The Old Grumpies: Why we should be getting cross!

WIGAN  10-05-16
Coun Paul Collins assessing the damage to the road with many potholes on Back Lane, Appley Bridge.
WIGAN 10-05-16 Coun Paul Collins assessing the damage to the road with many potholes on Back Lane, Appley Bridge.

It was the annual general meeting at our last meeting and it appeared that the chairman had re-elected himself before most of the members had arrived and he claimed that the constitution stated clearly that two members were needed for a quorum and he used his casting vote to decide the matter.

Knowing his capacity for a big sulk, and the fact that he would probably stop making the coffee and providing the biscuits, the other members went along with it.

The treasurer had wanted to resign because he said his stammer was getting worse and it was indeed a problem when he had to announce that the cash in hand was £17.66 pence. When someone shouted out “How much?” he didn’t find it at all funny and almost walked out when a member said he would give him 34p if £18 was easier to say.

Reference was made to the member who sleeps through most meetings and had once woken up and shouted “Where? Where?” and claimed he’d heard a woman’s voice telling him to hide in the wardrobe.

One member asked what he could do about his wife who he feels only married him to have someone to blame. She claimed that his membership of what she called the Old Grumpies Club has made him even more chauvinistic and all he does is go to the Grumpies, watch television and sneak off to the pub.

He claimed it was unfair because he does help by finding the remote control and pointing out the bits she’s missed when she washes the car. He once ate a plate of salad just to please her, and always lifts his feet up when she’s doing the hoovering.

What more could he do, he asked. Before anyone could offer any suggestions a member said perhaps it was time to get some ladies in the club.

There were sharp intakes of breathe and a long pregnant pause before the chairman intervene and said it was not on the agenda.

One member then said that he had heard his wife talking to a friend the other day and say, “Sometimes I wake up grumpy in the morning but on other days I let him sleep in.”

There was concern expressed regarding the rule that, “Anyone intending to say anything serious must raise his right hand above his head.”

One member apparently hasn’t put his hand up in the past year and comments were made whether we had become a comedy club, or should we take our grumpiness more seriously.

It was pointed out that although we were not a cross-section of the general public we could, and should, get cross.

Perhaps we should get cross about dog dirt, pavement cyclists, potholes, traffic lights, politicians’ promises, ignorant know-alls, litter louts, football referees and the fact that the editor from the wonderful paper you are reading does sometimes miss the best bits from the reports we send them.

There was then a dramatic moment when a member said that although some things annoyed him, there were many other things we should be grateful for.

He said we live in a wonderful area, the people are friendly and ready for a laugh, but then used the unfortunate expression “I suppose we shouldn’t grumble”.

The very reason for our existence was being undermined. Then we realised he hadn’t put his hand up.