy like you allows this intrusion in your life! I refuse to deal with people like this as life is too short! My personal opinion is that Susan Wal-Martians are fundamentally hollow inside and long to be part of the group, are seeking attention any way possible and most of the time they don't even realize what they are doing. I am polite but direct and firm. I try to be kind, informing them that they are a person of worth but they do not need to always be the center of attention. I add that people will enjoy their company a great deal more if they do not always have to top the last story told. If they don't take the hint in a kind manner, I call them on their BS and give them a sarcastic "here it comes, the topper" every time they open their mouth around me. It is amazing how fast others pick it up as well and the behavior stops.

Tai T. writes: Dear Mike, I wanted to thank you for the column titled "Grrr! Susan Wal-Martian Is Back" -- it seriously cracked me up. I have a co-worker who is constantly griping about a new "ailment of the week." This week it was a sinus infection. Um …. I really don’t need to hear the details. I have a word for you -- I made this up a while back and use it on occasion. It fits with some of the folks you describe in your column. Feel free to use the word (heck, maybe we can start a T-shirt fad…) The word I invented: Malignorant: adj. (cross between Malignant & Ignorant). To be terminally stupid. Ignorant with no chance of a cure. Best to you and keep the humor coming.

Nancy N. writes: Do you still accept nominations for your Stupid Li'l Dreamers? If so, I would like to nominate the service personnel who give up their holidays in order to help other people enjoy their holidays. I'm referring to the tow truck driver who helped a van that was stuck on the side of the freeway on Easter morning, the firemen who put out a fire in the town next to mine, the law enforcement who patrolled the highways making sure that drivers tried not to kill each other with their cars, doctors, nurses, restaurant personnel, etc. You get the picture. I think they deserve an honorable mention in your column for Stupid Li'l Dreamers.

Lisa Marie writes: My Grrr goes out to all those families (especially mine) that think just because there is a holiday on the calendar, you ALL have to get together. I sometimes have better things to do yah know! Grrr

Leslie in Michigan: My GRRR today is with the Detroit media. All I keep reading about is "Proof's tragic death", his funeral arrangements, rap artists "speaking out about the tragedy" and his "immeasurable contribution" to the rap scene. The GRRR part of it is that "Proof" shot someone first according to eyewitness accounts (and the Detroit police) inside the illegal after-hours club they were in. "Proof" was apparently killed by a bouncer who was related to Keith Bender, the guy "Proof" shot in the first place. I can hardly find any references to Keith anywhere in the media, other than a headline on the local NBC affiliate Web site saying "Second victim of nightclub shooting dies" and one line about him. Second victim?? The station makes it sounds like just an unfortunate happenstance on the night a bright, shining star was tragically murdered for no reason. Information about "Proof" or DeShaun -- his real name -- is everywhere. Nothing exists for Keith, nor does anyone mention the fact DeShaun was killed because he first shot someone else. Somehow it must matter more because DeShaun was famous. I am so sick of rap "stars" being immortalized despite bad or criminal behavior. GRRR to the Detroit media for continuing to do so.

Kris From Louisiana: Mike, I feel the need to the respond to Harry G. You see, I was the short and skinny kid in high school. Oh, I ran track and cross country, did pretty well too, making it up to the state levels. I also came from a home of blue-collar workers, with three brothers and sisters. My high school was pretty small, almost entirely middle class, so some money, but nothing like these kids at Duke that have been described. You want to know what I do now? I'm a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. I stand a towering 5'7" and weigh an enormous 125 lbs. (soaking wet). But I have the respect of my superiors and subordinates for the job that I do and the way that I do it, not because I'm rich, or consider myself to be above everybody else. I'm also a single father of a 6-year-old little girl, which to me makes me richer than any of these privileged athletes. So, Harry G., and everybody like you, I don't come from the greatest "stock," I was the little guy in high school, and I never wanted nor asked for your pity. I've made it in this great country of ours by hard work and determination. I don't feel that I'm entitled to anything but to continue to live my life the best way that I know how and to treat others how I would like to be treated, with dignity and respect.

Benjamin in cyberspace writes: Mike, liked your piece on the white-collar boxing -- congrats on having the guts to step into the ring with that guy. Ow! I wanted to try a new one out on you ... I am what I would call a collateral Obliviot. I don't normally do most of the things that you and the other fine people here have pointed out. BUT -- when my wife is in the car with me, or both my wife and daughter are in the car with me, they can turn me into an Obliviot in 0.2 seconds flat. Here's a few quick examples:

1. Me at the drive-thru alone: "I'll have a #3 with a Coke."
Me at the drive-thru with the family: "Can you hold on just a sec, please?
OK, now then Kiddo, please stop howling so I can order. Just a sec.
OK, *wife chimes in* 'Make sure I only get cheese and ketchup!'* OK, we're ready ... really. I need a #6 with only cheese and ketchup, a kid's meal with just pickles, a side fry with no salt ... and a #3 with a Coke."

2. Me driving. Wife in car. Wife: "I'm kind of hungry ... maybe we should stop somewhere." Me: "Well, we're driving past four restaurants in the next mile -- can you make a decision?" Wife: "Uh, uh, uh ... I don't know ... uh." Meanwhile, I'm trying to get over to be in the right place to turn into any of them. Once we get to them, she'll say, "Oh, actually that one on the other side of the highway looks good -- let's go there!" Time for me to figure out how to do THAT one RIGHT NOW.

Basically, I'm a normal, reasonable person who likes things simple and sweet. My wife and daughter can make me look and act like a total tool because I try to cater to their wishes too much. I am a collateral obliviot. Thanks for letting me vent.

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