Grumpy New Man
My wife told me the other day that my New Year’s resolution for 2016 should be to stop being so negative and grouchy. But my humor columns are dependent on those very qualities. I’ve made a career out of people mistaking my crankiness for wittiness.
I once complained to the manager at Kroger that their entrance and exit doors were on the wrong sides. “I’ll never shop here again,” I told him. “I don’t know if I’m coming or going.” But did he call me grumpy? No, he burst out laughing—and told me I should use that line in my next column.
A few years ago I protested to a couple of Girl Scouts who came to the door selling cookies that their product was too high in fat and that eating S’mores would shoot my lipids through the roof. Their mothers called and thanked me, saying this was a good health lesson for nine-year-olds. These women must not have known I bought six boxes.
This past spring, I complained to some of my neighbors about their unkempt lawns. I fussed at others who were putting their garbage out at the curb two days before trash pick-up, and I put my foot down about kids making a ruckus shooting hoops in their driveways on Sunday mornings when I was trying to sleep. Instead of being annoyed, they made me president of the homeowners association. Maybe the problem is that I don’t have the right “old codger” look. I’m going to stop dying my hair and start hoisting my pants up to my ribcage.
I’m optimistic about 2016. I’ve already put together my top 10 list of stuff that makes me grumpy.
I don’t want the clerk to keep asking me if I have a Speedy Rewards Card. I don’t.
I don’t want to buy something in a bag that says tear here. It doesn’t.
I don’t want tech guys telling me it’s as easy as plugging it in. It’s not.
I don’t my wife telling me I can learn to load the dishwasher correctly. I can’t.
I don’t want my son telling me I should look at YouTube cat videos. I shouldn’t.
I don’t want people asking me if I’m the guy who does the weather. I’m not.
I don’t want people asking me if my dog, Barney, is still alive. He’s not.
I don’t want some telemarketer calling to ask if I would like to try a generic Lipitor made overseas. I wouldn’t.
I don’t want people telling me they read my column in the Indianapolis Star. They can’t.
I don’t want my wife asking me when I’m driving if I know where I’m going. I don’t.
And finally, number 10, just to show you that I don’t end everything on a negative note…
I don’t want someone on the phone asking if I mind holding. I DO!