There is the story of the frugal Scotsman who bought two tickets to the lottery and then discovered that one of the tickets had won $57 million. When they notified him of his good fortune, he was overheard to mutter, “I can’t imagine what prompted me to buy that other ticket.”
In my later years I am starting to feel the same way. According to life expectancy charts, I can optimistically look forward to another say, fifteen years. Sixteen if I take a lot more afternoon naps, spend more time watching Judge Judy and keep drinking my prune juice on a regular basis. So that has started me thinking about stuff.
Amortization is the accounting principle where you figure out the cost of an item and you divide that number by the number of years you expect to get some effective use out of it. Usually it’s the thing that wears out before the user does. It’s different when you get to be my age. In my case, you’d have to figure out the cost of an item divided by how many years I’ve got left before I wear out. It seems to me that there needs to be an amortization schedule for people like me.
For example, I am starting to wonder whether I should spend $3500 on an implant replacement for that tooth I just had pulled a few weeks ago. Maybe I’d be better off spending it on single malt scotch instead. Probably enjoy it a helluva lot more and after all, how important is it if I have a gap-toothed smile at my age? Who would I attract with a full smile and what would I do with her if I did?
I’m also starting to think that I need to ask that salesman exactly what it means when he tells me that the vacuum cleaner he is trying to sell me has a lifetime warranty? I’m wondering, whose lifetime? Mine or the vacuum cleaner’s?
Do I really want to spend extra money on 200,000-mile tires for my car when I only drive about 5,000 miles a year driving back and forth to the senior citizens center twice a week for their $5.95 lunch special (which includes a 16-ounce drink of my choice)? What happens to the 125,000 miles left on those tires when I croak? Maybe I should start thinking about buying almost bald tires and take my chances driving back and forth to the senior citizens’ center. I could use the money I save on $7 Starbucks latte grandes instead.
Maybe from now on when I go to Costco I should ask them to sell me half packages of toilet paper instead of the ones that take a forklift to add to my cart. (I always thought that buying by the cubic yard was for sand or concrete. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be buying toilet paper that way.) As it is now, because I am no longer strong enough to take it out of the trunk of my car when I get it home from Costco, I have to leave it in my trunk and go out to my car whenever I need a new roll.
I own several watches but a long time ago, I gave up putting batteries in all of them. Now I only replace the battery in the one I’m wearing. No sense wasting money to have the rest of them tick away in my drawer. Makes sense to me.
And I never buy lifetime batteries for anything any more. Why waste the money?
Has anyone ever considered inventing a trailer hitch for hearses? That way you could hook up a U-Haul trailer to it, load up all your stuff and then you could take it with you. Just an idea.
The life insurance salesmen have stopped calling me but now it’s the reverse mortgage people. Will it never end?
Don’t answer that.