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Must learn the strategy to ‘cheap fun’

Submitted by on Monday, 16 March 2009 No Comment

img_2039I am the biggest dolt since all those folks who bought Pet Rocks back in the 70s, though as the guys clamor for a puppy I’m beginning to realize the value of a pet that doesn’t poop, eat or whine.

Yesterday, I spent $2 for pebbles. They were nice pebbles to be sure – shiny and polished greens, pinks and silvers – and there were two sets, each in their own 2-inch-by-two-inch plastic bag. And at least I avoided the $30 black and white shiny rock the size of a grapefruit. I could see that one landing through a window or up the side of someone’s skull.

Then I blew $5 for 17 more rocks in a 2-inch-by-4-inch plastic box. At least these rocks do something besides sit there. They glow, as long as you also bought the $10 black-light bulb. Which I did.

Add $4 for snacks and $2 for lollipops and I’m left wondering how I managed to blow a 20 and then some on a “cheap” rock show that was only supposed to cost $5 for my ticket.

Ay, the price of “cheap” fun. Seems it’s a lesson I have to keep learning.

I thought I’d finally mastered it a few weeks ago, after the “cheap” college baseball game set me back $12 for snacks. “Only one snack,” I lectured them before yesterday’s rock show.

I kind of expected $1 for a tiny bag of chips – that price, which makes vending-machine operators seem like philanthropists, seems to be the going concession stand rate around here these days. Except the folks operating these stands actually are philanthropists, so I don’t mind as much.

I’d failed to anticipate shiny, glowing rocks for sale, though. I’m just happy there wasn’t a price tag on the dinosaur bones or Big Guy would have convinced me to try to fit them in the trunk, too. Boots did eye a three-foot jade fish longingly, but I rushed him past it.

I ran into my gynecologist at the show and glared. Why hadn’t he warned me about the guys’ money-sucking genes? If he couldn’t see them on the ultrasound, surely it must have shown up on the amnio. What’s the point of all this expensive testing if it doesn’t give you the information you really need.

I have to admit, the black light and glowing rocks are kind of fun. The guys were tripping out at the freakish purple it turned their stuffed animals’ eyes, and I was happy to show them all the usually unseen crud the light revealed in Boots’ rooms. “See? You just think it’s clean,” I said as their eyes grew round and horrified.

We have another “cheap” event coming up next Sunday – a fund-raiser fun run, and the guys’ registration already is paid.

So there’s no reason for me to even take my wallet, right?

Oh, except for snacks. And maybe souvenir T-shirts.

I am hopeless.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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