By Harley Quinn
At first it seemed too simple for our noble crew. The park bench was installed in Ballantine Park last month. It sat on its pedestal near the stream and newly seeded grass was growing nicely all around it. All that remained to finish the job was to affix the bronze plaque memorializing George Calvert, to the bench. There simply wasn’t enough adversity to the task to generate the grumpiness the old men required.
“Humph! Any moron could do this.” Said Grumpy Bill.
“That’s why they called you.” Grumpy Frank replied.
The plaque was commissioned and paid for by Grouchy Jack two months ago. Grumpy Frank, who had a reputation for precision and accuracy, provided the measurements. Grumpy Bill received a call from Town Hall saying the plaque had been delivered and needed to be fastened to the bench. The grumbling threesome went to Town Hall and asked for the plaque. Finally, they were provided with the obstacle they needed to develop enthusiasm for the job.
“Whadaya mean it ain’t here? I was told to come here and get it.” Grumpy Bill’s outrage was on the rise.
The beleaguered town clerk looked high and low for the plaque, to no avail. The grumbling trio stormed out of the building in a huff. Other offices were visited, telephone calls were made and the plaque was located. Someone had taken it home for safe keeping but didn’t tell anyone. By now, the grumbling index had risen to the proper operating range and the grumblers were ready to go.
The next day they marched into town hall and were handed a box containing the plaque. It was beautiful. Grumpy Bill picked it up and stated emphatically: “It’s too big! There’s no way it’s going to fit in the receptacle on the bench.”
That really got Grumpy Frank’s goat. “I take umbrage at that remark!”
“You should take prune juice instead. Maybe it’ll improve your disposition.”
“If you take gas my disposition will improve. Let’s get down to the park and get this over with. My back is killin’ me.”
They went to the bench and placed the plaque in its holder. It fit perfectly. Grumpy Frank was vindicated and he smugly grinned in triumph, enjoying his victory immensely.
Grumpy Bill ignored Frank and pulled a can of epoxy resin out of his truck. He carefully added the catalyst hardener drop by drop, like a medieval alchemist, while Grouchy Jack and Grumpy Frank looked on impatiently. Bill smeared the epoxy on and set the plaque in place.
“There, that should do it,” he said, very pleased with himself.
Frank took one look and wryly remarked: “Old George will be turning over in his grave.”
“Because you put the @#$% thing on upside down and that’s the only way he can read it, ya’ fathead.”
“It looks fine to me,” said grumpy Bill.
“That’s because you are standing behind the bench looking down at it, ya’ dimwit!” Grouchy Jack was livid.
“Oops!” Grumpy Bill quickly rectified his error before the epoxy hardened, and the job was done. The garrulous group climbed into the truck and drove off and the park bench was ready for the dedication ceremony. ~