Your Grrrs: Nov. 3, 2005

Your Grrrs...

Laura in Colorado: A big Grrr! goes out to the stupid people of my state that decided yesterday that we need to pay more taxes and we need to lose all our deductions. Congratulations, you just made government bigger and its citizens more dependent. Look at New Orleans to see what the consequence of that is.

Autumn in Boise, Idaho: I've read your column for quite some time now, and generally I find myself nodding my head in agreement as I read. As everyone does, I have Grrr!s of my own but today I was pushed right over the edge — the future of the English language may just be at stake. Have you noticed that every time some unfortunate incident or accident happens, the person/company behind the screw-up is quoted as saying it was "very regrettable?" Grrr! There's an article online about a Greenpeace ship hitting a coral reef and damaging a significant portion of it. Instead of saying they actually do regret the mistake they made (after all, they're out to protect the environment, are they not?) they called it "very regrettable." Meaning, according to the good people over at Merriam Webster, that it deserves regret and not that they actually do regret it happening. This irritates me to no end — of course it's regrettable! People the world over wish that they hadn't hit that reef, or that Janet Jackson's boob hadn't come flying out of her sorry excuse for a costume at the Super Bowl (also called "regrettable" by Justin Timberlake). Accept responsibility for your mistakes and tell us that you really do regret your mistake/stupidity/incompetence. It's called an apology, and given an appropriate one, people can be very forgiving. Try it!

Troy in Las Vegas: Who can actually recall hearing a car alarm going off because the car was actually broken into? My Grrr! goes out to anyone who still buys or owns car alarms. Not that it is wrong to protect your assets, but it is wrong when your asset is a 10-year-old car or older that has an after-market stereo system worth a lot more than the car. Additionally, everything except actual burglars seem to set off these car alarms: a cat jumps on the hood, you walk by it to get to your car (without even touching it), thunder, wind (especially when a genius puts a car alarm on a Jeep Wrangler knowing the wind easily rocks it), a loud car driving by or too close, shutting your car door when you've parked next to one, etc. The list of “false alarms” is almost endless. Grrr!

Pete in Colorado: Mike, you know what I love most about the "Your Grrrs"? It's when an Obliviot or ImporTant (like Anne from cyberspace, Nov. 1) exposes themselves to the multitude. I'll try to explain why some bicyclists happen to use the road in a manner that they are usually legally allowed to, but in such a way that she despises. The "narrow lane" to which she insists that non-motor vehicles be delegated also happens to be where most of the debris accumulates (created mostly by motor vehicles, by the way). I can only imagine the whining that she would do if she was required to drive on a road that caused her to change a tire during every two or three hours of use. Her definition of "road-hog" seems to be anyone who properly uses the road, but inconveniences her — a true ImporTant. Does she also have a problem with garbage trucks, farm tractors, logging trucks and other slow-moving vehicles? Sheesh, share the road, lady (hint: you're the "road-hog," not the cyclist).

Mandie in Carlisle, Pa.: This is in response to Anne (Nov. 1): You are the ImporTant who believes that cars have the only right to the road. Those of us who know the laws are aware that bicyclists have the same rights as motor vehicles on the road. In fact, it is much safer for bicyclists to ride a third of the way into the road, because it forces motorists like you to respect us and slow down until it is safe to pass. When a bicyclist rides on the shoulder, motorists blow by them at 15 mph over the speed limit, endangering our lives. And as for the technical riding gear, if you would get out of your car and start riding your bike, you would realize that when you ride 30 to 40 miles at a time, the technical gear is necessary to keep you safe and comfortable. So maybe you should get off your high horse and learn the laws of your state.

Mauri in Cyberspace: Grrr! to the dummies that hit reply-to-all on a mass distribution email. The response is usually "take me off the list" and then another dimwit replys-to-all with "Me to." After about six or seven of these, I get a reply-to-all, "Hey, don't hit reply-to-all" and then another person replies-to-all with "take me off the list" and the process continues.

Sandra in Cyberspace: I just hate the whole daylight savings time thing period. I think it should be done away with completely. Have you ever had 6:30 a.m. turn to 5:30 a.m. with a 2-year-old? He doesn't care what the clock says. He still wakes up at the same time regardless. So even though my work still gets me off at midnight and I get to bed at one, he's waking up an hour earlier. Lots of people just hate it in the spring; I think that the one in autumn is just as bad.

Brian in N.J. on last column: I'm sure you get tons of e-mails, but I just wanted to take a moment and congratulate you on this weeks Grrr! Excellent analogy to how our society nowadays expects everything handed to them — and if it isn’t, get the lawyer! It's so pathetic. Thank you for such delightful insight and sometimes stern reality checks to the “oblivions." I am a research chemist at a large company, and your column is the only one I make sure to find time to read amongst all my “scientific” literature. Four years of college, constant training on organic chemistry, and the pursuit of a PhD in quantum physics — I still can't figure some people out!

Team Constantine in Cyberspace: That was the best Mixed Martial Arts article written. In fact, maybe it's the best sports related article I've ever read. I thank you on behalf of all MMA fans and Americans alike.

Eric S. in Cyberspace: I have another lexicon you could add to the list. The "Left Lane Bomber Pilot." This is sort of like the Left Lane Vigilante, however, this person will match the same speed as the car to his right (no matter what that speed is), making it impossible to pass him. The Left Lane Bomber Pilot loves to fly in formation with cars in the other lanes.

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Mike Straka is the director of operations and special projects for, writes the Grrr! Column and hosts the weekly "The Real Deal" webcast on and