The Ecphorizer

I Gotta Have That!
Bill Harvey

Issue #26 (October 1983)

The joys and sorrows of impulse buying

Are you a creature of impulse? I am. One of my most alarming traits, to hear Ann tell it, is impulse buying. I have been known to buy the most outlandish things, solely on impulse. Once, I bought an entire Donut Shop. Honest!

What usually happens is that I'll find something

...we have a total of 10 radios and 3 TV sets for 2 people.

that I've always sort of wanted, and all the man has to say is, "It's on sale." That usually does it.

[quoteright]It's only after I've paid the man and regained my temporarily lost sanity that I begin to wonder how I'm going to explain my newest acquisition to Ann. Have you ever tried to come up with a plausible reason for why you can't possibly exist for one more nanosecond without a green and purple diametrical gizadeech of the spizeranktum? The fact that it was on sale has very little effect on Ann. She believes that everything is on sale at all times, and if such be the case, what's so special about the man saying that the gizadeech was on sale?

My latest collision with compulsion came as a direct result of our best TV. It suffered the electronic equivalent of a nervous breakdown. I learned that Harvey Brown (a fellow M) fixes TVs. Based on my policy of "Don't mess with them, take it to an M," I called him. Sure, he'd be happy to fix my TV. The man knows his electrons. Within 5 minutes of my arrival he had the trouble diagnosed. He didn't have the small part required in stock, so I volunteered to go fetch one.

As I was standing at the counter in the parts warehouse, I noticed that someone had left a tiny headset laying on the counter. I picked it up. It was a self contained FM stereo radio. Not one of the ones that you have to carry on your belt with a little wire to the headset, but a whole radio contained in the headset part. It was fantastic. It had incredible separation and tone. It had a little antenna that made the wearer resemble "my favorite Martian," but I could live with that. It had pushbutton tuning, and weighed about the same as a shaved mouse. The man looked at me and said, "It's on sale."

Later, back at Harvey's place, I noticed that I had a box clutched in my left hand. In it was a small radio. There was also a check missing from my checkbook.

I called Ann and told her that I had bought a surprise for her.

Despite the pitiful whimper that had greeted my phoned revelation, she was interested when she got home. Mostly she was interested in how much?

"A little more than twenty dollars."

"How much more than twenty dollars?"

"Twenty-three dollars."

"Gee, that's not bad at all...   wait a minute! Twenty-three dollars, or twenty-three dollars more than twenty dollars?"

Did I mention that Ann is pretty quick? Anyway, after demonstrating the thing with all of the zeal of a con man selling the Taj Mahal, she agreed that it was a pretty good deal. The radio works fine, and now we have total of ten radios and three TV sets for two people. We will not lack for entertainment. Or at the very least, noise and bright colors.

Anybody know where I can get a good used moose head? The only thing is, it has to be on sale. 

Southern Californian Bill Harvey finds a ready market in this magazine for his lapidary pieces on everyday life.  We haven't paid him anything, but he still finds a ready market... What's an "M"? From time to time an author will throw in the strange one-letter abbreviation, which is simply Mensa-speak for a fellow Mensan (M).  Variations include MM for male Mensan and FM or FeM for female Mensan.

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