Your Grrrs: April 12, 2005

Your Grrrs:

Orville in Cedar Falls, Iowa: I came home last night and in front of my house, people had parked so that where six vehicles could easily fit, you could only get four. Where has simple common courtesy gone? I know I must seem almost puritan to not have realized that this has happened, but wow -- do I find that I get bent out of shape about this stuff (which I also realize is my own spiritual issue to deal with).

Would it really hurt to park in such a way as to allow the possibility of someone else being able to park, even if it is, heaven forbid, in front of you? I do it all the time -- I back up until I have closed the gap between my car and the person behind me to the point where they can pull out, but I am using up as little space as possible. This is not difficult, I assure you, nor does it make me a saint. It is simply common courtesy.

Linda in Charlotte, N.C.: As a receptionist, my Grrr! is when people call in with stupid questions. The No. 1 stupid question is: "Do you know how long he/she will be on the phone?" I could explain how stupid this question is, but I think it's self-explanatory. I would be surprised to hear if anyone has ever asked that question and actually had a correct answer.

I've tried different responses and the best one I can come up with is, "I have no idea." I would love to know if other readers have a better, but still nice, response.

Pam L. in Ormond Beach, Fla.: You're wrong on this one, sweetheart (last column). For the majority of women, the pope represented arrogant interference in their reproductive lives. He even wanted to ban artificial birth control, for God's sake!

We women have nothing against Catholics mourning his death, but this over-the-top non-Catholic reverence stuffed down our collective throats is ridiculous and insulting.

Richard M. in Cyber-Space: Thanks for your views on the coverage of the pope's viewing, funeral, etc. For once I thoroughly agree with you -- if you don't like the coverage of one of the most bravest, beloved and holy men of the last 100 years, go watch your "Simple/Surreal Life" BS, and just sit there and vegetate.

Bob M. in Cyber-Space: I thought FOX coverage of the pope was GRRRREAT! Thanks for carrying it!

Ed in Tampa: You think you're fed up with pope TV? Try living in the Tampa Bay area. Since the end of February we've had three, count 'em, three stories: Jessica Lunsford, Terri Schiavo and now the pope. Wanna talk wall-to-wall coverage? We've had to invent new walls to hold it all.

Garrett in Cyber-Space: I was catching up on the Grrr archives when I noticed the one from Rachel in Gainsville regarding the Oblivion Food Stealers. Might I suggest handling them the way we handled one in my office? Set the bait with a series of the most attractive, vulnerable-looking lunches loaded up with Ex-Lax, Metamucil or any other type of laxative you can get your hands on.

Karen in Houston: I've been doing a lot of traveling lately, and I'm astounded at the Oblivions in coach on airplanes who put their seats back, right into the lap of the person behind them. I know, I know -- you're tired and it's a late flight and the seat does have that little button. But look around, buddy, you're in my lap.

Work? I can't even open my laptop far enough to see the screen. Read a book? I would if I could bend over far enough to reach my carry-on. Unbelievably, I recently saw someone in the exit row put their seat back and stretch out full-length. It wasn't enough that he already had more room than anyone else on the plane, but he had to recline and also cut the space of the person behind him in half. I guess he thought he had hit the jackpot.

So what do we do with these Oblivions? We could lobby for a law against reclining on planes. We could, like someone I heard of, throw our dirty socks on the headrest of the guilty party in front of us. I've been known to bump the seat or tray table in front of me repeatedly for the duration of the trip -- not so much that it looks deliberate, but hopefully enough to disturb their ride at least a portion of how much they disturbed mine.

I have a personal rule that I never recline my seat unless there's no one behind me, but for some reason, I can't bring myself to ask someone in front of me to put their seat up. Call me a victim of a society that teaches it is sacrilege to push your values onto someone else. Or just call me stupid. Next time, I think I'll ask them to trade places with me and pass the misery on back to the poor person behind me.

Shawn in Cyber-Space: I have a lot of Grrrs, but what has really irked me this week are all of the people now testifying against Michael Jackson because they allegedly witnessed inappropriate behavior. If these accusations are true, they are just as guilty as Jackson for not reporting the abuse they witnessed at the time and should also face criminal charges. I don't care who the accused is or what type of power they may or may not have. These victims are children, and as adults it is our responsibility to protect children, not to close our eyes to abuse.

-- Amen, Shawn! I couldn't agree more.

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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."

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