Not that Yu-Jin has seen my photo in the paper too much but he must be getting used to seeing his parents in the media. He's seen my pic on my blog and mum's newspaper spread. Imagine my surprise when he looked at the following part of an ad in the Spring 2004 Perth Homemakers' Sale:
"Is that you, daddy?"
Come on son. Are the ears that similar? I guess they are but he could be a little more observant than that.
Frugal Bastards I Have Known
I shall save his blushes by letting him remain nameless. Let's just call him Alex. **Not his real name (he has a surname as well).
Alex was a fitter who did an adult apprenticeship to become an electrician. He was one of the hardest working blokes you have ever seen. Pretty smart guy. We did our apprenticeships together in Mt Gambier and Alex's family lived in Portland, Victoria. About two hours drive away. On Saturdays he used to play tennis.
Now Alex was a frugal bastard. The doors on his Subaru needed some work so he filled them with concrete. He painted it with some bitumen-type material himself. Alex didn't pay for accommodation. I believe that he used to find a car park and sleep outside on some stretcher-like setting. Then he learnt that CSR Woodpanels owned some houses just outside the factory walls. He offered to stay at one of the houses as it would offer some extra security for the building. Mind you, he didn't stay in the house. No, he parked outside in the driveway and slept outside on his stretcher!!
It didn't end there. At work we had a shower, which he used, and a microwave. If his food couldn't be cooked in a microwave then it wouldn't get cooked at all. Was there no ending to this man's frugality? As he had nowhere to go after Tech finished he would stay after class until about 8pm and then go to his driveway. No wonder he was so smart. He did an extra four hours of learning each day.
One other instance comes to mind, not necessarily frugal by nature. Our boss wanted us to work on the Saturday and only told us late on Friday. Alex was due to play tennis and so wouldn't have been able to. He asked the boss if he could do a double-shift and go home at midnight. That's not too dumb and that's exactly what he did. Still got the whole weekend with his family, played tennis and got paid for working on Saturday. One clever bloke.
Oh yes. He did put tar on his roof in Portland instead of paying someone else to paint it properly. Not a brilliant move as it would have devalued it significantly. Now I hear that he is an operator on a production line earning 60-70K. What did I tell you about this bloke?