Hello and welcome.  It is my temporary displeasure to be discussing with you today a holiday that I celebrate pretty much every day of the year.  But today, October 15th, you non-grouches get to join in the non-fun.  That's right, folks, it's National Grouch Day.  I'd use an exclamation mark here, but expressing enthusiasm wastes unnecessary energy.  Period.

You probably don't realize this, but there is a certain art to being grumpy.  Being a grouch is a bit of a balancing act: one must never appear too jolly, for fear that it would inspire others to speak with and/or discuss their feelings with you.  And yet, at the same time, one must never unleash the full power of one's sourpussery; this would permanently scare away one's friends, family, coworkers, and hairdressers.  Rather, a grouch must supply the illusion of being merely in a bad mood, a momentary malaise that might (but, of course, never does) go away tomorrow.

The grouch, as you undoubtedly know, has no natural predators.  He is at the top of his food chain, reproducing by chipping away at nearby individuals' happiness until they hit an emotional low, whereby some biological transmutation occurs and one grump becomes two.  It operates on the same unshakeable principles as vampirism or zombie infection.  Spreading unhappiness provides an indefatigable source of sustenance for the grouch, much like spreading misinformation about national issues has turned Sarah Palin into an inexhaustable (but, at the same time, incredibly exhausting) Alaskan Energizer bunny.

If you or a loved one is considering becoming a grouch, give these brief points some contemplation:

(1) Are you able to watch an episode of Gilmore Girls while exhibiting a neutral emotional response?  If yes, why the hell are you watching Gilmore Girls in the first place?

(2) Do you tip your bartender or barista?  If so, why?  Is it because: (a) you are a good person?  (b) you got dat dough to throw around?  (c) you are hoping to get laid?

(3) If you were able to build a school for the magical training of wizards and witches, where would be your first choice and why?  Would you allow students of mixed magical blood to attend your school?   Would you charge them a nominal fee for this privilege?

This was not a test, but if it were a test, you would have failed.

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So, what do you think?