Curmudgeon. Andy Rooney was one. And I am one.
Andy Rooney used to complain at length on how difficult it was to get the tops off of things and get at what lay beneath the wrapper, or cap, be it peanuts, a soft drink, or some other snack. He was usually on an airplane when he would find the wrapper from hell, the packaging that would bring forth a vicious onslaught of words.
I am not on an airplane. I am in front of my computer. And I am about to complain about several things, but first, let us look at the definition of the word.
One of the first definitions of said word is ´a miser,´ an “ill tempered and surly person.` The dictionary, or thesaurus, goes on to say a bad tempered or cantankerous person. An old person who is often in a bad mood. WikiHow has a tutorial telling anyone that reads it how to become a curmudgeon, the only problem is that they do not use any old people. All the characters are young. Some of their tips. Do NOT go with the flow.
What am I going to complain about here? Well, let´s start with the telephone.
One of my pet peeves throughout the ages has been recorded messages, or the lack of a real, live, human voice when talking to no one in particular on the telephone. To register for something or other, press one. To listen to a recording telling you what an idiot you are, press two. To give up hope, press three. To hear this message again, press four. And, to speak to a live, human being, go away. You won´t get that here.
These are just some of the options available on the telephone these days. This message kungfu exists in Brazil as well as in most “civilized” nations.
I tried dialing 135. Actually, I succeeded in dialing 135. That put me in contact with INSS, where a litany of recorded messages awaited me, none of them with a real human being on the end of the line. I was so rattled by the time I had hung up (I only lasted half a minute, if that) that I needed to sit down to collect my thoughts. Why, oh why, do people do this to one another?
Moving on to other things, let us complain about never getting a straight answer from anyone.
I know, I know, you are probably thinking why cannot I get a straight answer out of Rick? But I am thinking why cannot I get a straight answer out of Holt, my brother?
I asked him several times, in at least two seperate emails, if he had gotten my letter from Brazil (which was addressed to Patty, his wife, which I sent more that one month ago). He chose to ignore this question and focus on more important concerns such as his upcoming trip to Arizona. I also sent Patty an email with the same question. Since she has basically never checked her email in her life, I am willing to wait until the cows come home to get my answer, which will probably never come.
This, in light of the fact that I have received emails from him noticeably frustrated at the inability of his younger brother to respond to such and such a request. It is as if all the world revolves around Holt.
And last but not least, Wendy and the boxes. This takes the cake.
It seems that the people at the post office in China are really getting their money’s worth regarding Wendy and my boxes. It turns out that the address wasn’t detailed enough. They need a more detailed address. I told Wendy that the address that I gave her was the most detailed one that I had. Did she want driving instructions? Does she want an address from the bottom of the sea? What does she want, exactly? Who put her up to this? Why me? I just want my bloody boxes. Boxes, boxes, boxes. I just want my bloody boxes.
Tomorrow is the magic day. She will send the boxes tomorrow. So she says. We have been there before.
So, this is the address which she says is not detailed enough. I replied that it is a very simple address, and a very good address to boot.
C\O Holt and Patty Ruffin
403 Atlantic Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA
So, I spelled it out. I told her that I am Rick Ruffin, and the owners of the house are Holt and Patty Ruffin. I went on to say that the name of the street is Atlantic Avenue (two blocks from the Pacific, but I am not here to debate the nature of things), and the house number is 403. I told her the city is called Santa Cruz, and the state is California, and the zip code is 95062, and the country is, roll the drums please, United States of America. But what I sent her, for perhaps the tenth time, was NOT DETAILED ENOUGH. Beats me. It really beats me.
And so, I am a curmudgeon, and rightfully so. Life has made me who I am.