I really hate – dislike, am not keen on, disapprove of, cannot stand, wish it never existed, should not become its own reality show – static electricity.  Winter weather, combined with cold, windy, dry conditions, make me even more curmudgeonly about this phenomenon.

I am sure that I share this dislike equally with furry creatures like cats who I would otherwise despise.  Attempts to touch conductive objects – computers, light switches, metal poles – result in shocks so severe that I should by now be a prime candidate for the negative effects of shock therapy.

Just when you think it’s safe to touch that metallic surface with impunity, Mother Nature decides to give you another reason to wish that Mother Nature had never existed either.  Static electricity should be confined to those old high school science experiments where girls with long hair are asked to be Guinea pigs and attach themselves to Van de Graaff generators so that their hair can stick straight out.


Static electricity could be available in the spice section of the grocery store.  Need a little static?  Add 1 teaspoon to a full glass of water and stir.  Otherwise, I see no real need to fry the ends of my fingers every time I walk across a carpet in winter and reach for a metallic doorknob.  Zot!!  What’s the point, other than to get me all worked up?

At these moments I revive my inner Ezra Pound and say:

Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm, 
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.
Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damm you;
Sing: Goddamm.
Goddamm, Goddamm,
’tis why I am, Goddamm,
So ‘gainst the winter’s balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM

Winter is NOT supposed to be icumen in or astayin in; it’s supposed to be agoin out!

C’mon spring and summer, let’s get to those hot, hazy, humid days so I can complain about that.

How to Curmudgeon

A number of people have asked me “How, exactly, do you become a curmudgeon?”  Actually, no one asked me that but I’m sure a few have thought about it and a few more have even hinted at it.  I’m here to set the record straight.

A curmudgeon is defined as a crusty, ill-tempered old man.  While generally male, a curmudgeon graces both sexes (think Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Dorothy Parker and Paula Poundstone).  I am one and, with counseling, you can be one too.  (If not, then you’ll just need counseling.)

What, you may ask, is the value of being a curmudgeon?

  1.  You never have to smile in public;
  2. No one will expect you to smile in public;
  3. You can redefine “pursuit of happiness;”
  4. You expect nothing and are never disappointed.

So how, exactly do you become a curmudgeon?  While there is no set formula, there are clues.

For example, did you look like this a child?


Do you look like this as an adult?


When a clerk in a store or a greeter at a convention says to you “Have a nice day,” how do you respond?

  1. “Why, thank you very much.”
  2. “You’re so welcome and I hope you have one, too.”
  3. “I’m sorry, I have other plans.”

When an important looking person approaches you and says “Do you know who I am?” you respond by saying:

  1. “I am so sorry that I did not recognize you.”
  2. “Excuse my ignorance.”
  3. “You don’t know who you are?  Have you lost your memory?”

You regard children and small animals as:

  1. A sign of God’s love;
  2. Precious items to be protected and cherished;
  3. Unnecessary.

Which activity should be added as an Olympic sport?

  1. Skateboarding;
  2. Golf;
  3. Poisoning pigeons.

What do you do if you pee when you jump up and down?

  1. Resolve to exercise harder and ignore the issue;
  2. Go immediately to the doctor to find the source of the problem;
  3. Stop jumping up and down.

What slogan would you choose to put on a tee shirt?

  1. Enjoy life;
  2. I ♥ my dog;
  3. member National Sarcasm Society; like we need your help.

If you look like the people in the pictures and answered every question with “C,” then you may be on the road to being a curmudgeon.  If not, then you may be on the yellow brick road.

Oh, and have a nice day!  As you already know, I have other plans.

Advice for the Disagreeable

Advice2Mark Twain said that nothing needs improving so much as other peoples’ habits.  I’m tired of hearing about how to live my life and ways to improve it.  I am inundated with advice on radio and TV (Dr. Phil and his ilk) from experts who have nothing better to do but tell me how to enhance my life experience.  I swear that you can get better suggestions from a deck of Tarot cards or a Chinese fortune cookie.  If I want advice, I’ll ask myself for it.  So I did and created my own radio show:   Advice for the Disagreeable – Ask Dr. Cur.

