Have you ever had the pleasure to meet a habitually grumpy person? A sourpuss, a carper? A wet blanket, a misery guts, a party pooper or a prophet of doom? They gripe, grumble, grizzle, whine, whinge, bleat and belly ache about anything and everything.
Me? I’m the Grumph to my dad’s Grouch. We go together like fruit and nut. We’ll do anything for love but if you upset us, disagree or worse - pinch our chocolate then we won’t do 'that' – whatever ‘that’ is.
Remember Oscar the Grouch who lived in a tardis of a trashcan hoarding C.R.A.P - Completely Redundant Assortments of Paraphernalia?
That’s sort of my Dad all over. He’d spend many hours in his trashcan of a garage tinkering with boatloads of C.R.A.P: fishing rods, hooks, bait, wood, tools, sawdust, wires, cables, cam shafts, oily rags, engines, nuts (including those of the edible kind), bolts, screws and stickers from the skins of fruit. Thankfully, unlike Oscar the Grouch, there was no pet worm called Fluffy but I do have slimy childhood memories of capturing and keeping an escargatoire of garden snails - the trail leader aptly named "Speedy", being the greatest, gastropod, escapee of them all.
It's important to remember that even a Grouch deserves an amiable, Big Bird by his side. And of course my dad's bird is my mum, although she is not big and nowhere near eight-foot two inches tall. My mum also has a habit of compulsively hoarding generations of sentimental C.R.A.P and I doubt she could never bring herself to say boo to a goose. That said, my mum is no Chicken Little and definitely not yellow either. There's a few who may pluck up the courage and call her a coward, but if anyone should choose to ignore her voice of wisdom, reason and tolerance? More fool them.
For example, my Grouch, once in a state of tipsiness, claimed to be a superhero... Now to give credit where credit is due, even a Grumph will adore and believe in her superdad. But when he's singing, slurring and trying to demonstrate that he can simultaneously drink like a fish, skate on thin air, swing through the trees, walk on water and dance till dawn - all I can say is thank fudge for Big Bird’s powers of dissuasion cunningly disguised like a homeward trail of chocolate covered birdseed.
When it comes to my kids, thankfully my youngest teen didn’t inherit the family Grumph and Grouch genes. He’s more of an early morning Gruffalo - fully charged, fizzing with energy and ready to pounce. Sadly, in contrast, my T.N.G age (The Next Generation) children are not so lucky and much more like me - an exhausted owl. Wide-awake at night, unable to sleep and in the day, sound asleep, unable to wake up, which leaves us feeling extremely grumphy, grouchy and flaky.
So bearing in mind that we only have your best interests at heart, before you inadvertently decide to rattle our trashcans - Please:
NEVER engage with a Grouch who has not yet hit the two hour mark of being out of bed.
NEVER, underestimate a Grumph's glazed, sweet, smile.
NEVER, EVER deny a Grouch or a Grumph chocolate.
Any violation of this trio of relationship rules will, without a doubt, unleash utter chaos on everyone in the immediate vicinity.
Instead, why not do a Grouch and a Grumph a favour? It doesn’t have to be much - try sharing one chunk of Cadburys whole nut at a time (unless they have a nut allergy!)
It could just turn their frown upside down.
So what are you waiting for? Go on, give it twirl!