Your Grrrs: Feb. 26, 2007

Here are some of your responses to Mike's last column.

Tracy B. writes: Mike, I love your column, and I am eagerly awaiting your book. You must not have shopped for your nephew's T-shirt for very long. Unless he is unusually large and needs adult-size clothes, you could have gotten him a Jr. shirt. The Dale Earnhardt Jr. merchandise for kids says Dale Jr. instead of Budweiser. I think it is actually a law that no cigarette or alcohol brand names can be on children's clothes. (I am not sure.) We have T-shirts, hats and cars for our children. As for the people scoffing, it is just part of the sport. Within my family of six, we have five different favorite drivers. We do a lot of scoffing all in fun. You are a lucky man — what a job!!

Kevin writes: I've been following your stories for a while now and I am glad I'm not the only one from "Planet Grrr!" Seems there are more and more people immigrating from "Planet Moron."

Anyway, keep pounding — maybe some of these folks will get a clue (I'm not holding my breath!).

Any chance I can get a Grrr autographed photo? I'd love to have my Grrr attitude validated.

P.S. I'm a meteorologist and am also Grrring about the proponents of anthropogenic global warming.

Kim writes: Just one question, Mike. Why did you get in the gas line when you saw there were already 10 cars ahead of you? That's a pretty long line. Surely you must have seen it before you pulled over. Since you said you were in line for 35 minutes, you weren't coasting in on fumes. Pity you because you were clueless enough to get in the line? Sounds like Oblivion behavior to me. Love your column. Keep up the good work!

Jonathan F. writes: Mike: In response to your story on Engelbert Humperdinck, I just wanted to point out that this was not his birth name. I kind of thought you would have figured that out. His real name was Arnold George Dorsey. He chose Engelbert thinking that it would make his career more prolific.

J. Tom writes: Mike, they’re called "predictive dialers." Statistically, only four calls out of 10 are answered by humans. To avoid wasting the time of their employees, companies install equipment that places 10 calls for every four telemarketers on the job. This saves the company the cost of idle workers. Of course, statistically, every now and then more people will answer than there are available telemarketers, and those people hear a message telling them to hold. It’s a monumental waste of the customers' (i.e. your) time, but your time is free to the telemarketing company. If I take the call, I act as though I don’t hear the telemarketer when he/she comes on the line, and say “Hello, hello, anyone there?” for 15 or 20 seconds. Then I say, “Stupid predictive dialers,” and hang up. Hopefully, not only will the telemarketer’s time be wasted, but someone will go through a lengthy equipment test to find a nonexistent problem. In any event, don’t ever, ever, ever buy from a company that uses predictive dialers. They have no consideration for their customers.

Ward K. writes: Mike, I completely understand why your new book is titled as it is. Unfortunately, it seems your news editor is part of the problem. Today when I visited to, among other things, read your column, I was greeted with the bright orange “BREAKING NEWS” banner that said: “Report: Britney Spears Checks Into Rehab Facility in Los Angeles.” Seriously, Mike, is this really BREAKING NEWS? It’s one thing to have an article about it, but come on, BREAKING NEWS??? Until this type of media mentality changes (and I doubt it ever will), celebrities will indeed continue to ruin our country and we will definitely all be in trouble.

David T. writes: If you didn’t let your car run down to empty, you could have gone to another gas station. Besides, people in Jersey are sick of you anyway. Stay on the other side of the bridge — or the country. Sitting there for 35 minutes just shows how ignorant you are. Have a nice day.

Anonymous writes: When reading your rant about buying gas on the Jersey Turnpike, I
expected to find a barb about Yours Truly, because I too bought gas at a Sunoco on the Jersey Turnpike yesterday. Unlike yours, my story has a happy ending. I was approximately 10 cars deep, thinking how lucky those with gas tanks on the right were ... the left lines were comparatively short where the right lanes were dominated by late model GMs and other cars with unfortunate placement of the gas cap. That's when I saw it: a big sign that said "ONE WAY, EXTRA LONG HOSES, FORM LINE ON EITHER SIDE." Hot dog. I slammed my shifter into drive and switched lines. Total time spent at the gas station was seven minutes. Sure enough, the hose reached around to the back of my car and its sweet, sweet gas made it into my tank.

Jessica R. writes: I am a huge sports car racing fan. My husband and I attend the 24 hours at Daytona and are ever present at Watkins Glen near our house. One thing that amazes me is the difference between a sports car race (Indy, Formula 1, Grand Am, etc) and NASCAR. I like NASCAR (I'm a tried and true "Said Head"), but the fans between the car racing series are as different as can be. When we attend the 24 hours at Daytona you can literally walk into the garage, meet the drivers and team owners, and get as close as you can stand. The people you meet at sports car races are generally nice, quiet, polite and patient to let everyone get a glimpse of their favorite driver. Certain NASCAR fans will get violent towards other drivers' fans. I am not at all surprised that you got a "look" from those people. I will never understand team loyalty to the point that NASCAR fans will boo and throw things at drivers they dislike. As if that couple has ever met Stewart. Maybe they would hate him in real life, who knows? Who cares. Like his driving, but don't hate people who spend money on other teams. I'm blown away that people HATE Jeff Gordon. Why? They've never met him. It's not like he danced on their dead grandma's grave ... yet they treat him worse than if he had! If people want to wear the merchandise, that's cool, but let go of the "I'm so in love with Stewart that I must kill all fans who do not" attitude. It's immature and gives NASCAR fans a bad name as drunk, ready-to-fight hicks. Especially when most are normal, hard-working people who do not need the bad reputation. Thanks.