“Welcome to the Dr. Cur show where we give advice for the disagreeable from the disagreeable.  If you are foolish enough to take our advice, then we are foolish enough to give it to you.  And now here’s our first caller.”

Caller #1:  None of the girls at school or work will go out with me.  What’s wrong?

  • Dr. Cur:  They’re not your type.  They’re not inflatable.

Caller #2:  All my friends say that I have the personality of wet cardboard and that I am a loser.  What do you think, Dr. Cur?

  • Dr. Cur:  I’ll go with the majority.  They’re right.

Caller #3:  I may not have the talent of others but I think, with enough hard work and persistence, I can grow up to be somebody.

  • Dr. Cur:  You can.  You just need to be more specific.

Caller #4:  Today, on the ground, I found a four-leaf clover, a rabbit’s foot and a penny.  What does this mean?  Is this my lucky day?

  • Dr. Cur:  It means that you have greatly increased your chances of getting a communicable disease.

Caller #5:  Why are the police arresting me?  I didn’t beat my wife; ghosts did it.1

  • Dr. Cur:  The police are also ghosts.

1From newsoxy, January 24, 2012:  A Wisconsin man was arrested for domestic violence but he told police that a ghost beat his wife over financial problems and that he had nothing to do with it.


“And now here’s a word from our sponsor, Dr. Cur’s Chinese Misfortune Cookies©.  Stop accepting those ridiculous platitudes on all other fortune cookies.  Accept life for what it is.  Here are a few samples:

  • Today will turn out to be boring; so will tomorrow.
  • You or someone you know must cut back on sugar or salt.
  • At least two days this week will be a waste.
  • It is better to be rich, strong and handsome than to be poor, weak and ugly.
  • Give everyone at your office a break; sleep in tomorrow.
  • The food at this restaurant is overpriced and mediocre.
  • Al’s Mortgage.  Lowest rates in town.  Guaranteed.  Call 1-800-LOWRATES.
  • The person who made this cookie did not wash his hands.

Well, that’s it for today but tune in tomorrow when we will discuss how to dress for disagreement.  And remember, stay disagreeable.”


Note to readers:  Feel free to add you own Chinese Misfortune Cookie© saying.


Freshly Impressed

Whoa Nellie!  This past week I woke up from one of my many naps and, lo and behold, there’s a whole pile of likes and comments for my post This Will Happen to You.  What in the world is going on here?  During my sleep time, Word Press had Freshly Pressed me!  In two days, I got over 1400 hits.  Holy crap!  Now what do I do?

Well, I’m a curmudgeon so, naturally, I find a way to complain about it.

Before I do that, let me thank everyone on my blogroll, my followers and readers.  In particular, thanks to all my regular responders – from Le Clown and A Gripping Life; As I Age, Carrie Rubin and Diane Henders; to Madame Weebles and Harper Faulkner and all the rest.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The post was based upon an incident that happened to me.  I sold something of sentimental value and regretted it instantly.

On Freshly Pressed, I was labeled as “regrets” and squeezed between a post on depression and the presidential debates.  So the top three posts to greet you in FP-land on Monday morning were the trifecta of mental illness, regrets and foreign policy.  I wonder if the editors at Freshly Pressed felt that your Mondays were starting off too cheerfully.

The editors at FP assured me that my views would drop off rapidly and I would return to the anonymity to which I belong.  [FP didn’t say that but it makes for a good story.]

From my perspective, my top three posts so far have been on misgivings, animal contraception and alternate names for death.  If I can add ones on the bubonic plague, irritable bowels and the joy of macro-economics, my job here may be done.  Until then, I’m left with the paradoxical task of being grouchy about being pleased.  This goes in stages: