Kin Hubbard has an astounding capability for stating little known facts of life in terse one-liners with a telling effect. Just listen to this. “A grouch escapes so many little annoyances that it almost pays to be one” If you disagree with that one, it would only mean that you are a poor observer of life’s intricacies. How could you have failed to notice the amount of respect that a grouch gets in any function? Take for example a wedding reception of the Madrasi kind. Enters a well known and well documented grouch. Right from that moment and until he leaves finally the attention that he gets from the hosts and the assembled guests is something even a VIP may not get. He enters the reception hall escorted by a couple of over-solicitous representatives of the hosts. The hall is packed to capacity with the late comers standing around, like cranes waiting for their prey, eagerly waiting for a seat to fall vacant. Our grouch looks around and before a frown could crease his already well-creased face, half a dozen guests spring to their feet offering their seats to him. He condescends to occupy one of them while the cranes around the hall give him a look of awe and reverence. The dinner is announced and the guests scramble to the dining hall leaving the Singer of the evening singing mainly to the senile front-seaters who have given up eating outside for health reasons. One of the hosts comes running to the grouch and offers to take him to the dining hall which is already bursting at the seams. Those who can not scramble fast enough to the dining hall are left stranded outside the grill door eyeing those inside with envy. As the grouch walks in with the representative of the hosts, one of the guests who is probably the distant relative of the bride is made to vacate his seat which the grouch occupies. The representative stands in front of the grouch and makes sure that every item on the menu is served to him while others keep gesticulating wildly for a refill of this or that and mostly go unnoticed. The chief cook is also called and introduced to the grouch. After the dinner, the grouch is conducted back to the auditorium and seated under a fan. A few ladies try to strike conversation with him by referring to forgotten family links but soon melt away not being able to elicit any enthusiastic response. The noisy kids keep a safe distance from him heeding to the wise counsel of their parents. He finally leaves escorted courteously until the gate. And poor me! I keep grinning all the time in a desperate attempt to convey to everyone that I am the friendliest person in the world after only Dale Carnegie. My facial muscles beg me to give them a little rest but I wont relent. I am engaged in pointless rambling and kept away from dinner. The noisy children attack me with their pranks ceaselessly. When I finally manage to have my dinner, the main items are already consumed and the resourceful cook manages with some hastily cooked rice and dhall. I curse my fate and vow to be a great grouch henceforth!