Your Grrrs: June 23, 2005

Your Grrrs ...

Carol H. in Cyberspace: This is for Kelly who wrote about the 4-year-old who died on the Disney ride. She states that it was this child's parent's fault, not Disney's. As a parent of a child, I know that I have depended on the knowledge of others when it came to my child's safety in certain situations. Disney is responsible for making sure that the people allowed on their rides are going to be safe. Disney is responsible for making sure that if they are only going to have a height requirement, and not an age requirement, that the ride is safe for children of all ages. Disney is the "professional" in this situation. That mother took Disney's word that if her child was a certain height, he would be safe on that ride. Disney was wrong and therefore Disney is at fault.

Cindy M. in West Lafayette, Ind.: Yeah, Tom Cruise is a class act — NOT. I have never cared for him, personally. However, when he downed Brooke Shields for talking medication for postpartum depression, he totally crossed over the line. Not everyone happens to believe in Scientology — mostly just people with mega bucks, because that's what the organization asks for. No one can overcome this malady with the use of "vitamins." It's a serious mental/emotional disorder. Anyway, it's none of anyone's business what another person needs to do for recovery, least of all Cruise's. Plus, lately, with all his ridiculous antics concerning his relationship, he's proving NOT to be a class act. He's just acting like a fool.

Arthur B. in Cyberspace: Straka: Yes it was a stupid prank and the guy is a jerk for doing it. However, my Grrr goes to the double standard in the way people are treated by the law. Give me a break, it's water, get over it. The guy will receive his punishment in the way it affects his career … but arrested for assault? It would be nice if every time some Oblivion around me tries to be funny, and really ends up just being a jerk, he is arrested for something as silly as squirting water in my face. Grrr to the media for making such a big deal out of it, Grrr to law enforcement for a double standard and Grrr to Tom Cruise for letting it continue on.

Bryan D. in Milwaukie, Ore.: Forget London's stupid reality show "Grand Classic" after they pulled something so stupid on a well-known celebrity like Tom Cruise. I don't care too much about celebrities, and that group you call "Real-ities." The typical Oblivion (and the Importants, Wal-Martians) are more entertaining to watch. The Oblivions are natural at it, all unscripted, take almost no effort to perform their "act" and they don't even know they're doing something Oblivious until someone honks or Grrrs at them. What would we ever do without Oblivions?

Meagan in Louisiana: I totally agree with Nikki about women dressing trashy. I'm sorry, but if you dress like trash, you will get treated like trash. My Grrr continues: What is up with overly large women dressing in tube tops and mini skirts? Where is their common sense? Do they not know how horrible they look? I wait tables at a restaurant and there is nothing worse than a big girl sitting down and her back fat and her crack hanging out of her mini-skirt/too-tight pants. Also, a grrr ... 11- and 12-year-old kids dressed like Britney Spears. Why do parents allow their young children to go out leaving nothing to the imagination? These parents need to wake up and make their children dress like children, instead of floozies. Thanks for the chance to vent.

Bob and Carol in Cyberspace: I think it is real funny what happened to Tom Cruise. I can't believe he can't take a joke.

Mike B. Jr. in Cyberspace: My Grrr! is toward the media for their publishing of Terri Schiavo's grave marker in pictures around the nation. What gives anyone the right to go and trample on her grave just so they can get the first picture of her in her resting place? What is wrong with them?! It is so disgusting what people will do to get the lead story, or add some sort of vision to it. Shame on them.

Zada in Philadelphia, Pa.: I'm not a Tom Cruise fan per se (in fact, I hope he's bright enough to get Katie Holmes to sign an air-tight pre-nup before he actually does marry the girl); however, I will give him credit for restraining himself when the idiot in London squirted him with water. He acted in a mature way to the situation, which frankly surprised me. However, I would like to know how in the heck they got that close to Cruise (or any celebrity for that matter) with something that can squirt liquid? What if these men were not from a "reality" type show at all? What if they were out to harm someone? It could just as easily have been acid instead of water that was squirted at Cruise's face, or a weapon of some kind with the means of causing harm. That was my first thought when I saw the tape on what happened. I would think this would be a real cause for concern among stars, politicians, etc. The president of the United States often speaks before microphones, for goodness' sake. Maybe someone should be looking at better security in the future where any of these famous people are concerned. They have bodyguards and Secret Service for good reasons.

M.K. in Roswell, Ga.: Mr. Straka, I'm a big fan of your column, but I need to point out something you missed in your last column about John Melendez, aka "Stuttering John." Yes, John made a name for himself acting like a jacka— while interviewing celebrities. He was probably unable to interview anyone after gaining notoriety as an idiot. However, he was able to parlay his experience on Howard Stern's show and became the announcer for the "Tonight Show." How long do you think it will take for this moron that squirted Cruise in the face to get some cushy gig on Channel 4 in London?

