Wednesday Sampler: Grumpies on Board by Carol E. Wyer


In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle is showcasing some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Wednesday’s Sampler features an excerpt from Grumpies on Board, a humorous vacation guide by Carol E. Wyer.

The Story

A book like no other, with humorous suggestions for extreme active ageing trips and why grumpies should not go snuffle trunting. Fancy a holiday with a difference? Then pack your bags and get ready for some extreme active ageing.

Us ‘older’ folk are heading away from the traditional hotel holiday and at last, having fun! This humorous guide, compiled by Mr and Mrs Grumpy, offers alternatives to the usual holiday-from sensible to outrageous-to suit every grumpy guts. Learn about Arctic boot camps, ayurvedic retreats, drumming holidays, ice blokarting, motoring experiences, skijorking, tubing, Vespa excursions, voodoo trips and discover why Mr Grumpy will never go truffle hunting again.

With over three hundred suggestions of how to get the best out of your vacation and live life to the maximum, this book aims to inspire and entertain. Read it and put some choices on your list. After all, you only live once! Finalist for People’s Book Prize 2016

From Carol Wyer:

Are you a grumpy guts who hates going on holiday and sharing your space with noisy families? Are you looking for somewhere different where you can try out new activities, or just somewhere away from the madding crowds where you and your other half can relax? Look no further. I have the answers here along with many suggestions—some rather surprising–to ensure you both, however grumpy you may be, cherish your time away.

We “older folk” are becoming more demanding about our holiday destinations. No longer satisfied with the usual haunts, we are roaming further afield. We are following in the footsteps of our children who took off on gap years in their late teens to exotic destinations we had never before considered visiting.

So, what sort of holidays are there out there? Far more than you might have considered. Pack your bags and get ready for some Extreme Active Aging? Then keep reading, after all, YOLO.

Mr Grumpy has decided to rate some of the trips for you. They are only his opinion so do not be completely swayed by them. He is after all, a very grumpy grump.

Rating Scores:

5 grumpy faces – no way would he go on this holiday.

4 grumpy faces – not keen to go on this holiday.

3 grumpy faces – might go at a push.

2 grumpy faces – this is a possible.

1 grumpy face –   he would give it a go.

No grumpy faces – good trip

One smiley face – recommended.

 The Sampler

Carol Wyer
Carol Wyer

 As soon as the stewardess serves the coffee, the airliner encounters turbulence.

Davis’s Explanation of Roger’s Law: Serving coffee on aircraft causes turbulence.

A is for airports, abseiling, adults only, adventure holidays, airplanes, alternative holidays, Arctic boot camp, art, Ayurvedic holidays.

A large number of journeys begin at the airport, but it is a place hated by most grumble-guts. My other half becomes even grumpier than usual the second we enter an airport. I put this down to one of several factors: the long queues at check in; the fact that almost every flight we take departs at some silly hour, requiring us to be there, baggy-eyed, at three o’clock in the morning; the drag through security where one of us will inevitably set off the alarm bells on the metal detector, even when dressed in only pants and socks; or the prospect of being confined in an area where all there is to do is shop, eat, drink, and spend. Whatever the reason, we both sink into a gloom before we even board the aircraft.

To make matters worse, there is the prospect of the flight ahead to add to your woes. Regardless of what time you check in, you will discover that the person checking you and your grumpy other half onto the flight has assigned the seats in front or behind yours to a family with young children. At best, you will get a toddler who kicks your seat all the way to your destination, or at worst, you will get the screaming baby who howls down your ear until the flight begins to descend, when the child will finally fall into a deep sleep.

Whatever happens, do not catch the eye of the child who peers at you from the seat in front. Last month, my husband made that mistake. The child insisted on standing on his seat and staring at us. Children have a sixth sense when it comes to grumpy old people like me and my husband. They are like cats who know you are allergic to them, yet insist on purring around your feet or launching themselves into your lap while you sneeze uncontrollably.

This child was no exception. I tried to warn my husband: You should never engage in face-pulling or chat with them. They will find you even more intriguing. My husband made the mistake of snarling. The child loved that. The toddler then insisted on popping up and pulling faces at us throughout the flight—all four hours and thirty-seven minutes of it.

Do not get me wrong; I like children. I am just less tolerant of them than I used to be, especially when I want some quiet time. My advice is to ignore them and whatever you do, do not smile or growl at them.

Be prepared for the flight. Take earplugs to drown out noise or earbuds so you can listen to music. Buy your other half two miniature bottles of whisky as soon as the trolley appears to ensure they fall into a slumber, or grit your teeth tightly and distract him or her with the following trivia facts:

 You can fit 45 mid-size cars on only one wing of a Boeing 747-400.

  • There are approximately 200,000 flights every day around the world.
  • You can fit six million golf balls inside a Boeing 757 freighter.
  • One windshield or window frame of the Boeing 747-400’s cockpit costs as much as a BMW. (Not sure which model of BMW they mean. I expect they don’t mean the second-hand one for sale near our house. It has done 100,000 miles, is several shades of faded red and is a bargain at £700.)
  • When Concorde used to fly over the Middle East on the early Bahrain routes, there were complaints that the sonic booms upset the camels and ruined their sex lives. (I am curious as to how the locals discovered this fact.)
  • Your tea on an aeroplane will taste funny because proper tea is made with water that has been heated to 100 degrees centigrade — the temperature at which it boils on the ground. Unfortunately, in the reduced-pressure environment of an aircraft cabin, the boiling point of water is lowered to around 90 degrees centigrade, which means that the brewing process is unsatisfactory. Good reason to have a bottle of wine instead.
  • The world’s oldest airline is KLM, established in 1919. Its first flight between Amsterdam and London took place on 17th May, 1920.
  • A man once wore seventy items of clothing in a Chinese airport to avoid the baggage charge. No, it was not a Ryanair flight.
  • British Airways lost the luggage of an average nine passengers on every jumbo jet flight in the first half of 2008, according to a study by the Association of European Airlines.
  • The wingspan of the A380 is longer than the aircraft itself. Wingspan: 79.75 metres. Length: 72.72 metres.
  • British Airways was once the world’s largest purchaser of champagne, with passengers drinking a minimum of 90,000 cases every year. (I wonder if they purchased all this champagne by selling the contents of the suitcases they lost in 2008.)
  • It took him two years, but Michael Lotito, a French entertainer, ate a Cessna 150. Lotito deliberately ate indigestible objects, such as bicycles, beds, shopping carts, chandeliers, a coffin, and the aforementioned Cessna 150, among other things. He said these things were not a problem, but bananas and hard-boiled eggs gave him indigestion.

Have you buckled up? Time to head off to your chosen destination.

“As you exit the plane, please make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.”

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