The Grouchy Old Man

This is a true story. It happened in the summer of 1998 when Sherry and I lived in Pflugerville. It was a dawning of the ages, I suspect. I hope it brings a smile to your face; it does mine, every time I read it.

The Grouchy Old Man

Was not long ago this happenin’ happent

On a Saturday as I best recall

Out the window I saw some kids in a tree

And thought, what if they should fall

Stepped out the front door and in a gruff tone

Said, you kids get outta that tree

Their eyes got all bugged & they fell like ripe fruit

Then ran off as fast as could be

They ran down that street lickety split

Like the devil himself had roared

I chuckled and watched ‘em high tailin’

And then thought to myself, oh Lord

The wife had come out to check on the fuss

And saw the kids as they fled the scene

She saw the strange grin I had on my face

And said, dear are you being mean

Well, alas, my dear, seems I’ve finally done it

She asked, what is that, my sweet

I replied with a sigh, I’ve gone and become

That grouchy old man down the street

Copyright © 1998 C. Mashburn                       


  1. haha great pic of you as well…and i wonder if we all become grouchy old men…my great uncle was def one…if he found out bikes out we would find them hanging in the trees….i hope i chuckle at my ownrealization when this happens…smiles.

    • That’s one of my better pics! I have to confess though, Brian, I’m not really a grouchy old man. Those kids probably thought I was, but I was actually just playing with them. I wonder back to when an old dude hollered at us, and if maybe they were just playing, too.

  2. hahahahaha! wonderful…disguise isn’t bad either

  3. Mary said

    Charles, i do hear you on this. I really don’t want to become the ‘grouchy woman down the street’ EVER. I think we really HAVE to fight this tendency…… in the same way as we fight becoming our ‘mother’ or our ‘father.’

    • I’m not really grouchy. All the neighbor kids like me. Especially sense I started making homemade jam!

  4. Haha… What a lot of fun! Bet those kids did run too! Great pic 😉

    • They did! I really laid it on thick with my gruff, growly voice! Ha! I can still see them.

  5. Oh, I so loved this! Wonderful write.

  6. HA! Luv the pic and the write. Great characterization.

  7. This is so funny ~ I like the kids falling like ripe fruit and running out like the devil chasing them ~

    • I know! I can so remember being one of those kids and it really did feel like the devil himself had roared, and we just knew he was hot on our tail!

  8. Mama Zen said

    Happens to the best of us! This really made me smile.

  9. nephiriel said

    awww just wonderful. made me smile, lovely take on the prompt!

  10. Lively and wonderful, Charles– mine’s up at … xj

  11. HeHeHE! Somehow I have a hard time seeing you that way Charles

  12. That’s so funny. Guess we’re getting there too. The hubby wants to sit out on the porch with his shotgun tonight to find out who’s stealing our political signs every weekend. I told him I wouldn’t bail him out.

    • I reccomend a bb gun with a silencer and dark clothing. They’ll never know what hit em.

  13. A lot of fun, Charles. As long as you do not become Boo Radley I wouldn’t worry!!!! (He also had a special tree.) k.

  14. Ah, this made me smile Charles…. Sometimes I hear myself saying something just like my Mum and catch myself! It comes to us all! Love it. 🙂

  15. leahJlynn said

    Yeah, but your funny one.:))))

  16. Ha ha… very funny Charles love the pic!

  17. Archna said

    Definitely smiling here. 🙂 Brilliant photo to compliment the delight in accomplishment. Great little story!

  18. David Eric Cummins said

    I love this one. I haven’t become a grouchy old man up the street yet, but I do sometimes catch myself thinking like one! 🙂

    • I hear ya, David! I don’t generally act like the grouchy ol dude, but I think like him a lot!

  19. dani said

    i don’t think you’re a grouchy old man when you have the kids’ safety in mind. now if you yelled at them for messing up your tree, you might be considered a bit cranky. {smile}

    • Haha! Yes! That’s it, Dani! I was merely looking out for the kids! I gotta write that down! 🙂

  20. kaykuala said

    Chuckles! What fun it is to fool the boys. No harm done though none fell off.The kids have a way of making it safe for themselves.Nicely Charles!


  21. kkkkaty said

    I read this earlier; grouchy or grumpy means you care most likely more than most..

  22. Raven said

    I agree this is quite wonderful. Whatever it is we become we always have the option of becoming something else. One of the things I enjoy most about your work is the inclusion so often of your loving wife. Thank you for this.

  23. haha….smiles… what a wonderful pic and i wonder if i become a grouchy old lady as well one day..smiles

    • You just never know, Claudia. Sometimes it’s in the genes, and other times it just taakes practice!

  24. Hilarious- how did we become those grouchy old men and women when we always knew we were way too cool to ever be like that! Fun read! K

  25. Hilarious! I love the insight to which this leads. You made me ponder what I have/will become.

  26. Raivenne said

    HAHAHA!!! “What had happent was…” I always said when I grow up to that level I want to be just like Moms Mabley, just better dressed 😉

    I love this aAnd that pic never fails to give me the giggles.

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