I have become somewhat grumpy as I await my 70th birthday; in fact, my wife sometimes calls me “grumpy grandpa.”

When I was a teacher I was rarely grumpy, especially with students who would take things to heart if a teacher said grumpy things. “Timmy, you and your whole family should be shot into space without oxygen.” Timmy would never forgive me for saying such a nasty thing even if Timmy and his whole family actually should be shot into space – or just shot.

As many of you know when men get older they produce more estrogen, known as the “woman’s hormone,” and that’s why you tend to see older men cry a lot more than younger men who are filled with testosterone, the male hormone. Maybe grumpiness is the product of the increase of estrogen in my body.

Older women on the other hand start to lose estrogen and increase their levels of testosterone. They become more manlike in their behavior and men become more womanlike. So when a woman becomes an “old battleax,” her bite is just as bad as her bark. And many older women do bark a lot.

Okay, yes, I am right now in my grumpy grandpa mood because I have been thinking about a two things that annoy me. These are definitely on a par with structuring an affordable health care plan for all American citizens, stopping terrorists and creating lasting peace in the Middle East.

I hate it when waiters refill your coffee into the cup from which you are drinking. Then the careful work you put in trying to make the coffee palatable is now ruined. What do you do with all this new coffee? Add how much more sugar? Add how much more cream?

Second, I hate to see diners gobbling down bread before their meals. I freely admit that my staggering weight gain is due to an overactive fork. I enjoy the gourmet experience; just look at me now. I used to be a leading man when I was an actor; I was slim, strong, well-built but now I would have to audition for roles such as Jumbo the Elephant.

If you shove loaves of bread down your throat before a gourmet meal, you are satisfying your hunger but you are eating cheap stuff when an artist is working his or her butt off in the kitchen to prepare a delicious meal for you. Then the meal –usually a work of art – and the diner can hardly fit most of it in his or her stomach.

My rule, the grumpy grandpa bread rule, says, “Do not eat bread before a meal.” If you are still hungry after the meal then have some bread.

Okay, I had to get those two issues off my chest. When I am not feeling grumpy I promise to work on the real issues that humankind is facing such as wasting sugar by putting it on pancakes.

[Read Frank’s new book Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! Available from, Kindle and electronic media, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores.]

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