Yes, more Grumpy Old Men and if you’ve read my previous post, you will already be familar with the story behind this book.
Unfortunately, I cannot resist expoiting this conglomeration of tales of woe from GOM.
And truthfully, I’m thoroughly enjoying the Grumpy Old Men (the book) and have taken to carrying it around the house, I even read it out-loud to the iPad, which, by the way usefully types up my words. Useful so long as I proof read and edit the errors!
Yesterday my mobile (cell phone) was on fire with wish list messages from the family. Don’t you just hate group messaging? Five adult children and eleven grandchildren, though I am wondering about the youngest five, aged three years to six weeks, are they actually old enough to choose their own wish lists, let alone join the group discussion and text about it? I had to fight the urge not to announce Nan is leaving the group! Perhaps the book is rubbing off on me!
So what was it all about? I’ll give you a clue by choosing a page or two from the book – You will need to imagine the drum riff!!
Grumpy Old Men continued
1) December 25. Not September 25, or June 25, or May the 8th. December 25. Christmas starts earlier every year and the way things are headed we will all be out on Christmas Day because we’ve got to get started on next year’s Christmas shopping.
2) Christmas cards. All greetings cards are bad, but Christmas cards particularly. Since when did we have to start sending Christmas cards to everyone? Family, yes, plus friends, sure, people we’re having sex with, but after that, it all gets a bit tenuous. A couple we met on holiday, if we have to. The postman? Like he wants to see another Christmas card. The woman who lived next door to us 10 years ago before we moved? Pushing it there.
And so it goes on until one day you are spending £45,000 a year on stamps to send festive greetings to lots of complete strangers. Worst of all, even though they don’t know who you are, out of politeness they send you a card too, and you have a house full of Christmas cards. Whole forests are dying over this nonsense.
3) People who, at this time of year, say, ‘Ooh it’s so commercial nowadays.’ There are two things here:
- When was the last time Christmas wasn’t commercial 1406? No-one is that old.
- Why are these people complaining? Are they deeply religious? Unlikely.
‘Ooh Christmas is so commercial these days.’
‘ I’ll be seeing you in church this Sunday, then. What you don’t go to church?’
‘Erm No we…
‘I see, so, given that the religious aspect of Christmas is meaningless for you and that you despise the commercial aspects, presumably not only do you not go to church, but also you don’t buy any presents. Oh! You do buy presents well, SHUT UP THEN!’
4) RELATIVES. They say you can choose your friends but not your relatives. That is true, but most of the time you can at least choose which relatives you are going to see. Cousin Alex with the odd smell and Auntie Mary whose stories revolve around operations and funerals are not on that list.
Come Christmas, however, and they’re on you like vampires. Relatives live for Christmas, it’s the only time they’re allowed inside of other peoples houses for any length of time. Bang, they’re in the good armchair. Whoosh… they’ve got the remote and they’re in charge of the telly. Glug and there goes your nice single malt. At any other time of the year, they’d just be burglars, but at Christmas, you have to be nice to them.
5) CHILDREN – are like relatives only more dangerous. Children are the ones about whom Christmas is often supposed to be all about. They acknowledge their place in the festive scheme by becoming obsessed with the Nativity, an event that until mid November was unknown to them. This is solely so they can get a part as a wise man or an angel or a sheep in a play that’s so bad that even Japanese tourists wouldn’t go.
And then they want presents. Children make the last Roman emperors look altruistic. The way they choose gifts is to look at the price and if they don’t get it, they will cry and fight. If they do get it, they will unwrap it in a flurry of excitement, play with it for 10 seconds, and then never look at it again.
Then they will get fractious, and as you are unable to sedate them with Sherry, children will get more sullen and ratty as the day goes on, start crying during the Disney film and later vomit a lot. In later years they will look back on all this crying and vomiting and fixation on material goods as ‘the happiest time of my life!’
© Sue W-nansfarm.net 2017 In response to the Daily word-prompt Riff
Extracts taken from ‘Grumpy Old Men’ – A manual for the British malcontent! (David Quantick) 2004