Saturday, August 04, 2007

Cheap Defined

OK, so you hear the word "geezer" and you immediately think "miser". That is not necessarily the correct assumption. Not even with me.

Though I am very, ah, frugal, I don't believe that I deserve the harsher term. My wife hates to go shopping with me, since I am the one that makes a face or rolls my eyes whenever something else gets submitted for purchase approval. I'm the fun-killer.

But I'm not the cheapest person I have heard tell of. I know a guy who went to New Jersey to visit relatives. He went into the bathroom and noticed the shower curtain rod had about 4 or 5 little strings draped over it, drying. When he asked his brother-in-law, the guy said with a straight face, "That's dental floss, you know you can re-use that stuff..."

Now that's cheap.

Please relate your tales of cheapness in the comments.
I'll post them in an update. Just to make myself feel better, really.


the photoSmith said...

I think this tops the cheapness charts. A buddy of mine lived with his grandmother in high school and she re-used saran wrap, I thinks that's about as close as I can get to dental floss.

aA said...

Mr Photo, or is it Mr Smith? Whatever, an informal poll indicates that the dental floss is worse.

the photoSmith said...

during a recent convo with some friends, we decided the only thing worse than dental floss is toilet paper...but let's hope it would never get to that point for anyone...

aA said...

mr photo; that has been discussed, it's very difficult to recycle, not that i know of that firsthand.

should someone decide to try and succeed, then that would win the "cheap" prize.

Anonymous said...

My Grandfather was cheap, . . . intelligent, loving, caring, responsible, but still cheap. He saved old pencils from his work as a school principal. He sharpened them carefully down to the point that even as a small child, I found them hard to hold. In fact, the lead in some of those pencils had been around so long, that the graphite had begun to break up to the extent that one simply could not write with it.
Then he saved rubber bands. He carefully wrapped them around his wallet. This actually served two functions: it saved the rubber bands and it kept the sacred contents of his wallet encased. And, as you might expect, when called into service, the rubber bands invariably broke when stretched the least amount.
Also, he would clip every grocery store advertisement from all local newspapers, compare and contrast them, and then on shopping day, drive his car to each store and pay the lowest regional price for the various items. My guess is he spent dollars in gas in order to save pennies on carrots and tomatoes.
His miserly and Calvinist ways would also lead him to pinch pennies on his alcohol consumption. He liked having family at Christmas because he could justify buying a quart of eggnog and a half pint of bourbon. Then he would make himself literally a half serving of weakly-spiked eggnog on Christmas Eve and that would be it. He would not drink another drop. The family would easily consume the remainder so that nothing was wasted. Several uncles accepted a serving only because one should not waste the resource. His one other "bout" of drinking would be on a very rare Satuday in August, when after a lawn mowing session he would visit a neighbor and accept a small glass of beer, after being reassured that it was indeed good for him "in this weather" and that the remainder of the beer would be taken care of by the neighbor.
Clearly, having lived through the Great Depression led him to believe that if you take care of the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves.