Just like everybody else, I've been feeling the pinch of a constrained economy, rising gas prices and a virtually stagnant career. (Oh, wait, that last one's just me.)
I've been looking around for ways to cut back. Just this past week, in fact, I had to cancel the lawn service.The problem is that my lawn service has been, for the past few years, my 14-year-old son. When he started volunteering to cut the grass four years ago at age 10, we thought it was cute. (And, before you write in, I know, somewhat dangerous.) We wanted to encourage him, and cutting the grass was not one of my favorite things to do around the house. (It didn't even make the top 50 list.) So each week, I'd pull the mower out of the shed, start it up and let him do the yard.
But then one day my wife decided, as a way to reward his industriousness, to slip him a 20 after he'd finished the lawn. She didn't realize that she'd established a base price, and from that point onward, each and every time he revved up the old motor, we were out another $20. As time went on, and he got more ambitious, and greedier, he'd start cutting the lawn more and more frequently. By last August, I'd find him out there, strolling up and down the grass pushing just days after he'd last done it, not a single grass blade high enough to meet the lawnmower blade. We were basically paying him to fan our lawn.