04 June 2005

The Secret To Authentic Crankiness

Old and cranky am I,
so punch you in the crotch I will!
Posted by Hello


I suddenly realized this morning why old people are so damn cranky. Yeah, there's that thing about how everything hurts all the time, but that's not quite it. It's about reaching one's threshold for tolerance of stuff that probably should never have been tolerated in the first place. Remember how Dad, after 33 years of being an Episcopalian minister, ostensibly sat bolt upright in bed one morning, slapped himself on the forehead, and went - "Wait a minute! Jesus was never Christian!" And then of course he ran off to Israel and the rest is history.

I think there is a time in adolescence when a person develops a healthy cynicism of all the beliefs that they've been handed, and I think the same sort of thing happens in middle age. When you're eighteen or so it's like somebody says "How about mowing the lawn?" and you suddenly realize that there's nothing in mowing the lawn for you, and that there never was, and what you say next is something like "How about mowing my crotch?" That's perhaps not the best way to handle things, but with the limited experience of adolescence, it may seem like the most self-affirming and expedient.

Fig. 1: Pre-adolescent crankitude

Although the middle-age corollary of this may not have as much sauce, it is nonetheless as potent a realization. You wake up one day, take a look around, and go "HMO's? 401k's? Mortgages? All these people are fuckin' crazy! I'm going hiking!" And thus, armed with that judgment of society and the clingers thereto, you set about gathering up vast basketloads of ass to kick. The minute that someone comes by and tries to convince you that some value based in that society should be of the utmost importance to you, you reach into your basket, pick out a pre-kicked ass, and hurl it at them. That, sir, is crankiness in a nutshell. It is the unshakeable commitment to not buyin' it coupled with a healthy chorus of fuh'kawf.

And so, dear brother, I am now trying to extract myself from the embrace of that tarbaby a little more every day - the tarbaby that convinced me once upon a time that what I really needed was a nice car, a lot of income, and prodigious amounts of kowtow to the mores and wherefores of the society that supplied those two things (viz., be able to speak at length on the history and etymology of Seinfeld). Hereforward, anything that has to do with said tarbaby or its ilk and progeny gets a pre-kicked ass and a hearty fuh'koff!. And that is what I call authentic crankiness.

World without end. Amen.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Ha! This is precious and so, so true.

BTW, did you know that for the current installment of the Star Wars saga, George Lucas and co. simply exhumed Bob "Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan's gangrenous corpse, stuck some fake ears on it and... well, it looks way better than the puppet(s) used in the previous films, but gawd, THE STENCH. But, hey, production saved $37 k in modeling costs...