Once again, like clockwork – or I guess calendarwork is the more accurate description – we find ourselves on the verge of National Grouch Day, which is this Saturday; that’s October 15th for those of us who are days-of-the-week-challenged. Whoever was responsible for this could have scheduled near the first day of school, or the day after the idiotic Daylight Saving change, or when income taxes are due, or at the very least the first Monday of something, but noooo, just “middle of October.” It’s this kind of lack of foresight that screws things up regularly.
The one bright spot to all of this is that virtually no one knows it’s coming, so when we begin reluctantly trying to foster the sentiment among others, they can respond genuinely without forewarning – there’s nothing worse than a fake grouch, not even those horrible grimaces that are produced when everybody is lined up for a group portrait at work. The optimum effect is achieved when you catch someone having a good day (I apologize for the coarse language) and can crash them down here with the rest of us, but who I am kidding? That kind of shit never works; it’s probably not even worth trying. But just to get my own thing going, I once again present a list of things you can attempt to help, not celebrate, but at least recognize the day, fully realizing myself that no one’s going to try or even be reading this goddamn post. I’ve done this, not once, but twice before, and people were still as upbeat and cheerful as ever when the 15th rolled around so, yeah, thanks to all of you for that. You don’t even deserve these ideas.
And remember, it’s important that we all take part, so no cheating and picking only the suggestions that affect others.
Wear something too small Schedule the kids for a surprise dental visit Order the crappiest thing at your favorite restaurant Call in sick to work, especially if there’s some big event you’re coordinating. Leave lots of unfinished business too Switch the labels on all the spices in the cabinet Drive very slow in a no-passing zone, then speed up when the opportunity finally comes to be passed. Of course you slow down again immediately afterward Definitely go without deodorant Screw with your alarm with your eyes closed Sniff a lot, as if you have a cold. Refuse tissues in surprise every time they’re offered Insert long pauses into your sentences Especially in meetings Replace the hand cleaner/degreaser with lotion. Lilac-scented Leave the car radio volume up full blast Remove two primary keys from your keyboard Re-microwave an already popped bag of popcorn Get a squeaky chair from a thrift store Use lots of incorrect grammar on a forum that’s really hard to sign on to Schedule yourself for a surprise dental visit Take up two parking spaces, but end-to-end rather than side-by-side (halfway pulled through.) As the lot fills, from a distance there will appear to be two empty spaces when there are none Get several short, curly hairs embedded in the bar of soap Replace nail polish with greasepaint Leave fifteen seconds of near-silence on voicemail accounts Make chocolate-chip cookies for everyone with unsweetened chocolate. Or raisins Do one of those “easy” projects on Pinterest Hide someone’s damn selfie-stick Pay attention to the election
A few of those were solicited from Dan Palmer, mostly because I got tired of doing this thankless task. I don’t think he’s very accomplished at being genuinely grouchy, instead more like playacting, but then again, he does have two teenaged daughters, which is something that could be added to the list I guess, if I posted with a bit more advance notice…
There are people who believe that National Grouch Day should be devoted solely to personal efforts, without any attempts to instill such feelings in others. These people, it goes without saying, are selfish little shits who believe that grouchiness is a spectator sport rather than participatory. Feel free to set them straight. You know how you’re always told, “Cheer up! It’s [some holiday]”? Right. This time, it’s the cheerful people who are our targets. It’s still not gonna be fun or satisfying, because someone will find a way to ruin it, but… ah, hell. You know what? Don’t even bother.
Given all that, I’ll leave you with Lewis Black, who is better at it than anyone I know. Or worse. Whatever. Too bad he has an audience full of ‘norms’ who seem to be doing that spectator thing…