A member reported that research by an unknown professor from the University of Somewhere had shown that the grumpiest men in Britain were those between the ages of 45 and 60.
With an average age of well over 70 and some members not only past old age but into dotage, we realised that we would have to do something about it to reclaim our title. Assessing our position we noted that our wives and children still do their best to keep us grumpy and nearly all politicians, those big- heads with small brains, some taxi drivers, some frog- legged lycra-clad cyclists and especially those who use the pavement, some traffic wardens, some binmen, as well as dirty dog owners, traffic lights, people who spit, unfinished demolition sites, workmen who don’t, those who ignore signs, telephone calls telling you for the umpteen time that you could have a free boiler or that you are related to some Nigerian Prince who is keen to share his fortune with you ( provided you send him some money first), potholes, litter louts, canned laughter on T.V and people who want to impose their ways on us, certainly gave us enough material to be grumpy about.
Then there are the mobile phone shouters, the mobile phone using drivers, the mobile phone cheaters at quiz time and the ever-increasing number of people who prefer electronic communication to social intercourse. We have noted officious officials, the people who claim they gave 110 per cent, Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, the Brexit For and Against shouters, receptionists who obviously never went to charm school, the people who don’t have our sense of humour, the people who want to tell you about their illnesses when they are no where near as bad as yours, and those who think you are interested in their last round of golf or the goal they scored playing for the school third team and the 12 runs they scored when W.G.Grace was watching.
Also included are the people who expect you to pay a quarter of the restaurant bill when you’ve only had an eighth of it (the” lets have a kitty” brigade), or the Christmas Card from distant relatives who let you know that their children are probable the most talented that ever existed, the worshippers of vapid and vacuous celebrities, Elf and Safety spoilsports, smug TV interviewers and pundits who state the bleeding obvious, cheating sportsmen and referees and umpires who favour the other side. Yes we’ve got ‘em on the list. None of them would be missed.
We haven’t forgotten the take-all, give- nothing people, those in front of you in a supermarket queue who had forgotten to get a bag of sugar, then when they arrive back, seem to have forgotten where they keep their money or credit cards, the exploiters of the vulnerable, the greedy bankers, the Corbyn and Trump duo, the effers and the blinders, the claim-for-everything people and those who encourage them, the sensitive souls who do their best to find a word they can claim has insulted them, but above all the self appointed guardians of propriety who seem to think we should only have opinions they approve of.
During the meeting one of our members called another one a “ boring old twerp” and was reminded by the Chairman that some people would disapprove of that statement. So he asked if it was all right to think it. Of course it was, came the reply, so he said, “ Right then, I THINK you are a boring old twerp”.
We will continue to think what we like, point out the imperfections in the world and of course other people, and do our best to earn the title of “Top Old Grumpies” and always be aware of the words of Grumpy Old Alfred Wainright who, sitting on a mountain in the Lake District surveyed the scenery and said,” We’ve been given a wonderful world. It’s a shame about some of the people who live in it”.