Rena and I are not craving junk food, or to put it more nicely, fast food. But, once in a while, we do go there where Rena is hooked on dollar-meals they offer – dollar-salads, dollar-fries, dollar-baked-potatoes, dollar-cheeseburgers, dollar-chillis, dollar-drinks, dollar-apple-pies, etc. Dollar-this and dollar-that, you name it. Anything more than a dollar is automatically tuned off in her mind. So far, it really serves us well.
Well, on the other hand, in our hotel, it is the dollar-laundry that dominates our routines. It is a dollar for washing and a dollar for drying. I don’t know why there is a slightly larger washer in our hotel’s laundry room. This is the favorite. Under Rena’s influence, we usually wait until this one is free. For drying, it is even more interesting. With energy conservation and thermal efficiency in mind, Rena has already figured out what kinds of optimal mixing of clothes it requires by using the minimum number of dryers. So, we usually are busy doing just that, moving out fast drying clothes at different times while putting the wetter ones at selected moments into number of dryers. Just like dollar-meal, it works wonder. Though, it can be somewhat complicated.
There are two more dollar offerings going on in our daily routines. One is the half-dollar-air and the other is the dollar-car-wash. Self service half-dollar-air for tires, together with the dollar-car-wash, posts even more challenges because its quick unwinding meters. It only lasts about a minute for two and four quarters respectively. With half-dollar-air and dollar-car-wash, completing these chores within a minute is challenging enough already, let alone listen to my dear “Holding-Hands” continuously echoing the time into my ears. (By the way, “Holding-Hands” is an expression for “other half” in my native tongue.) With my nervous heart pumping, one can imagine how difficult it can get. Using half-dollar-air, the dilemma is that I can’t see things near and far clearly with just one pair of glasses. In order to see air nozzle on the rim, I need to take off my distance glasses. However without my distance glasses, I can’t see anything a bit farther and, most importantly, readings on the meter. Alternatively, with dollar-car-wash, there are too “many choices” to choose from. Usually, it has rinse, soap, extra rinse, extra soap, wax, dry cycle, etc. Just planning to finish washing within a minute by getting the right optimal combinations (allocating enough seconds for selected cycles) based on our vehicle’s dirtiness is already a mind-boggling exercise. Let alone execute it.
To untie these binds, of course, one can always buy oneself the gift of more minutes with more quarters, but this option is usually off my table.
I hope there is no more clever business man who is capable of contriving additional dollar-business services successfully. Otherwise, I am sure, sooner or later, I am going to be sucked into and become part of. But, with one exception, I hope Rena’s dollar-cake business that she is dreaming of never gets off ground or can find some traction while cruising. Hopefully, I don’t have to lose a great number of my shirts or gobble up all her cakes. Either way is depressing.
Oh, I forget to mention things about using coins for our dollar-businesses. First, of course, it needs to get enough coins somewhere. Sometimes, it is a real drag. Second, Rena has to screen out the ones commemorating the State of Wisconsin because they may have an extra leave on their corn stems that they can fetch, at least, 2 Grand for each quarter in the collector’s market. Naturally, she would like to keep all of those just in case. In order to do that, I have to drop whatever it is that I am doing and come to her side because, due to her eye sight and without glasses on, she can’t see any engraving on the coin. As a casual coin collector, partly for her folks in China, she also would like to keep the new one(s) just released. The fun part is that we are not sure of which one(s). Without knowing exactly, she has a tendency to keep them all. Then getting more coins is about to happen.
Well, with all this, the only reasonable last hope is waiting for the inflation to start and come through in big way and a dollar ceases to be a dollar. Even with that, disheartenly, many double-dollar-businesses may spring up everywhere like cultivated mushrooms in “dark” and “cool” places. At that time, with at least 4-8 coins to carry, it may offer few reliefs.
Strange enough with all these dollar-businesses floating around us, I have my own indigenous dollar-business going on. Frequently, I buy power ball lottery tickets with, guess what? a dollar. Hopefully, with luck, I can afford to un-wrap this collar (dollar) business around my neck and free from it once and for all. My dream of winning lottery is rather simple and straight forward – this bar can’t get much lower. Can it?
So far, “buying lottery ticket” is still going on strong till the fat lady sings – Ain’t over yet. But, even with luck, sometimes, I wonder, I may have to come to terms with the effects of this thriving dollar-business for the rest of my life. It is because I have lived through all these years of knowing my “Holding-Hands” pretty well. Meanwhile, I marvel at her thrifty mind and mature somewhat to be appreciative. Otherwise, the double-dollar-business may be just around the corner. Who knows when it’s going to land?
But, at least for now, every little bit helps. Doesn’t it?