My dad was good at being cheap.
He was an everyday man living in the compost of his 1930’s Depression memories, which he had passed to us with regimented seriousness. I still carry his odd, but brightly austere shrapnel in me now into my own old age.
I have long forgiven him everything. He gave me a good reason to be smarter than him.
My sister and I never entirely escaped the atmospheres we grew up in. We simply Windexed his fears off of us, as best we could, and carried on without his advice. His penny-pinching ingenuity still shows in my behavior. Clemson, my dog, and I will both eat merrily out of cans for pennies a day if left alone too long.
Our Dad invented “entropy.” It is a hypothesis in physics that contends that all things gradually decline into disorder or in his words, “wear out.”
” Every light bulb has only so many on and offs,” he would threaten as he hit me. Of course, I turned this into a lifetime of glancing skyward expectantly figuring the universe was going to run out of daytime.
Growing up we had a lot of dogs. They would disappear, (usually hit by cars,) with such regularity that we would sniff our dinner meat if one were absent at dinner time.