Do you feel lost, isolated and alone?
Does modern life leave you feeling left behind in a state of confusion and bewilderment?
If you or someone you know is struggling with the trials and tribulations of modern manhood then Grumpy Old Git is the book for you.
Clearly you are a competent and intelligent person. You can iron the carpet and hoover the clothes as well as the next man, but if you miss the good old days and find yourself yearning for things to be as they once were, join the brotherhood of the bewildered and fight back.
Fight back against the tidal wave of complicated and unnecessary technology. Shun the shackles of tedious health and safety. Stomp on the plight of the flat pack lifestyle and beat into submission the conventional demand to simply sit in a chair and turn slowly beige.
If your daily life is ruined by militant cyclists, pushy salesmen, pointless bureaucratic nonsense and the poor attitudes and ineptness of others, take solace in the fact that you are not suffering alone.
With a strong cup of tea in a chipped mug and a stiff upper lip we can repel these awful social conventions and once again stand tall among men.
Note that this book should be kept secret and hidden from the guard at all costs. If she finds it you’ll end up in the cooler and will likely lose television privileges for a fortnight.
You have been warned.
This book contains a series of short musings that give a glimpse of the human condition through the dirty window that is life. Therefore it is ideally suited to be read while on the crapper.
Targeted Age Group:: 30-60
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I began writing this book several years ago and based it on my own experiences in life. I was never sure what I was going to do with it or if I was even going to finish it.
During the boredom of lockdown I decided to add to it. I hadn't looked at it in over a year but soon got into the way of writing a bit each day.
Still unsure of whether it would ever see the light of day, I gave the rough draft to a friend. Due to his encouragement I finished the book and put it out there. This was my first attempt at humorous writing and I was sure that I wasn't that funny or had that interesting a life to be worth writing about.
King Tut’s Trots
Egypt is a magical and mystical country. During a three thousand year period starting from about 3100BC one of the greatest civilisations that ever existed thrived in an arid desert in North Africa. Fuelled by the life giving River Nile, a succession of Pharaohs with their legions of hardworking subjects and slaves carved the most wonderful temples, pyramids and monuments that thousands of years later still evoke a feeling of awe and utter wonderment.
When you think of Egypt visions of sun drenched pyramids float into your head. Great leaders adorned with beautiful jewels and gold trinkets ride around on top of chariots and mystical cursed tombs hiding long held secrets and treasures are around every corner.
It is this image that draws thousands of visitors to this hot arid place every year. I’ve been there and I loved it, however my image of this magical place has been somewhat tainted.
We arrived at sunset in mid July and as I stepped off the plane I was greeted by a wall of heat that seemed to emanate straight from the sun god Ra himself. The smell of the hot desert surrounded us and you could see the last heat of the day hover and shimmer between the dark tarmac of the runway and the deep orange sky. By the time we left the airport and got on the coach the sun had completely vanished and an inky darkness fell over the sand and rocks. Only the pale sliver of silver light from the moon gave any clue to the fact that there was a vast hidden landscape beyond the dim headlights of the bus.
As we walked through the entrance of our hotel we were greeted by the welcoming coolness of the air conditioning and staff wearing the whitest pressed uniforms I’ve ever seen. A small buggy transferred us to our room and all manner of food was adorned upon us as we looked out over the calm blue water of our pool. It was truly magical.
The next morning we were calmly woken from our slumber by the sun god gently streaming his pale yellow rays though our white curtains.
Over the next few days we indulged in everything the Egyptians had to offer. It was on day three while sitting beside the pool that I began to sense that something just wasn’t quite right. It happened quickly and very unexpectedly. A disturbing rumble rippled around me. Was it a far off thunderstorm on the horizon? Maybe some sort of catastrophic building collapse from the construction site across the street? A quick glance revealed that the sky continued to be beautifully clear and the surrounding buildings stood firm. The distant rumble was closer than I first thought. It originated from my stomach. Could it be hunger? No, I hadn’t long finished breakfast. The more astute amongst you will have realised where this is heading.
The rumbling became more frequent, more intense, then came the inevitable cramping. It was time to move. I made it without a second to spare. Diarrhoea of truly biblical proportions followed. The noises emanating from that wash cubicle would have woken a Pharaoh and probably haven’t been heard by human ears since Moses parted the Red Sea. I was left crippled and exhausted, a shadow of my former self. After what seemed like hours I dragged my worthless husk of a body to the bed and died.
