I Could Have Been Rich, I Tell ‘Ya (A Phat History Lesson)
Pop has been after me for a long time to write a story about how I passed up the opportunity to be rich. Here it is.
When I was 17 my grandfather had offered to tell me how to retire by the time I was 30. Now being 17 and not wanting to listen to anyone, I turned down the free advice. Before everyone tells me how stupid I am, I need to tell you about the nuances that set my grandfather apart from the rest of the world. To say that he pinches pennies is an understatement. I think he’s pinched so hard he’s made
My grandfather will open the windows on the west side of the house in the morning, close the windows at 11:00, and as soon as the sun gets over the top of the house, he’ll open the windows on the east side of the house.
His thermostat is set at 78. He sets a thermometer on the front porch (the side that faces the east) in the evening, so that he’ll know when the outside temperature reaches 78 degrees. As soon as the thermometer hits 78, he’ll go and turn off the air conditioner. He does the same thing in the morning (with the thermometer on the back porch on the west side of the house) to know when to turn on the air conditioner.
He has run out of gas before. Not because his gas gauge was broken, but because he had a price in his mind as to what he would pay for gas and would not stop until he saw the price advertised at the gas station.
He once spent two hours deciding on what type of mechanical pencil he was going to buy. He looked at the price of the mechanical pencils, the amount of lead that came with it, and the price of the refills. After two hours of comparing the two types of mechanical pencils they had at the store, he ended up buying a box of wooden pencils, which he uses until they are physically impossible to grasp.
There are 3 types of pens at my grandparent’s house: pens that still write, pens that only write some times, and pens that can only make a ¼ inch line before they stop working. The later two pens are used to help keep score for card games. To make sure he gets the optimum use out of pens he will write so small he can’t read his own writing.
He has over 3000 golf tees, and yet still searches the tee box for broken ones that are long enough to use. He also has about the same amount of golf balls he has segregated into golf balls used for water holes, golf balls that might get lost out of bounds, and good golf balls used for open fairways and greens.
In the car, when it is hot, he will turn on the air conditioning full blast for a few second and as soon as the air coming out of the vents is cool, he’ll turn it to vent till it starts to get hot, all while driving 5 miles under the speed limit.
Last month’s utility bill was $135, his next goal is to have a bill that is $110. 6 people live in his house. God help them all.
These are only a few of the things that he has done to stretch his money. I guess in the end it’s working well. Between his new home in