I went to make potato salad this morning, but found that some of the potatoes had gone moldy, and others had dark spots that went deep into the potato. So I said phooey on that batch of potatoes and threw them away. Not wanting mold in the house, I tied up the trash bag and hauled it to the dumpster at the end of the block.
En route, I met a retired gentleman, who called out "Here comes trouble!" when he saw me. As far as I know, that's how he greets everybody he considers a friend. (This is the American West. We have our characters.) I told him, just to pass the time of day, that I'd gone to make potato salad but the potatoes had gone bad, to which he replied that I sounded like his wife.
How so? I asked, when the spoiled veggies were properly dumped.
'She's such a tightwad,' he said. 'She always buys big bags of potatoes, but we don't use many. I'd like potatoes every day, but she doesn't like to fuss with them. They're the easiest thing to make, really, but... well... whatever. The thing is, she never waits until we're out before she buys more, but she always cooks the oldest ones first, and so we never eat anything but old potatoes.'
At this point he faltered, suddenly realizing, I think, that he was telling tales on his wife, and possibly sounding like he was accusing me of always feeding my husband old potatoes (which I don't). He shifted his eyes away from mine and muttered, apologetically, 'Anyway, that's where she is this morning. Making potato salad, to use up some of them old potatoes.'
Uhm. I hope I don't have to say this, but frugality ill applied is not a blessing, ladies. And, gentlemen, neither is being distressed by something in one's household but not addressing it. Privately. Politely.
Economists as Storytellers - (Don Boudreaux) TweetI’m very honored and pleased to now write a weekly column for the American Institute for Economic Research. AIER – whose president is ...
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