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Cheapskates

By Tater Barley Banks | Comment Diversions | June 5, 2010 | Comments ()

By Tater Barley Banks | Comment Diversions | June 5, 2010 |


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It only seems like I spend 25 hours a day hanging around Pajiba. In truth, it's 23. I divide the remaining time among eating, sleeping, occasionally working and a few other blogs.

One of them is Virginia Montanez's wonderful take on my old hometown, Pittsburgh, here.

She also does some magazine writing, and recently had a column about things her father had taught her. Here's the relevant excerpt:

If there is anything in Pittsburgh that frustrates my father more than the fact that the Parkway East is really just a fancy name for a giant parking lot, it is the expensive parking. Ten years before he retired, he decided he was never going to pay more than $5 to park within walking distance of the U.S. Steel Tower.

He began at the lower reaches of the Hill District, where he could pay $5 and walk a little under a mile to work. Then he decided $5 was too much and began arriving at the crack of dawn to snag a meter near the Mellon Arena. HE WAS WINNING.

Then he decided $3 was too much, especially when there were people parking in the Hill District for free. Free was the magic number he had been reaching for.

He began parking in deserted alleys in the Hill, not caring a flip about the broken window glass often littering the curb. This resulted in his car being stolen more than a half-dozen times, and we would watch my mother hang up the kitchen phone with a sigh, turn off the stove over which she had been making dinner and say, "Get in the car, girls. Your dad got his car stolen again."

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That man is a hero to cheapjack bastards like me. (But I'm not as cheap as I used to be. I've worked up from penurious to cheap to merely frugal now.)

Here's a whole family of heroes: I know a reporter who told me about covering a softball game in which the girl playing left field dived for a ball and injured herself. Her parents came out, scooped her up, loaded her in the car and headed for the hospital. But on the way out, they stopped at the gate to get their ticket money back.

Hat tip!

So OK, you cheap fucks, tell us just how cheap you are, with your sneaking candy and hot coffee and footlong sammiches into the theater (and I know where you men smuggle those footlongs, don't tell me you don't!). Then tell us about that guy/girl you know who is even cheaper than you and ... I dunno, reuses toilet paper or tampons or something.


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