Readers respond to my last column...
Todd in Cyberspace writes: I have no plans to see "SoaP" when it comes out, but I have to say that I wish more movie studios and movie theaters would actually listen to their patrons. Studios churn out the same movies over and over, whether it's silly remakes or similar movies, and seemingly hope only to turn a profit. While the public may watch those movies, it could be for lack of a better option. Theaters need to listen to the public too. From the price of tickets, to the stupid commercials before the show, to the absolutely zero enforcement of any kind of quiet in the theater, to stupid patrons calling and texting on their cell phones, etc. I, like many people, am fed up with going to the movies. That's why I probably have only seen 3 or 4 movies in the theater this year, versus the 10 or so that I would see in past years. Instead of doing the "same ol', same ol'" both studios and theaters need to do their part in making movie-going a pleasant (and affordable) experience. I would gladly pay more money for good movies and/or theaters that made it possible to actually watch the movie in peace.
Jim in cyberspace writes: The movie has been pumped up and hyped by the Internet geeks. If you go to see the movie because of all the hype and the movie is horrible, it won't be the movie makers fault. Don't blame them. Besides, this movie can't be bad. It's got mother———- snakes on a plane!
J.M. writes: Live up to the hype? Are you kidding? "SoaP" cannot live up to the hype and that is exactly the point. The hype is the point. No one, and I mean no one, really expects this to be a good film. Not even Samuel L. Jackson. It's "Snakes on a Plane" for crying out loud. The premise and the title are so utterly ridiculous that it has just campy fun. I will be seeing this movie because it was an obviously bad idea from a concept meeting that never should have seen the light of day but somebody embarrassingly had to pull together for some corporate producer. The fact that it got as far as an actual screenplay is amazing. Its' going to be bad. It's going to be successful. And I can't wait to see it. (Thanks for the phone call, Sam.)
David M. in Colombus, Ohio, writes: Hey Mike, I have a Grrr for you, I recently went to a fast food establishment and paid for a value meal with a credit card, the cashier took my card did not even glance at it and swiped it and gave me a receipt. I looked at him blankly and asked if he was going to ask for an ID. He proceeded to ask me "Do I really need to see your ID?" I asked him "Do you trust that I am this card holder?" he then laughed and said "This is a fast food place we don't care who you are as long as we get our money. " I stared at him with disbelief and asked for a manager he then told me that he was the manager and flashed his nametag. I then slid the bag containing my meal towards him and I demanded that he place the funds back on my card and that if I did not see that value in my statement within the normal processing time I would sue the establishment. It may only be $5.89, but it is not the money that matters it is the simple lack of security that we have to deal with in today's culture.
Greg W. in New York writes: Haley Joel Osment busted for DUI and drugs... Thought this might make for an interesting "Grrr" column – it just seems that there are few, if any, celebrities or movie stars who don't eventually use drugs/alcohol to their own self-destructive means. Is there no one in the limelight who doesn't use drugs?
A note from The Easter Bunny: I just wanted to say, that I am frustrated and at my wits' end. I read an article on FOX the other day that was talking about how they removed an Easter Bunny because they thought it was religious or in some way connected with the views of being a Christian. I am so angry, it is the Easter Bunny. I wanted to look it up for all the Oblivions out there who for some reason completely associate the Easter Bunny with Christians. Definition of the Easter Bunny: The Easter Bunny is a jaunty symbol of the annual Christian holiday of Easter. (Easter marks the day that Jesus Christ is supposed to have risen from the grave after his crucifixion.) According to tradition the Easter Bunny makes his visit every year, scattering brightly colored eggs as he goes. The origins of the Easter Bunny aren't clear; the first recorded references to him are generally agreed to have come from Germany in the 1500s. In ancient times the rabbit was a symbol of fertility, equated with springtime and renewal of life, and the hare was also associated with the moon, whose cycles determine the precise date of Easter each year. Over time these traditions presumably merged with the annual celebration of Easter itself, and now the Bunny is associated with Easter in much the same way that Santa Claus is the secular symbol of Christmas. Notice the word at the end of the paragraph: secular. Now let me define that for the Oblivions. Secular is as follows: Worldly rather than spiritual. Not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body. OK, I had to get that off my chest. I feel better now.
