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Hey, this costs only a dollar! (he said, $48 later)

The Bright Side: Joe Bushue


When they couldn’t make a clean, even cut on the thin wrapping paper I was trying to use, I knew it was time to break down and buy a new pair of scissors. Since I rarely use them, I decided I wasn’t going to spend anymore then I had to. (Plus I’ve been told I’m sort of cheap.)

With that in mind, I went to the Dollar Store to buy a cheap pair of utility scissors. The whole concept of the Dollar Store always mystified me. I just couldn’t figure out how they could make any money a buck at a time. I took my dollar with me thinking I was going to get a good pair of utility scissors for just a single buck! I was ready.

When I walked in store I looked and saw that the housewares were at the back. As I headed toward the back, I quickly learned one of the concepts of the profitability of these stores is the magic of THE IMPULSE BUY!

Before I was in there five minutes, I was already over my planned one dollar. I saw an eight pack of AAA batteries for $1! I wasn’t even sure I really had any devices that needed triple A batteries, but it was such a great deal. THEY’RE ONLY A BUCK, I thought as I tossed them in my basket.

I kept heading toward the scissors but kept running into things that I had no idea of needing. I put them in my cart anyway with one thought going through my head: IT’S ONLY A BUCK!

Before I knew it, I had a pack of light bulbs, a pair of pliers, some shampoo, food containers (don’t even cook for myself, which I should have remembered when I also threw in that 10-inch nonstick frying pan).

The basic cheapskate in me just couldn’t pass up a deal like that, as well as that claw hammer. Then I wandered into the candy and food section. I saw some candy that I hadn’t seen for years, so before I knew it I had some different licorice, candy bars and long-forgotten cookies in my cart, all the time thinking, IT’S ONLY A BUCK!

After I had to transfer my hand basket to the large rolling shopping basket, I was done. I went to check out, feeling pretty cocky about all the great deals I made that were ONLY A BUCK!

When the checker was done with my “cheap stash,” the total was only $48! I was then reassured of what a great assortment I had for such a low price. Somehow I was not comforted by the fact that I had just spent $48 at a Dollar Store.

When I got home and put everything away, I realized somewhere between the excitement of the cheap shampoo and the unneeded frying pan, I had forgotten to even get the $1 scissors that I went for in the first place.

I decided I had to go to a regular store and bite the bullet and spend the 6 or 8 bucks or more and just buy some scissors. I decided that I couldn’t afford to go back to the Dollar Store to get another $48 pair of scissors. Besides, the frying pan filled the drawer I was going to keep them in anyway.

Joe Bushue is a travel agent and lifelong Gresham resident who has been tolerating multiple sclerosis for 30-plus years. His column recounts some of the humorous sides of his disability and his slants on life in general. Reach him by email at joebushThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..