Here are a few of your responses to Mike's last column ...
Sue M. in New Orleans writes: Mike, in your “Going to the Movies” column you have captured exactly why I don’t go to the movies anymore. The seat kickers, popcorn shakers, ice crunchers and loud talkers are only part of it. I used to put up with those things to see a good film, the operative word being “good.” The [junk] that Hollywood is currently churning out has put an end to that. After about the 10th time I walked out of the theater feeling, “there went two hours of my life I’ll never get back,” I just stopped going. Now I wait for the video release. We have a high-def TV and a good sound system, and most importantly, no Obliviots in our living room! When the sound goes from loud explosions to whispers and mumbles, we can play it back to hear a key line we would have missed in the theater. I miss the “total experience” of being in a movie theater, but not enough to immerse myself in the world of Obliviots to see a third-rate remake of a TV show I didn’t like in the ‘60s!
J. Fleek writes: I could not agree with you more! The behavior of some people in public theaters is enough to make me wait three months and rent the video and watch it at home. Nothing is worse than going out with the wife for an evening of fun, becoming upset at the clown sitting next to me twirling his keychain around his finger all through the first 15 minutes of the movie and then having the wife upset at me all the way home for very politely asking the moron if he would like me to take that keychain and shove it right up his butt for him. It's a no-win situation. Don't you just love the ones who think watching a great flick means a never-ending two-hour snack? I have watched people start ripping open boxes the moment they sit down and eat continually. Then when the movie is over and the lights come on, they still sit there as everyone leaves because wow, they're not done eating yet. I very much enjoy your columns. Keep up the good work!!!!
William B .from Tulsa, Okla., writes: I read your column today regarding typical movie Grrrs. I used to have a friend who was an assistant manager at a local movie theater while I was in college. He told me that his particular theater only made $0.25 per ticket sold for a movie. Apparently, the movie company charges a rental fee (sort of like Blockbuster or Netflix) to the theater in order for them to show the movie. Just to make up numbers, if a ticket is $8 per person, the movie company charges $7.75. Plus, the movie companies will also put restrictions on movies, not allowing theaters to discount movies like that until it has been out for public viewing X number of weeks (it varies based upon the movie). Obviously, a big-run movie like "Episode III" has a longer time than something like "The Black Dahlia," for example. And, while people complain about the price of snacks and drinks at a theater, remember, it is the profit off of those snacks and drinks that pay their employees’ salaries, utilities, etc. So, if you can afford it, you might reconsider and actually purchase even just a bottle of water. You just might be helping a young kid work his way through school.
Bonny writes: I was in a clothing store at the Mall of Georgia yesterday. It is a clothing store for young people. I was there for my daughter, not myself. Anyway, the music was so loud in this store that I honestly could not hear the girl behind the counter speaking to me. I could see her lips moving, but I couldn't hear what she was saying. I mentioned to her that the music was extremely loud, but my daughter was extremely embarrassed that I had even mentioned it, so I dropped it. Today I was reading your column about Movie Grrrs and you mentioned writing to the theater to complain and the little light over my head went on. I figured, why not, I'll send an e-mail to the company. Now I don't expect that they will change their policy any, but hey, it never hurts to say something, right? So, I sent them an e-mail and I feel better, although I really doubt I will ever visit their store again. I feel sorry for the people working there. I can't imagine the damage they are doing to their eardrums. Thanks for giving me a great idea and thanks for your column.
Sarah in Texas writes: I have enjoyed reading your Grrrs and always agree with what point you're bringing to light. I just wanted to add a Grrr to the "Going to the Movies" column: When you're at the movies you can't forget about the people who take their kids. I'm not talking about the ones who take their kids to see "Cars" or any other Disney/Pixar, animated or kid-oriented movies. These are the ones who take their kids into the rated "R" movies and then when the kid starts crying or acting up, instead of actually leaving the theater; they stand in the hallway, so they don't miss a thing, but you miss the whole scene because you're distracted by the screaming kid! Of course the management doesn't do anything about it!
