My books finally arrived today, thirteen days after they shipped.
And where were they coming from, to take so long, you ask? The former Soviet Union? The darkest jungles of Africa? A frigate floating in the Indian Ocean? No, Philadelphia and New York, thank you very much. You know, a couple hundred miles from here?
But, as irritated as I am with the USPS, I’m also pissed at the sellers. Maybe more so, in fact. I paid both of them $3.99 for postage, and they turned around and spent somewhere in the neighborhood of fitty cent, and pocketed the rest.
I failed to mention that part of my aggravation last time… But boy, it really toasts my strudel. The whole experience ate it with gusto, from the ass-on-in.
In case you missed it on Friday, Metten and I have decided to turn off the lung-blower on Mockable. It was an experiment that worked on certain levels, and failed on others. You can read our goodbye messages here.
I want to thank Metten, once again, for his commitment to the project, and for producing so much great material. The site didn’t build a large audience, but I’m proud of what we accomplished together. I really am.
Before we yank the archives, I hope you guys will scroll through them again. There’s some great, under-appreciated stuff there, and that’s a fact.
Thanks to everybody who supported us at Mockable! We appreciate it sincerely.
On Saturday night Toney did what I would never be able to do. She gave a lengthy speech to a ballroom full of people, through an amplification device. And it was pretty darn good, too.
Man, if I’d been required to do such a thing, it would’ve completely ruined the week leading up to it, my hair would’ve fallen out in clumps, and the speech itself would’ve turned out something like this.
So, my tiny Duke hat is off to Toney! Well-done, as usual.
And this is going to be a quickie, but I posted a bonus update on Sunday, so consider that the first half of this one. OK? Is that cheating? Oh well.
I’ll leave you now with the Question of the Day: Who is the cheapest person you’ve ever met? How did their cheapness manifest itself? Tell us about it, won’t you?
What triggered this question was a story someone (purposely vague) told me over the weekend, about a person she knows. This person’s husband is reportedly of the “short man syndrome” variety, and also maniacally cheap.
They’re not poor, they’re actually quite well-off. So the cheapness isn’t out of desperation, but from some sort of mental illness, I think.
The guy will only allow their computer to be turned-on for one hour per week, because of the amount of electricity it supposedly uses, and the entire family has to accomplish whatever is needed within that amount of time.
They’re allowed one hour of television per day, and then the TV has to be turned off and unplugged.
After the wife goes to the grocery store she has to turn the receipt over to her husband, and he goes over it and “suggests” ways she could’ve shopped a little smarter. She supposedly stresses-out over what his reaction might be to the weekly shop, and sometimes spends hours at the store making sure she’s doing it “right.”
And this is my favorite… They buy jeans from Sears (I think) — the store brand with a lifetime guarantee. And when they start getting a little worn out, Napoleon makes his wife return them and get replacements.
The only problem? The store will only replace the jeans with the exact same size. So, all their kids walk around in skintight high-water Sears-brand jeans, in one of the snootiest middle schools in northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s amazing to me, incredibly crackpot.
So, there you go. Do you have anything like that? Tell us your stories about cheap people you’ve known, and I’ll see you guys next time.
Have a great day, my friends!
WB in OH says
Don’t hate me because i’m beautiful!
Swami Bologna says
Making a sporadic appearance…
Cheapest man I know? My pal Scotty. He once bought a brand new Honda Accord for $1. Well, almost. He was shopping for a car and settled on one whereupon the salesman, being a car salesman and all, started into the add on, financing, better buy it not spiel. Scotty was having none of it and the salesman just kept ratcheting up the hyperbole. In the end, the dealership accepted the $1 downpayment allowing him to go get his financing at his own bank.
Then there was the time that a guy just about paid him(Scotty) to buy his (the guy’s) boat . . .
Or his argument with a toll collector. “This is official business.” “I’m not paying you.” We didn’t.
Off the top of my head I can’t think of anyone who is maniacally cheap.
Does that mean it’s me?
The guy in your story has some serious issues however and needs to be evaluated by a mental health professional. Sounds like he has some anxiety problems in an OCD kind of way.
