Grrr! Wish You Were Here

Summertime brings out the worst in Oblivions.

It's bad enough that, generally, when people are on vacation, they act like complete morons — totally devoid of the common courtesies they practice daily in their own homes, towns or places of work.

"Get out of my way. I'm on vacation."

But when summer rolls around, millions of Americans trek to the beaches or the pools every weekend, and with this comes the "mini-vacation" phenomenon that makes monsters out of weekend warriors.

You know the people I'm talking about.

The people who cross the street as if they've never heard or seen that four-wheeled, 4,000 pound piece of machinery heading toward them.

"What could that be?" they might ask themselves. "Oh, well, it stopped, so I'll just crawl at a snail's pace the rest of the way across this oddly blacktopped path."

I love how they "fake-run" enough for you to slow down in your car, and just when you slow down enough to let them "fake-run" the rest of the way across the street, they stop "fake-running" and start walking so slow, you begin to wonder if they're doing it just to get your goat.

They're testing your resolve. "Will they run me down or not?" Of course not, dammit! But boy would we like to sometimes.

If you're the driver in this instance, don't hold your breath waiting for a wave or a thanks for letting me and my Oblivion clan pass safely across the street. You won't get one.

In fact, by the time they've made it to the sidewalk, they've forgotten all about you and are now on to their next excursion, which usually involves gathering as a group right smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk to discuss just what the excursion might be.

"Just look at these people walking on the grass," says Poppa Obliviot, never putting together that he's the reason they're forced to walk on the grass. Moron.

And wouldn't it be nice if the vacationing Oblivions paid attention to local traffic patterns, like the left turn lane? Ever hear of it? It's that yellow-lined lane in the middle of the street and it's for left turns, so cars making lefts don't hold up the through traffic.

Clever, huh?

And then there's the Obliviot holding court at the restaurant dinner table.

Over the weekend, the Grrr! family had the unfortunate pleasure of being seated next to an ImportTant, who regaled his family of his mountain climb at Kilimanjaro.

Intelligent diners got the distinct feeling that dear old Dad was not telling this story for the first time, and that his overly loud volume in telling it meant that it was more for our edification than for his obviously disinterested family.

In fact, during the entire conversation, wife, Junior, daughter and daughter's boyfriend never picked their heads up out of their clam chowders.

Why was I so interested, you ask? Because I didn't have a choice! Nobody in the restaurant did, and there were more eyes rolling than just yours truly's, I can tell you that.

Everybody, including the ImporTants, got a pretty good chuckle when I turned to baby Maxine (who is a 2-and-a-half-year-old toddler), and said loudly enough for everyone to hear, "Hey Maxie, did Daddy every tell you about the time I had to wrestle my way out of an alligator den after my twin engine Cessna went down over the Florida Everglades?"

I love messing with Oblivions.

Who's That Girl in the Mercury Commercials?

As Catherine Zeta-Jones continues to rake in the big bucks for hawking T-Mobile wireless on television — as if she needed the work -- there's a rank-and-file actor who is doing just as well hawking Mercury automobiles and SUVs, albeit at much lower, and probably Screen Actors Guild scale rates.

She's Jill Wagner, and I must admit, she's probably the only commercial "spokes-actress" that gets me to stop fast-forwarding through the ads on my DVR.

What strikes me as interesting about Wagner's approach to her commercials is that she comes across as a friend who happens to know something about these cars, and she delivers the information in a natural and casual way that makes me want to go out and buy a Mercury.

Luckily for everyone who agrees with me, we'll be seeing a lot more of Wagner beginning this week on Spike TV's new series, "Blade."

Wagner plays Krista Starr, a kick-butt vampire hunter on a mission to avenge the death of her twin brother.

In an online interview on, it appears Wagner is having a blast in this new role, but doesn't mention if her character drives a Mercury Milan or a Mariner.

"When I'm on set doing the stunts and actually getting to fly through the air with wires and guns, it's crazy," she says.

Good luck, Jill. Hopefully your series will take off. "Blade" incidentally, kicks off its season premiere after the Ultimate Fighting Championships fight night on Spike TV this Wednesday.

As for Mercury, kudos to the advertising execs behind her Mercury campaign for choosing a classy actress who sells the car, and not herself. Imagine that!

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