The silly season is once again upon us and we will no doubt experience some Grumps and Curmudgeons in full flight.
For the simple explanation of what constitutes a grump see the definitions under Grumpy page for the 'normal' expectation of what a grump (or curmudgeon) is supposed to be.
So what is a Curmudgeon?
Curmudgeons however live in a much higher plane than that of the run of the mill grump.
Being a curmudgeon takes a lot of skill and practice; it is not something to be treated lightly. People in general, and young people in particular, especially those under the age of 60, generally fail to recoginse a curmudgeon when they see (or hear) one.
How do you recognise a true Curmudgeon as opposed to a run of the mill Grump? Looking at some of the myths surrounding curmudgeons will help...
There are certain attributes which will help you recognise a curmudgeon - provided you pay attention now, and practice - reading these attributes will hopefully allow you to differentiate between a simple grump and a true curmudgeon.
Trends are boring - True
Curmudgeons are not into change, especially change for the sake of change.
But - True curmudgeons are independent thinkers and can see when something is worthwhile doing, not because it is the latest trend but because it is for the betterment of society.
Contrary to popular belief curmudgeons are generally early adapters of good technology, but they don't do it because it is trendy - they will probably whinge about it along the way.
Curmudgeons are Grumps - False
Curmudgeons tell it like it is, if you don't like it, lump it.
It may seem like they are grumpy but they just see things through a different prism, they are not necessarily being mean or grumpy but not everything smells of roses - some roses smell horrible anyway and need to be outed.
Not everyone can be pleased - True
Curmudgeons recognise that there are those in the world that need to win the popularity stakes, and they are not one of those people.
For those people who don't recognise that curmudgeons are not there to please them all of the time - get over it.
Fashion sucks - True
Comfort does not relate to fashion.
If you see someone in the style clothes that are recognisably 10-20-30 years out of date, not smiling but obviously comfortable, there is a good chance they are a curmudgeon.
Curmudgeons read fashion magazines for a good laugh.
Curmudgeons are Angry - False
Stupid people yell and shout.
Curmudgeons are polite and don't yell at people, they know when to hold their tongue, they quietly tell it like it is.
Keeping quiet exposes stupidity.
Curmudgeons are argumentative - False
Curmudgeons don't suffer fools very well, but hold their peace and walk away.
Stupidity will be rewarded in other ways.
Curmudgeons are story tellers - True
A lifetime of experience, irrespective of age, has a tendency to get out, and will generally be expressed in a self deprecating black humour sort of way.
Irony is lost on a grump, but not a curmudgeon.
Curmudgeons complain, a lot - False
Describing a wrong, with panache, style, flair, and black humour, and repeating it often enough may change the world back to the way it was or should be.
Saying nothing in the face of relentless change for the worse will result in tears - Listen up young people...
There are no famous Curmudgeons - False
There are loads of them; Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Groucho Marx, Quentin Crisp, Woody Allen, H. L. Mencken, George Bernard Shaw, Shakespeare, to mention a few.
Then we have the most famous of all;
Statler & Waldorf - Sesame Street Curmudgeons
Grumpy of the Seven Dwarfs
Oscar the Grouch - Sesame Street Grump
Jack Nicholson - even when not acting
Dr. Gregory House - Hugh Laurie, "House" the TV show
Jack Clugman & Jack Lemon - "Grumpy Old Men" the movie
Danny DeVito - "Other Peoples Money" the movie
Irene Ryan - Granny, "The Beverly Hillbillies" TV show
Queen Victoria - More Grump than Curmudgeon
Margaret Thatcher - English Politician; Curmudgeon extraordinaire
Amanda Vandstone - Australian Politician; tells it like it is
Judith Lucy - Australian Comedian; acerbic wit who is often mistaken for a Curmudgeon (then again she might be one anyway)
Miriam Margolyes - British/Australian actress; a penchant for straight talking
Curmudgeons hate Family History - False
Curmudgeons love getting to the bones of things, trouble is often there are too many bones and not enough flesh.
Sometimes there are stories worth the telling, most times the little people win.
Curmudgeons actually do like Christmas, it gives them an excuse to have some quiet time for contemplation and research.
Curmudgeons are in agreement with genealogists and generally of the opinion that;
If you don't know where you came from, you won't know where you are going...
The Last Words:
The living is a species of the dead; and not a very attractive one.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900): Thus Spake Zarathustra