Everyone, I think, has some eccentric habits that could have been caused from early environment. I remember years ago, an old guy from the Mondovi area that was a farmer and a carpenter. He was pretty well heeled. He was of normal build and seemed to be well adjusted. Yet, on his idle days, he would salvage through old buildings that were torn down, picking up all the stray nails, then filing them by size to be used on his next building project. He had enough money to buy a whole trainload of nails. He, too, was not a tight wad - just eccentric.
Let’s take a peek at my sister. She has a good job; her children flew the coop a long time ago. She showers her immediate family with expensive gifts. When she returns from one of her travels, a few tiny bars of motel soap are taken out of her purse. She proceeds to cut them up, and dumps the shavings into her automatic washer.
I thought that I didn’t have any odd ball habits. Just thought that everybody was out of step but me, until Sugar reminded me how I used to burn up more gasoline in Spokane than I saved by looking for the cheapest station to tank up. (This was before the Arabs took the fun out of it).
“Then what about your television phobia?” Sugar added. Yes, we do have an excellent TV set in our front room. Ya, sure, that’s normal, but why do I have just as good a TV in the kitchen too? Not only that, but there’s a TV in each bedroom and one out in the shop, plus a backup set if one of the five TVs should clunk out.
At one time I was involved in repairing television sets; maybe that can explain my mania. But what bothers me is that I have two 12-inch round-faced thermometers that stare in from the two north windows. It gives Sugar the willies. Then there is that duplicate one on the north side of the house and another in the shop.
Now wait a minute, that doesn’t include ten long-necked thermometers that have red bulbs. They are hanging here and there, plus one in my swimbag, so I can test the water to see if I should shiver or not. This carried away hangup does waste a lot of unnecessary raw material and helps contribute to inflation. Does anyone want a free thermometer or two? Stop in!
"Inherited Hang-ups" Kick-Backs, page 13, part 2 (previous)