Grrr! The Adventures of Johnny Oblivion

Johnny Oblivion | Grrr! Book Club | Sorry Ali Landry | Your Grrrs

The Adventures of Johnny Oblivion ...

Johnny O wakes up in his fourth floor, paper-thin-walled apartment and blasts MTV so that his neighbors can enjoy "Video Wakeup" as he takes his morning shower. He leaves the TV on all day so his barking dog won't be lonely.

On his way to work he stops at the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru and orders a cup of coffee. Despite the line of cars behind him, he sits at the window and puts sugar in his cup, tastes it, adds more sugar and tastes it again before putting the top back on and driving away.

On the road he weaves in and out of traffic in his Hummer H2 as he juggles the hot coffee in one hand and his cell phone in the other. He has to call his buddy and go over each "inning" of last night's marathon game of darts baseball at the local pub, where he also used some of his best pickup lines on the local ladies, like: "What are your plans for sex tonight?" (with credit to Bruce Willis, of course) and "You must know karate 'cause your body's kickin'."

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As he travels 90 mph he notices a cop car has set up a radar trap ahead, so he slams on his brakes, nearly causing a pileup behind him.

When he arrives at his office, he parks in a spot reserved for someone else, sets his auto alarm and enters his place of work. Of course, all his coworkers are soooo happy to see him, so he makes the rounds telling the men and women in the office about the babe he hooked up with the night before (not) and tops off his coffee with the last of the company brew without starting a fresh pot.

He sits in his cubicle and whistles loudly as he waits for his computer to boot up. Being extra computer-savvy, he has rigged his PC to play Howard Dean's scream every time he gets a new e-mail, forcing his coworkers to relive that bit of Democratic agony all day long.

Johnny O then punches the speaker button on his phone and listens to the dial tone as he tries to remember the voice mail number. He then checks his messages on speaker, commenting out loud on each and every call.

At lunch Johnny Oblivion orders Chinese food, which he eats at his desk, stinking up the entire office.

After work he hits the gym, where he rests on the bench press in between sets of leg exercises. He never notices the people waiting to use the bench press, and he never wipes his sweat off the bench when he gets up to resume his sets.

When he gets home, he walks his dog without a leash and lets it poop wherever it pleases. He won't pick up after his dog because he thinks littering creates jobs for sanitation workers.

He blasts Leno and laughs heartily into the wee hours of the night. When he finally goes to sleep, he dreams of the time he belly-flopped repeatedly in the public pool, and wonders why the mothers of the young children give him dirty looks whenever he arrives.

Don't be an Oblivion!

Grrr! Book Club

Here's a recap of this summer's Grrr! Book Club.

May: "Hammerjack" by Marc D. Giller

Hammerjack is an awesome read for anyone looking for a good sci-fi thriller. The book is about a futuristic world in which computer hackers wreak havoc on their enemies, until one of the underground factions creates a virus that threatens to put an end to the world.

FREE VIDEO: Meet Marc Giller on The Real Deal

Enter Cray Alden, a government "hammerjack" who is tasked to track down the bad guys and kill the virus. Along the way he's mined by Avalon, a kick-butt assassin whose orders are to keep him alive long enough for him to do his job, and kill him when he's finished. There's also a bit of romance with a gorgeous but very talented hammerjack who helps Alden remotely.

June: "Coach: Lessons On the Game of Life" by Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis is one of my favorite authors, and I would go so far as to say his work serves as one of my inspirations. Since he wrote "Liar's Poker" in 1989 about his experience working as a Wall Street banker, I haven't missed any of his intrepid and interesting books, from "The New New Thing" to "Moneyball."

In "Coach," Lewis writes about his high school baseball coach who is in danger of losing his job because the current students' parents are upset that his methods are a little too strict for their liking. Lewis demonstrates how this coach changed the lives of many successful Americans by being tough on them. Self-esteem can't be bought or bequeathed. It has to be earned.

July: "No Lights No Sirens" by Robert Cea

In this tale about corruption and redemption, former NYPD detective Rob Cea writes about his life as a cop on the mean streets of Brooklyn in the '80s when crime and drugs were at all-time highs.

FREE VIDEO: Meet Rob Cea on The Real Deal

Cea's account is gritty and honest as he takes you with him to bear witness to some of the horrors he dealt with on the job. His writing style makes reading his story easy, even as he describes a shotgun suicide and his own moral demise, which eventually leads to an FBI investigation with Cea as the lead suspect in an informant's homicide, and a bloody fight to the finish on a Red Hook rooftop.


In my last column I took an unfair potshot at Ali Landry by using her as an example of one of those one-hit wonders who wind up on VH1 shows. While I didn't name her, I called her the Doritos Girl, and a few of her fans homed in on me.

Ali is a former Miss USA and a "Cajun Darling," as one of her fans told me. She's currently starring in "Eve" on UPN. Clearly Ali does not fit into the category I placed her in, so ...

Ali, I sincerely apologize. You are someone I'd be honored to have on "The Real Deal" (unlike Mr. Has Been from the last column).

Your Grrrs

Adam from Michigan writes: Ha ha. You're justified in making fun of the has-been (last column) ... but it's hilarious that you take yourself so seriously as a "journalist" when this is your "article." You're clown shoes, man. You don't even have fifteen minutes of fame. The twelve-year-old who delivers my newspaper is more of a reporter than you. You and Mr. Has Been should get married!

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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