I can see his kids having no choice in the matter, but what about the wife? That would fly with my wife (if she did the grocery shopping) for about 12 seconds. Then she’d explain to me exactly which type of idiot I am and what she planned to do to help me get my mind right.
Who goes along with that kind of lunacy?
Top ten, yahoo – I’m 5’6″ so this should help my “short man syndrome”…
Chris McMahon says
You did not pay them $3.99 for postage, you paid them $3.99 for shipping and handling. Amazon even suggests to the sellers that they send media via media mail.
I sold a lot of stuff on Amazon Marketplace once instead of having a yard sale. I made more on ‘handling’ then I did on all of the books I sold.
I was answering the last update on KFC
Your sellers can’t have spent 50 cents on shipping your books to you by Media Mail. The cheapest Media Mail gets about $3. It’s often cheaper to send lightweight books by First Class mail rather than Media Mail. Yeah, I ship a lot.
I have this one friend that’s cheap as hell. Everytime he sees me he says, “Hey man, you got that $50 you owe me?”
“Jesus man, stop being so CHEAP!”
Top Ten!!! can it be??
my grandfather was the cheapest person I ever knew and they were far from poor as well. My mother was 13 before she had a store bought dress. They would get slapped and knocked around for outgrowing their shoes before the year was up. They NEVER went out to eat mom was a teenager before she had gone to a restaurant.
When my mother went to college which she was absolutely expected to do he handed her tuition and then slapped her in the face for taking his money.
My crazy (maybe understandably so) mother then went on to be her own special type of cheap ass. She buys underwear at garage sales. Who would even sell underwear in a garage sale? Once we made fun of her for that and we were called ungrateful spoiled children who will “never have anything” because of our wild spending habits. Yes new underwear are apparently quite luxurious.
When I was 13 I worked for a guy who sold firewood and trimmed trees. His ex-partner, who we occasionally had to do jobs with, was the cheapest bastard I ever met:
-He’d drive 20+ miles to save 20 cents of cigarettes or 2 cents a liter on gas. We’d try and explain to him that he was spending more in gas than he was saving, but he couldn’t bring himself to pay a higher price when he knew he could get stuff cheaper somewhere else.
-On his 25th wedding anniversary he took his wife to McDonalds. As a “treat” he let her order some pie for desert.
-He broke an axe handle on a job one day. At the co-op he flew into a rage at the replacement cost of $9, so he carved his own. It took him about 20 hours of carving. At the time he billed about $25 to $30/hour, so guess how much that axe handle really cost.
-He refused to pay for safety pants (basic safety gear for anyone using a chain saw). He changed his mind after his chain broke one day and he almost lost his leg, but he wouldn’t pay for a pair for his son who worked for him.
Like in Jeff’s story, this guy wasn’t hard up for cash, he just resented spending anything.
Big Bear In OH says
As much as I hate to see Mockable go, sometimes that’s just what happens–it was a good run, and I thought just about every post was laugh out loud funny.
Now, on to the cheapness…my grandparents were always the frugal sort, with 20 odd grandkids and great grandkids, Grandma always managed to find the oddest stuff to give for christmas–One year we all got socks–Robin’s Egg Blue for the boys, Light Purple for the girls–Another year, everyone got penlights. But I attribute the frugality to growing up in the Depression, and making do in families of 6 and 9 children, respectively.
But the ultimate cheap ass would be a good friend of the family, who steals silverware from restaurants, takes a ziplock bag to buffets and fills it up inside her purse, and refuses to heat her house above 58 in the winter, or cool it below 85 in the summer. There are some days that her house is actually hotter than outside.
Chuck in Belpre says
I know a guy who made millions in the ‘Awl Bidness’ and he is the cheapest person I know. You couldn’t pull a needle out of his ass with a tractor he is so tight. He buys almost everything he needs at flea markets and yard sales and buys used cars. They have no kids so why is he sitting on all the money?
