A Guest Blog by Mr. Grumpypants   10 comments



Mr. Grumpypants in happier times.

Mr. Grumpypants in happier times.

Well, well, well. We almost made it through the holiday season without a visit from Mr. Grumpypants, but he finally showed up at the downtown Co-OP liquor store a few days ago.

Because he was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule and visit, I have invited him to be our guest blogger this week.

I am so impressed with his writing, by the way, that I am going to use a version of this blog in the novel I have accidentally found myself writing. But you get to see it here first!

So without further ado, some thoughts from Mr. Grumpypants . . .


Yes, I am in line

I was in the Co-op liquor store buying a bottle of wine.

The store was moderately busy.

I think I joined the line at about the fourth position and they had three tills open so it was all good. Or so I thought.

One guys had a bunch of stuff so that was going to take some time. No worries.

Another guy looked like one of those people who always manages to make the transaction much more complicated than it needs to be, but still no worries. I was in no hurry and had been home writing all day so it was nice to be rubbing shoulders with humanity again. As it were.

The customer at the third till finished his transaction and so we all advanced in line. By now there were several people behind me.

And then I felt a tapping on my shoulder.

I turned. It was the woman behind me in line who had tapped me. I looked at her. She looked at me. And then she asked in a very needling voice that rose about two octaves at the end of her question, “Excuse me. Are you in line???”

Are you in line?

She was kind of hunched down a little and smiling up at me with a look of utter insanity on her face. I was so taken back, stunned in fact, that I could only gaze down on her from about a foot above her and look into her eyes for signs of intelligence. But I found none.

For we had been standing here for 5 minutes or so, in line, waiting to buy our booze, and if I was anything at that moment, if any of us were anything at that moment, we were all surely in line, me as much as anyone else.

Are you in line?

I was nothing, if not in line. I had no other function on the planet, in my life, at that moment in time, other than to be in line. I have many uncertainties in my life but at that moment in time, while I was lining up, I felt quite certain that I was in line, but now that certainty had been undermined by this women asking me if in fact I was in line.

As a member of the line, as a person in line, I had no past. Who cares what I had accomplished in my life previous to my joining the line? And I had no future as far as the line was concerned because once I was out of the line and had made my purchase and left the store, in terms of being a line-stander-inner I would have ceased to exist.

Are you in line?

Oh, I wanted to say, yes you stupid bitch what the fuck does it look like, of course I am in line, do you think I just happened to be standing here winding my watch and a line formed up around me without really including me, of course I’m in line, I’m nothing other than in line, I have no future, no past, I’m just fucking standing here fulfilling my present tense, in the living moment function of being a guy in the line, what kind of stupid fucking moron idiot would even think of asking a person in line if he’s in line, what the fuck is wrong with you?

Are you in line?

I paused. The other people in line seemed to hold their collective breaths waiting for me to reply, I paused until the pause had become a silence, then I paused some more, still looking directly into her eyes,  causing her to wilt somewhat, I waited until the pause before my answer became the most excruciating silence in the history of mankind, and then I very softly said, “Yes, I am in line.”


Well, happy happy!

I asked Mr. Grumpypants to leave us with an uplifting song for the holiday season. Here’s what he came up with! Enjoy!!!

Thanks for reading! (I think!!!??)


Posted December 30, 2012 by Eugene Stickland in Uncategorized

10 responses to “A Guest Blog by Mr. Grumpypants

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  1. Thank you dearest Eugene, your pause was perfectly timed….

  2. Ms Grumpypants comes out when I’ve got my huge cart of groceries half loaded onto the counter and the clerk is about to start ringing them through the till and someone with only an armload comes into the lineup behind me and nonchalantly says, brushing past, “Do you mind if I go ahead of you?”
    Yes I do fucking mind! I’ve already pushed this friggin heavy cart down every aisle in this store, sweating in my winter wear, and have stood here waiting my turn, and have to stand here another many minutes while it all goes through and my payment works through the machine, and you want to make me wait even longer so that YOU don’t have to? And I’m supposed to permit this, smilingly, because it’s the polite thing to do? You fucking asshole.”
    I’m very tempted to say it — nicely, of course. I don’t. But I sure as hell think it.
    When I get home and make my 10 trips into the house from the farmyard to haul in all those groceries, and after they’re all put away, I lie down for a nap. Because when we are grumpy, just like small children we either need a nap, food or drink, or a change of pants. The nap always does it for me. I should take it BEFORE going to the store.
    Because I’m pretty sure letting that person go ahead of me is the right thing to do. After all, people are always doing it, as if it’s expected. I go along with it because I figure someday I’ll figure out why they are unselfish enough to permit it, and then, if I haven’t being altruistic enough to do it too, I’ll regret being an asshole all these years.
    Have a fine New Year’s Eve, Eugene. I’ve enjoyed working with you this past year, and love your blog.

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Grumpypants’ existential musings on being a line-stander-inner. Great song pairing, too.

  4. Laughed out loud. Love that song.

  5. Thanks Coral. Happy New Year!

  6. Way too funny Mr. Grumpypants… have we not all wished we could reply like we think… am still giggling… thanks!

  7. Not sure if there’s a line up on these comments but I hope I’m the first to say “Haha …good one …thanks.I needed that “

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