Your Grrrs: Feb. 20, 2007

Here are some of your responses to Mike's last column.

Steve F. writes: While I disagree with you on the “need” for my morning cup of coffee (I love my coffee), I will have to agree on the lines. Thing is, the lines are a result of what coffee has become, “designer," which takes an ungodly amount of time to prepare.

Numerous times I’ve endured those long lines to get a simple cup of coffee, black, that’s all I want, not a Double Decaf Mocha Froth with Caramel and Cinnamon. Coffee, black. Oh, and it’s small, medium or large, not those idiotic names they want us to use to order something as simple as a small coffee, black.

Peter B. writes: There was a time when awards shows were about honoring the best movies, actors, songs, TV shows, etc. Now they have all turned into political events generally to honor left-wing Hollywood persons/ideas. The Grammys are a perfect example! GRRR!!!! What do you think?

Howard writes: I hear what you're saying about the elderly folks slowing things up. But I think you ought to cut them some slack, Mike. After all, if it weren't for that generation and what they accomplished, you would be writing your column in either German or Japanese!

What ticks me off much more than the elderly folks at Wal-Mart or the grocery store are the completely oblivious yuppies who think they should let their kids pilot a shopping cart around the store, getting in people's way, clogging up the aisles and generally making pests of themselves.

These kids never say "excuse me" when they do something stupid and rude. Their obliviot parents have probably never taught them the phrase. And they obviously think their kids are a hell of a lot cuter than I think they are! But I don't blame the rugrats. They don't know any better. Those stupid yuppie soccer parents need to have their butts tanned, though!

Jim K. writes: Before the days of direct deposit and electronic banking, I went to a bank near work each Thursday at lunch time to deposit my paycheck. This particular bank (in an area rife with elderly, who had nothing to do and all day to do it) thought it would be great to set up a "priority" line for retirees/elderly/seniors/old duffers.

The line worked thusly, one bona fide worker who only had lunch time away from the daily grind ... then one retiree/elderly/etc., then repeat. The elders would often bend the ears of the tellers about their daughter coming from Milwaukee or Tuscon to visit, etc., making the wait even more intolerable. Obviously, this was not only unfair, but unworkable. But week after week we endured. Grudgingly.

Then, one Thursday, it happened. Near mutiny on the part of the worker-on-lunch-break gang. Getting ugly. Bank management getting worried. Next Thursday, no more seniors line. Workers happy.

P.S. I am now a senior and soon to be a retiree. But I won't step foot in a bank until my computer explodes!!!

Susan writes: Mike, I was saddened when some recent writers to the Grrr column had the nerve to suggest you were simply throwing around the names of the rich and famous. The snippet about the elevator shoes was classic "Straka." I loved it.

Hollywood can keep its Hiltons, Lohans and Spearses. Jersey has Straka. Being from Delaware, I'll adopt you, given that our most recent claim to fame, Ryan Phillippe, has totally screwed up his life. Keep it up, Mike — even if it's on top of the elevator shoes.

Kathleen V. writes: I, for one, cannot understand how in the world the Dixie Chicks won best album and song of the year — when none of us have even heard them?

The song and album are lousy and there was so much other talent out there that deserved to win and didn't. Could it be political? Is anyone left in Hollywood honest? I will not be watching the Grammys next year, I can tell you.

How much money did they get paid to cause this to happen? Apparently they don't understand that we have freedom to be who we want to be and make money in this country because of our soldiers fighting for us out there.

Greg D. writes: I know I'm out of touch with the entertainment world, but the first thing I thought to myself when I saw your blurb on Joan Baez at the Grammy Awards was the same thing I thought to myself when I saw Linda Ronstadt's anti-Bush tirade: "Huh ... I thought she was dead."

Joan Baez is not worthy of a GRRR ... come on, now. She's an angry old hippie who should have departed the planet when young people started cutting their hair and using deodorant again. Why bother with her?

And I disagree with the rant on older folks in the Wal-Mart. They don't deserve to be lumped in with the same younger obliviots that suffer from terminal stupidity and have snotty attitudes to boot. If you're in a rush, then use the self-checkout, which many of the older folk don't touch anyway.

Keith G. writes: Dear Mr. Straka, let me start off by saying that I really enjoy your GRRR! articles. One of the underlying themes that I have derived from your pieces is that oblivions
often think of life as being "all about them." It is this underlying attitude that causes such people to disregard others with rude and sometimes dangerous behavior.

In that theme, I think you are getting dangerously close to the "oblivion" tag (which we all earn sometimes) in your section on the elderly and Wal-Mart.

While I certainly understand your desire to be able to get in and out of a place quickly on your lunch break, should other people have to adjust their schedules to make life easier for you?

One of the things I try to remember (not always successfully) is that the elderly person in front of me likely served, or had a loved one serve, in a war like WWII. Is it unthinkable for me to be delayed a little bit in contrast to the sacrifice they and/or their loved ones made? What's a couple of minutes? Thanks for your insights.

Anne W. writes: I, too, have “no problem” with the elderly. We will all be “elderly” some day. I DO have a problem with some of our senior citizens who feel they have no further responsibility for manners or consideration simply because they are OLD.

I cannot tell you how many times I have held open a door, waved someone across in front of my car or let someone go ahead of me in line due to their age and have not been spared even a nod in my general direction, a wave of the hand or a smile, let alone a thank you!

I have been literally backed into by wheeled scooters and then glared at as if I say, “Whoa, wait a minute.” I have seen countless little old ladies whose heads do not clear the top of the steering wheel driving obliviously through parking lots and other venues. People knock teenagers but, in my experience, they are definitely no worse than our older citizens.

And Anna Nicole Smith? “Tracy F.” has it exactly right. When you have a child, your bad choices affect them directly. Anna N. made a career out of bad choices, and her son grew up in this environment. The shock would have been if he had turned out OK. In 15 to 20 years, we will see how the unfortunate little girl has fared.

John S. writes: The night before leaving New York for the Keys (Feb. 4) I happened to go to Borders for a CD. Needless to say, I was quite elated to see your book and news of your signing tonight. Left without CD but did purchase GRRR! Still in Keys (actually might stay a while). Hope your appearance was a success and thanks for putting a smile on my face just when I needed it most!
p.s. Regards to all the Strakas.
p.s.s. Hope to get my copy autographed.

Melissa H. writes: I about died laughing when I read your latest piece on the old people in the grocery store. There have been so many times I have taken my lunch hour to go to the store and buy some necessities and I am forever trying to move around people going slower than molasses. I know it's certainly not nice to pick on the elderly and I even feel guilty for writing this, but c'mon, get out of the way.

Robyn T. writes: Received your book in a New York minute! It was very exciting ... started reading it already. Will be sending a thank you card in the mail ... thanks so much — have the Grrr!eatest Day!

Jeff B. writes: I am also a vertically challenged man. I'm not sure if it happens to you, but people are always coming up to me commenting on how short I am. Why is this acceptable?

There is nothing I can do about my height. But if I were to go up to someone who is overweight and say, "My, look at how fat you are," the sky would come crashing to the ground. I'd be labeled as an inconsiderate idiot for remarking on a characteristic that someone can't help (please).

Whether it be diet, exercise or liposuction, weight can be fixed. My height cannot. Yet it's OK to comment on my genetic makeup, but rude and barbaric to even mention the others. Grrrrrrr...

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