Felix at the mall writes: How about a different point of view concerning strollers? I'm talking about the mall elevators. The only people who have to use the elevator are people with strollers and people in wheelchairs. Despite most malls placing the elevators close if not next to the escalators, people crowd into the elevators making life difficult and uncomfortable for the people with wheels. And the escalator is usually much faster. There can't be that many people with escalator phobias.
Anthony in doorways writes: I am not sure why people think that the best place to have a conversation is in the middle of a doorway or hallway. Today I was trying to enter a building and two people were standing in the doorway talking, completely blocking the entrance. I waited a moment to see if they would move since they had both acknowledged my presence. When neither of them moved, I said, "Excuse me." All this got me was two dirty looks and just enough room to squeeze between them while they continued their conversation. I couldn't believe they were mad at me for asking them to move. Since when has being a complete moron become acceptable and asking someone to use common sense become rude?
Doug M. in Granby, N.Y., writes: I have to throw in a big Grrr for the idiots who like to mow their grass out into the road, even while folks are driving by. With my luck, if I did that I'd probably get a ticket. Folks better realize if you hit my car with a stone or piece of wood, I will be pulling over for a little chat. And God help you if you injure someone in my family.
Karen on the road writes: Hey, Mike. While coming back from grocery shopping in Citrus Heights, Calif., a suburb of Sacramento, I spotted a Mercury Grand Marquis with a license plate reading, "GRR MOM." My first thought was, Hey, I wonder if that's Mike Straka's mom. If it is, I'll tell her hello next time. Had to share
—Karen, definitely not my Mom... Now if you hear the mom telling her adult child, "Now what ever happened to that sweet little boy who used to be my son..." — that would be my mom.
Rick Walters, Dallas, Texas, writes: Maybe I am just old-fashioned, but I have a problem with movies and television shows that give us thoroughly despicable characters as "heroes." There is a new show this season — that I have obviously not seen yet — but according to the previews, it is about a gang of thieves. A couple of years ago one of the networks, NBC I think, gave us a series called "Kingpin". Its lead character was a drug dealer. Has our society degenerated to the degree that we can see drug dealers, thieves and killers as "heroes?" That was pretty much a rhetorical question because, looking at what is available today in video games, rap music, movies and television, the obvious answer is "yes".
Jamie from Atlanta writes: Mike, to begin with I like some of your columns, and dislike others. But my big Grrr is to those people who write in with negative comments, but then use some weird fake name. There is nothing wrong with having a differing opinion, but at least have the guts to put your name on it. Don't write in like a 2-year-old with some fake name. People need to learn to take responsibility for both their actions and their comments.
Mom of Hilary Fan writes: Who is that person pretending to be Hilary Duff? And if Hilary is still out there, why aren't there charges being filed? I see these pictures of Hilary Duff from 2004 and this imposter in 2005 and who does she think she's kidding? She doesn't even look like Hilary. What is going on here?
Norm Baker in Minn., writes: I'm normally a calm and collected person. However, I like to watch the early edition of the evening news, so I watch one of our local channels. On the staff of this particular station is a female news anchor that, for some reason, gets under my skin. I can't explain what it is about her that irks me. My guess would be that it's because she's such a staunch supporter of women's lib, because I've always had issues with women who support women's lib. I respect your opinion, so I'd like to ask you what you would do if you were in my situation. My assumption is, that you'd tell me to quit watching the early news. Am I correct, in my assumption?
— Norm, you would be correct in your assumption, but there's got to be another channel with early news in your area, right?
Shannon on airplanes writes: I'm pleased that international intelligence and cooperation has put the brakes on yet another plot to kill thousands of innocents. I'm also pleased about a secondary benefit of this latest scare: new and severe limitations on what passengers can lug onto airplanes. A reasonable limit to carry-ons has long been needed. The people who haul on enough luggage for a three-month tour and stand in the aisles while they cram it into several overheads before wandering off to their seats in the back of the plane have long been the bane of my flying life. These are the same people who then get up repeatedly during the flight to retrieve various items from their various bags, then make an equal number of return trips to return these various items to their various bags. How much nicer it will be for all of us when these Oblivions are required to check their oversized, overstuffed, multiple bags with the rest of us.