There used to be a series on British TV called Grumpy Old Men, in which various male writers, presenters and actors held forth about the things that drive them mad. This was quickly followed by Grumpy Old Women. Let’s be honest; there’s nothing anyone can teach females about getting annoyed. We’ve made grumping a national sport. Blame it on the hormones rampaging around the female body, if you will. Actually, I’m rather looking forward to hitting the menopause (that bitch is asking for it) and ramping up my grumpiness to stratospheric levels. Grouchiness invariably escalates over time until it evolves into a default setting of ultra-irritability. And woe betide anyone who gets in the way of a Grump.
It’s happening to me. As I get older I get less and less patient with other people and their stupidity. Their lack of manners and consideration drives me insane (which is not a very long trip – I’ve been teetering on the edge for a long time). I’m incensed by almost everything these days. It can’t be long before I erupt in an explosion of rage that will make Michael Douglas in Falling Down look like a cuddly kitten. And it will probably be something trivial that tips me over – trivial in the eyes of the not-yet-grumpy, anyway.
In a way, I’m rather looking forward to this aspect of getting old. Because when you hit old age, you can be as cantankerous as you please. Old people can do whatever they like, and get away with it – because you have to be nice to old people. I’m going to take maximum advantage of this. All will feel the wrath of the elderly Kitty, and meekly swallow their desire to fight back against my über-grumpiness. And I will chortle inside at their impotence in the face of my advanced age.
So the only thing you can do is wait until you too can deploy your years as a weapon of mass grouchiness against the youth of the day. Trust me when I say that you in your turn will derive an immense, sadistic enjoyment from inflicting your elderly attitude on others. It’s the natural order of things; each gets his turn in the scale of grumpiness. It’s one of the few rewards of growing older. So if you encounter an elderly grump, why begrudge them of one of their few pleasures? Just smile, and wait for the next 50 years to pass …