How to become a curmudgeon.

­­ First, a definition. Curmudgeon: a crusty, ill-tempered and, usually, old man; a cantankerous old codger.

­­ Some famous curmudgeons: Mark Twain, W.C. Fields, Groucho Marx, Andy Rooney.

­­ First of all, you need to look mean. Wipe that funny-looking politician's smirk off your face.

­­ If someone is nice to you, you immediately grab hold of your wallet.

­­ You only fly fish. This requires that the fisherman be smarter than the fish.

­­ You know you must be wrong about something but you can't figure out what it is.

­­ Always question the motives of politicians; never accept altruistic answers.

­­ You wish Jesus would come back to straighten out most Christians.

­­ You like social workers but can't stand to be around them

­­ You don't take compliments very well because you're trying to make everyone angry.

­­ You can't figure out how some people can be so rich and others so poor.

­­ You go to watch criminal trials just for the laughs.

­­ You expect the worst out of people and are generally not disappointed.

­­ You can' understand why people own guns but you have one just in case they're right.

­­ Evolution makes sense to you. God wouldn't create anything as stupid as a human.

­­ You can look at something and see nothing.

­­ You can look at nothing and see something.

­­ You want to do what's right but you can't quite figure out what that is.

­­ You remain skeptical about a virgin birth.

­­ You wonder how ''random acts of stupidity'' can constantly keep getting Congressmen reelected.

­­ It's hard for you to believe how businesses can make so much money providing such poor service.

­­ You still think computers may have been invented by the devil.

­­ You don't know why corporations get welfare from the government but you know it must be stopped.

­­ You can't explain why people are against abortion but for capital punishment

­­ You can't figure out how a lawyer's time can possibly be worth $150 an hour. They should be happy we just allow them to live.

­­ You look at prisons and think about racism.

­­ You wonder why most M.D.'s become doctors. Most can't even get along with people.

­­ How can a car possibly be more expensive than a house?

­­ You know that if one of your friends becomes a millionaire, begging is something you would be capable of.

­­ You realize that using gambling money to finance government rather than tax money are both examples of stealing from the ignorant.

­­ You know the difference between a big talker and a big thinker.

­­ When you go to buy a new or used car, you just bend over and ask how much.

­­ Most ministers make you nervous.

­­ You don't call anyone by their title, like ''doctor'' or ''your honor.'' That's nonsense.

­­ You miss potlucks, but not the socialization.

­­ You're skeptical about Noah and his arc. Why in the world would God have allowed Noah's wife to stay on board?

­­ You get nervous when you go to the post office. On the other hand, you wonder why everyone doesn't shoot their boss.

­­ You'd invest in the Internet but you don't trust the darn thing.

­­ Everyone wants to blame the students and teachers for what happens in our schools but not the administrations and school boards. That doesn't make sense.

­­ You can't understand why every working person would not want to belong to a union. Of course, that means a real union-- not a make-believe one like most are today.

­­ Left-wing and right-wing people frighten you although you would have much sooner gone to a party with Marx than with Hitler.

­­ All these years we worried about communists when we should have been worried about ourselves.

­­ Everyone should get the same level of health care the President gets.

­­ You don't see the big deal in hitting 70 home runs but you sure would like to have caught the 70th.

­­ You're not much into personal growth unless it happens to be visible.

­­ Football is appalling to you but you love the cheerleaders.

­­ In the scheme of things, you can't figure out why gynecologists and proctologists don't get arrested.

­­ We lost the drug war. People don't like reality.

­­ You would prefer that females not be allowed in taverns unless, of course, they're dancing.

It takes a lot of work to be a curmudgeon and it can be a lonely existence. But that, in and of itself, doesn't stop you. You prefer dogs over humans anyway.

Uploaded to The Zephyr website October 12, 1999

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