Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cheap Bastids Sometimes You Can Be Just Too Damned Cheap

I knew this would happen sooner or later. For a couple of years now I have been reveling in cheapness; celebrating frugality; turning feats of parsimony into heroism. I have become a legend in my own mind.

All that came crashing down around me the other day.

It was a Saturday morning. A Saturday morning when I had to go to work for a 10 hour shift. I got done in the bathroom doing my usual “3-S’s” (guys will know what that is) got dressed and went to the kitchen to rummage around for breakfast. I opened the pantry and reached up to where I keep the cereal.

“Hmmmm,” I thought, “I’ll finish off the Faux O’s.” (For those uninitiated into the world of Cheap Bastid, “Faux O’s” are fake/storebrand Cheerios). I pulled out the Faux O’s along with “mega-bowl” from the cupboard and poured the cereal into the bowl. There was only about a third of a bowl’s worth. Now that would have filled up a normal sized bowl but not mine.

“Hmmmm,” I thought again. “What should I do now?” I looked back up into the pantry. Nothing in there but a box of Honey Bunches of Oats and Captain Crunch—both of which were bought on special recently at for $1.99. (I thought that in keeping with my Cheap Bastidliness that I should explain why I’ve got “namebrand” cereal in the pantry). “Naw,” I thought, “That won’t go with Faux O’s.”

So, I saw a stack of those individual little mini-boxes of cereal that we used to think were cool when we were kids. OK, we thought the packages that had Sugar Pops and Sugar Crisp were cool but Mom always bought the package that had the Corn Flakes and Special K rather than the good stuff. Seems like I always got stuck with the All-Bran.

Anyway, so I had a stack of about 8 of those little boxes that I get free every once in a while as a promo stuffed into the bag with my daily newspaper. “Why not,” I thought. So I looked at what I had. There was Honey Nut Cheerios and Multi-Grain Cheerios. “OK, we have a winner.”

I pulled down a box of Honey Nut, opened it and dumped it into my bowl. Still not enough—either they’re putting less into those little boxes or my bowl’s a lot bigger than I thought. So I pulled down a boxlet of Multi-Grain and dumped it in. Still a little meager but it’ll do. I poured on some milk, grabbed my big spoon and plunged in.

“Bleeeeeeech!” (think Snoopy giving his opinion to of a lousy supper to Charlie Brown).

It wasn’t like cardboard, it was more like eating a bowl of cellulose insulation. Soft, spongy with some honey taste to it. Really, really horrible stuff. I mixed up the bowl of cereal trying to make sure that the stuff from the big box was thoroughly incorporated with the stuff from the little boxes. Didn’t work. I ended up dumping half the bowl down the disposal.

I fished one of the boxlets out of the garbage can. Hmmmmm, yep there’s an expiration date. I adjusted my bifocals to read it easier.

And I thought this cereal would survive either the “big one” (SoCal earthquake) or nuclear armegeddon, but I guess not.

What’s the moral of this? Hell, I don’t know. Unless it’s sometimes a Cheap Bastid can out-cheap himself. But, there’s still a half dozen of those little boxes left. Hmmmmmmm.

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