References to “grumpy old men” are a common cliché. Did you ever see the movie, “Up,” in which Ed Asner’s curmudgeonly character, Bert, takes out his sorrows on the loss of his wife on just about everyone around him? Or a similar scenario plays out in the more recent movie, “A Man Called Otto,” played brilliantly by Tom Hanks (or the earlier version, “A Man Called Ove.”) The hero is surrounded by “idiots” and he savagely belittles them accordingly.
If you have been following the adventures and misadventures of Mark Bradford’s 190-day sojourn on this website or on his running dialogue on Facebook, he refers to himself more than once as a grumpy old man. But then he is the one who chose to journey throughout the country with his wife Wendy as a constant travelling companion. I am sure she is a wonderful lady but a half year of non-stop togetherness would probably test even the most loving spousal relationship.
Well, cliché or not, I get it. As one enters those ill-described senior years, the aches and pains of age begin to take a toll on one’s disposition. Just this morning, I woke up with back pain – a natural complement to aches and pains already in my neck, shoulders and knees. Who can blame us old guys for getting a bit grumpy on occasion?
Now unlike some other grumpy old men I know, I try not to take my troubles out on friends and neighbors – and certainly not my wife, my adult children and my grandkids. But not everyone or everything is spared my wrath. This morning, I tortured a tennis ball for not going where I hit it. An hour’s worth of unforced errors can do that to a person. Especially one whose tennis acuity seems to wain with each passing day.
So, my advice to you, good readers, is to steer clear of grumpy old men. Especially those wielding tennis rackets over which they have no control.