Closing the book

I keep records. They’re not the vinyl kind. Those I might be able to sell on eBay. Oh, if only I had that Michael Jackson album I got as a gift when I was a kid. It would probably be in mint condition – possibly never touched by a needle.

No, these are the boring kind of records – not that Michael Jackson was a…

No, I just can’t do it. It’s just too easy. It’s a corn dog dipped in corn syrup with popcorn. (Maybe that’s a little too corny.)

… Thriller for me.

Ack! Someone stop me before I hurt someone.

Think filing cabinets and a slightly anal personality when it comes to documents. Nowadays I scan most incoming documents, but for some things I keep the paper. One example is our cars. We (I) keep sales contracts, transfers of title… all of the good stuff you get when you buy a car. Then we (I) add to it as we go. We (I) keep documents and records for maintenance and repairs, neatly organized by date.

No, that was not an excuse for Cheryl to laugh at me.

You better stop reading before I ratchet up the real excitement. If you’re pregnant or suffer from a heart condition, we strongly recommend you get off this post at your earliest convenience..

When we sell a car or trade it in, we close the book on it. We pull the paper on file, pack it up, and archive it (a box in the garage).

None of this is important to the post though. Consider it a test of your patience. Only those who prove themselves worthy will get the meat and potatoes of the post (which none of us eat regularly).

We’re cutting expenses. Long or short time readers know we’ve hit a bump in the budget the size of a small redwood. (You medium folks are out of luck. You really should consider committing one way or the other.)

To that end, we dumped one of our cars – the one we had to finance after our (paid off) Honda CR-V was totaled by an uninsured driver. We piddled away most of our own insurance money on trivial stuff like medical care. We didn’t (re: couldn’t) put anything down so we were making the highest possible payments.

Normally I’m a buyer. I like to get a car, drive it till it won’t drive no more, and only then get another. This way I figure I get the most bang for my long term buck. However, saving money in another three years does us little good if we go broke in less than one.

Plan A isn’t going so well. In fact, it isn’t going anywhere at all. Our modest home has been for sale almost a year. In that time we’ve had less than a dozen visits from potential buyers.

So it’s on to Plan B. If we were smart, we would have implemented Plan B concurrent with Plan A. Alas, I’m a poor planner. Plan B is to slash monthly expenses everywhere possible. So now we have a lease instead of a car loan. Now our house is off the market and we’re extending the mortgage payments out until we’re around 70. Now we’re cutting most of the fun out of our budget.

We’ve been closing the book on a number of things lately, besides our barely used car.

Fortunately, not all of the fun stuff in life has to fit in a budget.

– – –

On a related note, is there anyone out there in the market for a perfectly good kidney? It might have a few stray cancerous blood cells floating around, but otherwise it’s solid. Maintenance records are available upon request… lots of records, in fact.


  1. Advice from your friendly neighborhood nephrologist, keep the kidney you might find that you need it some day.

    1. Excellent point Dr Bellew. Kidneys being relatively redundant, it probably wouldn’t fetch nearly as much as a liver, or the the structures of the thoracic cavity that hog all the publicity. And I ain’t talking about no thymus gland!

      Ah, but I kid the poor thymus. How many people even know it’s there? How many folks think I’ve just misspelled thalamus?

      Or for that matter, how many people could point out a thalamus from a thymus or a thyroid, for Gray’s sake!

      Would you believe I almost called him Grey? I’ll bet he gets that a lot these days.

Give the gift of words.