Your Grrrs: April 13, 2006

Your Grrrs ... don't forget to play Spot the Oblivion below.

Ballie in N.Y.: As a postal worker, I thank you for your Grrr on these morons! Try getting into the parking lot to get to work on the big tax day. It's nearly impossible! And the news media has to show the circus every year, like it's something new. They're just as guilty of being stupid as those sitting in the long lines. GRRR!

Paul M. writes: Mike, its not just dawdlers and procrastinators who wind up filing in the last few days. We’ve been waiting for a K1 from a fund that we invested in — and we just got it today! Have sympathy for me when you see me in line!

J Tom C in Marietta, Ga.: Either you have an accountant do your taxes, or you are a one-income employee with no investments. Let me tell you what the average do-it-yourselfer faces each year: My family consists of me, my wife, and her father. Both my wife and I work; my father-in-law has dividend and interest income along with his Social Security. I start working on our taxes in mid-February, since it takes that long to get all the forms from employers, banks, brokers, etc. My wife and I could file jointly, file separately, file jointly and claim her father or file separately and claim her father. Her father could claim himself, or not, if we are claiming him. That means eight, count them, eight different sets of tax computations to determine the most beneficial way to file! But we're not through, yet. Thanks to the Alternate Minimum Tax, I must recompute ALL eight ways to determine if an AMT filing is required. That's 16 versions of tax filings required in order to minimize the taxes for three people. And you think the eight weeks between mid-February and April 15 is more than enough time? Then after all that is done, there's a little thing called state taxes, which are due, of course, on April 15.

Bah and humbug to you! Don't blame us last-minute filers. We are doing a yeoman's amount of work in a very short period of time trying to keep as much of our hard-earned dollar as we can.

—Tom ... I agree that my Grrr on last-minute filers was weak. I swing and miss too you know — Mike.

Christy, Wichita, Kan.: My GRR! is to parents who are bringing up future oblivions. These are the parents who fetch and tote for their kids, bringing their lunch or notebooks to school for them two or more times a week. Instead of letting their kids learn from their mistakes, they teach them to be irresponsible. Missing a homework assignment or a meal is not going to kill the youngsters, but it might make them think twice about leaving the house unprepared.

GRRR! to the parents who will try to get their kids out of ALL discipline. Staying after school for 40 minutes of detention is NOT the end of the world. Let your kids learn some real consequences NOW instead of later when it might be 40 to life! And believe it or not ... your darling IS capable of more than you think!!

GRRR! to the parents who threaten, threaten and threaten ... then never follow through. Don't tell your child you will hold them back for another year unless you are full willing to do it. Don't make promises of rewards for good grades and then cave when he/she brings home all Fs.

GRR! to the parent who calls the day that school lets out to ask if her child can make up all the work he missed (aka ... DIDN'T DO). An even bigger GRR! when that parent has known ALL ALONG that their child isn't doing his/her work. Hint to these parents ... don't ask for extra credit when your child isn't doing the regular work. Where is the logic in that?

Most teachers will agree with me on this point: when you meet these parents, the kids make TOTAL SENSE! You can tell immediately why some kids are the way they are!

Jen in Oklahoma City: There needs to be another category for airport Oblivions and ImporTants. For some reason airports, like Wal-Mart, seem to be a breeding ground that reaches Oblivion Critical Mass. Last week I was hunting for a space in the parking garage. Two cars were ahead of me. The woman in the first car was earnestly looking for a spot while the car behind her rode her bumper the whole way. When she finally found a space and pulled in, the car behind her honked angrily and sped past her in his desperate hunt for another parking space. I can’t imagine what made this ImporTant so PO'd about a car already ahead of him pulling into the next available parking space. Did he expect the woman to keep driving so he could have it? Did he think he was the only one with a flight to catch? In his efforts to assert his right to THAT parking spot, he missed the spot right next to him as he was riding her tail. How about AirporTants?

Mike L. to last column's Your Grrrs: Donald G. – you, sir, are an idiot!! Watch the evening news on any network, any night of the week and you may understand why parents keep their children in the house or in their cars until the bus arrives -- IT’S NOT SAFE OUT THERE!! Additionally, you say that they know the time and direction from which the bus comes -- so do you. Leave the house a half-hour earlier and save yourself the angst. It’s clear that you believe the whole world needs to bend to your schedule. Get a life and give the kids a break -- they’ve got enough to contend with without having to deal with arrogant “self-importants” like you.

Jon B. in Toledo, Ohio: I had to respond to this piece. Cleaning up the yard is OK with me -- your mention of the piles of “wind fodder” in the yard struck a chord with me. How about the Greenies who composted all their leaves in their (then my!!) front yard last fall? I’ve raked (and bagged) them four times so far -- every windy day brings me more! Then there’s the true morons who rake it all out to the centerline of the street. What the heck are you thinking???!!! Did you think the leaf collection trucks from last November were going to show up? What about the branches mixed in with the leaves? This is a true safety hazard -- cars have to drive around the piles -- into oncoming traffic -- and they turn into slick slime with hidden surprises in the rain. I’ve tried to get our fair city to talk to some of them to no avail -- after all, they’re voters. I don’t see this changing anytime soon.

Tammy in Cyberspace: My biggest Grrr goes to the sidewalk-hogging Oblivions who walk two or three abreast and, when encountering oncoming traffic on the sidewalk, then fail to separate or walk in front of one another. This forces the oncoming person (me) to have to walk off the sidewalk into the mud or to step off the curb into the street. They have eyes and can see someone coming who needs to use a portion of the sidewalk too. Why can't they simply fall into a line behind one another for a moment? I do it if I see someone coming, I move over and give them a space to walk without muddying their shoes or forcing them into the street. Please people, share the sidewalk and don't be so selfish.

Heather L. writes: Is there a universal sign for "I'm sorry" to acknowledge my "oblivion moment"? Every non-obliviot has an "Oblivion moment" once in a while, and I would like to know what I should do to acknowledge that I know I did it, but am not really an obliviot. For example, if I am driving, and I accidentally cut someone off, I want to show a sign that says I am sorry I was an idiot. Unfortunately, I am afraid that I appear to be giving another sign, which I don't intend. Any thoughts?

—Heather. A simple wave should do the trick

Steve R. writes: I'm not sure which category in the Grrr! lexicon these folks fall under, but those driving in regular two-way traffic with the extra "fog" lights blinding everyone else (especially at night) are just plain selfish (and dangerous). As far as I know, the cars, SUVs, trucks and minivans that are equipped with the extra lights have switches to control if the lights are on or off. I remember when there was a law that your headlamps must be aimed properly to avoid blinding other drivers. Makes me want to drive with my high beams on all the time, but then I would fall into the category with those "I can see, I don't care if anyone else can" people. Grrr!

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