I Give You “Grompy.” (You’re Welcome.)

posted in: Day In The Life, Story, Word Nerd 0
This child is so cute and posed so strangely under this planter, she looks like a wax figurine in a glass case. Still cute as a button. Photo: Angela Sevin, 2005.
This child is so cute and posed so oddly under this planter, she looks like a wax figurine in a glass case. Still cute as a button. Photo: Angela Sevin, 2005.

I had the pleasure of visiting my southern belle girlfriends recently, including the lovely Lady of The Livermush. Ol’ Livermush did something remarkable again and I have to talk about it. (Understand that I can call this girl “Ol’ Livermush” because she looks she stepped out of a Vermeer painting or the pages of Valentino’s latest ad campaign. She’s gorgeous.)

We were finishing up dinner and the table’s attention landed on my friend as she was explaining a writing exercise she had done when she was five years old.

“Ah was just fahve,” she said with the accent I’d kill for. “And ah wrote this on mah paper, ah swear:

I like to eat ice cream.
I like to eat cheese.
I like to be tan.
I like to lay on the beach.

“Then,” she said, “On the next page, do you know what ah wrote? Ah wrote:

Sometimes I’m grompy.

“And ah spelled it just like that, too: grompy.” She shook her head. “Do you know nothin’s changed? Ah still like ice cream. Ah still like cheese. Ah like to be tan and laah on the beach. And I do get grompy, sometimes. Don’t we all?”

When I learned she spelled “grumpy” “grompy,” I laughed so hard I made a honking sound into my napkin. Not since the appearance of “hangry” — what you get when you’re so hungry you become angry — has there been a new word so perfectly onomonopoeic. Now, Ol’ Livermush simply spelled “grumpy” the way it sounded to her. But to me, “grompy” can — and should — now define a very specific sort of bad mood: the bad mood that happens to you when you’re disgruntled (probably about something work-related) and you’re having gastrointestinal issues. Right? Have I got it? Let’s take it for a spin:

Person A: What’s wrong with you?
Person B: Look, I’m just a little… I’m a little grompy today, sorry. 

or:

Person A: Stay away from Chuck today… Good lord is he grompy.

or perhaps:

Mother: Pick up your crayons!
Child: No!
Mother: I’m giving you to the count of five, Mr. Grompypants. ONE…TWO…

We’ve been given a gift, comrades, and you have Livermush to thank for it. Livermush, the great educational reformer Horace Mann once said, “Until you have won some victory for humanity, you should be ashamed to die.”

Livermush, please do not die. But if you should, know that your job here was done.

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