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The Lazyman’s List – Tip No. 3: Shut the fridge. Yes, it’s that simple.

June 30, 2010

by Ashley Akin

When I was in college, I lived in a slanted house. And not the one-board-out-of-whack kind of slanted that makes you faceplant in your heels. This house was off-kilter such that my bed was held up on one side by 8 inches of wood so that I wouldn’t wake up with half of my body asleep from a lack of blood flow. To be honest, it was kind of spectacular to have people come over and not tell them about it to see if they’d say anything or just attempt to wobble through like nothing was wrong. We also hung some very unusual (read: “ugly”) art from my roommate’s Aunt Cloris (or Florence or Gertrude, something prematurely-old-sounding) just to see how weird people would think we were. Turns out, VERY.

Anyway, my point here is that this house was old and really quite bunk, but we were 20, it was cheap, and it was available. (And obviously, “cheap” and “available” are about the sweetest words any 20-year-old can hear. ) After the first month, we got our utility bill. To cool the Drafty Slant was costing us somewhere around $500 a month. This news was unwelcome. What were we supposed to do? Turn off the air conditioning just so we’d be able to afford the steady stream of Papa John’s and Natty Light that was currently keeping us alive?

Basically, yes. That’s what we did because we were either too lazy or too preoccupied (it was fall in Knoxville, and this was back before we started going 5 and 7; you know, when we used to actually PLAY FOOTBALL) to find out how to stop wasting money without living in the real-life equivalent of the Fire Swamp (If you don’t know that reference, you’re no longer allowed to read this blog. Let’s just say Robin Wright was better off in a lot of ways before marrying Creepy Penn and taking movies like Message in a Bottle. That plot was INCONCEIVABLE!).

Looking back on our A.C.-less lifestyle, I’m pretty impressed with the priorities and capabilities of youth. If I had to go without air for one day now, I’d throw a Whitney-Houston-sized tantrum until someone turned it back down to 73, brought me cheesy bread and cracked me open an icy cold Bud Light (because I’ve clearly outgrown Natty – I’m quite classy you know). And great, now I have “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” in my head… Go on, crank that up. Work will love The Whitney.

As it turns out, there are a myriad of reasonable ways we could have saved a bunch of cash without making major upgrades. Here’s one: make sure the refrigerator door closes properly. I know – it took four years of college to make me the genius that I am, but seriously, that’s an energy-saver. If the rubber around the door looks loose, take a dollar bill, close the door on it, and try to pull it out. If it comes out too easily, your fridge is leaking air. And you know what that means: you’ll have to pick up another shift at Baja Burrito just to pay your utilities and your Smirnoff Ice won’t ever be cold enough for the ladies (You just got iced, sir!).

But the fix is easy: pick up an adhesive at any hardware store (if you were an SAE at UT around the time I was there, you might need to get an adult to supervise you with the superglue) and reattach the loose portions. Boom. Now you’re a genius, too. Sit on your perch and judge others accordingly.

On a related note, you can also try not standing gaping like a moron at an open refrigerator á la John Goodman in every episode of Rosanne ever (which, incidentally, I wasn’t allowed to watch – “That Darlene has a filthy mouth!”). Decide what you want before you open it. The longer you stand there, the more energy you’ll waste. And the more likely it will become that the six-month-old Yoohoo in the back will start looking like a viable option. Let’s be honest: any milkish product that doesn’t require refrigeration or an expiration date is caution-worthy. But also chocolately delicious. So enjoy at your own peril.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. thesocialnetworkisalwaysgreener permalink
    July 2, 2010 12:55 pm

    Thanks to your mention of the fire swamp, I now have the phrase, “As you wish” stuck in my brain. So, thanks for that.

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