Most people waft through their day on the wake of fairy-farts and unicorn-breath. Their vision is slightly clouded by the rainbow-tinted spectacles they wear which allows them to see the universe as a great and wondrous space. Then there’s us. The grouches, the grinches, the grumps. We know the true colour of the world, and it’s a dark, dank brown. A grouch does not tolerate fools (or any sort of human really) easily, so here are some types that are bound to irrationally annoy the Maltese grouch.
You’re at work and you’re feeling slightly less hateful of humanity than usual. You turn to your colleague and ask, in as pleasant a tone as you can muster, “Dave, nagħmillek kafe?” He gives you a saccharine smile and answers “Thanks (tenkce).” You are flummoxed. What does he mean? Thanks, I’d love a cup of coffee? No thanks, I’m fine? Thanks for asking this question, thus showing me that, despite my body odour, you accept and appreciate me as an office-mate? Which is it? Be concise!
The Clueless Wanderer
You’ve left the room which Dave infuses with his armpit aroma and are headed to the coffee machine down the corridor that is least likely to bring you in contact with humans. An old woman is walking in the opposite direction, looking lost. She stops near the elevator. You dip your head and mutter a silent prayer to the gods of stramberija, but to no avail. “Mister? Sorry mister!” You stretch your lips into a grimace that only a mortician would classify as a smile and try to look vaguely pleased that you have been called upon to provide assistance. “Għall-first floor x’irrid nagħfas?” Tgħid mhux ħaqq għ***** seven? Please stop breathing my atmosphere.
The Customer (Don’t) Care
You need some arcane piece of documentation to somehow assist you in the humdrum drudgery that is everyday life. You’ve queued for about 2 hours in the crumbling semi-restored townhouse in Ħal Toqbija that has been given a new lease of life as a government department, because office hours are 7 to 8.30am on Thursdays during the summer. When it’s finally your turn, Ramona with the purple hair and the scimitar-like talons that she has Gelished into ten 3 inch weapons, looks up from the game of Solitaire that she’s loaded onto her Windows 95 desktop and snarls “X’għandek bżonn, ħij?” How about some humanity in my service?
The Overenthusiastic Foodie
Lunch time. You’re happy to melt into a dark corner with your packet of Twistees, but the norms of society decree that you should socialise during this sacred period. As you wallow in the cheesy gluten-free mouthgasm that is your lunch, Kevin from accounts turns up with his ftira biż-żejt that can be smelled from the car park and peels off the glistening plastic wrap. Don’t do it, you plead silently. But he does. He waves the loaf around like a triumphant banner and asks jovially “jekk jogħġobkom?” Sure. I’d love to take a bite of your onion-infested carb-bomb. Why not pass it around so everyone can nibble at it?
The Deity Invoker
You’ve actually done some work and, for once, you’ve managed to improve the life of a fellow human. As the glisteny-eyed old couple wring their liver-spotted hands in front of you, you almost feel a warm camaraderie with the rest of the human race. Then he spoils it. “Nirringrazzjaw ‘l Alla li kollox mar b’wiċċ il-ġid!” Well, how about thanking the sad fucker who spent two days sorting shit out for you? Namely me.
The Birthday Oversinger
You’ve finally got off work and you’re headed to your nephew’s quċċija, because your day couldn’t get any worse. You’ve tolerated the company of your sex pest aunt and her roaming hands, you’ve totally screwed up your diet plan by hoovering up the equivalent of the produce of a small abattoir in sausage rolls and now it’s time for the cake to be cut and your soul to truly die. Because standing next to you is your cousin Wilhelmina (“Billy”), who once had a solo in Voices, ta! And as the knife sinks into the icing sugar, she will sing Happy Birthday to little baby George. And she will yodel and modulate and put in enough vibrato to cause seismic warnings to be released. It’s a family gathering to watch George choose the boiled egg, Billy. Will.i.am isn’t hiding behind a chair, ready to gather you into his admiring arms. Happy birthday to you. 6 syllables. 6 notes.