How to be a Bitch on a Budget
October 2, 2009
Today, a practical column.† With this
economic downturn, many people are suffering and having to downsize.
Like me.† Iím really frigging poor.† You
have no idea.
If I died right this minute, my entire
estate would comprise $5.37 in cash and savings and about $15,000.00 in high
end slutty underwear that my ex husband bought for me.
I fritter away what meagre funds I have on
medication.† I know, I know:† Iím such a profligate spendthrift, but old habits
(like breathing) are hard to break.†
Still, itís possible to economize if youíre
creative.† With a little imagination, you too can laugh in the face of crushing
poverty and crippling medication costs.
Youíd be surprised at what you can do with
things you have laying around the house if you think outside the box.
Stuff isnít cheap, you know.† Everyday
Here are a few examples.
Do you know what this stuff costs?†
Especially if you have crohnís?† Even if you limit yourself to a few squares
per blast, once those ulcerations start hemorrhaging, you can fell a forest in
less than an hour.
A conundrum, let me tell you.† Iíve got ~
80% of my bowel involved and Iím on blood thinner so once the fun begins, I
canít slow the spew.† Thank God I live alone.† My dearly departed was most
forbearing about this, though even he kept his distance once I gave him fair
warning.† It cut down on the fart jokes, anyway.† And once it starts, itís like
someoneís turned on the bleeding valve.† It ainít pretty and thatís not even
considering the parade of strangers with an unholy interest in sticking their
fingers up my ass.† My point is that toilet paper is pretty much a necessity
and they donít just give it away.†
But it is possible to find an affordable
alternative that has the benefit of being very eco-friendly.
Voila!† Do you imagine those Persians are
on that label by accident?† I think not.† And I happen to have two of their
kind right here.† Theyíre even black so the stains wonít show.† Sure, theyíll
hold a grudge but at least they wonít look like week-old snowbanks.
And look at the size of them!† The Royale
people are being way too dainty using kittens.† I canít afford to be coy about
my bathroom requirements.† Ivanís enormous --† see for yourself:
This should be fairly easy.† Ivan knows
heís not allowed in the kitchen or the bathroom so of course those are the two
places he most wants to explore.† I figure I can lure him in by leaving the
door open a crack, then grab him once he crosses the threshold, kick the door
shut and take full advantage of his absorbent properties.
Annie, however, is another kettle of fish.†
She attacks me if I look at her the wrong way:† sheís never going to put up
with this.† I think Iíll save Annie for a particularly bad crohnís flare.† Even
then, Iíll have to keep her claws clipped and plan ahead.
She wonít fall for the old "leave the
bathroom door open" ploy.† Nope.† Iím going to have to grab her fast and
without breaking my stride, get in one good wipe and then fling her across the
living room like a shotput before she has a chance to lay a glove on me.
Like toilet paper, tampons are not a product
you can do without.† And as tempting as it may be, I wouldnít recommend you use
the cats for this.† Donít be fooled by the fact that if you squint those tails
could stand in for strings.
And theyíre hardly discreet.† Try finding
an applicator for them:† go ahead, I dare you.
Sends shivers up my spine just thinking
But you can make them.† Think about it:†
what did women do centuries ago?† They all still had their periods - they had
to deal with it somehow.
Hmm...if youíre like me, you will find that
your dryer is ruled by a mysterious but implacable god that requires the
sacrifice of one sock every now and again.† This has left me with at least 8
orphan socks.† So it got me to thinking and hereís what I came up with:
I know - it looks a little complicated but
Iíll explain it.† Donít be frightened by its size.† I havenít tried it myself
yet - Iíll be right up front about that now - but Iíll get back to you on it
next month sometime.
OK:† take the toilet brush - youíll need one
with a stand. Place it on the bathroom floor approximately one foot from the
tub. Then take one of your precious remaining rolls of toilet paper, stuff one
of the socks into the centre, stick this whole thing on the handle of the
toilet brush.† Climb up onto the edge of the tub.
