29 May 2008

Get thee behind me

One of my worse temptations arrived by mail today: the catalogue of my favourite tool store. Page after page of tools to fill my dream shop. I read it with all the emotion of Gollum looking at the One Ring: "I wants it!" Except in my version it is more of a case of "I wants it! And that! That too!" Bad stuff.

I actually have two favourite tool stores. One specializes in industrial quality machines. Now, going in there my money is quite safe, and the tempter never really gets the better of me. I start out like Homer Simpson in a donut shop: "A Lathe with a six foot bed and 1 horsepower reversible motor with jaw chuck and built in repeater...." Forget that I don'thave room for such a thing, or even the proper outlet installed, I wants it! But it ends when the price tag comes into view: "Sixteen thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine dollars and ninety nine cents...nope, not happening." So I get what I came for and I leave, my bank account intact.

Not quite so my favourite store. Sure, they have the expensive stuff, but they also have cheaper stuff. Really neat stuff, for a reasonable fee. I can almost convince myself to buy it. "Fifty bucks, eh? I think I can afford that." That's how it begins. Then it spreads, because if I can afford fifty bucks for this, I can also afford fifty bucks for that. In fact, it's on sale. I'd be a fool not to. And before you know it, I'm out some serious coin. I've found, in my experience, that reasonable prices and sales can be far more dangerous to my budget than unreasonable, regular prices.

I am also starting to think that glossy magazines, whether they be for lingerie models or high carbon steel tool blades, are an instrument of the devil, sent out into the world to betray men into a whole host of sins, and should be no sooner received than tossed.

Why, then, is my catalog lying beside my side of the bed? And what is that little whisper in my ear?

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