\
2003 Whine and Roses Festival
The whines - gripes, grouses and general blahs

At Aronoff, leave peanuts at home
Purchasing a ticket to the Aronoff Center doesn't entitle you to talk throughout the production. As a season ticket holder, I can't even express my frustration at constantly having to strain to hear the performers because some inconsiderate knuckleheads feel the need to provide running commentary on the show.

If you must talk, please do it at intermission. And please leave your large bags of peanuts at home.
- Andrew Klein, West Chester

Product warnings insult intelligence
Product warnings are turning us into idiots. Soon, we won't be trusted with anything more complicated than a straw.

Our toaster manual warns, "Don't touch hot surfaces, toast first, then butter" and "do not place in heated oven." Our George Foreman Grill cautions, "this appliance generates heat." Who'd a thought?
- Pete Rightmire, Edgewood, Ky.

Strawberry packers trained for deception
In the produce section of some grocery stores, you search through the containers of fresh strawberries to find the best-looking package. You open it later, only to find that all or most of the backsides have rotten or defective spots.

Inside there also may be completely rotten berries, successfully hidden from view. This whole thing is done so artistically that I suspect the packer must be required to attend a 12-week course on How to Pack Deceptively, and then obtains the HPD degree, only after which the packer is turned loose in the strawberry section.
- Dan Nebert, Wyoming

People, please spit behind closed doors
To all the people who think it is OK to spit in public, I do not understand why you feel it is acceptable to spit, whether it be on sidewalks, in front of stores or anywhere there are other people around.

Second, I do not see the attraction men have to women who spit in public. Respect yourselves, people. Spit in private.
- Marcia Rush, Covedale

Mr. Resealable bag, go get thee stuffed
How do I whine, let me count the ways. Ignoring the easy target - the husband, I choose as my rant Zip Loc bags.

My mother hated cellophane and later the blister pack. Her wish was that the person who invented them would have had his mother expire several weeks before his birth.

I have become every woman's fear: my mother yelling inappropriate words at Mr. Zip Loc. Don't forget Mr. Tear Here and Mr. Reseal. Screaming and foot stomping, I head for the chain saw to open the Zip Loc bag. Closing it involves jumping on it to get the air out and then finding it still a balloon, trying to stuff it in the fridge along with other balloons.

I'm less of a lady than my mother, so I suggest Mr. Resealable Zip Loc get stuffed. Meanwhile, you'll find me patrolling the discount stores for storage bags I can fold on my own without the benefits of Zip Loc.
- Judy Harrell, Cleves

Driving while eating bugs lady driver
Women who cruise around in SUVs while eating and yakking on their cell phones really bug me. I'd like to complain some more but I'm late, my cell phone is ringing and my fries are getting cold.
- Jody Howells, Loveland

Reliance on credit cards is astounding
What has come of our society today that credit cards have become the payment method of choice by retailers? It seems like you can't buy anything today unless you have a credit card. Want to make a few copies at Kinko's? Insert your credit card into the copier, please. Want to buy groceries? No, your out-of-state check won't do, even though we have a check verification machine. Too bad if you are visiting from out of town. Only your credit card will do.

You used to be looked down upon if you had to charge your purchase because that meant you didn't have the money to pay for it. Now, when you have the money available, it isn't acceptable. What's next? The elimination of paper money?
- Susan Montero, Glendale

Where's the coverage of female sport teams?
Why is it the men's sports get all the press? How do you expect girls to develop an appreciation of sports if all the emphasis is on men's sports and they have to search for any mention of the spectacular games played by the girls' teams in this town?
- Katie Moning Ballinger, Cheviot

Left lane is for faster drivers only
There are three lanes on the I-275 expressway. I wish people would realize that not all lanes move at the same pace.

