The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

By the way... there's a crossword at the bottom of this page

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I wasn't born lazy, I just ended up that way


Did you get an allowance when you were a child? I didn't. I heard about such things in stories and on TV but I didn't get one. I felt deprived. I wasn't... but I felt like it. In truth, I got fed, I got clothed, I got a roof over my head, and I had no chores for many of my early years. Looking back, I had a pretty good life. Sure, money was not something we had much of. We ate a lot of spaghetti. Mom bought the cheapest foods she could find. In those days, bologna was cheap, ground beef was cheap, tuna was cheap and these became my staples.

I didn't really need an allowance. Mom would give me a quarter now and then, as would my grandfather, and I was pretty frugal with these. Things were cheaper then and it was easy not to spend any cash I had. I don't recall even having a piggy bank, saving wasn't something I learned to do.

My father believed in working for whatever you got. I first learned this at age 5 when I had to sand my first bike so he could paint it. It was an old bike, just a frame, actually. I wasn't old enough to put the bike together, my father did that after it was painted. I did mention my father owned a bike shop, didn't I? Later, I would learn how to fix bikes, put one together from parts, and even tune spokes.

Later, after we moved to Florida, my father decided my brother and I could have allowances... there was a catch, however. We had to pull weeds from the flower beds and the lawn and also mow the lawn. I think the allowance was all of a $1 a week. Neither my brother nor I thought the pay was worth the work and we soon gave up the idea of having an allowance. We didn't need one since Mom would give us money just for asking. And I still didn't need a lot of money and wouldn't for some time... until I got old enough to drive.

I paid for gas by hustling pool, stealing soda bottles to redeem, and charging kids for rides home from school. Gas was cheap then, less than 25 cents a gallon most of the time; $4 would have given me a full tank of gas but I don't think I ever put more than a dollar's worth at any time in my first car. Dates were not expensive, movies only cost a dollar per person and drive-ins were even cheaper.

Eventually, though, I had to get a job. And it's been downhill ever since.


2 comments:

Tom Sightings said...

You've brought up a sore point with me . . . not this. But it really gets my goat that these days, at least around here, the kids won't return the bottles. They don't think it's worth their while to drive up to the corner and spend 10 minutes shoving bottles into the machine just so they can get $3 or $4.

Why, when I was a kid, I returned plenty of bottles. Collected and sold used golf balls. Shoveled walks, raked leaves. Did lots of stuff to scratch around for a few bucks.

No wonder our world is going to hell in a hand basket!

Douglas said...

The money gained from returning bottles these days just isn't worth it. We could bring in a case of empties and get 48 cents for it. And 48 cents could actually buy something. Of course, we usually stole that case of empties but that doesn't matter. Today, it isn't worth scratching around for a few bucks... ten bucks is "chump change" these days I can't blame kids for not bothering with hustling for anything under $20.