I consider being a curmudgeon a round-the-clock hobby. I'm a bit young to be a cranky old coot, but I figure that if I want to be a crusty old codger in the classic mold, best to start now. Groan slightly getting out of bed, mumble and grumble about everything until the first cup of coffee, then begin to form words into semi-coherent thoughts typically centered on "those dad-burned kids today" or "the gummamint." It's important to let the ear hair and eyebrow hair bush out to the max, to write letters to the editor about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket, and to fall back on those golden gems about how life was "back in the old days."
I've recently perfected the art of the incomplete reply. Like when my wife tells me For pity's sake, Finny, you're too young to be an old coot, you're only 42, I'll shoot her a look suggesting she's just told me to eat rat feces and say Why don't you just... Other such sentences include For the love of..., Why must you...?, and Do you ever stop...?
Predictably, I've had to alter my participation in other hobbies. It wouldn't do to be involved with any physical activity more taxing than putting on slippers, and my passion for writing and reading has given way to quaffing tumblers of bourbon and Scotch as I moan about Lawrence Welk not coming in on the old rabbit ears (having told those dad-burned cable and dish companies the truth about being part of the conspiracy to rob us Americans of our souls and our wallets). I enjoy a 4:00 p.m. dinner and going to bed by 8:00. As a curmudgeon in training I am, like my more gernotologically advanced peers, given free rein to let loose a barrage of gas in public places, such as the supermarket. People hear what sounds like an elk being ripped in half, and gradually they begin dispersing from the aisle where I consider the benefits of Shredded Wheat versus Kashi, whispering vague sentiments about me Not being right.
I root for football teams that haven't existed in ages, like the Steagles. If asked, I will swear that our sitting President is Harry S. Truman, and will further make up any outrage against reality I can think of at the moment, like Truman's middle initial standing for Stanislaus. I have no worries about terrorism, because it's the Commies we've lost sight of, just you watch and see if I'm wrong. And I wax poetic about life events that happened to someone else, like being at the Iwo flag raising. I have no compunction whatsoever about programmatically shortchanging retail salespeople five dollars a crack, and then pretending not to hear or understand them, until their lines get too long and they wave me through just to get things going.
I wear black socks and sandals, and have invested heavily in plaids of the screamingest contrast.
So maybe it's not so much a hobby as a way of life, but you hippie whippersnappers had best get in line or I'll...