If I had treated my ex like the guy in the story she would have given me a fatal injection in my sleep. (she’s a nurse)
Fat Secretary says
My BIL is the cheapest ass I have ever met-he even makes his wife shower with him (not for the good reason), and they have to turn the water OFF, while they soap up, then turn it back on to rinse. If we go out to dinner together, we pretty much assume that we are paying the tip so that the wait staff doesn’t permanently bar us from every dining establishment in town. His wife is not allowed to buy a diet pepsi if they are out and she gets thirsty, because they “have diet pepsi” at home…I could go on and on, but I won’t because I am starting to get pissed. Of course, he has a $50,000 Corvette that he paid cash for, sitting in his garage (we have never ridden in it, because then he would have to change the seat settings so they matched). He always “has a suggestion” to improve your money handling skills-although, guess how he made his money? Of course, selling sub-prime mortgages.
Yes, I have one of those cheap SOBs in my family. It pretty much ruined his relationship with his kids. It’s an obsession and really, in the end, it’s just sad.
Chuck in Belpre’s story reminds me of one that used to be told about Jack Kent Cook, longtime owner of the Washington Redskins and a very, very wealthy man. Seems that when big screen televisions were new and incredibly expensive, he reluctantly parted with some cash and bought one. Shortly thereafter, someone gave him one as a gift, so he called the store where he bought the television and demanded they take it back, and in fact that they should come retrieve it. The store agreed and sent a crew out the get the set. Then, as they were driving away, they look back and see ol’ Jack chasing them down the driveway demanding to get “his” batteries out of the remote control.
hot fuzz says
I get together with a friend every quarter or so…. the last few times (well actually every time) I paid because I’m that kind of guy.
The last time (last month) we were out, I decided to see what happens when the bill was to come. When the waiter asked if we would like anything else, the words “separate checks” came flying out of my bud… I guess it wasn’t his turn to pay after all.
hot fuzz says
Big Bear – I worked with a guy that brought zip lock bags to the breakfast buffet.. He would load up on the jams and stuff as soon as the waitress would bring the little cradles of packets. A packet of maple syrup busted in his tweed jacket pocket one day – which prompted the zip locks I believe.
Sounds like the dude has some mental issues. I’d ask her why she is still living in that scene. She should pack it up and go.
I know a lot of people like that. Some of them get real close to the hoarding deal.
I can see if they grew up during the depression, but some of the people I know who are like that are quite well off.
-I don’t see why Mockable had to go just because it didn’t have readers. Nobody reads my blog and I’ve had it 5 years.
I’ve got a friend so cheap he paid $3.00 US for an hour of internet use at a cafe in Egypt. He didn’t have any email messages so he asked if he could keep a tab of his minutes and come every day until he used his hour. The cafe guy physically attacked him and shook his shoe at him muslim-style.
That’s just cheap. He also served me leftover Chinese food when I was a guest at his house. Somebody else’s leftover Chinese food.
Dude’s got a job- just cheap.
My brother in law is kind of cheap but he’s improved over the years.
A co-worker I know is pretty cheap. instead of buying a carton of milk, she takes a plastic up (at least 8 ounces) fills it from the milk that is intended for coffee and tells the cahsier it’s “just a splash” – which they charge 7 cents for rather than the 70 cent carton of milk. And she does it every single day. Sorry, man, that’s cheap.
Swami Bologna says
A friend of my father is a very wealthy man. Let’s call him “Bob.” One day many years ago when I was a kid, my family was visiting Bob’s family, and a few of us were having lunch. One of Bob’s kids (probably about ten years old at the time) was having a sandwich with a dill pickle on the side. When the kid finished his meal, all that was left on the plate was the stem of the pickle. Bob looked at the plate, told the kid it was very wasteful to throw away any food, and made the kid eat the stem. My father and I were astonished, but didn’t say anything at the time. But to this day we sometimes bring up this event as an example of the absurd penny-pinching of some rich people.
I always thought my dad was the cheapest person I ever knew. He did the grocery shopping, and studied the weekly food ads for all the come-ons and loss leader bargains, buying one thing at one store, and another thing at another store. He never bought brand name anything. It was always brand X pickles, brand X lunchmeat, etc. I never saw any brand name items in our house. When I got my first job, I vowed never to be that cheap. Well, years later, guess who studies the food ads. Yep, you’re lookin’ at ‘im, but I’m not as anal about it as he was. If I want something that costs a few extra bucks, I’ll get it. By the way, don’t get Walmart hotdog sauce. Lesson learned yesterday.
Guess I’m not frugal after all. =-)
I once read about a guy who actually stole his hosts underwear after stopping for a visit with the wife and kids.
