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I’m often reminded of what my grandfather often said about the Great Depression: The Great Depression wouldn’t have been so bad here in Maine, John, if it hadn’t come on the heels of such hard times. The idea being that Maine’s economy has never been the greatest even when the rest of the country is in the best of times.
I know you’re not supposed to explain things like my grandfather’s saying; you’re just supposed to put them out there and let the reader do with them what he or she will, but I thought it might help in this particular case.
What I intended to get at was how many newspapers and magazines these days are running articles on how their readers can save money during these ‘hard times.’
High on everyone’s list of money saving tips are the two stand-bys – make sure your car’s engine is properly tuned and your tires are properly inflated. We’ve all heard these tips so often we’re sick of hearing them and would appreciate it if they stopped reminding us. But we all know, of course, that they won’t
A newspaper over in western Maine was running a money saving tip a day and they had one that made me laugh out loud and also made me wonder how it made it through the copy desk. I figured the copy editor with a good sense of humor just let it slip through.
The idea was to save on hair care by doubling-up with a friend when it’s time to dye your hair because, they argued, it’s a well-known fact that two average-sized heads can be dyed with the contents of one package of hair dye, so why throw the rest of the dye away. Why, indeed.
All you need is a friend who dyes their hair the same color you dye yours, a friend who is on the same weekly or monthly dying schedule and is willing to get together on a regular basis somewhere and have a dying party. If you don’t have such a friend you’ll have to find one – probably on Craig’s list - in order to take advantage of this money-saving tip.
Is it me or does that sound like an awful lot of trouble to go through just to save a few bucks on hair dye? Why not just let your hair decide what color it wants to be and live with it?
Some money saving tips – like: take a bus to work instead of a taxi – mean nothing to people who live in Maine. Here in Maine we only have a few cities that have anything resembling ‘public transportation’ and can only chuckle at the suggestion of saving money by bussing it to work instead of taking a taxi.
Here in Maine, with so many people living on islands and commuting to mainland jobs, a money saving tip like: take a kayak to work instead of a ferry, would be a lot more practical suggestion. But before beginning a commute-by-kayak regimen you should be aware that lobstermen, fisherman and others who work on the water refer to kayaks as “speed bumps.”
One of the worst ideas of the lot was telling people to get their books from the library instead of buying them at a bookstore near them. Don’t get me wrong: I love libraries and use them all the time, but I don’t think people should stop buying books in bookstores That’s just crazy talk!
As someone who has three Maine books in print and available at fine bookstores everywhere, I admit that my thoughts on this particular money saving tip might be biased but I hope everyone agrees that it’s not an idea that should be allowed to spread.
Before you go nuts stop buying books I’d prefer to see you hook-up with a friend and split a package of hair dye between you. Then take all the money you save and go buy a good book.
I know at least three good titles I could recommend.
John McDonald is a humorist and storyteller who performs regularly
throughout New England. John’s e-mail address is mainestoryteller@yahoo.com.
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