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COMPLAINING

~ How’s The Old Complaint?

 When Daniel Webster wanted to give a person the impression that he remembered him, but could not recall his name or where they had met before, he would ask, “Well, how is the old complaint?” And nine times out of ten this worked. The person would begin to unfold some grievance that he had discussed with Mr. Webster on a former occasion, and thereby identify himself.

—Wilbur E. Nelson

~ Back To Rationing For Daughter

 When she got fed up about the frequent complaints of her 14-year-old daughter at the dining table, Mrs. Fay Young decided to do something about it.

 She went down to the library for a check on what she as a girl had eaten during the London blitz at the Second World War. Then she put daughter Janet on the same diet—a week’s ration of 14 ounces of meat, 3 eggs, 3 lbs. of potatoes, and 2 ounces of cheese. Sunday dinner was bread and butter and a hard-boiled egg.

 “It was a good lesson,” Janet decided. “I ll never complain again.”

~ The Uglies Are Complaining

 According to an United Press International write-up, the “uglies” picketed an American Airlines ticket office in protest of alleged discrimination in hiring when they advertise for good-looking people.

 Danny McCoy, president of Uglies Unlimited, led 18 uglies from his organization formed to fight biased social structures that discriminate against ugly people.

 “We just want to be accepted for who we are instead of what we look like,” said McCoy. “We talked to employment agencies who say it is much easier to place attractive persons. The problem is most flagrant in newspaper advertising which say such things as “attractive receptionist” or “pretty secretary needed.”“

 McCoy said the Fort Worth Uglies is the first group of its kind in the country. He has started a campaign to spread its message across the nation. McCoy estimates that up to 10% of the American public are widely considered to be ugly.

 There is however no standard definition of ugliness, according to lawyers. To some people, irregular features, such as discolored skin or a large nose qualify. Others consider such conditions as fatness and baldness unattractive. And so the complaint goes on.

~ Going To Complaint Department

 Entering a department store, a little old lady was startled when a band began to play and a dignified executive pinned an orchid on her dress and handed her a crisp hundred dollar bill. She was the store’s millionth customer. Television cameras were focused on her and reporters began interviewing.

 “Tell me,” one asked, “just what did you come here for today?”

 The lady hesitated for a minute, then answered, “I’m on my way to the Complaint Department.”

~Complainers Live Longer?

 A recent medical survey states that chronic complainers live longer than people who are always sweet and serene. It claims that their cantankerous spirit gives them a purpose for living. Each morning they get up with a fresh challenge to see how many things they can find to grumble about, and they derive great satisfaction from making others miserable.

 I question whether those who complain actually do outlive those who don’t. Maybe it just seems that way to everybody around them.

—Herbert Vander Lugt

~Good Old Days?

 Our forefathers did without sugar until the 13th century; without coal fires until the 14th century; without battered bread until the 15th century; without potatoes until the 16th century; without coffee, tea, and soup until the 17th century; without pudding until the 18th century; without eggs, matches, and electricity until the 19th century; without canned goods until the 20th century. Now, what was it we were complaining about?

—Sunshine Magazine

~ A Persian Fable Of Three Animals

 There is an old Persian fable of a hen, a mouse, and a rabbit who lived together in a little house. They were happy and contented because they shared all the work. The rabbit cooked the meals. The chicken carried in the firewood. The mouse brought the water from the nearby brook. Each did his work faithfully and contentedly.

 But one day while the hen was going to the forest for wood a busybody crow asked her what she was doing. When told, the crow complained that the hen was doing the hardest part of the work and that the rabbit and mouse were making an easy-mark of her. Try as she would, the thought kept rankling in the hen’s mind, and when she returned home with her load of wood and her still heavier load of discontent, she cackled: “I do the hardest work ever. We ought to change our jobs.”

 Discontent spreads, as you know, and immediately the rabbit and mouse also thought they had been doing the hardest work. They agreed to change jobs: the mouse would cook, the rabbit would gather the firewood, the hen would bring the water.

 As the rabbit hopped into the woods, a big fox trailed him, caught him, and ate him. The chicken put the pail into the creek, but the current pulled the pail down under, and the chicken with it. The mouse wondered why they did not come back, but not for long. While he was sitting on the edge of the big pot of soup, he lost his balance and fell in. Through discontent all three not only lost their happiness but their very lives.

—Selected

~Epigram On Complaining

I complained because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.

—Arab proverb

• There’s no sense in advertising your troubles—there’s no market for them. 

• Whenever you are tempted to tell your troubles to other people, remember that half your listeners aren’t interested, and the rest are glad you’re finally getting what’s coming to you.

 

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