Jennifer S., Sienna Miller GRRR: I just read an article in my local newspaper that had a column about Sienna Miller calling my hometown of Pittsburgh “Sh***burgh” in an interview for Rolling Stone magazine. The interview took place in the hotel bar she was staying at over a glass of “cheap wine." Apparently, there is a movie she stars in that takes place in Pittsburgh and her poor behind couldn’t find anything to do while filming here. While I understand Pittsburgh is not a happening and hopping city like New York or L.A., I find my city to be bursting with personality and potential. I am appalled that a high-profile “actress” would open her precious little I-think-I’m-better-than-you mouth in the city that is hosting her “boisterous” career. Maybe if she actually got up off of her bar stool to experience the city and its culture, she would have thought differently. But then again, she comes from a long list of talentless celebrities, whose mental capacity is only large enough for booze, gossip magazines and “therapeutic” shopping sprees . Not only could she use an acting class or two, she should take time to learn some humility. Every time we are a host city, such as this past year’s MLB All-Star game, everyone that passed through said how beautiful the city looked and how it has come a [long] way since the days of the steel industry. I guess it's just not enough for a semi-famous actress.
MH in N.C., writes: Responding to Tom from Madison ... Tom, your response to Oran in Orlando was nothing short of idiotic. You said, "I am deathly allergic to peanuts. Do I want to close every salad bar, remove every candy bar from the shelves?" However, Oran never complained about cartons of cigarettes sitting on a shelf, he complained about being forced to breathe secondhand smoke, which is a proven carcinogen. You don't even have to be near someone who is smoking to be bothered by the smoke; out in public, in a restaurant, or sitting in traffic near someone who is smoking in their car. You with your peanut allergy are comparing apples to oranges ... in order to present a valid argument, people would have to be throwing the peanuts at you.
Lorraine, Palm City, Fla., responds to Megan in Laramie (Your Grrrs 10/10/06): I don't know where you got the idea that the drive-thru is for people in a hurry (it's not an express lane for 10 items or less). It is there for convenience for everyone. I have a 15-month-old whom I don't want to schlep in and out of the car just to grab some quick food. Drive-thrus are at "fast food" establishments, are they not? So technically, it shouldn't matter whether you go inside or go through the drive-thru. Megan, maybe it would be quicker for you to go inside and get your lunch since you have no reason to get out of the car ...
David G. writes: I just wanted to Grrr Darren in Pittsburgh who complained that scientists are "only" getting $1.4 million for winning the Nobel Prize, and that professional athletes make more. The Nobel PRIZE is just that, a prize. It is not their salary. Scientists make a very comfortable living and are not complaining about their pay. Are professional athletes overpaid? Some yes, some no. Is it an insult to someone who wins the Nobel Prize to only win $1.4 million? No. Grrr to you for worrying about it and Grrr to me for worrying about you.
Julie from Tenn. responds to Brenda from N.C.: You are totally correct that people who are not handicapped should not park in a handicapped space, but you need to recognize that you can't always tell by looking who is handicapped. A person doesn't have to be in a wheelchair or on crutches to be handicapped. A friend of mine's husband has only one leg and wears a prosthesis for the missing leg. You can not tell by looking at him that he is missing a leg (he never wears shorts). He is handicapped and he does experience pain when walking, but you would never know by looking. What Grrrs me and my friends are the total strangers who come up to him in parking lots and accuse him of breaking the law by taking the space. There have been some people who want to get physical with him for parking in handicapped. He should not have to go around showing people his fake leg and defending himself. The point is don't assume that someone is not handicapped just because you can't see it. Also, I'll take your Grrr one further. People who use the handicapped sticker of a parent or someone else who is truly handicapped are the worst because they should know that there are people who really need the space.
J.A. in Florida writes: Mike, my Grrrr is unrelated to anything I've seen in your column, but I think it deserves one. My Grrr goes out to the U.S. government for not taking care of its veterans. I'm not talking about subsidies and medical care and what-not. I'm talking about real-life everyday help and assistance for any veteran of any war. These men and women who risked everything for this country should NOT have to scrimp and save for a house, decide to pay rent versus paying for their electricity or not buy food for fear that their car payment will not be made. For all the money the government has access to and all the programs it pays for, wouldn't you think that the least it could do is provide a financial life for these brave souls? I just read an article about an elderly couple in Mississippi who were preyed upon by a fraudulent construction contractor to have their house rebuilt after Katrina. They're in their late '80s and this contractor ran off and didn't complete the job. Their house is not built, they are out of the money they spent and they are still living in a FEMA trailer. The end of the article said the husband was a "decorated World War II veteran." My question: Why are they having to put up with this? Why didn't the Department of Veterans Affairs send a crew to rebuild their house at no expense? Where is the loyalty of the government after these brave men and women have given so much?