Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Grumpy Old Men


I went to the pub last night. I don't go very often, and it was nice that quite a few people were in there who I hadn't seen for a while, so could catch up with them.

This came at a cost, though. I had too much Guinness, stopped at the Chinese for Beef Satay & Fried Rice on the way home, and wasn' t really up to watching the Aimilia repeat (having missed the main edition earlier).

Anyway, I was up in the night with indigestion. About the only time I ever turn on the UK television is when I can't sleep. They had a compilation of the "Grumpy Old Men" on. This is a programme where they have some 50+ celebrities bemoaning modern life in Britain. It's very entertaining. There is also a "Grumpy Old Women" series too.

The only thing is, I often find myself agreeing with them. I suppose I'm a GOM in training, though of course the "Old" bit is decades away. Here are some of my grumps:

Schoolchildren: They seem to be putting them into positions of "responsiblity" these days. There are policemen, managers, even Government Ministers, who look to me like they should still be at school.

Excessive Safety: Childrens' toys all require a screwdriver to get at the batteries. Plugs on table lamps all have 3 Amp fuses, so that half the time when the bulb blows you have to change the fuse as well. I'm sure people didn't die from 1.5V batteries or blown light bulbs when I was younger.

Beer: They must be putting something in it these days. I used to be able to stay out late, get up early for work the next day, no problem. Nowadays, I just can't.

Language: You can't be grumpy without moaning about aldulterations to our Mother Tongue. Generally I'm all for progress in this area, but I do find one or two Americanisms irritating. "meet with" instead of "meet", and "privacy" pronounced "pr-eye-vacy". Corporate speak is also getting a lot worse. We don't have libraries, we have "Knowledge Centres". We don't do training or courses, we "participate in learning and development events".

Cycles: In an attempt to pretend to be cycle-friendly they've painted useless pink areas all over our roads - in front of traffic lights, so-called "cycle paths". All of which reduces the space available to cars. Then they wonder why there's more congestion...

Television: I'm glad I rarely watch it. They've dumbed it all down so far that I suspect their target audience must be chimpanzees. How much further down the food chain can they go?

However, there was an outstanding triumph last night. I completed the Times Crossword, having only attempted it once in the last 3 months or so. And in less than an hour. At least my brain's not rotting as I slowly mature...

29 comments:

Bee said...

BRRRR-eye-aun, you'd hate listening to me talk CUZ I go out of my way to ghetto-fy the English language.
I just can't bring myself to say SHHHHEDULE either.
I have this cool song I sing Natalia which I will sing now.
[kkkhrrmm]
If you WANTTA be a grump that's okay
But try to be a grump a little further away
It's not that I don't love you CUZ you know I do
Sometimes I'm grumpy too!

She loves it.

Bee said...

Also, there are BIKE paths here too, we just diregard them and run over people. ;o)

Brian o Vretanos said...

I don't mind Americans speaking that way, it's Brits who should know better ;-)

Actually, I approve of a lot of Americanisms and spellings, though I'd never be able to get into the habit of using them.

We say "bike" as well, just not when talking about road markings.

Dan said...

the beer is the same you're just getting old.
too much safety is so true, all the kids I see now riding bikes and skateboards look like there about to play a football (american ) game.
I think we should no longer call it English here in the USA and call it American.
Do you not get American TV in Europa ? there's some good TV here.
Ignore the bike paths.
Dan

Brian o Vretanos said...

Dan:

Old? Surely not?

We get some US TV series. I love the CSI programmes. One of the GOMs had a good point though - 50 years ago when we only had 2 channels, there were quite a lot of "highbrow" programmes, and people watched them, didn't fully understand them, but it broadened their horizons, maybe they learned something they didn't know before.

Now we have third rate celebrities giving themselves enemas live on TV, endless soap operas, etc. There's nothing wrong with such things per se, but you'd have thought that loads of channels would mean a broader range of programmes, but instead it's giving us a narrower set - every channel makes its own version of the latest reality show, makeover show, soap, etc.

Chris said...

"Meet with" is an Americanism?? Hmm. I just say "meet". Maybe I am really a Brit and didn't know it!!

I don't think you are a Grumpy Old Man yet, although at almost 30 (3 weeks away..EEK!) I feel like a Grumpy Old Woman :-)

As for T.V. my 3 favorite shows are all on BBCA and I would be so much happier if I just had BBC because we are behind over here by at least one season :-( It's not fair ;-)

Chris said...

btw, congrats on the crossword ;-)

Jean Knee said...

Don't worry you won't really be old until you're past 37.You're probably already grumpy, but doesn't that just add to your character? Of course it does.

I am so envious of your crossword ability, I totally suck at it.

Jean Knee said...

bee stole that song off noggin

Bee said...

Not stolen jean knee, just borrowed to make my little girl sunshine smile.

AARP said...

We are trying to reach one, Brian o Vretanos about joining our exclusive club.

Bee said...

He's sleepin' cuz it's almost 4 AM his time.

Jean Knee said...

I bet you expect me to now confess that I don't really have a waffle maker 4000 but only borrowed it from my neighbor Rim who I make cry regularly

Bee said...

Yes please.

Jean Knee said...

whom I make cry, whatever

Jean Knee said...

I speak American, you know.

Jean Knee said...

where'd you go , bee? I'm rebelling against authority and not taking my "you can now sleep but you might wet the bed" medication and staying up all night long. Insomnia I have missed you this past week

Bee said...

Yeah me too!!
Aww! Do we hug now cuz I don't like hugging.

Jean Knee said...

why does everyone always feel the need to sleep, sure it's okay, but every single night??


Wake up, Brian!

Oh the horror!

Jean Knee said...

yeah, I don't like hugging so how bout we high five, yeah baby!

Bee said...

He was up last night due to bad Chinese food so he's probably trying to catch up on his sleep.

Bee said...

HA HA! That's how Dan and I "hug"! We either high five or shake hands!!

Jean Knee said...

Lucky! my brother hugs and kisses me. If I sucker punched him he'd have his feelings hurt

Bee said...

They all know I'm not into the whole mushy crap! Also, I've told Andy that when I say "prickly pear" it means "step away from the beester!" ;op

Jean Knee said...

dang it all, I'm feeling sleepy.

Good night Bee
goodnight Brian
good night John Boy






is goodnight one word or two?

Bee said...

goodnight jean knee...

Bee said...

and good morning Brian!

Brian o Vretanos said...

Chris:

You're still in your 20s... So it's not just policemen - bloggers are getting younger too ;-)

Jean Knee & Bee:

Maybe I should start getting up at 4 in the morning - I could shift my waking/sleeping hours, so get up at 4, go to bed at 7. Then I wouldn't miss out, and would always be first on Bee's blog.

Jean Knee said...

excellent idea Brian. you are always thinking ahead