A big week for the Scrimger clan. My daughter and I both sign leases, readying ourselves for an exciting year in downtown TO. I like her place maybe more than mine, but I can't afford to live there. (Thea has her first real job, and a pension plan and benefits. Landlords love these things. My royalty cheques cause them to look at me askance: can't a middle-aged man do better?)
Which apartment girl did I end up with? Of course it was the nice girl, with the undivorced parents and library card and bicycle clips and the no visible tattoos. My mom can't wait to meet her. Here's her picture.
Nice eh? She has a cute tile kitchen and an open-concept living area with blonde wood and exposed brick.
The easy part for me was the actual signing. I have a cheque book and a pen. Thea had a tougher time. She does her banking online and buys everything on credit or debit. She has never held a cheque with her name on it.
What'll I do Daddy? she asked, an overtone of panic vibrating at the top of her register. Thea has always been a good panicker. Fortunately, I am able to calm her down with practical fatherly advice.
Does your landlord own a fleet of tanker trucks? I asked.
What does that have to do with anything?
You could convince your landlord to enter the barter economy, I suggested. He will let you live on his property and in return you will manage his fleet of tanker trucks, keeping them clean and full and on schedule. Eh?
I thought this was pretty good -- specific, you know, and fair value for money. Thea is a sort of office manager. I don't really know what she does, but if I had a fleet of tanker trucks, I'd pay someone like her to manage them.
I'm going to have to open a chequing account! she said.
Yes, that might solve your problem too.
I'll be late for the signing and he'll be upset. Want to drive me to the bank? she asked. That would save time and we could have lunch afterwords.
Sorry, I have to earn another couple of dimes for my next royalty cheque, I said. My landlord doesn't trust me either.