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The Cheapest Man in the Universe

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The Budgetarian Way

By Tim Cerantola

In view of the continuing economic disaster on Wall Street and on the world’s stock markets, it shouldn’t take a genius IQ to figure out that America and the world’s financial situation is swirling down the toilet.

True. It is odd how our formerly “free market” capitalists have become stock market socialists, asking taxpayers to buy up trillions of dollars worth of bad debt (which amounts to socialism for the rich) but that is today’s reality.

To those of you who just fell off the “free market” turnip truck; if you are now feeling a little nervous about keeping your hard earned money, as the creator of the money saving philosophy “budgetarianism” and as a self-proclaimed Budget Buddha, allow me to enlighten you to the true secrets of financial happiness.

Considered the cheapest man in the universe by most of my friends and family, my parsimonious ways have become legendary. I now make this money saving knowledge available to you, free of charge. I have put together a comprehensive description of what it means to be a “budgetarian” along with a few helpful rules to follow.

Similar to the Eastern traditions of Buddhism, budgetarian enlightenment also contains four noble truths:

1. That suffering is inevitable.

2. That Kraft Dinner eases suffering.

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3. Further suffering ensues as a result of too much Kraft Dinner and,

4. Even if you’re having roast beef, your kids will prefer to eat Kraft Dinner anyways.

In many ways, a budgetarian is similar to a vegetarian; only the vegetarian has intentionally omitted meat from their diets – whereas, the budgetarian omits meat as a result of economic circumstance. But either way you look at it, both vegetarians and budgetarians can be considered “barn-yard friendly.”

The budgetarian diet, though similar to that of his cousin the vegetarian, does occasionally include meat. Some very cunning and clever budgetarians have invented a vast variety of ambiguous pseudo-meat creations (Spam, baloney, wieners, Alpo) all designed for those with limited dollars.

Other budgetarian ‘mock meat’ substitutes such as meatloaf, are an example of frugality at its finest. Containing only trace elements of ‘moo’ and vast amounts of oatmeal and breadcrumbs (rounded out with tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, celery and lint from your clothes dryer); this tasty low-cost loaf will easily qualify as an edible non-toxic in most dietician food guides. I recommend dousing this “edible substance” with copious amounts of ketchup or hot sauce prior to eating, as it may be necessary to avoid any taste seepage.

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*Note: budgetarian meatloaf is very high in polyester, a very important budgetarian fibre.

What about Budgetarian excitement you may ask?

Well for entertainment, budgetarians rent DVD’s. Many video stores offer great rental deals on older titles as long as they are not first run, classics or have any entertainment value whatsoever. Titles such as “Surf Nazi’s Must Die”, “Cooking meatloaf with Meatloaf” and “Morons from Outer Space” are readily available at a low rental cost. Or, at the library, you can find interesting documentaries on DVD such as the National Geographic’s “Wonderful world of lichen.”

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Tim Cerantola's humour and political satire has been published in over 25 magazines and newspapers. When he is not pretending to be a writer, he works at a real job working with autistic and special needs children.

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