I now have five large moving boxes filled with tens o thousands of readers' everyday gripes. I feel rich. And I'm touched by the response of readers who will share their everyday beefs and complaints about the stupidity of others.
The good news is that the response has been so enthusiastic, I will never run out. The bad news is that I can't print them all in their splendiferous ire.
But I'll try. This will be the first in a series of Gripes columns. So let the bile begin:
I would like to voice my complaint about dog and cat lovers kissing their pets on the mouth. Aren't they aware of how these pets clean themselves? Yuk.
My gripe is my wife. Period. If looks could kill, she would have buried me 40 years ago.
"Achy Breaky Heart."
Andy Rooney -- his hairy nose and eyebrows! Ugly!
Hillary Rodham Clinton. The biggest threat this United States has ever encountered.
My husband when he puts a TV show on and then falls asleep 15 minutes later.
I hate rap.
Women who show off their hickeys (disgusting!) like Congressional Medals of Honor. We had one in the office who finally covered them the second day with a batch of Band-Aids!
Indiana drivers. Foot on the brake. Brain in park.
PBS pledge marathons (only two a year -- each six months long).
People who say, "She just had a NEW baby." Has anyone ever had an OLD baby?
Wealthy old ladies wearing fur coats, who demand a senior citizen discount when they go out for lunch. That's as ridiculous as my demanding my white male discount when dining out.
Cheap people: Order cheapest thing on menu (no drink -- costs extra), ask to have water glass filled three to four times. Figure 15 percent tip -- don't have 75 cents in change. Leave 50 cents or less depending on their change -- or nothing if fourth glass of water wasn't received quickly. If you can't afford to tip, stay home and eat!
Everyone on the Chicago and North Western North Line 3:35 train: You're all a bunch of disgusting, loud SLOBS.
Why do families at airports insist on greeting their returning friends with hugs, kisses and exuberant greetings right in the middle of the gate, while the rest of us are trying to get around them to make connections, greet our own more mannerly friends or get home after a long and tiring trip?
You meet somebody on the street you say, "How you doing?" And they give you their medical report for the last six months.
People that use their fingers to pick up food at salad bars or buffet dining.
Screw the poor and downtrodden. Don't you newspaper people ever give thought to the problems of the rich? My estranged wife and her lawyers are destroying me.
We should abduct Saddam Hussein, dress him in drag, then parachute him into Serbia.
Unattractive, stupid, beer-belly men with boundless confidence, while attractive, smart women throw up their food because they always feel fat.
People who go out to dinner with you and have to ask the waiter a question about every menu item.
Really rich people who ask for 50 cents in change instead of giving a cabdriver a full dollar tip. Thanks buddy, now I can have that surgery!
Women who falsely accuse their lovers of child molestation.
High schools that offer day care for students with children. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to offer birth control counseling?
Academy Awards program where the actors think they have the right to impose their political beliefs on all the viewing audience. Let's all reach for the mute button!
People who think it is chic to be late.
People who think the world's future hinges on the outcome of a sporting event. With all the really bad problems in the world, I honestly don't care who might win the big game.
In response to the jerk complaining about car alarms that go off: If you IDIOTS would learn to park without tapping, bumping or plowing into the car in front or back of you, the alarm might not go off. Those are the people who should be blown up!
The blatant and acceptable use of that four-letter word 'f-' in movies, speech, etc.
The media's endless discussion before a presidential speech. I want to make up my own mind what I think about the speech!
I wear two hearing aids. I try to look and listen to TV. The background music is so loud, you can't hear the actors. It's unbearable and sometimes I would like to throw a hammer through my TV.
Getting flipped off through the sunroof.
Drivers in 4-wheel-drive pickups.
People who give their children "timeouts."
People who get in my car, pull open the ashtray, and light up without asking me if it's OK.
Some old geezer cruising around in his brand-new Mercedes crying about how he's living on a "fixed income." It makes me wonder what his life was like when his income was "broken."
Lottery winners who say it isn't going to change their life a bit. They have every intention of driving a bus, slinging hamburgers or doing whatever they did before they hit the jackpot. If it isn't going to change their life why did they play in the first place?
If you wish to join in, send your pet peeves to Gripes, c/o Mike Royko, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill., 60611.