Are you too frugal?

A Degenerate's Guide to Frugality

by Jay D. Carter

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There are so many great ideas being shared to help good, honest people save a few dollars. But what about the creeps and degenerates out there? A glance through your local paper gives the impression that they're one of the fastest growing socioeconomic groups. Don't they want to save a few bucks too? Why don't we recognize their lifestyle and their need to save?

If you fit this social category, your prayers are answered. Here are some great money saving ideas and techniques just for you.

"Attendant; There's a fly in my drink!"

Isn't it irritating to be stuck on a long airline flight with nothing to do? To add insult to injury, they charge you $2 or more for each drink. How would you like unlimited cocktails for a single $2 charge?

Just bring a few dead flies in a small plastic vial hidden in your pocket or purse. Order your first $2 gin and tonic along with a glass of water. Enjoy your drink, pour the water into the empty glass, and drop one of your dead flies into the water. Simply tell the flight attendant that there's a fly in your drink and you'll get a fresh one; at no charge. Order a second glass of water and try the scam again. If the attendants don't catch on, you could get 10 to 20 drinks for your $2 investment.

"Good dog... good news hound!"

And how about dropping that expensive newspaper subscription you have. Just teach your dog to fetch the neighbor's paper. Of course you'll want him to randomly steal the papers from at least 14 different neighbors, preferably from a block or so away. This keeps suspicions low and complaints to the local publisher at a minimum. Just teach Rover to fetch from all over.

"... Santa Claus is combing the town."

I'll bet your town has a special trash day when the city picks up anything you can haul to the curb; furniture, household appliances, relatives who have overstayed their welcome, etc. Well, this is the very week I do my holiday shopping. The items may be slightly used but how many times have your friends surprised you with a couch or a clothes washer on Christmas morning? It's well worth renting a truck and cruising the town at 4:00 AM. Besides, since I started doing this, I don't seem to have nearly as many friends anymore; so it doesn't take all that long to complete my list.

"Usher; There's a Gummi Bear in my shorts!"

And how about those theater prices for candy these days! The price of family tickets ends up being only a fraction of the total cost. Many theaters even ask to look in large bags and pocketbooks to thwart any attempts at smuggling outside snacks.

Take a few minutes to cut several 5 X 5 squares from an old tee-shirt and sew them to the inside of your underwear as storage pockets. Fill them with you favorite candy and head to the movies. The ushers and ticket-takers may think your love handles are excessively lumpy but they wouldn't be caught dead trying to frisk you.

One word of caution, however. Be very careful which candies you choose. Chocolate turns to goo and candy Gummi Bears melt and then re-solidify. Trust me; they adhere everywhere and the pain of removal is excruciating without ready access to local anesthesia.

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"Rewind your own darn tape!"

Speaking of movies, why pay to rent movies at your local video store? Most of them have TV screens located around the store which run features all day long. Just take your family in with lawn chairs and an ice chest full of candy and soda. You've now got an evening at the movies for free.

Just imagine; you'll never be chastised again for not rewinding a tape.

"It helps to save every scent."

Have you noticed how the cost of after shave and cologne has skyrocketed? I think it's somehow connected to gasoline prices.

Anyway, the real purpose for cologne is to provide you with the confidence that you smell good. So, rather than splashing a wasteful and expensive palm-full all over your face for everyone to smell, just put one drop right under your nose. You'll smell it all day and keep that feeling of confidence until the wee hours. In addition, that bottle of expensive cologne will last 5 to 6 years.

Sure, there won't be a single co-worker who thinks you smell good; but who cares. Most of them were friends who don't speak to you anymore... at least not since last year's Christmas gift.

Jay Carter (Jake) is a freelance humorist and editorialist in South Florida.

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