Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Gruntlers In the Mist
JV: What do you live with Helen?
Helen: I live with a man we call the Silverback Gruntler.
JV: The Silverback Gruntler...
Helen: Yes because, well, he’s silver and middle aged.
Helen: And he gruntles all the time. It’s this low level grumbling that goes on as he appears and disappears throughout the house during the day. *makes gruntling sound*
JV: And that’s more of a gruntle?
Helen: Yeah well we think it’s a gruntle. It’s like he’s disgruntled with life and so he’s gruntling about it.
JV: And is he articulating something? ‘Oh I couldn’t park the car properly and I don’t know where the keys are...’ Are there things that he’s actually gruntling about?
Helen: Little ordinary things like, he’ll go to the shop for me and ring me on the mobile and say ‘they don’t sell butter. I’ve been down here and there’s not butter. They don’t sell it.’ And I’ll say ‘it’s Woolworths, of course they sell butter.’ He’ll go ‘Nup. Nup. I’ve looked and I’m telling you Helen, I can’t find it.’ So I’ll say ‘look where are you now?’ and he describes the shop to me. I have to tell him which aisle to go down and while he’s walking along I can hear this *makes gruntling sound*
Helen: The only time he doesn’t grumble is during council clean up. The night before council clean up he almost changes the oil in the car. Then he’s out first thing in the morning and he brings home machines. And he is a genius at fixing machines, I must admit.
Helen: But he brings home all sorts of things. Computers... Big plasma television sets are his favourite. We have seven of those in the garage.
JV: You’ve got seven big plasma TVs?
Helen: Yes, including a 60 inch one he got when he was working at the Opera House and they threw it out.
Helen: And he colonises every available space in the house with his machines. So I take the machines and, the next time there’s a council clean up, I throw them out again after his collecting thing. Then he grumbles about not being able to find his machines. He walks around the house going ‘I’m sure I had one of those. I’m sure I had one. I wanted it for the spare parts. Oh they’ve gone, they’ve gone.’
Helen: He’s just absolutely amazing. I fear sometimes that the shed doors will roll up and a music machine...a large machine with lights will roll out with my husband at the helm of it because he just...well I don’t know what he does with these machines.
JV: Oh, I see. You suspect he’s making something kind of...he’s a Caractacus Potts. He’s making some sort of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the garage.
Helen: He must be doing something with them because, y’know, apart from grumbling and being up in the shed with his collection of machines there’s really not a lot else he does.
JV: Right, and has he always been a grumbler?
Helen: Oh yes.
JV: Right. So, when you married him did he go ‘Oh, the priest is late...’
JV: ‘Those cars were ridiculously expensive!’
Helen: (laughs) You’re obviously related to him.
JV: Helen, otherwise a delightful man?
Helen: ...yes...No, no, yes he is a delightful man. Other than the fact that...I think he’s a very negative person so he always sees the worst in everything. Except when it comes to a loose machine that’s flying around on the road, then it’ll be perfectly useable but everything else in life will be *grumbling noise*
Helen: So I think, yes he is a delightful man and he’s got a lovely sense of humour when he’s not grumbling or fixing machines.
JV: Well Helen it does sound like you live with a lot there really. Thank you for reporting it this afternoon.
Helen: You’re more than welcome and if you’re ever in need of a giant TV just let me know please.