Your Grrrs: May 3, 2005

Now for Your Grrrs ...

Dennis M. in Kailua, Hawaii, on Cell Phone Oblivions: There seems to be some debate as to whether talking on a cell phone while driving causes too much distraction to the driver. I don't know about any studies, or what the insurance industry says, but here is my experience on the subject: I ride my bicycle in traffic daily, and I frequently get a close look at some of these Behind-the-Wheel Cell Phone Oblivions. I can plainly see the blank, vacant, "thousand yard" stares on these Oblivions' faces as they carelessly careen down the road. These people are clearly in another world and are totally detached from paying adequate attention to the road or traffic (especially cyclists). I believe the Cell Phone Oblivion ultimately defines the term "Oblivion." However, in a public place, they are merely rude, annoying and low-class; behind the wheel, they are lethal.

J.C. in Colorado says: One cell at a time! This Grrrr! goes out to the abusers out there. First would be to promote abstinence: If you do not need to make the call, simply don’t. Next would be safe talking habits: If you’re going to talk, wear a headset. Finally the last stage would promote courteous calls: Just like sex, cell calls are between just two people (at least usually, in both cases) so everybody else around does not want to be included. You wouldn’t have sex in the middle of a restaurant at lunchtime, or in line at the bank would you? I love and appreciate the technology, but this disease of poor cell use has gone on too long. Cell phone users are still rapidly increasing, and in correlation, so are bad users. Please join me in this valiant if not vain campaign to end cell abuse!

Richard D. on Paris Hilton's Movie Career: So, her new movie will not be done with night-vision goggles segments? Too bad!

Stan D. in Folsom, Calif.: Paris Hilton signs on with a major Hollywood talent agency? We've already seen her talent. It's not fit for families, that's for sure. Besides that, her performance was not all that great.

Samantha in Ft. Lauderdale: Mike, I am so sick of the barrage of reality TV shows starring no-talent, couldn't-get-a-real-acting-job-if-they-tried people, but now I might be able to say I have seen it all. Paris Hilton a movie star? I just choked on my lunch reading that. So now people are expected to go pay $10 for a movie ticket and $15 for soda and popcorn (a separate grrr I might add) to see this no-talent moron on the big screen? It is bad enough I have to look at the enormous billboard of Paris and her perfume every morning. Seriously, I weep for the future of the entertainment industry — talk about going right down the toilet. This grrrrr goes out to Hollywood and their shallow, sleazy tactics to make money, instead of promoting the many talented actors out there who have labored years to perfect their craft, instead of dumb rich girls who are famous only because of their money.

CC in Missouri: I don't know why you dislike Paris Hilton so much. Many stars out there have started out doing fake and truly scandalous things. Whatever you think about Paris, one has to see her "Out of this World" beauty, charisma and talent. If she had made it and not been an heir, would you still say the same things about her? It is only your assumption that her heritage has anything to do with her success. If it did, look at all the REALLY RICH folks whose kids have failed at being stars, actors, models or anything else. The gal's got IT, pal!

Erik H. in San Diego: I was at Wal-Mart buying various items and was WalMartian-free for the whole experience until I realized that I should be buying my wife's Mother's Day card while there. Then the WalMartians came in to the picture. I can't think of a savvy name for these Oblivions other than "Greeting Card Blockers." These are the nimrods who feel compelled to parallel park their cart two inches from the front of the card rack and stand just as close while they pick their cards. Then they select one, read it, put it back and start the cycle over again. All the while, the respectful customers are standing well back scanning the rack and reaching in and reading it well away from the rack so that other people can have access to the cards. I hate to sound stereotypical, but it's usually the women who are the "Blockers." Men typically will stand away from the rack because they don't want anyone to see them in the near vicinity of any cheesy, romantic or "fluffy" cards which would seem emasculating. I'm one of them, and I notice that most men are the same way. If they are just being polite or truly embarrassed to be there, it doesn't matter ... I'm just glad that they give other people a chance to read the cards!

Mike in cyberspace on this column: I always get the biggest kick out of your column. I will be the first to say that I truly enjoy it and usually agree with a lot of the GRRRS that you and your fan base post on here. But, in all reality, this one goes out to everyone reading this column. How many times have you gotten to the point of anger over the OBLIVIONS you face every day. I am trying a softer approach on life and trying to shed the habit of becoming upset over the idiots I see day to day operating with no regard, and usually no clue, to their own stupidity. My point is this, try letting it go time to time. Why??? you might ask. The answer is ... mostly all Oblivions will not let your anger over their ways bother them, while you on the other hand do. All
that will happen from your anger is a higher blood pressure on your part ... which means higher risk of heart attack ... which means higher risk of death. Now on the other hand, the average Oblivion is very relaxed in their manner of ignorance ... which means they will have lower blood pressure ... which means they will outlive you ... which means, and here is the scary part ... THEY WILL DOMINATE THE PLANET AND RULE THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's just a thought and say a prayer it never happens.

—Mike, you have a point, but you know what really Grrrs me? Writers who overuse punctuation marks and ALL CAPS to make a point.

Tom in Boise writes: A big GRRR!! should go out to the Idaho State Police for their recent article in our local paper telling people to drive in the left lane of our two lane Interstate! This is to be perceived as being "courteous" to the folks merging onto the Interstate at on-ramps. So now there are even more Oblivion Left Lane Vigilantes than before, just because Drivers Education Programs do not teach people how to merge into moving traffic. There are even signs posted along the Interstate that read "through traffic keep left." Grrr!

Jason in cyberspace responds to Dave from the last "Your Grrrs" page: I bet you are that one guy that always has two or three bags waiting to get on a flight and can't give the clerk your boarding pass and while trying to do that you bump into everyone else and don't care. On top of that, if you don't like the column, don't read the column. You are just upset because you fit the criteria for an Obliviot.

Xion who signs up e-mail accounts as "Ralph Nader:" You are a $&@!& writer, just like you were a $&@!& actor. Quit bitching about not being the coolest person in Hollywood. When you are rich and beautiful, you can do anything you want to do in America, just except that. Stop writing depressing articles about how much the entertainment business sucks when you can't even entertain me by writing about how terrible the entertainment business is.

—Hey Xion, you write "except that" and you're calling me a $&@!& writer?

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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."

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