Your Grrrs: Aug. 30, 2005

Your Grrrs ...

Corey S. in San Antonio: My Grrr goes out to the toy manufacturers who make the opening of toys (especially those designed for young children) harder than a raid on Fort Knox!! Now, I know they want to avoid people opening the box in the store and stealing a toy, but really people, wire cutters to get a toy out of a box! That is what the instructions on the back of one my daughter's toys said was needed to remove the doll. Now imagine yourself on a holiday morning with three or four (or more) eager pre-schoolers wanting to play with all the new booty they just received, only to have Mom and Dad struggle for 20 minutes to open one toy! Please toy manufacturers, use reason and logic and cut back on the wire!

Jeff B. in Chicago: This is in response to Matt R. from Birmingham, Ala., a few columns ago. There are people much worse than these "bottom dwellers" you speak of. These are the people who make broad generalizations about an entire profession because of the actions of a few individuals. Being in the legal profession, I'll be the first to admit that there are of course a few bad apples. But guess what, Matt: There are a few bad apples in every profession. We have teachers and priests molesting students. We have politicians accepting bribes. We have soldiers dealing drugs. We have cops who steal. You can look to any profession and find an example of someone who takes advantage of their position. But that doesn't mean we should start calling all of the people who work in these professions the scum of the earth. Welcome to society, Matt. There are a lot more hard-working honest lawyers out there than there are corrupt ones. The lawyers who went down to the South, putting themselves in grave danger for no money, in order to rectify civil rights violations. Or the lawyers who work at legal aid to help people secure housing, or make sure that slum lords don't take advantage of them. These are just two examples of how people in the legal profession are working to make our country better. And there are hundreds more. So if you want to Grrr the few bad apples, fine. But taking it out on an entire profession makes you the obliviot in this case.

Jason from Nebraska: Mike, love the column. My GRR goes out to the idiots/obliviots that think they are witty by using someone else's words to make them sound funny/intelligent. Perfect example: Matt from Mobile, Ala., in your Aug. 23 Grrr! Dude, you completely ripped off a portion of Carlos Mencia's opening monologue to his TV show from a couple of weeks ago. What did you do, tape the show, write it down word for word, and memorize it to make yourself look witty? Worked great (not)! Try coming up with your own material. And this advice should go to every person that quotes some cheesy dead 17th century poet or philosopher when they are trying to impress someone and show how smart they are. Wow, you can read and memorize someone else's material, I'm really impressed! Be original in life, and while you're at it, get a clue!

T. Chris in cyberspace: Can't wait to see the Rolling Stones on FOX ... ought to be interesting!

Julie in Tulsa, Okla.: So you think that having the school teach manners, etiquette and courtesies is the answer to instilling a stronger foundation under our youth, huh? And gee, you even think it's OK to wait until they are juniors or seniors? Since when should the teachers take the place of the parents and what would be the true definition of parenting anyway? If YOU haven't taught it to your children while they were growing up, then they aren't going to magically become well-mannered young men and women who have a handle on etiquette and automatically revert to common courtesies because they took a class at the age of 17 or 18. Trust me, if they haven't had it instilled from the early years on, then a year-long class won't make a difference. Yay! to all those parents who take parenting seriously and don't rely on others (teachers, pastors, chaplains, etc.) to do their job!!!

Kevin R. spent some time on the following Grrrs: Traffic issues: Whether it's "left lane", speeding, driving too slow, etc., the important thing to remember is you drive at the pace of the existing traffic. Too slow is often as dangerous as too fast. If the pace is too fast, take another route. If you're in the left lane, please pass someone … otherwise stay to the right. Remember, we all share the same sections of pavement and the speeding, recklessness of others is best left to the police, not us.

Cell phones: I remember life before these things, now they seem to be a necessary evil. When you're in a public restaurant or bathroom, turn the thing off. Enjoy your meal and hopefully some conversation with someone else. That's what I do. I can't believe that anyone is so important that they can't take an hour off to enjoy a meal and someone's company. That's what we did before cell phones, PDAs and Blackberries.

Office manners: If you're sick, stay home. No one is a martyr for passing illnesses to others. Be considerate of your attitude, volume and manners. You might actually become popular in your work group. Remember, you share the same space and air with others.