I feel like I need to tell all the drivers, young and old, that you do not go under the speed limit in the far left lane. Also, if you are not passing anyone, then get over. People wonder why they are getting tailgated and it's because they're not in the right lane.
- Brad Enzweiler, Burlington

There's a lesson for stadium-tax voters
I'm tired of hearing whining about Mike Brown and the Bengals from those who voted for the stadium tax. They put us here.

I only hope that for the future, they've learned not to buy anything without having the actual price tag, and to never to trust a black-mailer.
- Charlene Schumsky, Oakley

Get the price right at check-out counter
Why is it that every time I go to the grocery I find myself in line behind the person whose items didn't ring up at the price they're supposed to read? It seems that 90 percent of the time the person is wrong and the store is right. These people need to make sure that what they have in their hand is what is on the sign.
- Edward Ginn, Erlanger

Teens: Please pull up those britches
The teen boys' wear-your-pants-on-your-butt-with-your-boxers-hanging-out fashion statement is long overdue for a quick, silent death.

Go reside with hot pants, leisure suits and corsets. If not, I'm ready to form a mom's movement called PYPU - Pull your pants up! Our slogan will be uttered every time a kid trips on his pants' legs or reaches to hike up his waist band. "What if moms wore their pants like that?" I once asked my son. His response: "Oh, Mom, that's so gross."

I rest my case.
- Sue MacDonald, College Hill

Go U.C., but get rid of the uniforms
The University of Cincinnati men's' basketball teams away uniforms make them look like a bunch of red peppers. How dreadfully ugly these digs are. Please, let's go back of the black uniforms they donned a few years ago and spare us the these blinding monstrosities. Go U.C.
- Drew Kendall, Norwood

Stop complaining about wintry weather
People of means who choose to live here in Cincinnati often applaud the Midwest for the lovely change of seasons. Spring renewal, summer warmth, the hues of autumn, the beauty and stillness of a freshly fallen winter's snow. But let the mercury plummet into the subzero zone and the winter weather apologists are typically the first in line at the complaint department.

Still defrosting and thawing out from minus 11, now I know how Ted Williams must feel. Too darn cold to whine about it.
- M.K. Loeffler, Milford

Search for zip codes complicated
Why did Cincinnati Bell move the zip code pages from the white pages to the yellow pages book? Seems to me most people need a zip when they look up a residential address. Now, we have to move the 5-pound white pages and pick up the 10-pound yellow pages. Could it be they don't want us to use the competitor's yellow pages?
- Steve Gaible, Loveland

Lingerie advertising borders on lewd
I've noticed the huge pictures in Victoria Secret's storefront. I know they had our civil liberties in mind rather than profits because the women weren't even modeling any lingerie. And the Abercrombie and Fitch store window is looking more like their catalog everyday. You don't need the Internet when you can go to the mall. Intolerant people might think it's risquť, but my husband and teenage son assure me its great. Thanks a lot.
- Catherine Mickelsen, Batavia

A whine against the politically correct
What really narrows my eyes are so-called politically correct, contemptuous, sanctimonious cry-babies with a virtuosity complex.

They include those who have failed to learn the very basics of eighth-grade civics class. We elect representatives to carry out the business of state in accordance with a constitution, not in compliance with the politically correct or even the concept of majority rules.
- Chuck Klein, Downtown

Callers, please leave a clearer message
I hate it when someone leaves a message on the answering machine and expects you to call them back, but their message is said so quickly that you canít hear the phone number or the message.
- Betty Fries, Covedale

Get snow shovels out a bit faster
This is a snow removal whine. Why do so few Cincinnatians shovel the sidewalk in front of their homes and businesses? I get around with two toddlers and a stroller. We were practically housebound for days because so few clean up.I was told that no one shovels, because if they do and someone falls anyway, they are liable.