Jenn P. writes: Regarding your NASCAR hat ... I recently moved back to my small hometown in mid-Michigan, and NASCAR is big here (I won't get into my catty musings about why). I have witnessed the scoffing between NASCAR fans at malls, stores, restaurants, bars, etc. While waiting in line to check out at a store, there was a gal ahead of me decked out in so much NASCAR gear that she could have easily been part of the pit crew. She was on her two-way phone speaking rather loudly to the person on the other end (of course she was, but that's another Grrr! from me). Her conversation? Talking about another customer a few feet away in her competitor NASCAR gear and how tacky her outfit was and how so-and-so driver "sucks." I was thinking, she's tacky? Look at yourself, honey! Plus, she can hear you! I was bracing myself for a NASCAR throw-down which thankfully never happened. I'm a big fan of pro basketball (go Pistons!), but would I go so far as to trash someone wearing Miami Heat apparel in the middle of a store? Unlikely! Sheesh. Also, keep up the great articles! I'm venturing out this weekend to buy your book. Yay!

Jake S. writes: Mike, First I would like to thank you for defending Britney, although it was in the past and you now see K-Fed as the less screwed-up one. However, I really think that she is not being treated fairly by the media. She is young and has a lot of money and it seems to me like she is in the middle of some sort of a breakdown. Some people were not supposed to be rich and famous and I think she is one of them. She is a simple Southern girl who has lost her way. She quickly got married to a gold-digger and had two babies; I think she decided to have children with him more because he was at the right spot at the right time more than anything else. And she also knew that when she was finished with him, he would have no chance in having custody of her children. I also don't think that her "partying" is out of control in any way. So what if she wants to go out and have fun? At least she has her family and a staff to take care of her kids when she is out. Is that being a good mother? Maybe not, but at least her children are safe and taken care of. And as far as the suspected neglect of Sean Preston while driving her SUV, I really think she was scared and was trying to get out of the situation she was in as soon as possible. People are always looking for flaws in celebrities, and I think that is awful. If she wants to shave her head, fine. And if she goes to rehab, then maybe that's the best thing for her. I don't think it's a publicity stunt. It may be substance abuse or something more psychological (who knows), but I wish her and her family the best and think that this is the perfect opportunity for her to look back on her actions and realize that she is smart, talented, beautiful and fabulous. Thank you.

Micah W. writes: Congrats on the book, Mikey. I wrote you the “Fight Club” e-mail a couple of months back. Just wondered if it is at all possible to obtain an autographed copy of the book somehow? I recently moved across country to Charleston, S.C., for a much better career opportunity, and am still not altogether out here enough to find when/where book signings, etc., might be. Pretty sure that I can find the book at Barnes and Noble, but would love to have a signed copy. I was shocked that you personally responded to my Grrr within an hour and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t an auto reply or note from some assistant somewhere. Congrats on the book and hope that you, Mrs. Grrr and Baby Maxine are all doing well. Keep the rest of us thinking about the little things we can do to better our surroundings. Cheers.

Julie V. writes: Grrr to you, Mike ... I wanted to be in that pit box during the Daytona 500! Oh ... and I wouldn't be caught dead in a Jeff Gordon hat! I've been a race fan for many years and was always a Dale Earnhardt fan and still wear his colors, or are they Teresa Earnhardt colors now? It's more a joke than anything else, I haven't met too many NASCAR fans I didn't like, but I have to admit, the ones I remember not caring for always seem to be wearing those rainbow colors!

Darren writes: Mike, how much do you actually know NASCAR? Personally, I'm into it a little bit (more than my dad, but way less than my uncle in Wisconsin). Needless to say, my dad and I both know that Jeff Gordon is considered the "poser" of the NASCAR circuit. Most NASCAR fans view him as that good-looking, popular kid everyone secretly hates. But in the NASCAR world, it's no secret. Jeff Gordon is the New York Yankees of NASCAR, either you love him or you hate him. Being from a small market city (Minneapolis), everyone around here roots for two teams: the Twins and whoever's playing the Yankees. In NASCAR, it's the same way with Jeff Gordon: First, I want MY guy to win (Tony, Matt, Dale Jr., et al.); second, I want one of the other 41 drivers; third, well, I don't even want to think about Jeff Gordon finishing in the top 10 of any race, let alone winning. And that is why those Home Depot, gaudy orange, #20 Tony Stewart fans were giving you those looks.

BTW, for a lot of fans, Tony Stewart would be "that guy" if Jeff Gordon weren't around, so maybe there was some jealousy there, too.

Kelly K. writes: Grrr! What happened to you writing more than one column a week? You should be writing five days a week! I can't wait to hear what you're going to be bitching about next! Need. More. Now.

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