Smoke: People do it. It's not going away. I don't smoke, I hold my breath and move on.

Finally: Unplug, log off, shut down and take the time to get to know others. "Self" kind of goes away when you get to know someone. I refuse to let anyone make me unhappy. I know I do stupid things every day. I only hope that my personal stupidity doesn't ruin someone else's day. We all choose to let others remove the joy from our everyday lives. I vow to not let that happen to me. Above all else, each day of life is a gift -- treasure it. Work hard, play hard, love unconditionally and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Judge not and be thankful that we live in the greatest country on earth. Help others when possible, build a legacy with your family and overlook the weakness in others. The good Lord has blessed us all and life is a one-shot affair. This is my choice and the way I want to live.

Grrring in Albuquerque, N.M.: This is a word of caution for those who want to and feel the need to point out other people's oblivionism. I don't blame you -- in fact I do use my horn to tell people that they made a traffic violation affecting me and that I don't appreciate it. In the case of yielding to those who have the right-of-way, people, especially in New Mexico, have no idea what right-of-way is. Clueless. So I make it known when they do what they're not supposed to do. But, my word of caution is -- take care that the oblivious driver doesn't go into a fit of road rage. My husband sounded his horn at a stupid driver, probably on his cell phone, and the guy got mad and followed him all the way home, tailgating the whole way. A little nervewracking for my husband, especially in a state that has a high percentage of gangs and violence per capita. I still feel it necessary to show people that they're not the only ones on the planet, but I'll probably think twice before honking my horn at someone.

From Talena: Grrr to all the people who reply to the column with "well, you won't post this but…" just so they can get posted on the site. Especially D. Potter from 8/25/05 column who is so proud of his comments. To be honest, if they were that great, wouldn't you have posted them for all of us to read?

From Steven in cyberspace: Grrr to all those Obliviots who cross the street at a snail's pace with no regard for those of us who are patiently waiting in our cars for them to complete this apparently difficult task (I am not referring to the elderly or the handicapped, of course.) But a double Grrr goes out to those exasperating nuts who cross the street or parking lot slowly at an angle, ensuring that we will have to wait twice as long for them to get out of the way.

From Jim in cyberspace: Mike, your article was excellent! When so many are putting down the band as "too old," it is exciting to read about your experience. There is nothing like a live Rolling Stones show. They are still easily the BEST!

From Bryan in Oklahoma: Considering Oklahoma was listed as one of the fattest states in the nation, I would be spending more time on the treadmill and less time in front of the keyboard eating and sending in Your GRRS to Mike. You'll feel better and live longer in the end. I lost 40 pounds and run four times a week and have kept it off, so stop with the pathetic excuses.

Leanne in Tennessee: My Grrr is to all the Oblivion parents in suburban neighborhoods like mine who buy their child motor scooters and off-road vehicles. Not only do I NOT want to hear the annoying engine sound of these things as they race by on the streets, but it is illegal to drive them on a public street if you don't have a license.

From Brenda in Mississippi: I live in the Deep South and have season tickets for a minor league baseball team. There is no smoking allowed in the stands, which is great. However, it's OK for a guy to sit beside me who dips snuff or chews tobacco and spits it either into a cup or worse yet onto the pavement. I guess it's a Southern thing, but it's really disgusting! I'm just waiting for the time one of them accidentally spits on me.

From Donna: Who cares about what your opinion is. Non-controversy? I guess you have heard the saying about what opinions are like and how everyone has one. You must be one of those liberal pinheads. I have never liked the Stones and don't like them even more after hearing their neo-con, anti-American hogwash.

From Patrick in the U.S. Air Force: Grrr to the media, and all of the coverage exploiting the deaths in Iraq. All military members and their families know of the consequences of joining the military. Also, Grrr to those who believe military member are overpaid. In my job I could get paid far more in the outside but I chose to defend our country against terrorism. I chose to be separated from my family months on end. But to say we are overpaid is just insane and incompetent.

From Tammy in Atlanta, Ga.: I am sick of my hometown being referred to as "Hotlanta." I am sure some marketing Yankee nitwit came up with the name. Keep it up and us rednecks will come up with a few great nicknames for New York! Y'all come back now, ya hear.

Respond to Mike | Grrr! Lexicon

Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, and covers entertainment and features on the Sunday program "FOX Magazine." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on