Metamorphosis: My Overnight Transformation into a Cranky Old Fart
One morning I woke from a short and uneasy slumber to find that I had turned into a crabby cantankerous curmudgeon. It took me time to realize, as I didn’t appear to display any external symptoms. The flabby body I’d painstakingly taken care of over the years laid clad in a classy overstretched t-shirt and clean-adjacent boxer shorts. My alarm had seemed a bit louder than usual and I did feel a violent twinge of murderous rage at the dog barking in the distance, but anyone would get irritated at loud noises in the morning, right?
Only when I tried getting out of bed did the first telltale sign of my geezery manifest itself.
I’ve never been an athlete per se, but despite my sedentary job, questionable dietary choices and conspicuous lack of active hobbies, I consider myself to be in decent shape. Probably somewhere around average, if not a tad above. I’d always been able to slip out of bed with relative ease, snapping myself upright and landing my furry toes right into the pant legs I’d strategically stretched out on the floor the previous evening.
Until that fateful day.
As I tried to rise from the sheets, every single vertebrae cried out in protest and proceeded to go on strike. My hips felt leaded down, sinking into the depths of my criminally overpriced orthopedic mattress. I tried to mobilize my abdominals, but they hadn’t seen action in over a decade and immediately surrendered. The only technique I found to sit up straight was to wheel myself around on my tailbone, swing my legs toward the floor and use the momentum as a counterweight to heave up my torso.
As if my top-like maneuver weren’t enough, the sudden and strenuous effort caused me to release an earth-shattering groan, stripping my partner of any lingering hope to carry on sleeping.
“What’s wrong, are you dying?” she asked, her mind still titubating through the fog of morning.
“I’m pretty much already dead,” I snapped back.
That’s when it hit me. I couldn’t move my limbs without triggering a bestial moan. I felt cynical about the cold embrace of death. The simple act of waking up had me in a foul mood. My diagnosis was unequivocal: I had become an old fart.
From there, things kept going downhill. I didn’t want to risk pulling up my pants out of fear of waking the neighbors, so I strutted to my desk in my underwear and logged into my work computer for my morning meeting. I remember promising to myself at the beginning of the pandemic that I wouldn’t become one of those people, but why bother anymore. As long as I kept my microphone and camera off, I could make coffee in a state of undress and nobody would notice.
During the meeting, I found myself getting inordinately annoyed every time somewhere younger came up with an idea. The audacity! Did they think I wouldn’t have been able to come up with those same ideas, had they been any good? To put them in their place, I made sure to meticulously point out everything that could possibly go wrong with their proposals until I received the blissful silence of respect.
Once the meeting was over, I took a break. Irritation is exhausting. I decided to use that time to look up my favorite source of comedy: Overconfident young people doing things I don’t understand. You won’t believe the shenanigans these tik-toking avocado-loving snowflake preachers of wokeness get up to. They barely even talk to each other! I guess they send messages, but those aren’t real conversations. Trust me, I read about it in a wordy article that I definitely understood.
Besides, the only things young people know about are video game levels and superhero movies — is what I’ve been told; I have no young friends. Back in my day, we would discuss the works of great philosophers and debate the future of society. We had conversations that actually mattered. At least that’s how I remember it.
It’s funny how older people back then seemed so grumpy and divorced from reality. Now, the old guard clearly has all the wisdom, yet young people fail to recognize it. The roles have reversed. I guess I must have been born in the Perfect Generation — lucky me!
Once my break was over it was already lunch time. I ordered two pizzas and opened up some blog posts, hoping to sieve out a nugget of hope from society’s intellectual and moral decay.
It was an absolute failure. The political articles were recycled nonsense that made me even more depressed about the world. The self-help articles assumed I needed help, which has never been the case. Even the articles meant to be humorous made me feel like I was reading the manual for an IKEA screwdriver in all 27 languages. What a waste of time.
How are people OK with this? Does nobody realize everything is terrible?
Something had to be done, and deep down, I knew I was the one to do it.
First, I left comments. Bloggers should know when their writing is trash, and it’s my moral responsibility as a representative of the Perfect Generation to deliver the bad news. I made sure to leave as little constructive criticism as possible; the last thing we need is these losers trying to get better. Writing isn’t a skill, it’s a talent. You’re either born brilliant or you’re not. Shine or die, there is no try. Except in my own case obviously: I’m trying my best and making mistakes is only human.
Second, I decided I would start writing myself someday. I don’t know quite when, as I’m waiting for inspiration to hit, but it’ll happen. My work will be a hit purely based on who I am. My upbringing entitles me to success. Everyone should understand that.
If it isn’t a hit though it doesn’t matter, because I’m right either way. Failure to receive the praise I deserve would be further testament to the moral decay of our society.
That’s the brilliance of curmudgeonry. I can convince myself I’m right about anything.
Nothing can stop me but death. Which I can’t seem to stop thinking about.