Phyllis liked to complain. Her children pretended not to hear her whenever she started in on an unsuspecting grocery store cashier clerk or hairdresser; her grandchildren started their own whining about her nitpicking and griping. She liked to think that she was doing these people a favor, showing the world that one shouldn’t take life lying down. Her children wished she would do them all a real favor and lie down once in a while and take the world like everyone else. Instead, Phyllis took copious notes on everything she found wrong in the world, called customer service for nearly every product and business, and wrote letters to the editor like it was her day job.

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