Cheap New Yorkers

It never seems to fail. I try to get a routine going and it comes crashing down to a halt. I’ve been trying to jog on the treadmill for about an hour each day. I found out my gym membership had just expired, so I figured---eh why not, jog for an hour in between work and see how that goes. I was going to do some home exercises as well.

Now I’m kicking it in high gear. My heart’s pumping, I’m starting to sweat, and I’m at the 40 minute mark and figured, another twenty minutes and I’ll be done with this. I always do a cool down (walk slowly) so that my heart doesn't flip out in some seizure-like palpitation attack.


The treadmill stops. The computer and lighting on the panel goes off too. What the? I try to ignite this puppy back up again. Nothing. My heart’s still racing. I didn’t even cool down, which means the inevitable---palpitations. I nearly flip out with anxiety because this is the one thing I was trying to avoid.

Here’s the issue this year. We’re saving up for our trip to the Hamptons and trying to just cut back on a few things. I thought by using the treadmill at home, I would eliminate the $500 bucks that I have to give to the gym for another year’s membership. Believe me, I have champagne taste on a beer budget, so saving money is in order.

“Why don’t you pay month to month Deb?”

No. I can’t do it like that. In my mind---I’m constantly paying them. It bugs me. I have to pay everything in full, or it hasn’t been paid for. With anything---it has to be ‘in full’. My girlfriend is the ‘pay as you go’ type. I can’t live like that knowing that someone out there is charging my card every month without talking to me. (Even though it’s been consented.) I know it’s a mental issue; I’m fully aware of this. Does this fall into any mental disorder category? I have no clue. The doctors that read my posts—please analyze me now!

We got hit with an $1,100 dollar electric bill. WHAT? What gives? I don’t get it. For a while though, I have been hearing this low electrical humming within my house somewhere. Can electricity leak out from another source? We even think that the next door neighbor is being fed with our juice. How can we use $1,100 dollars worth of electricity? And no, it’s not the treadmill; I don’t use it that much. Believe me.

So later today, I am going to turn off all the breakers in the house and run out to the meter to see if that thing is still pumpin’ away. My father used to have these lights all around the property which lit up like the Yankee stadium. It was not only annoying, but very intrusive to say the least. I had to close the blinds if I wanted to go to sleep. If I wanted to hang outside, I would hear that annoying street lamp buzz sound. That doesn’t sit well with me while I’m swimming in my pool late at night with friends hearing electricity pumping throughout the ground. I even felt the electric surge on the edge of my pool. I could have been fried!

I know main problem here. Dad. I love dad. But dad loves to get ‘one of his guys’ to do the job for him.

“Aye---Rocco! Come to da’ house and put sum’ lights up for us.”

You’ll see some guy with slicked back hair pull up in his old fart Lincoln with just a wrench and a box full of nuts. I never saw an electrician have so much jewelry before and he smelled like Old Spice. The guy tinkers around with all these London looking street lamps to try and put them together like a puzzle. Once he got them all assembled, they did it the good ol’ Italian way.

“Rocco! I got da’bacco so I can dig the ground up! Just place the electrical lines in da’hole where I dig.”
“Whatever you say Charlie!”

Neither of these two dimwits ever specialized in electrical careers, yet they still managed to light that sucker up like the sun. People pulling into my driveway would be blinded by all the lights. It was awful. I mean, security is one thing, but for the love of God---he confused the damn birds! No---I am not kidding. I would walk outside on my deck at midnight and hear birds chirping as if it were day. I couldn’t understand it. Why would a slew of birds be chirping this late at night? I never heard of birds having insomnia, but then I realized---my father ruined their perfect little nesting bedrooms. They were ‘wired’. And so were we.

One evening, one of the big lamps fizzled out. God knows what happened—maybe a gopher bit into it or the electricity just gave up. All of the sudden, no more birds. Silence. I heard crickets again and the sound of night. My father was no longer in control of the nocturnal world.

“Whadja’ do? Climb up dare’ because sum light got intya’ room? Ahh--ya stupidjas! Wudif’ a burgla' comes and tries to break in, huh?”

Easy. My father is up all night drinking espresso. Why would I worry about that? He lives on the lower portion of the house and believe me—one little noise and he’s out there with his shotgun. Sounds more like what a Idaho farmer would do oppose to a ‘do it yourself’ New Yawka.

With or without lights, I feel safe.