This week I have been conducting a social experiment.
It could be said that I look a little grumpy at times. I am not a naturally grumpy person, I am maybe a little short tempered, maybe a little quick to take offense too. It could also be said that, on occasion, I may speak my mind a little freely. There can be times that I will not accept the poor behaviour of others and I may tell them this. But I am not grumpy. I just look it.
I tend not to really care what countenance I have. So it settles into a default or resting mode. When my face relaxes and settles into its comfort zone it is unfortunately what could be seen as “grumpy.” I could be having a whale of a time on the inside but the outside is showing all the signs of toothache a poor credit rating and probably looking like I Sky+ed the wrong programme too.
So I decided that I would spend a couple of days grinning like a love-sick puppy. (The last time I looked that way was when the Boss decided that she would be seen with someone like me.) I would be a happy pleasant person who would do his best to bring a little of my own personal sunshine into everybody else’s life.
Off I went into the world full of bonhomie and on the whole it worked. As I was pleasant everybody else seemed pleasant too; well almost everybody. It is amazing how some people can find happiness offensive. For example; whilst at the local Co-Op I entered into some cheery conversation with the person behind the checkout. I was multi tasking rather successfully, my packing is, and I am trying not to brag here, pretty fast (I was trained by a girlfriend, who worked at Safeway ,in my teens on the correct method of putting the items on the belt, heavy and solid stuff first light and fragile next, sweets that will be eaten on the way home last) and it was no slower with added chat. The man next in the queue who I tried to include in the banter would have, if he had had a gun to hand, kneecapped me. He seemed to find our cheerfulness an affront. How strange. I know that my patter isn’t as good as my packing but it isn’t that bad. Anyway he was ignored and I continued on my merry way through the day dispensing joy wherever I went.
I grinned inanely in the post office and was greeted with cheerfulness. Saying that the nice people in the post office are cheerful with everybody even if they aren’t experimenting with a new countenance. I was rabidly pleasant in the builders’ merchants and was treated sympathetically but I don’t think I lit up their day. I went back to the Co-Op, I always forget something, and found, on arrival, that there were people without children parking in the parent and child spaces. This was a tricky one as this really makes my blood boil, as it should. The spaces are no closer to the door than some of the normal ones but they do mean you can enter the shop without crossing the carpark and therefore avoid the risk of toddlers being run over in their enthusiasm to get in the shop. It is just lazy and selfish and is the second worst carpark crime to stealing a disabled space (wouldn’t it be great if, when someone not entitled to use a disabled space was caught in one their insurance became void and any damage done to their car was not a criminal act, a free go at retribution if you will.) I recognised one of the cars as belonging to someone who doesn’t have young children and lives in our village. What to do? Should I tell them that they are wrong on so many levels and I hate their very existence? Making meeting them almost every day a little awkward. Or should I ignore them and carry on with my sunny day? I decided to mentally key their car, let the air out of their tyres and top up their petrol tank with sea-water. Which made me content and guilty at the same time. Well, maybe a little more contentment than guilt.
I then got stuck in a queue behind someone who put all their stuff on the conveyer belt and then went back to get more things 3 times. Dirty. Rotten. Cheating… I thought of the sunshine I was meant to bring to the world but it was beginning to get a little cloudy in my head.
After my little shopping trip I was going off to get some photos and this meant I had to go along a single track road and cheery, nice me decided that I would pull in to every passing place and let the on-coming traffic pass. I would give them a cheery wave to help them on their way. The amount of miserable gits that took advantage of me and didn’t say thank you beggared belief! I had a good mind to turn around chase after them, run them off the road and demand a thank you from them before I called an ambulance. Ungrateful swine.
My temper was short and my blood pressure was surely at a critical level How the Hell was I meant to be Mr Happy-go-lucky with these bottom-feeding pond life on the planet! No wonder I look grumpy. If I had my way…etc.
So there you go. The outcome of my social experiment is that no matter how much sunshine you bring in to the world someone will always prefer the rain. And what an effort they will make to be sure you have a little drizzle in your life too.
Even after the light shower these people gave me I have to admit that I felt better being Mr Happy-Go-Lucky Sunshine than Mr Grumpy. Bet I looked just the same though.
This image of the Torrin Pools was taken depite the efforts of the drivers coming the other way along the single track road that leads to it.