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|Volume 11 |Issue 35| September 07, 2012 ||
How to be 'Economical'
Aasha Mehreen Amin
Despite the notion that life in general is full of unsavoury variables that can turn everything topsy turvy, there are certainties that are just unavoidable. One of them is the fact that no matter which part of the globe you are from or what your economic status is you will always come across at least one individual who takes being economical to the extreme and is commonly known as a 'miser'.
Miserly characters have famously found their way into fiction, animation and television shows – Shylock (Shakespear), Ebenezer Scrooge (Dickens), L'Avare or The Miser (Molière) and Mr Bean, to name a few.
The specialty of misers is that they don't see themselves as being miserly; rather they think they are cleverer than the rest of stupid humanity. It goes without saying that misers are never poor, they have bundles of cash stashed under the mattresses or overseas bank accounts – for that rainy day that usually never comes. Penny pinchers as they are also called, spend their lifetimes trying not to spend a dime on anything if they can help it. They love anything that has the label 'free' – from all-expenses paid trips abroad to free food at obscure conventions. As they eat as many spring rolls and prawn toast as they can, inwardly they are laughing their heads off at the dumb hosts for wasting so much money on fancy food for such undeserving people.
Pure misers become physically ill – palpitation, cold sweats and acidity – every time there is a question of parting with money. It is a pain as intense as the first time someone rejected your declaration of love and conspicuously tried to hide from you at the shopping mall.
These individuals who count every penny when they have vaults full of cash, shares, bonds and deeds for ownership of half the city, will go through extreme lengths to squeeze every drop of benefit from wherever they can. A few pointers from 'How to be Economical, by Top Ten Misers:
To get the most out of a tube of toothpaste
When you have to give a present
When your 1978 television dies on you
When you are forced to take people to dinner
Children of misers grow up feeling they are from a financially struggling family. They may be known as offspring of zamindars or business tycoons but they are always short of money and often are forced to make their less prominently known friends pay for extras.
Fortunately, the law that says 'opposites attract' has ensured that misers are almost always paired off with spendthrifts (really generous people) to keep the sparks going (unless they kill each other) and to prevent the children from constantly visiting the neighbours during mealtimes.