When I woke it was dark, several hours must have passed since my episode. The room was cool but a bead of sweat rolled from my forehead. I lay there contemplating what had happened, was it some sort of assassination attempt? Was I the victim of a cruel prank? Had I been afflicted by some remnant of Egypts great biblical plagues or had I transgressed some ancient being and was now suffering his curse? I gathered my thoughts and decided to try and get up. A note was stuck to the dresser. It read “Gone to dinner, water in the fridge.” In our family a man can be left behind.
I gathered what little strength I had and shuffled my way to the dinning room like some sort of geriatric mummy wrapped in bog roll. Pale and broken I made it to the table, slumped in a chair and received that look that only a woman can give. It’s the one that encompasses pity, anger, disappointment and embarrassment all at once. I didn’t think it wise to eat so I avoided the buffet cart and just sipped gingerly at a glass of water. I’d paid good money for this holiday, stood through airport security and put up with the little bastard kicking the back of my seat for 2500 miles. I was damned if I was going to let an inconvenient little microbe ruin it. After 20 minutes or so I thought I felt slightly better. I was on the mend, I had won. Oh how foolish I was.
As I rose from the table and pushed my chair back I heard a familiar rumble. I froze. A cold sweat broke on my back. Planted to the spot I weighted up my options. I decided a brisk shuffle to the nearest bathroom was my best option. It was the longest journey of my life. There is nothing funnier or more pathetic than watching someone try and walk as quickly as possible with clenched cheeks, trying to keep their feet no more than 3 inches in front of each other and all the while attempting to look relaxed and normal. I’ve laughed hysterically at this sort of thing when it happens to other people, now it was my turn to be the butt of the joke.
I suffered through the night making regular trips to the throne room every 30 minutes like clockwork. Next morning it was clear that something had to be done. As Moses was not around to consult on this plague I decided to try the chemists next to the hotel. The pharmacists shop was small but crammed from floor to ceiling with shelves full of bottles, potions and pills, some even had cobwebs on them. I thought I had stumbled into an Indiana Jones movie and was expecting to find some old wizard of the dunes hidden behind a stack of old scrolls. Instead I was greeted by young man with an Adidas t-shirt and an i-pod. It became apparent that he spoke no English so I reverted to the internationally understood sign language for the squirts. He nodded knowingly and handed me two packets of tablets, one red, one green. He explained, using his watch face, that I was to take a red one every 6 hours and a green one every other hour. I think. I didn’t care, I would have happily swallowed both packets in one go if it shored up the dam and held back the relentless brown flow. I have a strong suspicion that shop only ever sold medication for my particular ailment. I threw down the deficit of a small country in used monopoly money and headed briskly but carefully for the door.
By the next day I was feeling better but I was still suspicious of quick moments and unexpected shocks. Then the rumours started. In all at least 10 other people had succumbed to this terrible plague. Apparently it was traced to dodgy chicken from the faux American diner inside the resort. I had seen on the news that tensions were high in the Middle East but I never expected a biological attack on American soil like this.
I have never been back to Egypt since. Not because I’m afraid of getting the King Tut trots again but rather because of the unsettling news I saw when I got home.
Egyptian archaeologists had found a 2000 year old sarcophagus at the start of July. All sorts of rumours circulated, some said it contained the remains of Alexander the Great, Cleopatra or maybe one of the Ramses. Others had more sinister beliefs and talk of a world ending curse being released if the ancient coffin was opened began to spread. Ignoring these fears it was opened and inside 3 skeletal remains were found submerged in the most horrendous ancient raw sewage ever smelt. Im not a superstitious man but its a bit of coincidence that this thing lay buried for 2000 years and the very day it was opened I was struck down with the Tutankhamen trots.
Curses and superstitions aside, I reckon if I had stayed there any longer they would have found me in 2000 years time cocooned in excrement and encased in a tomb that looked suspiciously like a hotel bathroom.
My advice if this happens to you is not to be bitter, don’t blame the hotel staff or chefs for their incompetence. Instead be content in the fact that you have left behind a foul smelling ticking time bomb in a country who’s plumbing system can’t handle even the thinnest of 1 ply toilet paper and some poor bugger is going to have to don a rubber glove and deal with it long after you’ve gone.
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