Have you ever had one of those days, when you roll out of bed first thing in the morning meaner than a stick poked badger? There ain’t no rhyme nor reason, you just woke up with a hankering to cause someone, or something grief, or at the very least, aggravation.
It may be a strong desire to spread pea gravel through the isles of a grocery store, then snicker as carts jam up, or it might be ‘accidentally’ tossing your child’s plastic golf club into the spokes of a snooty neighbour’s bike, which cost more than your mini van, as she glides past your house. It can happen as close as hiding the toilet paper in ‘her’ bathroom, or as far as a husband’s trip without socks and underwear.
It may be as serious as hiding a huge speaker behind a bush near a stop sign, then playing extremely loud recordings of auto accidents when people don’t come to a complete stop, almost sending them into cardiac arrest. Or, it can be as minor as putting an empty cereal box back in the cupboard. If you’re still a kid at home, it may mean slipping into the bathroom out of turn, and then staying in there way too long, or giving a younger sibling a wedgie. If you’re an adult, it may be swapping the labels on a co-worker’s spray cans, bringing three day old donuts to work, or hiding the creamer and replacing the lunch room’s coffee supply with a disgusting tasting ‘coffee substitute’.
Now, there’s probably some long, fancy scientific term for it, but I just call it being ornery. Other common names are peevish, crabby, cranky, difficult, disagreeable, grouchy, grumpy, hard-nosed, ill-tempered, irritable, nasty, obstinate, quarrelsome, rotten, sour, surly, testy and unfriendly. We’ve all found ourselves being ‘that way’, and we have all been victims to others who were being ‘that way’. For men, it’s usually sporadic, for women, it tends to be more ‘cyclical’. We may be brazen while we’re being ornery, or downright sneaky, but either way it makes us smile inside when we are and do ‘get somebody’. Sometimes we’ve even be known to giggle…for hours.
It’s just something that overtakes us, maybe even ‘possesses’ us. It can make a sweet, seventy year old grandmother, who normally drives no faster than 10 kph, put the pedal to metal in her Pinto to deliberately hit a mud puddle and drench a pedestrian with a wall of water. Ornery’s that still, small voice that tells you to hold in rotten smelling flatulence while in large groups or on mass transit, until you’re just about to exit, then exhaust a hot, silent trail of toxic gas for the poor souls who remain to gag on, and blame each other for.
We’re all guilty of being ornery from time to time, whether we’re a trucker or doctor, waitress or police officer. That orthopedic surgeon who’s about to operate on you, once lit a poop filled paper bag on fire on Mrs. Smith’s porch. That cop who gave you a ticket, used to put tacks on teachers’ chairs, and the judge who’s going to hear your appeal of said ticket, used to torture her little brother by zipping him up inside a flatulence filled sleeping bag. Yep, I reckon we’re all guilty of being ornery at one time or another. The next time you get ornery, get creative, and then tell us what you did.