I have been coming to New York City as a tourist for years, but now that I have lived here for a mere month I have suddenly begun to despise this “tourist” that I once epitomized. Pushing past the man wearing knee socks, shorts and the fanny pack (I’m not kidding. I actually see that a lot), I now grumble to myself on why they stop abruptly at the crosswalk when the red hand starts flashing. Don’t they know that there's still have plenty of time to make it across? It’s amazing how one can go from being an oblivious tourist to a wannabe local in no time at all... Katherine Sands, FOX News intern.
Rick White in Valdez, Ala., writes: Mike, here in Alaska, we call them “tourists” (and other, less nice things.) If it’s “tourist season,” why can’t we shoot them?
Tina in Georgia writes: Mike — I'm a HUGE fan of your column but have a problem with your vacation oblivion comment. I have a family of five, three children. We do our BEST to be courteous on vacation, not pause in front of others on sidewalks, my children are WELL-behaved in restaurants, say please and thank you, do not litter, use inside voices when indoors, not run wild, etc. HOWEVER if and WHEN we have to pause it's NO big deal. We are on VACATION — hint hint ... not rushing, not pre-planning every breath.
Terry Shuey in Lewes, Del., writes: Amen, brother — I’m a “local” in Coastal Delaware — not the first place you think of when you think of resort towns, but we’ve got all the issues you’re describing … and one very important one that you’ve missed — bicyclists who like to ride against the flow of traffic. It’s so bad that the local officials rarely bother to cite them — they just hand out helmets for free. So, now when I’m taking a right on to a traffic-packed six lane highway, it’s not enough that I watch out for the oblivions wandering aimlessly across those six lanes, or that I’m waiting for someone in the left lane to kindly move to the middle or right lane so I can ease into the traffic flow — I’m also supposed to remember to check the bike traffic coming at me from the right so I don’t run down a bike rider. Maybe I’m the oblivion … choosing to make a resort town my home. Silly me.
Cathy in Myrtle Beach, S.C., writes: I live in a resort community and totally agree with you about the vacation oblivions. While I do recognize that they are the lifeblood of our economy, do they have to bring all 22 family members to the grocery store to purchase a week's worth of food? They drag the kids into the store barefoot (do they not know how dirty and potentially dangerous it is to walk around barefoot in stores?) after a long car trip. The kids are exhausted and whining, and just want to go to the beach. The multi-generational adults then proceed to negotiate — loudly — over who will pay for what, who eats bacon but not sausage, who will eat what kind of cereal, etc., etc. all the while standing in the middle of the aisle blocking all efforts on your part to just get a gallon of milk and leave. Please, vacationers, let the kids take a nap while you make a shopping list, pool your money and send ONE person out to get the goods.
Paul D. Jernigan in Houston, Texas, writes: Mike, love the column and look forward to reading it when I can. Without going into the politics of whether or not religion should or should not be allowed in school ... while I agree that the young lady has the right to thank God for her success, I have to defend the school for pulling the plug on her. I would argue that the school approved the text of her speech and she should have stuck to it. After all, regardless of the content, they would be justified in pulling the plug if she started talking about other things which were also not approved. If she intended from the start to deviate from what was approved (as appears to be the case), then she could have made more of an impact by telling the audience that she had prepared a speech that made references to God and/or religion which was not approved by the school and since she is unwilling to compromise her principles, that she chose not to make a speech at all. Keep up the good work!
Cindy Appleby in Southlake, Texas, writes in response to Sam Gay: I would like to know why that young lady "strayed" from her approved speech. If she wanted to thank Jesus, why didn't she submit that portion with the speech to be approved? If the school board didn't like it, then she could have appealed and brought the issue to the people. Instead, she was sneaky and chose to insert language that she hadn't submitted earlier. I'm sure the administration requires pre-approval to make sure foul language and other things are not said. Perhaps board policy is to cut off any student's speech that detours from the pre-approved. Need more facts on this one, folks.
Steven Riley in Duluth, Ga., writes: Thanks for providing information on Jill Wagner, the actress from the Mercury commercials. That woman is hotter than Chinese mustard! Her combination of amazingly good looks and an air of intelligence and class definitely makes me want to buy HER a Mercury.
Frank Veprek Jr. writes: I work a block away from Radio City, and there is a Sheraton next to my building. These people you encounter on vacation — I run into them every day. Literally. And not only do they stand in a big group in the middle of the sidewalk, they also like to walk down the street four or five abreast. Then they come to a dead halt to stare at the tall buildings. GRRRR!!!
Sue writes: Mike, obesity in American children? I jut witnessed at a popular picnic spot, a woman almost FORCING a coke on a 2- or 3-year-old child! She was telling the kid "Drink this up, you need the protein."
Rae R. in Sacramento, Calif., writes: I go out of my way to park away from other vehicles, not to try to keep mine from being dinged up but because I know it takes me a while to put my 1-year-old daughter in her car seat in the back of my SUV. A big Grrr to the oblivion who has the entire parking lot to park in but instead chooses to park right next to me, then honk because I have the back door open (while I’m trying to strap my daughter in securely) and she can’t pull into the space. Learn a little patience or go park somewhere else. Thanks, I feel better now.
Darlene in High Point, N.C., writes: Not only do TV shows mock Dads, they have been mocking teachers, principals, parents, policemen etc. in cartoons and commercials on Saturday mornings as well. What is this teaching our young children? That everyone in authority is a complete idiot and can't be counted on to handle even the most mundane tasks? GRRR to those ad agencies that market their products based on demeaning all adults in their commercials. I personally refuse to buy THOSE products!
Brian in Montrose, Minn., writes: My Grrrr is totally off subject but goes out to the woman jogging with her German Shepherd pausing only long enough to let the dog do its number two in my yard and not long enough to bag it and take it with her. Sure a public sidewalk runs through my yard, but c'mon, people, I have kids who play in my yard and get into everything!
Scott in Reedsport writes: Went to see "Cars" (great movie) this weekend. My Grrrr is to the gentleman who sat behind us and watched with a 10-second delay and had to comment & repeat every funny moment in the movie making sure everyone in the theater heard every comment. He did not take the subtle hint of "BE QUIET." He was also oblivious of all the nasty stares he got when the movie ended from all the other paying customers.
Tammy Sotelo writes: I love your columns, but something in today's "Wish You Were Here" struck a chord with me. I hear people making comments all of the time about how awful and cheesy it is that Catherine Zeta-Jones does commercials for T-Mobile. What is everyone's problem with this? If Sarah Jessica Parker can hawk hair color and GAP clothes, and Halle Berry can hawk makeup, why can't Catherine Zeta-Jones hawk cell phones? I don't see what the difference is. Heck, Morgan Fairchild hawked GAP clothes for a while and didn't even wear the clothes in the commercials! I just don't get why everyone is so down on her for working for T-Mobile, but all of these other actresses can do commercials for other products without anyone blinking an eye.