Over the years, I’ve been called “grumpy”, “a curmudgeon” and “moody”, terms which I never think actually apply to me. I like to think I’m generally a happy person, I have friends, don’t I? But maybe they do apply.
For those of you who don’t know, Victor Meldrew was a character in a situation comedy called One Foot in the Grave in the 90’s starring Richard Wilson. It’s based around the annoying events that happen to a retired older gentlemen (the aforesaid V Meldrew) who’s catchphrase became “I don’t belieeeeeve it!” and his long-suffering wife. Here’s a sample.
It became so ubiquitous that I think he quit the series just to get away from the character. Although he did appear in an episode of Father Ted as himself on holiday in Ireland; Ted and Dougal decided it was a great thing to say this catchphrase to him when then saw him, with predictable comic results.
Well, I find myself using it now. And it seems I understand what he was always on about. I have “I don’t belieeeeeve it!” it moments at least half a dozen times a day.
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I do wonder if it’s just an age thing. You know, horrible music, kids these days, saying things like “it wasn’t like that when I were a lad”.
Then I wonder if it’s a problem with modern society. (Yes, yes, kids have always been wrong – just ask your parents or any older person). The pace of change in technology, as well as the spread of any idea or news story across the world via the interweb almost instantly, has increased at a phenomenal rate, just as Toffler said it would in Future Shock (1970). This has something to do with discontent in a lot of people, I’m sure.
There’s a programme on telly now and again called Grumpy Old Men, obviously aimed at my age group due to the selection of men on the programme aren’t that much older than me. They’re obviously asked questions about events and situations which is guaranteed to make them moan about it. On the occasions we do actually watch it, my better half often turns to me and says “that’s you!”. Thanks. I needed that.
But why am I grumpy?
That’s the critical thing here – I won’t deny I am grumpy occasionally, just not all the time – is: why am I grumpy? What is there to be grumpy about? I have a nice house, I get to go on holiday occasionally and a reasonable standard of living – why the grumps?
Now I don’t have any answers here, just speculation, really. I mean, is it wrong to express discontent with the way our country’s run? Or that the Olympics is making life hell for anyone who actually tries to live next to it (another ‘don’t get me started’ conversation)? Or that the bastard snails have eaten my hostas again? Really? It’s wrong?
Okay, so I’m a curmudgeon. I like dark humour. I like acidic comments about the length of that woman’s hair, or saying things like “What has he come as?” I don’t mean to be grumpy about it, but apparently that’s the way I come across sometimes.
I guess I just have to accept the fact I’m turning into Victor. And to lighten things up, here’s the whole episode from Father Ted – enjoy! See? Not grumpy!