I've got it all figured out.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thinkin' of a master plan.

When you’re a little kid having money is great.

Because you know that the only thing that money is going to be spent on is pure unadulterated pleasure. You’ve got no bills to pay, no mortgage, no debt. That crisp dollar bill or handful of change is going to be spent on toys and candy and nothing else.

Millions of dollars is spent every year on useless plastic shit like this that will be fit for the garbage in less than 2 weeks.

Sure you could try to save your money. You know, so you can buy that even bigger more expensive piece of plastic shit that your parents won’t buy for you. But you won’t last, you’ll cave. I remember when I first laid eyes on Robie the Robot at Radio Shack in Oakville Place.

I had to have him. The only problem was he cost something like $300. I believe my current net worth at the time was around $7. I went home that night determined to save up enough money to buy him. Visions of Robbie bringing me Cokes and calling other kids on our street Fuck face danced in my head as affixed a piece of masking tape to a jam jar and wrote Robie Fund on it. 3 weeks later that jar was empty and I was the proud new owner of a Zoid or something

Wind me up and watch me suck.

See that’s the problem with being a little kid. Sure your entire income is disposable but you basically have no income. You’re too young to work so your money making options are limited. Here’s how I made money as a kid.


I think my allowance started at about $1.50 a week and got all the way up to about $8.00. Not a lot of money but I didn’t really have to do anything for it. My parents never really gave me chores. Sometimes they’d tell me to clean my room but only when it got to a hazardous state of uncleanliness. Like Garfield’s room.

Also like Garfield, I shit in a box in the laundry room.

One time my mom tore my whole room apart because there was this weird smell. She found a whole package of sliced deli ham rotting in a drawer. I was using it to feed my Star Wars figures. Another time a strange smell tipped my dad off to a jar of gasoline hidden under my bed. I may not have received my allowance that week.


When I was a kid I did chores when I wanted extra money. I don’t know why my parents didn’t just give me the money. If you ask a 7 year old kid to rake the yard you’re just going to wind up with a really shitty looking yard still full of leaves and possibly a broken rake. I guess they wanted to teach me responsibility. I’d hardly call spending the $3 I earned on 90 seconds worth of Dragon’s Layer at 7-11 responsible.

Game 1: I died. What happened? Game 2: I died. What happened? Game 3: I died. What happened? Game 4: I died. What happened? Game 5: I died. What happened? Game 6: I died. What happened?

Money from relatives.

Lots of kids get money from relatives. The older relatives give it out as a kind of reward for coming to see them and the younger relatives give it out so that the kids will like them and it’s easier than actually paying attention to them or playing with them.

Hey kids, your Uncle Johnny’s here. Ummmm, ok. Here’s $5, see ya!

But when I was a kid all my relatives were in Scotland. I still got birthday and Christmas money from them and when we went there to visit it was like being a high roller in Vegas but I couldn’t really rely on them on a weekly basis.

Tricking dumber kids into giving me their money.

I actually learned this from my sister. She used to ask me if I wanted to play restaurant. Then she’d pretend to be the waitress and make me a peanut butter sandwich and try to charge me for it. It always ended up with me refusing and a fight. Maybe I should try that at restaurants now.

What do you mean I have to pay for it?! I thought you made it for me! I thought you were being nice!

There was this girl Melanie that lived around the corner that was really dumb. She would trade a dime for 4 pennies because she thought she was getting more. She was also afraid of the dark so if you could trick her into going into the garage you could shut her in there with the lights out and not let her out until she slid change under the garage door.

Tricking dumb adults into giving me their money.

A lemon aide stand, a crappy play performed on the front lawn or in my case charging to look at robots built from house bricks with an air mattress pump in a bucket of water that was supposed to be them talking. All of these are good ways to fleece money from neighborhood adults. The key to it is whatever your business endeavor/theatrical display/technological house brick marvel is it should be pathetic. The more pathetic the better. For some reason adults find pathetic things kids do cute.

Collecting bottles.

This was a major source of income for me. When I was a kid pop manly came in 1 liter glass bottles and when you returned the empty bottle to the grocery store you got money back. I can’t remember how much but I do remember being so obsessed with the Karate Champ game in the Appleby Mall that my parents had to hide all the pop because I would chug it or dump it out just to take the bottles back.

I easily wasted enough money to buy a couple of Nintendos on this stupid game.

Even better than pop bottles though was beer bottles. My house backed on to a creek and a wooded area and every weekend in the summer a bunch of 80s rocker dudes and their chicks would head into the woods with a bunch of 24s and party. Sometimes I’d see a couple of them going up there early to stash their beer or I’d see one of the older ones coming out of the beer store when I was there with my dad. I remember one time I saw this one guy come out of the beer store with a case and he had a 10 speed bike with the handle bars flipped up so he could stack his 24 on there and use the case handles to steer. He and all the rest looked like this:

On Saturday and Sunday mornings a friend and I would get up early to survey the wreckage of the night before’s rockathon bush party and collect all the empties. Sometimes we’d find a few full ones and bring them back to our dads. Sometimes we’d find money too. One time we went up there and there was a dude still laying there passed out. We thought he was dead and ran screaming back to our parents. But when we took them back up there he was gone.

File Photo: Gold mine!

On a good morning we could make almost 5 bucks each!

And if we’d known what this was back then, probably a hell of a lot more.

So what do kid’s today do for money? Damned if I know. Probably teach computer courses or something. Who cares any way. Modern kids suck. They don’t go outside and they can’t eat peanuts. I’m going to go make a peanut butter sandwich and mail my sister a nickel. Smell ya later.

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