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?  © 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?