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Joke purchases, Halloween candy, and our messed up value of money


I bought a funny domain name for this site and also I don't like Halloween. Somehow I connect those two things into one post.

Have you ever bought something as a joke?

Maybe your girlfriend or boyfriend doesn’t like lobster so you buy a realistic-looking rubber lobster and hide it in the bathroom drawer. And then it scares them and you go “ha ha!” and you put the lobster in your closet and never use it again?

You know, that ol’ trick?

I’m always torn on if it’s a good use of money or not. Should you spend money on jokes? I like jokes. But I also like money.

Take my previous domain for this site:

I wanted a new domain for this site and, after looking through all the new TLDs, I thought it was funny. There was no .burger so .hamburg would do just as well with an /er after it.

However it cost $70. Per year. And I liked the joke so much that I was like, “yes!”

But that’s $70 I don’t have now. (Well, $40. I got the first year for $40! What a steal!)

Now, at a 5% annual return, that $70 turns into 10x that by the time I’m 80. Old-Angus is missing out on nearly a thousand dollars because I thought a domain was funny.

Ahhhh! Freaks me out, man.

And it’s not like I needed it. I still paid for ‘cause I’m not gonna give up my name-domain. (It’s only $10/year.)

So come renewal time I was faced with a choice -- pony up another $70 or let the joke go. I’m pretty sure you know which one I chose.

This blog is (back?) on now. It’s my name, it’s pretty boring, but it does what it says on the tin.

SSL & SEO her? I barely know her!

While I was at it, I moved the hosting to a faster VPS that I keep around anyway for some old side projects I keep live. I also installed an auto-renewing SSL certificate for the pretty green lock up there. Not sure why I would want the transmission of my public thoughts to be encrypted but I like that colour green and locks are cool.

I also moved around the URLs (they were /er/blog/title-of-post, and now they’re just /title-of-post) and I installed some speed and SEO plug-ins. I’m starting to see search traffic these days and it’s always good to practice your SEO, y’know?

Yeah, I know. You don’t care about any of that. So let’s talk about candy.

Tiny bags of joy in my face

I remember my parents trying to bribe me to partake in Halloween as a kid. I hated it for reasons I still don’t understand. Maybe because it’s so unclear and so un-polite to ask strangers for candy. Maybe I don’t like costumes because they’re uncomfortable and mine are never clever. Maybe I don’t like the colour orange.

Not to mention the money you can spend on a costume that just ends up in your rubber-lobster closet.

So for all those reasons and more, Halloween can suck my jolly green lollipop.

Halloween candy, on the other hand, is awesome.

I’ve moved beyond my snack restriction rules after they led me to the conclusion that it wasn't really an issue. Also it’s tricky to restrict your diet and date someone. Being sober is a burden enough.

But Halloween candy breaks me, man. Breaks me right in half. And in slow-motion so you can see my caramel pull apart.

I don’t like full-size chocolate bars because they’re too much sweetness for me all at once. And no one wants to be the guy who wraps up half a bar and puts it back in the fridge. But the boxes of kid-size variety packs they sell for "Halloween"? Sign me up! Coffee Crisp and Kit Kat and Reese minis. Oh yes. Once November hits, I buy them by the discounted bagful and eat them until I hate myself.

It doesn’t take long.

Each one is so little, I think! How could they do me any harm, I think!

Then goodbye appetite. Goodbye preparing meals. Goodbye not-having-a-headache.

What's really going on

Here I am freaked out about $40 that I spent on a domain as a joke when I also spend so much every year on food that doesn’t give me nutrients and makes me feel marginally ill. “Junk” food, I think would be a good name for it.

How much do you spend in a year on food that is purely “extra”? $100? $200? $1000?

And this is my real point: why is it that a joke domain for $40 makes me go “aahhh!” but the continual drip-expense of a snack vice doesn’t give me the same pain? Even if you told me I spent $1,000 on Rolos this year, you know what my reaction would be?

“Worth it.”

Okay, maybe not if they were Rolos. They're only okay up to a point. But anyway, our perceptions of what is and is not worth the money we spend on it are so messed up.

And that's all I wanted to say, really. Sorry about the long-winded story.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pay $150 to park a car I don’t really need inside a building for another month.