Otis funk ramble

Let’s face it. I’m grumpy. I’ve been grumpy for three weeks. I’m a real jerk when I’m grumpy. I’m also not very smart.

This weekend, I pulled out of my garage in my wife’s car and ran directly to my car in the driveway. It took all of five seconds for me to turn “grumpy and stupid” into “that will be several hundred dollars, sir.” Because I’m stupid. And grumpy. The weekend did have its highlights, though.

Saturday night, the wife and I took the boy for the first of what will be many holiday light display drives. The boy loves the stuff. It’s like kid crack. This particular display is at a local exotic animal park, the kind where you can’t get out of the car to pee because you will be eaten by a tiger. Midway through the light tour, we happened upon a couple of people selling bags of what they called, “deer chow” for a buck a bag. I figured, “Why not? If we don’t see any deer we can feed it to the boy when he gets hungry.”

“Keep your headlights on and stay inside your car at all times,” the salesman warned.

Two minutes later, in what was obviously designed to freak me the hell out, our car was surrounded by no fewer than 200 deer–very tame, domesticated deer that really liked deer chow and would come up to any car window and eat the food out of human hands. And then there were five or six emu. And one very wayward zebra. I was glad to be sober because I didn’t have any zebra chow.

Half an hour later, the tour dumped us out at a huge bonfire where the kid could roast marshmallows, feed baby goats out of a bottle, and get his picture take with Santa. There were also some water buffalo with big tongues, a bored camel, and some bison that I incorrectly identified for my son as buffalo.

“Bison,” corrected some other kid in a stupid hat.

“Fair enough,” I said. “So, can you tell me the difference between bison and buffalo?”

“Nope,” the kid said, and went back to wearing his stupid hat. I had to Google the answer later and didn’t wear a hat when I did.

After spending most of Sunday resuming my grumpy, stupid mood, the wife and I joined some friends for dinner and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I knew nothing about the show other than what I had seen on the commercials.

It’s odd to know people who know people. For instance, this week I’m staying in a $1,000 per night house in Florida–for free–because I know somebody who knows somebody. That’s the type of thing that should make me sort of rowdy. I’m working on it.

The TSO show (cell phone photo at right) also happened because I know somebody who knows somebody. We ended up with great seats and access to a VIP lounge full of shrimp, chicken Wellington, and booze. The show itself was an unexpected epileptic treat. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I only went into convulsions once and I think that had more to do with the proximity of Anna Phoebe doing unnatural things to an electric fiddle.

And so, after what was a fairly decent weekend, I’m still grumpy. I’m starting to embrace it, actually. I get a lot of hell for having a perfect life and not always being the happiest guy in the room. There is the natural assumption that if one’s life is as good as mine that one should never be grumpy. Ah, well. I don’t follow the rules very well.

Nay, this is not a call for sympathy, because none is deserved. None has been earned. There is nothing wrong with my life. I’m just a child with a gray beard who gets grumpy sometimes. Like now. I’m grumpy. The rub of it all is that I pretty much know what’s making me grumpy and I can’t do anything about it. That makes me grumpy. Grumpy turns to stupid and I do stupid, grumpy things. Because I’m a stupid grump. I actually know the hard-out date for the end to the grumpiness. It will come sooner than later, and then on with holiday cheer, mistletoe, and whatnot.

Goodness, I love whatnot.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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10 Responses

  1. KenP says:

    I was glad to see the last paragraph disclaimer. Traveling the world because of one’s pastime is not conducive to a lot of sympathy. Hate yes; sympathy … hardly. Throw in the family and the hate grows.

    As to old? Stop by and I’ll explain old to you and drool on you a bit for added spice.

  2. Kat says:

    How did you do that? Turn grumpy into a good read? Is that that writing thingy you’re always on about to me?

    *sends some eggnog to speed the whatnot.

  3. Dr. Chako says:

    Grumpy. Curmudgeonly, even. I get that.

    Vegas in 3 weeks. Probably makes you grumpier given your noted aversion to Sin City, but I sure as hell hope it un-grumpifies me right quick.


  4. maudie says:

    You’re the yin (or yang) to the yang (or yin) of those (sometimes annoying) people who are always cheery while standing knee deep in crap…

    And, yeah, pffft – gray beard? Old? Can you make it up the stairs (sober) without having to drag your self up while your knees do a sad imitation of a breakfast cereal? Talk to me in a couple of decades.

    See. I understand grumpy, too.

  5. emme says:

    Otis- it isn’t you. The whole country is in a funk. Why? Because our president is trying to give away the farm before he’s set out to pasture.

    I don’t know about you, but having to work until I’m seventy- five (to make up for this year’s losses) can make anyone grumpy.

    Lot’s of folks can’t get excited about the holidays either because there won’t be any holidays in the old sense of the word. Now, not only won’t folks be able to afford it but also could get ridiculed for saying the word “Christmas” .

    See, you got me started…..


  6. Aaron says:

    I have to say that the title was a bit misleading. There was no mention of George Clinton or Bootsy Collins. I expect more from a Funk ramble.

  7. DUDE! Florida, seriously? Why were we not alerted to your presence in the Sunshine State?

  8. Drizztdj says:

    No grumps allowed at the Pai Gow table sir.

    Only children with mortgages and penchant for drinking themselves into level 24 stupidness.

  9. T says:

    Oh Brad….redux

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