Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Glasgow Blues

I have one granddad from Denmark and one from Scotland. However, my friends and family seem to think my Danish bloodlines have lost the battle for genetic supremacy. I take it that they mean: a) I like to drink scotch and b) I have been known to be somewhat, shall we say…frugal. (Right now, my sister just read that line, snorted out loud and mumbled something about an understatement)
Okay, I admit it, I love a good deal. Once in a beautiful moment of serendipity, I found a pair of high-end skates in the Good Will store for $9.99. I know right? How often is one going to find a pair of $400 skates in the right size  and have the luxury of knowing it’s a guilt free score, because let’s face it, homeless people don’t need skates. That may sound cruel but did I mention they were in my size?
If you’re shaking your head and thinking, “some poor guy is out there playing shinny on the pond in a pair of too small figure skates” then you may need to look away. This ain’t gonna to be for you.
However, if you are nodding your head and saying, “What choice did he have? He had to buy those skates” you should keep reading. Read on, fellow chiseler for you will know where I’m coming from. Unsure if you should keep reading? Just answer the following questions:
Have you ever been to Liquidation World, Liquidation Nation, Liquidation Superstore or Santo’s Liquidation Extravaganza and Reptile Emporium?
Have you ever been to Costco because you can buy a trampoline, an entire cow and a six gallon tub of hair gel in the same aisle?
When purchasing tickets, have you ever told your nine your old they are now six and then told them to slouch a bit, keep their mouth shut and don't look the ticket lady in the eye?
If you answered yes to any of the above…I got news for you sunshine. You’re a cheap bastard like me.
The trick is not to fight it. If God wanted you to pay full price for an airline ticket, he would have made you president of Microsoft.  For the rest of us savvy travelers who don’t want to pay the jerks at Air Canada $900 to fly Vancouver to Toronto you’ve got to put in the legwork. If, while sitting at your desk at work you happen to visit the Travelocity website lets say, a few hundred times a day, it’s okay because you’ll eventually be rewarded with a seat sale. Blammo! Just like that you’ve rid yourself of inner rage towards Air Canada and you can really dig in and get some work done. Happy employee equals good production.
Some of my great triumphs? A hockey rink kit for next to nothing at, you guessed it…MDM liquidation.  I picked up a Hammond organ for $150 bucks, (purchased from a very eccentric gentleman) and a new Weber BBQ for $100 bucks. (It was missing a knob)
I also have had some legendary roadside scores like a cedar strip canoe and a set of antique chairs.  I’m not allowed to hoard stuff so I have to temper my natural urge to collect with my wife’s no-clutter rule. I also try and give away as much stuff as I take in to keep the balance from tipping from “keen recycler” to “lunatic”.
While I am no extreme coupon clipper or Boxing Day shopper, I do find an obscure amount of pleasure in knowing a guy. Don’t underestimate the power of knowing a guy.
As in, “I know a guy who has a welding torch so he fixed my muffler for me. Bought him a bottle of rye.”
“The tiles in our bathroom? Yeah, I know a guy who installs them. He had a bunch leftover from a job so he just gave ‘em to me. Bought him a bottle of Rye.”
Rye is a solid currency amongst trade’s people by the way. It comes in just after a case of beer and just before a set of used snow tires. Most guys operate on a bartering system of some sort, so if your buddy with the tire changing machine looks thirsty, you better get him a case of beer and if he has a pile of junk behind his shed, tell him you’re going to the dump and you’ll take it for him.  Give and take is always more satisfying than dropping the hammer on a new purchase. If you would rather go and buy it new, you might be Danish.

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