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I said:

Finally, I found you Grumpy!

(Grumpy is the name of the site)

Grumpy replies:

That comment has the distinct flavour of an irate ex waving a maintenance order! :-)

Can you please explain to me what Grumpy meant by that?

I know irate means anger.

  • Unless you are Grumpy's ex-wife or -husband, you should immediately tell them that you are not a native English speaker and don't understand. If you are Grumpy's ex-wife or -husband, however, you are probly right about anger. – John Lawler May 3 '15 at 20:20
  • It sounds to me like Grumpy was replying tongue-in-cheek. And the :-) emoticon confirms that. – Hot Licks May 3 '15 at 20:42
  • Is Grumpy a bot? What site is that? – ermanen May 3 '15 at 23:32
  • Note that if you said "I found you Grumpy" vs just "I found you", that is saying something (bad) about the mood of the person you found. I would imagine that "Grumpy" found this accidental (I presume) implication amusing, and so replied with what he felt was an amusing response. – Hot Licks May 4 '15 at 0:29
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Grumpy is saying that, to him, "I found you!" seems to be the sort of phrase he would expect to hear from someone who has been trying to track him down to demand money from him (specifically, a divorced spouse -- an ex-spouse, or "ex" -- complaining that child support payments have not been made).

It's just a throw-away, slightly humorous comment about how the same phrase, said different ways or by different people, can carry very different implications. (The smiley-face mark (-: indicates that an Internet comment was intended to be humorous.)

It's just a joke, and not an especially good one. It might be making a valid point about whether "I found you!" was something he would have expected you to write in that context, but you haven't told us enough to answer that, and It doesn't sound like it's worth spending much more effort on.

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A maintenance order according to Court Service Ireland:

Maintenance is financial support (money) paid by a person for the benefit of a dependent spouse/civil partner and/or dependent children. Spouses/civil partners are required to maintain each other according to their means and needs. Parents, whether married or not, are responsible for the maintenance of their dependant children.

If the parties cannot reach an agreement about maintenance an application can be made to the court for a maintenance order.

Emphasis mine

When a delinquent spouse gets tired of supporting the children, the ex gets an order from the judge, but then the delinquent goes into hiding, because, according to the Court Service Ireland, a summons must be served:

The District Court office keeps a record of all maintenance payments received. If payments fall into arrears the maintenance creditor can prepare a summons to be issued (dated and signed) by the DistrictCourt clerk for the recovery of the arrears. The summons must be served by the maintenance creditor.

Because money is involved, the delinquent spouse becomes highly motivated to hide from the aggrieved spouse, and the aggrieved spouse becomes highly motivated to find the delinquent spouse:

Finally, I found you, Grumpy!

That comment has the distinct flavour of an irate ex waving a maintenance order! :-)

The frustration of an extended search might intensify the ire of the aggrieved spouse, but the little smiley face at the end seems to imply that Grumpy finds humor in the interaction rather than anger.


The missing comma may be a typo in the OP, or it may reflect the playfulness of the actual dialogue. Either way, it serves to add to the humor:

Finally, I found you Grumpy!

Of course I'm Grumpy; now I have to pay the child support!

  • Yet you miss the most important 3 characters. – Hot Licks May 4 '15 at 0:27
  • You've got me going, now, @HotLicks! The emoticon? – ScotM May 4 '15 at 1:04
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    Yes, the emoticon. It confirms what any reasonable person would assume anyway -- that "Grumpy" is being facetious with his response. (Mention should have been made that the lack of a comma before "Grumpy" drastically changes the literal meaning of the statement -- from "I found you!" to "I think you're Grumpy!".) – Hot Licks May 4 '15 at 1:47

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