Grrr! Open Letter to an Oblivion

Open Letter to an Oblivion:

Dear Oblivion, I trust this letter finds you well, although since the world revolves around you, there's probably not much getting in your way.

Contrary to popular belief among your ranks, there are other people in the world.

Believe it or not, you are not any more special than the rest of us who are waiting on line for our tickets, our coffee or at the highway exit. Therefore, blasting by us in the through traffic lane and then cutting off the person at the front of the exit is generally rude behavior, not to mention bad driving etiquette.

But etiquette is a word not in the Oblivion vocabulary.

Etiquette would dictate that you don't yell into your cell phone so that the person on the other end of the call doesn't have to scramble to turn the volume down, and the people next to you at the restaurant don't have to hear your lame conversation.

Etiquette would also dictate that you don't smuggle a bag of potato chips into "The Dukes of Hazzard" and proceed to crinkle the bag and munch to your heart's content in the middle of the theater.

Speaking of the theater, they post the showtimes for a reason.

Arriving after a movie begins and then having the audacity to demand that people fill in the empty seats in the middle of a row so you and your Obliviot pal can sit together is beyond reason.

Then again, reason is another thing Oblivions can't quite comprehend.

Reason would require sensitivity to another person's point of view, or behaving in a manner reasonable to society. For instance, staring down a retail clerk who is busy helping another customer or interrupting that clerk while he or she is busy with said previous customer and demanding attention is beyond reason.

And hear this: even if all you have is a "quick question," it doesn't mean that it's OK for you to skip all the unwritten rules that make up a civilized experience.

Some of those unwritten rules include, but are not limited to:

* Waiting patiently for one's turn in a line.

* Treating service personnel with respect and even tipping when customary.

* Keeping to the right when traveling at slow speeds (both while driving and walking).

* Moving away from the bottom of an escalator after stepping off the mechanism.

* Waiting to board an elevator or a subway train until everybody who is deboarding does so.

* Chewing gum or other foods with your mouth closed — thus sparing people around you the grotesque sound of your saliva smacking around your food and mouth.

* Picking a ringtone only when in the privacy of your own home or office, as opposed to while you are on a bus or train when folks are relaxing on their commute or reading a book or magazine.

The paradox of Oblivionism is that Oblivions are unaware of their rude behavior, because they are hobbled with tunnel vision that allows them to see only what's directly in front of them and only what they want.

Therefore, Oblivions never know they fit into the category because they are oblivious. I know that fact will make it easy for you to nod your head in agreement with my letter. "Those" people will never learn, will they?

Sadly, no, you won't.

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on