Dear Mr. and Ms. Oblivion: I am writing to ask for your referral.

You see, I've been wanting to get my name on "The List."

I know it's supposed to be a secret and all, but I really don't want to have to wait in line with all the other suckers at the grocery store who don't realize that with membership on "The List," the checkout clerk will take full carts in the express lane.

Or, when confronted with traffic, I can ride the shoulder a few miles until my exit.

Better still, I can phone it in on the job that I got through a family member who was sucker enough to work his or her butt off and then waste their reputation on me, and then squander someone else's opportunity by spending my days throwing a stress ball against the wall in my posh office — and making big bucks while I'm at it.

I know that leaf blowers were made just so I don't have to sweep or rake anything from my garage, sidewalk, front lawn or driveway, and that they're best used before 7 a.m. on Saturdays (Texas or other very hot climates are excluded from this Grrr).

Another perk of "The List" is the exclusive mega-bass speaker and woofer system that I can install in the trunk of my Honda Civic so that I can never again fully close the trunk's door, but which will certainly set me apart from all of those boring people who listen to music at normal decibel levels.

Plus, my spoiler looks cool touching the back windshield.

Rest assured, I know the rules of "The List," so I promise to keep it a secret and will not refer any new members until I earn my Oblivion Pin, which I am aspiring to with as little effort as humanly possible.

I also promise to keep my television locked on MTV at all times and record shows on my "TiVo" (even though I have a "DVR" from my cable company) like "My Super Sweet 16" and "Tiara Girls," and limit my conversation to just those topics.

Hopefully I've proven my mettle to you, and you will find me worthy of the "The List."

Sincerely, Mike Straka.

PS: I'll see you at "The Break-Up" this weekend. I'll be the guy with the rambunctious toddler running around the aisles. If there's more than one of us with screaming babies, I'll be the one sitting with excellent posture so the person behind me has an obstructed view. I'll also be munching on my popcorn as if I were dying of a rare disease and as if the cure were hidden in one of those little hard unpopped corns at the bottom of the bucket.

How to Spot an Oblivion

On the road, they're deputized as Left Lane Vigilantes by the state governor, and they diligently set the pace for all those who dare drive more than the posted speed limit.

At restaurants, they let their kids run rampant under the misguided perception that everybody finds their little monsters as cute as they do.

They can't spend more than 10 minutes without putting their cell phone to an ear and can't seem to grasp the fact that cell phone technology is so advanced these days they no longer need to yell for the person on the other end to hear them. And oh, it's never their fault. Never. See, you probably already spotted several Oblivions today.

Store Owners Are Oblivions, Too

From tech support to retail to restaurants, consumers are confronted day in and day out with rude, under-trained people who frankly just don't give a damn. So what do we do about bad service? Blame the company. Don't take it out on the clerk. Take your spending money to the Internet or some other establishment where they value your money and your loyalty.

Customers Are Oblivions, Too

On the flipside, next time you call tech support about a problem with your television set top box or your OC or that new iPod, be sure you are actually in the same room as the product you're calling about. There's no use putting your earpiece in your cell phone and then calling tech support while you're in your car on the way to work. Oblivions.

Hot and Hungry Is a Lethal Combination

I don't know about you, but when I'm hot and hungry at the same time, I become a madman. My wife calls me Malachai from "Children of the Corn" at those moments. Those are the times when I start calling out the Oblivions. I mean, usually I just observe them, from afar, preferably. But hot and hungry? Watch out.

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