Not to compare apples and oranges, but in the Northeast, veritable armies of neighborhood shovelers are out as soon as the snow stops falling. The elderly, families with small children and the disabled can get around as good as ever within a few hours of a snowfall. I hope someone will explain to me why this doesnít happen here.
- Maureen Basedow, Oakley

Drive-through questioner urksome
It annoys me when a fast food drive-through begins the order-taking process with a question. "Would you like our fantastic food favorite today?" A logical response is "yes" or "no." Usually they give no information as to the price of the fantastic food offer. If you say "no" and politely wait for a response, the order-taker is stunned and doesnít know what to do. After a few seconds, he finally responds, "May I take your order?"

I would have more sympathy with the attempt to push a certain product if he simply said, "Good afternoon, our fantastic food favorite is 50 cents off today. . . . May I take your order?"
- Vic Piper, Bevis

Use courtesy at traffic lights
My whine is when I drive up to a red traffic light and have to wait for the pressure-sensitive timer to make the stop light turn green. Many of these lights take up to three minutes to change after they are activated. After sitting there for what seems forever and doing all the work, here comes some other driver that sails right through on my green light without so much as a wave or a nod to thank and acknowledge me for doing all of the dirty work.

It is worse if I am turning left when the light changes and a lucky oncoming driver is going straight. Now I have to wait that much longer for him or her to clear the intersection before I can complete my turn.
- Scott E. Chant, Mason

Loud commercials drive away buyers
This whine goes to all the car dealerships that think that loud ads bring the customers running.

Am I hard of hearing? Probably not. Do I like being shouted at? Probably not. Am I going to come and spend buckets of money at your dealership? Probably not.

On the other hand, the soft-spoken competitor no doubt appreciates the business youíre sending their way, so hereís a "rose" to you from them.
- Catherine Adams, Oxford

DVDs should be handled with care
My whine occurs when Joe Sixpack goes to get a DVD from the video store or library and ruins it before I get the same copy.

He slides his cheese puff-encrusted fingers on the underside of the disc (a big no-no!) to get it out of the case or during his otherwise improper handling of it. As I understand it, as an LP plays from the outside to the center, a DVD is the opposite. It plays from the center to the outside.

So the end of a film is where Joe slips his paws under the outside edge. Iíve laid out hard-earned cash to rent a DVD, not to mention the investment of time watching it, only to get near the end of a film and not be able to finish it because my player says the disc is unplayable, and then the machine actually ejects the DVD. If you donít know how to use it properly, Joe, you donít deserve to get them. Stick to VHS.
- Bill Frey, St. Leon

Nation of wealth has vast poverty
My whine concerns the increasing appearance in neighborhood retail establishments of donation-request containers. Taped on the side of these containers is usually a picture of some irresistibly cute child in need of an organ transplant or treatment of some catastrophic illness. Whenever I see one of these "coffee-can pleas," I realize how embarrassing it sometimes is to live in one of the wealthiest and ostensibly progressive nations, but also a country in which too many desperate parents have to resort to begging to get critically needed health care for their children. Shame on us.

My rose goes to all those who contribute.
- Bill Westerman, Brookville

Public restrooms unfair to women
Would someone care to explain to me the reasoning behind the size of public restrooms, namely for women?

The door, which swings inward to open and inward to leave the facility, must have been designed by either male circus acrobats or someone with a maniacal sense of humor. Iím sure women would gladly kick in an extra dollar to the powers that be to add additional space to these stalls. If this is an impossible request, can the door please swing both ways?
- Bonnie Smith, Alexandria

Slower traffic should stay where it belongs
My whine concerns the driving habits of half of the driving population. Exactly what part of "slower traffic keep right" do these people not understand? It is a basic rule that should have been learned when you were 16. These people are a root cause of some of the traffic congestion on many roadways today, as well as a potential hazard for accidents.

If you are not passing another vehicle or preparing to turn, you should be in the right lane; itís that simple. This simple act of courtesy would improve driving conditions for everyone. I travel Ohio 125 regularly, and I can rarely get up to the speed limit for this reason.

Let us all take a refresher course on the rules of the road so our driving experiences can be safer as well as less stressful.
- Greg Woodward, Bethel

Read the roses...