Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Can Man

There was a man in the small town where I grew up, we called him the Can Man. He was of indeterminate European origin, had a shock of white hair that looked to have the brittleness of uncooked spaghetti and rode a three wheeled bicycle up and down the rural roads. Some days I would pass him and he would be cackling, weather-beaten face raised to the sky. By the end of the day he would have the basket brimming with aluminum cans and plastic bottles, and he'd return to the two room house where he lived with his two grown sons who sold both nightcrawlers and meth.

I don't want to become the Can Man. That's my fear of going down the road of frugality. This morning Bianca and I took all our recyclable materials from our 6 1/2 foot stack of IKEA containers and drove them down to the recycling center (which, we learned from an article in the paper, had recently been fined heavily for scamming the state). The total: $7.58. Here's where Bizarro World came into play. Normally on a Saturday after collecting our cash we would immediately drive to a fast food joint and indulge our tastes for gristle and grease. Today, however, we drove to the bank, deposited $7 (keeping quarters for laundry), and I used BillPay to send that money to my highest rate credit card.

Okay, so where did the $0.08 go? Savings. Daddy's gonna need him a three-wheeled bike someday.

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