With the morning having gotten away from me due to a number of strange issues, I did not manage to make it to Quick Hits. But fear not dear reader, as my second book is progressing, I thought it might be fun to share another chapter from “A Curmudgeon’s Guide to Life.”
And this particular passage explains why we don’t need to be “fixed,” or somehow turned into fun-loving extroverts. Enjoy!
We don’t need to be fixed!
But you know, I’m the negative-Nancy, curmudgeon, glass-half-empty-with-a-leak-in-it guy – which is basically the fuel that fires me up anyway. Without that, we wouldn’t have me. –
Maynard James Keenan
If I could drag Walt Disney’s sorry anti-Semitic frozen ass out of that secret compartment beneath the Pirates of the Caribbean exhibit, I’d bring him back to life just so I could kick it all the way to Agrabah.
Though I’m thinkin’ that proposition might be problematic!
First, no self-respecting curmudgeon would ever be caught dead in a place of eternal damnation like Disneyland. Second, the whole cryogenic thing is an urban myth, and third, no one’s ever conclusively proven that Uncle Walt went out of his way to inspire Mel Gibson.
But since the truth never stopped any American from blaming everyone else for their self-inflicted sad lot in life, I’m gonna throw caution into the wind and go with that sentiment, because Disney and his irrepressible ilk have done more damage to my people than Donald Trump has done to the presidency.
Can someone please explain why every third Pixar movie has to be about some cranky old man who, but for the wisdom and love of an errant, ebullient boy scout, has been living a life of not-so-quiet desperation waiting to be rescued from the kind of self-inflicted inner torment of which they were completely unaware. Is there some federal law I haven’t heard about before?
Alright! Alright! The biplane flying dogs were funny, but that doesn’t change a damn thing.
Then, to make matters so much worse, we have horror novels like ‘A Man Called Ove,’ a truly terrifying tale of curmudgeonly redemption if there ever was one. Stephen King ain’t got nuthin’ on Fredrik Backman.
No self-respecting curmudgeon would ever consider suicide. Our existence is far too important and we have no intention of letting the rest of you off the hook. We would never allow ourselves to be “adopted” by a young family with two children and a third on the way, either.
Talk about Dante’s first circle of Hell!
No! If the book were true-to-life, the hero would be screaming at those children to stay off his lawn from the comfort of a front porch swing. And while we’re certainly capable of solving any neighborhood problem that might arise, no one ever listens to us but other curmudgeons, so what’s the flippin’ point?
“Oh! C’mon Jeff! Who cares about movies and books? If you don’t like ‘em, then don’t avail yourself of them!”
I’d generally agree with your assessment, but unfortunately, this stilted silver-screen portrayal of curmudgeons as lost souls who can be rendered “normal” by a child’s loving presence completely destroys the experience for those of us who truly enjoy it.
Armed with the latest Disney flight of fancy, some of y’all are convinced that, if I would just open myself up to the magic of existence and let you love me with all of your freaking heart, I would quickly see the lifelong error of my way only to carpe diem the bleep out of everyone and everything in the kind of Grinch-esque heart enlarging frenzy that would make that ‘From Here to Eternity’ beach scene pale in comparison.
(Now that’s a run-on sentence!)
No! No! No! That’s not the way it works! The truth is, though it does have its highlights, existence generally sucks and so do extroverts, and nothing – not even someone as “irresistible” as you – is going to change that. Paul McCartney was wrong, all I need is me. I like being a curmudgeon and I have absolutely no intention of abandoning that halcyon role anytime soon.
A good friend recently told me he hopes I find the peace I’m looking for. After successfully stifling the urge to dig his still-beating heart out with a dull spoon just to prove a point (no jury would ever convict me), I responded, “This is my peace! Not only do I enjoy sitting well out on the autistic bell curve but making people uncomfortable is one of my favorite things.”
That means no small talk, no stupid people, no parties, no bars, no movie theatres, no neighbors, no ill-mannered children, and no time-wasting endeavors in general. It means seeing the truth and regularly pointing out the error of your ways as a result. It means not caring what you, or anyone else thinks about us, never considering the consequence of speaking our minds, and never having to say we’re sorry, because we’re never wrong.
It means Ebenezer Scrooge is my literary hero, right up to the moment when he changed! Talk about a tragic ending!
Scrooge was right! Christmas is a horrifying proposition, and it’s gonna take a lot more than three spirits to get me to willingly endure the spirit of that godforsaken season, which, as far as I can tell, includes mobs of angry shoppers, motorists bent on their own and my destruction, and the kind of rampant crass commercialism that makes me long to be Amish.
“War on Christmas?” Wait till Fox News sees what I have to say about it! Of all people, Dr. Seuss should’ve known that an enlarged heart is never a good thing.
But I digress!
Stop trying to fix us! It only makes us angry, and you don’t like us when we’re angry.