Friday, July 30, 2010

Cheap Is How I Feel

Dang, I was watching the news again, an addiction I should, as I have often confessed, give up, when I fell into the trap of the yack-bites on Clinton-wedding; who can escape it? And, it seems there is all sorts of speculation on how much this fandango will cost: 3 million, 4 million, maybe 6 million. I also confess that I really do not care what the Clintons are spending on the wedding (more likely they have arranged fees for corporate-tents and maybe sold ad space on the menus and wedding favors. Who knows maybe all the participants will get a wedding-favor sponsored by Exxon or Medco.) Who cares, really? But all the speculation on the costs, does illustrate the vast difference between what some can spend on stuff and what I spend on stuff because I am really cheap.

I have admitted here to smoking cheap cigars: no Cohibas for me, no Monte Cristo Number 2s, (in fair disclosure the son, who is now highest on the inheritance plan, gave me some Romeo and Julietas, Corona Crystals which I smoked with lots of guilt, eased a bit by my sticking cheap dollar cigars into the fancy tubes and giving them to friends as the real deal. Cheap and a bit dishonest too, I guess.) Everyone who knows me a little is aware that my golf shirts, shorts, slacks, and socks come from eBay (Do you know where those shirts have been, asks a special friend who does take pity by gifting me a new shirt when it is buy-one-get- one-free at Macy’s.), that I never play with a golf ball I do not find in a ditch, pond, lake, or lateral hazard, that I own no new golf clubs, and wear golf shoes to the point of last-collapse before recycling them to dress or work shoes. I walk the course usually because I am too cheap to fork out 19 bucks for a cart but claim it is my keen sense of physical fitness that has me trudging the links. I also never, never, ever by tees: why I can find grosses around the driving range and search for them at the front and sides of tee-areas; goodness they are free for the picking.

I find lots of ways to be cheap at the homestead, too. Look, I reuse coffee grounds one time and reduce consumption there by a half by reusing Monday’s grinds for four cups and adding only 2 scoops for Tuesday’s morning’s four cup pot. And I reduce my costs for filters by one half also. I cut way back on electric consumption by keeping the fridge set really low; if the milk spoils, I shake it several days in a row and have decent butter or with a little white vinegar, an passable cottage cheese. I do not buy paper towels but use golf towels from the free bin which I do not dry, just put them right back out, damp and ready to go for clean up. Oh, I do dry a few to use as napkins. Also, those sturdy plastic trays that good microwave-dinners are packed in make great paint trays, glue pots, dog bowls and excellent plastic plates, good stuff those, lasting at least 4 to 5 times, before they warp so much peas roll out of them. And the sand in my driveway is a much better pot and pan sourer than any miracle plastic or 3M pad, reusable, too, after the ants and mice cart away the bits of egg or whatever rinses out. Those scouring pads are really expensive.

I shave only twice a week, use baking soda for tooth paste, Old Spice deodorant doubles as after shave, cornstarch goes in my underwear, and duct tape heals the few blisters and nicks I get just moving about plus it is good for removing warts and gross back hair. I clip my own hair with a fifteen year old, Oster dog-grooming kit; I wanted to save the hair for insulation but gave up on that; now I toss it in the yard for the birds to use in nests. Ivory soap is my shampoo and facial bar, a Dollar Tree pint of vitamin E cream makes a cheap but dandy shaving cream plus the excess goes to give my hair the wet-look. I shut of the water while showering until I need a rinse, and if I don’t pee outside with Fuzz, I use the sink. Why waste seven gallons for a pee, right?

I guess the Clintons don’t pee in the sink; Bill sure doesn’t cut his own hair; but I suspect Hilary may have used Rugged Men’s Warehouse for her pant-suits in order to save some for the wedding. I guess Chelsea would totally blanch at trotting up to the court house for a quick civil union with a reception at the local American Legion. Hey, them that’s gots has; cheap is how I roll.

Lucinda Williams' "Cheap Is How I Feel" is a pretty good song.