Christine in Cyberspace: I think Tom handled the "water squirt" issue the wrong way. If celebrities need to live in a glass bubble, than so be it. He should have laughed it off as a joke. If "fear of safety" is such an issue, then only give private interviews. I am tired of these actors/athletes with their megamillions thinking they are so above everyone. They are doing nothing to save anyone’s lives or "make a difference in the world." I'm sure you can say, “oh, but they are, they make contributions, blah blah blah." But there are very, very few who actually do it for the right reasons. It is all for publicity, and people eat it up. I love my country, but society as we know it stinks.

R.W. Wahlert in Cyberspace: Dear Tom: Boy, I’ll bet that squirt of water in your face really hurt, huh? It’s such a terrible thing to see happen — and to think they sell squirt guns in stores. Maybe the Congress should pass legislation on banning squirt guns, or squirt gun and squirt bottle control — even though it would have no effect on international soil. Were you trying to convince that “jerk” that you were God’s gift to the world and therefore his actions made him a jerk? When I was a kid squirting my friends and they were squirting me, I didn’t realize we were being jerks! I thought it was fun! But when Tom Cruise gets a squirt, it makes international news. Wow, I hope you didn’t suffer any injuries — other then a wounded ego. I suppose you could be scared for life from the public humiliation. But with all the lovey-dovey all the time, I think a cold dose of water may have done you some good. I would have used a bucket. If this had happened to your everyday “Joe,” would it have received international press coverage? National press coverage? Local press coverage? The Hooterville Bugle coverage? No. So grow up. Try to act like a man.

Mike in Ohio: My Grrr is to people who not only have loud, long, personal conversations on the phone at work, but they do this ALL DAY! As I write this, it is nearly 10 a.m. and the woman in the cube next to me has told the entire city about her son being sick, changing day care centers, learning to tie his shoes, shooting fire from his eyes, etc. She is not alone in this practice. Half of the office does this all day, and they all manage to talk loud enough for me to hear EVERYTHING! I started this new job two weeks ago and I know EVERYTHING that is going on in some of my co-workers' lives, simply because they do not have the common courtesy to A) not yell into the phone, and B) not use the phone for personal calls on company time. If you want to chat with your friends, wait until you get home, then you can yell as loud as you want into the phone. Grrr!

Gregory E. S. in Cyberspace: My Grrr was watching Dr. Rice on one of the Sunday morning news programs on June 19 telling the Syrians and Iranians that if they would secure their borders, we would have a better chance of making headway in Iraq. Am I missing something? We cannot or will not secure our own borders and here is the secretary of state telling other nations what to do.

Mike B. in Excelsior, Minn.: My wife and I were coming home from our honeymoon in Miami, Fla., a week ago. I was so anxious to get back home so that I could have that "one last day" to relax before returning to work. Our flight from Miami to Atlanta was rather quick, so there was a little bit of a layover. Well, our good luck turned into misfortune when our crew coming in from New Jersey was delayed by a little over an hour. I understood that things happen and it wasn't their fault that the weather decided to hinder travel plans at that particular airport. Finally, we started boarding the plane. We were already two hours behind schedule, and this Oblivion decided not to check his oversized bag and took it on the plane. So we waited in the aisle for 10 minutes for this guy to pack his suitcase while the flight attendant repeatedly asked people over the intercom to try and slide a little further into the row so that other passengers could get by. He ignored their requests. So we got to our seats and the usual, "Please turn off all cellular phones when the cabin door has been closed" announcement came over the PA. Do you think that everyone would do this? I thought that they would, but I was proven wrong. Some Oblivion behind us proceeded to talk to what appeared to be her sweetie on her phone. Several more announcements about cell phone use were blasted, and a flight attendant eventually came back and asked her to turn her phone off. She still didn't listen. She talked for another 15 minutes, and we all had to sit there and wait for takeoff. Grrr!

James M. in Sacramento, Calif.: Mike, so right you are! A lot of people are getting fed up with these talentless parasites who, having no real skills of their own, try to make a name for themselves by capitalizing on someone else's celebrity. Hurray for Tom Cruise and the way he conducted himself — a lesser individual would have reacted with violence, which I'm sure would have been just what the paparazzi and parasites wanted. While labeled "harmless pranks," these types of incidents contribute to a broad-based cultural decline within the Western civilization. Prosecuting the prankster and his cronies for assault might just bring about some sanity to the tabloid mentality.

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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." He also writes the weekly Grrr! Column and hosts "The Real Deal" video segments on