I've been accused of being a grumpy old man; it is true, I am. Some folk, mostly shrinks, ask me why I am so grouchy all the time; is it nature or nurture?
I live for this question!
It is both in my nature to be grumpy, and my nurturing assures I shall never change. Seven European families make up the sum of my gene pool. It was pissed in, repeatedly, by the women who swam there.
Two of my family surnames are familiar to most Americans. On my mother's side are the Mad Booths of Maryland (you remember John?), and the Anderson Hatfield family of Mingo County, West Virginia.
My father's family, the Jordans, are far less known to people outside the South. However, my father's family is, if possible, a tad more off-kilter than the Booths or the Hatfields. All my male ancestors were whack-jobs; I am a whack-job; therefore all whack-jobs are related to me (it sounded better in my head than it reads on paper).
In fact, the men comprising the seven families who are my ancestors: the Booths, Cranford's, Ices, Jordan's, Leggs, Prices, and Ragsdale's share a family crest and motto. The motto, literally translated into English from the Latin, that no male in my family could read anyway, states: "Fuck or fight-Makes no difference to us!"
The men in my family don't play well with others. We seem to have anger management issues. In fact, the men in my family are so warlike, so prone to taking up arms, that they started nearly every European war for the past eleven centuries, just so they could leave home to fight them-and hopefully, die in them-thus making it unnecessary for them to ever have to return home to the women in my family.
The Pope was so afraid of the men in those seven families that he started the first Crusade, not to rescue Jerusalem, but to get my ancestors the hell out of Europe.
William the Conqueror sent my family in the first wave of the Norman Conquest because he didn't trust them in his rear.
After the battle of Antietam, a worried Robert E. Lee asked Stonewall Jackson who he would send first against Ambrose Burnside or Joe Hooker, and Jackson said, "Send the Ragsdale's. They're stone-cold killers. They scare the shit out of me!"
Jackson was, unfortunately, correct; but he forgot the Ragsdale's were also exceedingly trigger-happy bastards. At Chancellorsville, North Carolina Ragsdales mistook Jackson for a Yankee and shot him off his horse.
Here is why the men of my family are so touchy, so ready to fight: it is the women of my family. And not just any women either; it is only the particular women that the men in my family marry.
You see, back in the Garden of Eden, after the Creator had fixed the stars and planets in the sky, crafted public lice and mosquitoes, and made the giraffes and the wombats, he got bored.
So, he created women.
In the beginning there were only women. They were nekkid. God liked it that way. For all of 27 days. Then every woman on Earth began to get cranky. They complained of weight gain. Their short-shorts grew too tight to zip. They had issues (of blood). Nothing God did could make them happy. He began to rethink the whole human thing.
Just as God was about to wipe all humans from the face of the earth, his right-hand man, Lucifer, came up with a funny notion. He told God it would be a lot of fun to make up some new humans called men. There would be seven of them: Booth, Cranford, Hatfield, Ice, Jordan, and Legg (Lucifer's idea, he is a leg man), and then Price. These seven men, and all of the women already created would forever comingle and procreate. So, God saw that would be a good and funny way to get back at women for being bitchy.
Then he rested and watched DWTS on TV.
Since the beginning of human history, the men of my family have married the women of the original human experiment. The rest of humanity evolved from chickens.
God is a funny fucker!
The other reason the men of my family are so fucked up is this: Not one man of my clan, from Normandy, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and finally Virginia, not one single man of us, has ever gotten out alive.
My father didn't; his father didn't; and I won't either.
There's your answer: That is why I am such a grumpy son of a bitch!