Where the hell did I read that?…….
Lee Harvey Ramone says
I have a confession to make:
I am the Easter Bunny
Paula V says
My grandmother is notorious for her frugal ways. It used to be a source of entertainment for the family but those days are long gone because her frugality has taken a gross turn. She will buy her underwear from garage sales. She thinks that flushing the toilet every time you use it is wasteful and will not flush when she is visiting other people and also gets angry if you flush too often while visiting her. I think her worst habit is that she bathes in the dark in two to three inches of water and then scoops up the water into a bucket and uses it to water her flowers and tomato plants.
One of the guys that write for the website in my name is the most frugal, stingy bastard I know. Here are a few examples. All in all he is a nice guy, but man is he a damn weirdo when it comes to particular money saving techniques.
When we travel, he won’t stay in the same hotel as everybody else unless it is the cheapest one around. Then he gets up in the morning and walks over to our hotel to eat the breakfast, what a tool.
When we stop at McDonalds and other road-crap food places he doesn’t buy anything. Instead, he just eats the leftovers from our bags; like bun crust and nugget sauce, or those burnt fries nobody likes. He also tries to eat all the crackers on the table before ordering at a real restaurant, and he takes all the sugar packets that he thinks his $3 bowl of soup is paying for.
He tries to calculate his weight so that he only pays for the difference in gas money that he causes. That doesn’t usually fly with us and he gets borderline crying about having to pay for other peoples gas money that he didn’t use.
On long trips he washes cloths in the shower with hotel soap so he doesn’t have to spend money on laundry.
I’ve been to his house, he doesn’t have any store bought condiments, only Taco Bell sauces and individual ketchup and mustard packets.
He only cooks using one pan so that he doesn’t waste energy, and thereby money, by heating up so many utensils. If he needs to cook a bunch of stuff he’ll just scoot things to one side of the pan to make room.
He also refuses to support any organization. He won’t buy cookies from people’s kids because he says there is no apparent outcome that benefits either him or society as a whole. I don’t buy cookies from peoples kids because I don’t like peoples kids.
When people die and the card goes around, he won’t even sign the card for the waste of ink. I don’t sign it because I don’t usually know the person, and if I do know them I will do something more personal. He actually says that it is a waste of ink resources and therefore costs him money.
He isn’t too bad with watching TV and stuff like that, but I have never seen a light on in his house. Ever.
WB in OH says
I have a friend who is pretty good at being a skinflint. In our younger days if we hit a drive though carry out and bought a 12 pack he never had anything smaller than a twenty, and boy oh boy he couldn’t break the twenty, he’d just get us “later”. He’d bum smokes because he “left his out in the truck”. We also would meet a local bar and buy pitchers of beers while we decided what we were going to do for the evening, he would always make a command decision about where to go next when it was his turn to buy. He’s gotten better over the years only because we figured out all of his cons.
I’ve tried over the years to quit pissing money away and be more frugal but it never lasts very long. As grandpa said “you can’t put a price on fun”.
T. Farty McAppleass says
I knew the guy that started a company called SCI and he got very wealthy as a result. After lunch he’d make the cleaning crew wait to clean the cafeteria until he’d had a chance to pick up all the wrapped (unused) straws and place them back in the box at the end of the lunch counter. He must of saved, what, seventy or eighty cents a year doing that? This from a guy that millions.
zazu the pitts says
I thought I was cheap but I am OK. My dad was always worried about what we spent money on since he came up in the depression and they actually had to go hungry at times. I thought he was cheap, but he is OK too!
I am going to miss mockable, but it had a good run. Just make sure the surf report don’t evah go the same way…
I read the comments today thinking someone would out me as the ‘cheapest person’ they know. There is a chance it could happen; but I like to refer to myself as frugal.
Now my Unce Ray is cheap. A few examples: he captures his laundry water for washing his car or filling the back of his toliet. He cut a hole in his kitchen to push his refrigerator outside in the winter to keep it cool. Heat on 55; no central air. Condiments from fast food joints only. He parked his car close to the fence at a local ethnic club (Croatian Club) to avoid the $2 cover (he jumped the fence by standinig on the hood of his car). I do not think he was ever on an airplane; traveling is not part of the plan Paid cash for his house 1964 and has lived there ever since while it falls apart around him. My grandmother made him breakfast every morning and packed his lunch for 25 years. Dumps his trash at neighbors, relatives or businesses to avoid the munipality bill for trash. I could go on for ever….
