Ahhh, gentle readers, just as most of us are getting ready for the festive season, our hearts and our toes warm and safe as we conspire by the fire and all that nonsense, what rough beast should hove through my awareness, slouching toward Bethlehem, his hour come ‘round at last, than Herr Grumpius Pantalonius, aka Mr. Grumpypants.
Through an obscure clause written into a publication contract I signed years ago with a now defunct publisher in Austria, Bürgerschaäck Publicazione – you may remember they published my third novel titled I Was Happy Till You Came Along Now Look At Me! – which of course went on to sell several dozen copies before the plot was shamelessly stolen and reworked into the highly lucrative Broadway musical, The Wealthy Barber of Seville.
On any account, through that clause, I am at the mercy of Mr. Grumpypants to afford him space on this, my otherwise quite civilized blog, whenever he bloody well pleases, and so without further fanfare, here is his latest missive.
Despite the raging storm without, I took myself within the warm confines of my favourite coffee shop, hoping to avail myself of the peace and camaraderie therein to lay down a few words in my daily journal. A simple, modest goal, for of course, I am a simple, modest man.
The coffee shop was crowded that day, my friends. Not so much with patrons, but with all of their coats and galoshes and mittens and toques and fancy-shmancy Macintosh computers and their skinny wet lattes etc. etc. etc.
At first glance, I thought my purpose was to no avail, but then I spotted a table seemingly bereft of habitation, and so I made my way towards it, rather like a hungry leopard stealthily making its way towards a bleeding antelope on the savannah.
When I approached, however, I stopped in my tracks, for at the table sat a petulant young boy, busy playing with a new 5 dollar bill, pushing it sadly across the table top, dreamily transforming it in his unformed imagination into 1992 Ford Taurus.
At the table next over, like, a completely separate table, was a person of the female persuasion who seemed to be the young creature’s mother. I stopped. I looked at him. I looked at her. Through what I assumed was very eloquent body language, I stood in the attitude of one waiting for something to be done about something that needed to be done, but with no success.
I cleared my throat. The woman didn’t look up, wouldn’t look up, the boy was steadfast in his purpose of endlessly sliding the five dollar bill across the tabletop to what end, I’m sure I have no idea.
Finally, the woman deigned to looked up, somewhat quizzically, as if it say, “What the fuck do you want?” And so, my words dripping with treacly charm, I asked, as polite as I possibly could, “I wonder if I might possibly sit at that table. It’s quite crowded in here today.”
Well, you or I, dear reader, would have grabbed the kid and the fiver and hauled him back over to the table he should have been sitting at in the first place. But did this happen? Oh no. Oh no no no. Of course not.
Instead, what happened was the woman, using that annoying high nasal whiny voice some parents use on their children, asked the kid, “Would it be ok if the gentleman sits at your table, sweetie?” And then we all had to look at a three year old while he made up his tiny mind on the matter.
Finally, the kid shrugged his shoulders and moved around so he was now sitting on the bench, which is just where I had been thinking of parking my own ass. And then he just sat there and glared at me. Three fucking years old and he already knows he’s in charge!
I looked at the woman, and this is what I wanted to say. “Listen, bitch. Don’t go asking questions of three year olds because the answer isn’t going to be anything any of us wants to live with. Just do the right thing for once in your wretched career as a mother and get your kid to sit at your table with you. And maybe close the fucking computer for ten minutes and talk to your kid so maybe he won’t become a fucking stupid inconsiderate monster like his mother.”
I couldn’t get that out, of course. I could only sputter and stammer as I found myself backing away from the scene of what I considered to be a terrible crime.
I found another table, with time. And then noticed that as patron after tableless patron came by her table, and the kid’s table, that never once did it occur to her that she and her ugly kid were fucking up everyone’s day.
THIS IS A FUCKING SOCIETY, LADY. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. OPEN YOUR EYES AND START DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR A CHANGE. WHAT THE FUCK’S THE MATTER WITH YOU?!?!
I mean, really. Is it asking too much?
That certainly feels better.
Well, thank you for that enlightening bit of whatever that was, Mr. Pants.
Now, with your kind permission, I will throw another yule log on the old fire and have another egg nog and we can all get on with our peace on earth, goodwill towards men activities.
Thanks for reading.
OK. Listen to this. It will cheer you up.