I suspect that it may take a few attempts
before you perfect your aim and Iíll admit that the dismount looks like it could
be a bit of a bitch but this could actually work.
And I was going to throw those socks out
Here is a glimpse in my fridge.
†I swear I didnít take anything out.†
Contents?† One jug of Brita water, a lone
onion and quite a few condiments.
Now you wouldnít think you could come up
with much of a meal with these ingredients, but donít be hasty.
I also have this can.†
I have absolutely no idea what it
contains.† The label fell off when I moved from Toronto in the summer of 2008
and remember how stoned I was back then?† This could literally be anything.
Itís liquid - it sloshes when I shake it.
Observe:† water + onion + the contents of
this can (which I really hope is not paint) = "Onion Surprise"
I choose to believe that thereís a 50/50
chance that this is not only edible, but a culinary delight.† I hope to rise
from my repast smacking my lips with satisfaction.
Ah yes.† Snacks are pretty much a thing of
the past now, unless you count fingernails.† But donít get too regimented or
youíll only get resentful and start thinking youíre entitled to eat on a daily
basis.† Every once in a while, you have to push the boat out a little.† Treat
yourself, but only a little.
For example, I used to really love those
Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers.† God, they were good.† But theyíre well
beyond my means now.
OK, the manufacturer is being disturbing
vague and terrifyingly non-specific with the whole "creatures" thing but I
canít afford to worry about semantics at this point.
They are fast coming up, arenít they?† And
I think itís my turn to host thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.† Whatever shall I
Never mind.† It was just a thought.
Your New Meal Plan
Cheer up!† Things are not as bad as they
look.† Youíll get the hang of this: I did.† Oh sure, I could be making
thousands of dollars a month doing criminal defence law but until I find a safe
place to hide my soul and my conscience, I keep insisting on representing only
I have one client.
Iím thinking of expanding my practice to
include the drunk and stupid, which should liven things up a bit.
But in the meantime itís pretty tight.
However things could be a lot worse.
You have to convince yourself of the same
thing.† Things could ALWAYS be worse.† You have to have a plan.† Iím such a
control freak, I like having dominion over the variables.
So hereís your new meal plan.† Itís not so
bad, is it?† Itís working for me.
Breakfast: the most important meal of the day
Water and lots of it
Fills you up, keeps you hydrated
Whatever the other guy will spring for
If you play your cards right, this will be your one big feed of
Obliges you to let some lovesick loser/horny old geezer stare at
your tits for an hour
Who cares?† Youíre not paying
Entire contents of fridge and pantry (onion, ramen noodles,
mustard, ketchup, plum sauce, salt, cider vinegar)
Forces you to be creative, could foster newfound empathy with the
unprivileged and Bobby Sands, finally gain insight into motherís oft repeated
invocation of multitudes of starving African children, remarkably slimming
Startling new taste combination will challenge even the hardiest
33 cents for the noodles at the Dollar store.† Mustard lasts
But food and shelter arenít your only
needs, are they?
A girlís got to have some fun, right?
As a virtual recluse, Iím probably not the
best one to ask about this.† I also never sleep so I spend my time destroying
my friendsí email inboxes with endless messages and random ravings.
But even I go out now and again.† And it
turns out that you can have a lot of fun without spending a cent.
For example, one of my favourite jaunts is
to pop down to my local pharmacy when theyíre giving out the methadone to see
if I can recognize anyone I met in the cells.
Thereís lots to do at the local library too
- AND a better than average chance of running into someone I met in the cells.†
Who knew criminals were so erudite?
Bah, this is actually kind of fun if you
like stress.† †Think of it as a character building exercise.
You girls rock.† And the lads too, the lads
too. Youíve all been sticking with me for nearly a decade now and I really
appreciate it.† So hereís the deal:† would any of you consider visiting Canada
and getting framed for a crime you didnít commit?† Then you could hire me.†
And if I ever get off my ass and assemble a
compendium or write a bunch of new columns for publication, you had all better
Iím warning you right now:† I plan to
overcharge for it.† Iíve suffered enough for my Art.†
Now itís your turn.
Till next time,