Now for your Grrrs ... don't forget to spot the Oblivion.
Jennifer at Camp Lejeune, N.C.: I have another name to add to the Grrr Lexicon. A Biblioblivion. A biblioblivion is a person, probably an uninspired student, who chooses to highlight, underline, asterisk and otherwise mark up library books rendering them difficult to read for everyone who comes after them! I am reading a biography of Gershwin (or would that be Grrrrshwin?) — and thanks to some biblioblivion's research paper, I am being bombarded by the literary equivalent of pop-up ads! My A.D.D. is going crazy!! People, this is really simple — if it isn't your book, don't write in it!!
Cory in Cyber-Space: First of all, love your column. Oh how I resonate with so many of the Grrrs. This message, however, is to nominate someone for your Stupid Lit'l Dreamer award. Here is one soldier who started out helping the guys in his platoon with this amazing program, and it has now grown into helping thousands of soldiers. Knowing what a great readership you have, I thought they may want to help out. Here's the site: www.anysoldier.com.
Andrea in Kansas: Grrr to those who reinforce stereotypes about generations younger than themselves. Specifically, Grrr to the oblivion at a Kansas mall who assumed that I had no idea who Elvis was simply because I am half her age. It’s been said that we should respect our elders. However, it’s hard to keep giving when they don’t respect us in return.
Norm K. in Austin, Texas: My family and I were in Vegas last week, but left before the main CES crowd. My Biggest Grrr was the throng of people standing along all the sidewalks trying to hand us pornographic cards and newspapers. It was like trying to run a gauntlet just to get from one place to another. I know Vegas is "Sin City," but that's going too far.
Mike C. in Cyber-Space: Amen and Amen, buddy. Over the course of the past couple of years, I've traded the gym membership I never used for a couple hundred pounds of free weights that I do use. I've stopped buying the snooty-sounding shave cream and have gone back to Noxzema. I've vowed never to spend more than $20 on a haircut and not to trust any guy that does. Next, I'm going to get up, go to my dresser drawer and toss the Fahrenheit cologne in the rummage sale box. Done. I feel better already.
Walta W. in Las Vegas, Nev.: Just have to share this with you. While driving to work last week, I once again got stuck behind a left lane vigilante ... and low and behold, guess what the personalized license plate read? You got it — "Oblivion"!!! I wonder if he reads your column too.
Barb M.: I have a driving Grrr. This is regarding left turn lane abuse (which seems to be the latest trend here in Michigan at least). Since when did the left turn lane down the center of a road become a right merge lane?!? Left turn means slow down, stop, wait for traffic and turn LEFT. It does NOT mean turn left from a side street into the left turn lane and sit there, waiting to merge RIGHT, or worse, to speed up in that lane in order to merge into traffic. If traffic is too heavy and you can't turn left onto the street, either change your plans so you're leaving at a less traveled time, or spend an extra 60 seconds of your life saving someone else's (and even your own) by turning RIGHT, then using the left turn lane to turn LEFT into another street or parking lot, turn around and turn RIGHT out of it! Thanks for the opportunity to Grrr — may 2005 be a year of self-discovery for Obliviots!
Richard in Bonney Lake, Wash.: So here it is, plain and simple. I'm in my place of business when a car passes on the street with the stereo loud enough to be heard over a jet engine from 300 yards away. I just quit talking with my customer 'til the Obliviot passed. "I really wish parents would wake up and not let the kids abuse the neighborhood like that," I said. The mother's response, I swear to gawd, was, "Oh, those systems aren't that loud on the passengers. My son's isn't that bad inside the car." I asked her if she enjoyed raising another Obliviot. She didn't answer and left. So have legislators done anything? Do kids have any consideration for others? Obviously not. Drug abuse is up, teen pregnancy, AIDS, high crime rates, car thefts, larger zones of apartments going up everyday. Obviously the have no respect for themselves, let alone others. I'm only 48, and I'm sad to say that my generation raised these Obliviots.
Keith in Norfolk, Va.: Ok here’s a Grrr! for you…How about the magazine subscription or Internet service that just won’t go away (Especially the Internet). It’s just so easy to sign up for something, but try to get rid of it. In fact, on that Internet service, which ships the millions of free disks and will not be named, I dare you to show me a quick way to cancel. It requires a phone call. I guess it’s OK to take our money and card numbers over the Internet, but we must be less trustworthy for some reason if we try to cancel. And it’s increasingly like that. ... But the best part is when you haven’t used “whatever” and forgot about it. Well, they didn’t forget you! They have your card number and will happily bill you on time for as long as you let them, whether you're using the service or not.
B. Scott W. in Cyber-Space responds to Lacey from last column: As much as I hate this phrase, I have to say, "You Go, Girl!" to Lacey in Kansas City. My wife is a "working mom" (and yes, I know "stay-at-home moms" work, too), and it is and was a hard decision for her to take our kids to day care. And it's even harder on her to listen to Oblivion mothers who think it's terrible for her to do so, or who think their parenting is better than anyone else's. Let's face it, back in the day when moms stayed home with their kids, they didn't have dishwashers, automatic washers and dryers and the like. They didn't coddle their children or entertain them or act as their playmates. And their husbands didn't come home and fold laundry or cook supper. Women stayed home because they couldn't afford to have a professional job. Now with superb- quality child care and better ethics toward women, it's economically feasible for women to work outside the home. Men, if your wife works outside the home, support her in every way you can.
Mary in California: I send out a big GRRR! to all shopliviots who haunt the halls of our local groceries! Last night, as I was quickly picking up some items for dinner after a long and exhausting day at work, I ran into the same Obliviot FOUR times in the course of two minutes. I have never seen a worse case of deer in the headlights. I made sure to leave the market before this distracted diva got on the road and forgot about the yellow line. Needless to say, she ran over my toes TWICE without blinking, blocked me into the deli section as she weighed pasta salad options and then as I walked into the check-out line, I watched her dreamily take her THREE TINY items out of her LARGE cart and then leave it, for all the world to trip over and walk around in the middle of the small, extremely busy aisle in front of the checkout stands. Seriously, folks, the neurons were not firing. I almost asked the check-out girl to confiscate her keys. GRRR!
Jim Z. in Oxford, Ind.: I completely agree with your stance on the selfish Obvliviots otherwise known as left-lane vigilantes. However, I think there needs to be a new category added to your glossary for the Obliviots who feel entitled to drive 85 or 90 in the left lane, flashing their lights, tailgating or otherwise mowing down the innocents who have moved into the left lane, already going 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit, to pass a semi or other slow-moving vehicle. These morons are just as dangerous and aggravating as the left-lane vigilantes. The left lane is for passing slower traffic, not an exclusive driving lane for ImporTants to drive whatever speed their little hearts desire. None of us should have to put up with these jerks just because they're late getting their next Starbucks fix. Maybe they could be called left-lane ImporTants.
Until next week ... Grrr!
Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for FOXNews.com, and contributes as a features reporter on "FOX Magazine," and as a news cut-ins anchor on FOX News Channel. Mike also appeared in Analyze This. Read Mike's Bio.