Old Grouch


He’s gotten old and grouchy
Kids get him all uptight.
He says he does love kids
As long as they’re kept out of sight.

He read a book one night
“Childproof your house”, it said.
He read how to do it
As he lay there in bed.

Now he’s childproofed his house;
He says that he can’t win.
Childproofing doesn’t work
‘Cause children still get in!


Almost every neighborhood has an Old Grouch. My family lived in Houston until I was thirteen. We lived in a quiet, residential neighborhood where I had lots of friends. We played boy games that required lots of shouting and fake dying. Our neighborhood grouch did not like my high-pitched voice, a trait for which I was nicknamed, “Squeaky.” She called the police and they came and talked to my father and the lady together. The policeman asked the lady if she had any sons to which she answered that she had two well-mannered daughters. My dad told her that she didn’t know what she was missing. That was my first and only brush with the law. I am glad that it didn’t show up on the National Agency Check, that the FBI ran on me prior to the Air Force granting me a Top Secret clearance! My son Tim and his wife Erin, just built a new house. With three small children they were very interested in making it a safe environment for their toddlers. They called it child proofing. Erin’s Granddad, Hiram Brown, said that it is a wonder that Erin’s mother and her siblings were able to survive to adulthood without the benefit of all of those safety contraptions. Old Grouch probably just converted to barbed wire and land mines.

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