Things That Make Me Go Grrr!

Man, lots of Oblivions in the world these days.

You know what makes me go Grrr? Office gossip. Nothing Grrrs me more than people who talk about other people in the office. Just do your job, shut your mouth.

Don't you just love it when some office Oblivion shoots his or her mouth off about the boss, the manager, the co-worker or worse, the co-worker's husband or wife? And you know we eat it up. We even encourage it.

And as soon as they turn around and leave the office or the clique, we all roll our eyes and talk about how much he or she talks about everybody.

It's a vicious, Grrring cycle.

Video: See Mike's take on Geraldo on The Real Deal

Left Lane Vigilantes

Left Lane Vigilantes are still commandeering the passing lane at 55 miles per hour. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's called a speed LIMIT. I know that. I can read. But driving in the passing/fast lane at a slower rate than the current flow of traffic is dangerous. If I get a ticket, that's my problem. Not yours. Just stay in your lane.

That's the middle or the right lane, in case you're confused, and evidently, you are.

"But what about the cars merging? I can't ride the right lane." I know. I know. So difficult being you. "But it's the speed limit. You shouldn't break the law." I know, I know. Nothing like traffic laws that were made when 55 miles per hour used to make tie rod ends shake vigorously and vibrate the automobile. These days, cars idle at 55 mph.

Oh, but I'm just being the Grrr! Guy.

The D.C. Protesters Column

One of my recent columns focused on the protesters that took over Washington, D.C., last week. I called them jobless. Of course not all of them are jobless, so I apologize for the slight. And I shouldn't have insulted any jobless by making light of being jobless -- or comparing them to protesters with poor hygiene.

Protesters who smiled and cheered when Cindy Sheehan (search) was arrested — by design, by the way — for not having the proper permit to protest where she had her general assembly.

Sheehan, for her part, even went so far as to Grrr! the media on for covering Hurricane Rita and not covering her anti-war demonstration enough. She later apologized, after even dailykoz readers started to bash her on that.

I wonder if Sheehan will pull a Lisa Beamer (search) and put a huge picture of herself on the cover of the inevitable book that she'll dedicate to her fallen hero son, much like Beamer did on the cover of "Let's Roll," the book about her hero husband Todd's leadership aboard United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, when he and a group of passengers counterattacked the terrorists on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania.

And Sheehan's son, by the way, is a hero. You just wouldn't know it by all the sit-ins and protests. Anyway, I'm sorry for offending anyone. I know the protesters really care about the people they offend.


I love when Oblivions pick the most quiet moment in any given environment to choose their cell phone ringtone. Like on a commuter bus or train. Just as you're dozing off, "Rondo a la Turca" blares from the seat behind you. Oh wait, "Charge of the Light Brigade" might be better. Ah, hell, let's just settle on chirp. Nah, I think "Another One Bites The Dust." Yeah, that's it.

Great timing, pal.

Cell Phone Voicemail Options

It's 2005. Is there anyone out there who doesn't know that when leaving a voicemail message, that they need to do so after the tone? It's complete overkill when you get someone's voicemail, and you hear their message saying something like, "Hi, you've reached the voicemail of Kelli Garner (search) or George Clooney, (depending on your cup of tea), sorry I can't take your call right now but leave me a message after the beep."

That's pretty standard (if you don't know Kelli Garner go get this month's Esquire magazine).

But then the automated voicemail voice comes on with all kinds of instructions. "To leave a callback number ... press 5. Otherwise, leave your message at the tone ... Record at the tone ... after you are done recording, press pound for more options."

More options? At that point the only option I'm interested in is, "to zap the person you are trying to reach with a few amps of electricity, press the star key."

TV Worship

Who are those people who gather outside TV news studios, waving frantically with their free hand while shouting into a cell phone? Total Oblivions, that's who they are!

I can understand the excitement of being on television. After all, it's what I do, and strive to do, every day, both in front of and behind the cameras.

What I can't understand is the Oblivion move of jumping behind someone on live television and waving. It's really obnoxious when, for instance, a news crew happens to be reporting on hurricane victims or the capsized boat full of elderly people that killed dozens, and there in the background, a bunch of Oblivions are jumping up and down and waving and talking on their cell phones.

"Can you see me? Can you see me?" Yes, sadly, we all can.

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, writes the Grrr! Column and hosts the weekly "The Real Deal" webcast on and