He is a millionaire by saving nearly every dollar he has ever made. My dad told us that my Uncle Ray use to iron his money when he was a kid; he has the disease.
I once made my kids share a coke at the mall.
(and I thought I was cheap)
Sad about the mockable.
One of those sites that sounds good at start up.
I cannot really pin it, because I HAVE laughed there
(Metten, keep shopping that book)
.. and I do not want to blame the web design.
John in the gump says
Sad to see Mockable go as so many have lamented. I’ve read every one and fully agree, some real good , some real good tries.
Sure wish you’d get in that urt and get that book done.
Thanks for all the laughs, seriously.
One of my high school friends was given $20/month. Her siblings were also given $20 each per month. With that money, they had to buy their shampoo, hairspray, make up, hosiery, toothpaste, feminine hygiene items, etc. If my friend thought her can of hairspray felt lighter, that would start WW3 at their house. She blamed her sisters for “stealing” from her.
Now, she is a successful, married mom of 3 and is no longer a cheapskate.
Glad airandee told the Uncle Ray story….. that’s really cheap. he left out the part about him saving so much water, that he was at 1/3 the minimum usage. I would agree that airandee is frugal and not cheap.
Casey J says
Your initial story would not fly here…If hubby inspected grocery receipts etc etc I would (kindly) let him know to go shop yourself if you can do it “better”. While he was gone I would be on the computer looking up divorces. 🙂 I am getting all mad…
My grandparents have money from OIL, and always have extra stuff(leftovers from the depression, which is forgivable) and live in a home with land probably worth a couple million. Go figure. The worst I do is read grocery ads to see who is cheaper than walmart.
Ok…I felt so cheap but Walmart honors ads from other stores…on food too!! So when there is a great deal, bring your ad to Wally World and tada!! I did this once, and apologized the entire time for being so cheap. lol
Jeff, this one is JUST for you….
I knew I guy so cheap that he got an apartment across the street from work. Besides having no commuting expenses, he would go into work, even nights and weekends, to take a DUMP to save on toilet paper.
I had a buddy who, no matter how hot it was out, would not use the A/C in his vehicle. He would only roll the windows down or put the fan on. He said the A/C reduced his gas mileage by 1 or 2 mpg. This was fine on a nice spring or fall day but during those muggy summer nights, wow. We would head out to the clubs and arrive looking like we had just walked out of the river and smell like a vagina full of bad decisions 😉
For about 3 months I hung out with a guy in my town whose family was quite wealthy (They were stinking rich!). We go on a double date with these girls. He INSISTS we go bowling, so we all agree and go bowling. When the night was over and we had to go pay for our shoes and the number of games we rolled he conveniently disappeared. I ended up having to pay for everybody. He was pissed because we rolled one game more than what he wanted to roll and it was going to cost him an extra dollar. Kicker is he ended up getting laid that night and I didn’t.
I am pretty cheap. I get sort of annoyed when my husband and/or kids want to buy a soda from the grocery store when our house is literally 5 minutes away. I mean… really…. you can wait 5 minutes.
I also buy my meat at Angel Food (great meat, excellent price) and my friend works at a food bank and gives us the dented cans (not unsafe, just dented). Like many others in these stories, I don’t need to do this but I w ant to.
But I was a poor grad student for 7 years with a lazy ex who refused to work for 5 years. So I guess that makes me like some of the people who grew up during the depression, huh?
In my defense, I am an excellent tipper and waaayyyyy overly generous when it comes to gifts (I spend $600 on my two kids at Christmas alone, for instance). I just don’t feel the need to pay more for something when I can get it cheaper.
Anyway, my mom is “cheap” – sometimes it is embarrassing. She will take a ziploc to a buffet and even take all the jellies off a table at a restaurant to use at home. She is also proud of the fact that she can collect enough coupons and shop specials so that sometimes the store actually owes HER money rather than the other way around. I admire that one, but I lack the time (or the guts) to do it.