There are many definitions of broke. Some people have their version of broke, some have others. For some, being broke means they can't afford something new and shiny; a big ticket purchase like a car or house. For others, it's that they don't have any expendable income. For the unfortunate few, it's a case of barely making ends meet.
These are not my definitions of broke.
I'm not broke. I'm not even broke.
I am BROKE.
This is how many dollars I have to my name:
That's not a lot of dollars. I mean, it is in comparison to what some people make daily around the world. But considering I owe, monthly, in excess of $900...that's not many dollars. I try not to let it get to me. I don't buy much anymore. I save and scrimp at all costs. I wait and hope that disability comes through which should cover my loan payments and supplemental insurance to complement Medicare. I eat enough cheap tuna that I probably have severe mercury poisoning. Luckily, my parents are helping through this tough time. I love my parents.
Okay, shit, this is a super depressing start. Lemme see if I can save this.
"If people buy bad stuff in the supermarket, I tell 'em. I saw one guy buying cheap toilet paper and I said: 'What are you doing? That's four rolls for $.89. That can't be good. Don't you like yourself?'The late John Pinette taught me, in the funniest way possible, the need for the little things. Anyone can tell you how important morale is. For years, people have been buying little things for themselves, when they could, to show that everything will be alright. For some, it's toilet paper. For others (like me), it's alcohol and tobacco. And the greatest representation of that is the blue collar delicacies that dot the coolers and behind-the-counter shelves of every convenience and liquor store out there. For many people, it's cheap swill and enthusiastically proclaimed "dog rockets". But for some, with limited means, it's a symbol that things will get better. The bills may be late...the rent may be due...but I got this and I'm gonna enjoy it. And a lot of the things that have been passed up as inferior quality tell a fantastic story. Many of these brands, before they were shotgunned in a darkened frat basement or ripped open and filled with...other smokeable fillers...had a rich history. It's important to study history, else we are doomed to repeat it. Or something like that, I dunno.
I understand the need to find a bargain but toilet paper...you buy good toilet paper. I've been really broke. I always got good toilet paper. It's a line you don't cross. It tells you everything will be alright. The bills may be late...but I got good toilet paper!" - John Pinette
"So what," you must be saying. "What does your sob story have to do with the website? And why haven't you reviewed anything? Why are you so lazy?"
Okay, despite me blatantly projecting, here's what it means. I am going to start a review series focused on these low cost treasures. The rules are as follows:
- Nothing is off the table in terms of reviewing. Beer, wine, cigars, pipe tobacco. It'd be nice if they told a story or had a bit of history behind them (either the brand itself or the style).
- It has to be cheap. For beer: less than a dollar a can/bottle. I'll exclude malt liquor from that because I'm too lazy to figure out what price per ounce I should limit it to. For cigars: less than $2 a cigar, give or take. There are some brands out there that will be a bit more than that because they're harder to find and I'm willing to go that distance for a story. Wine and liquor: less than $12.
- I think the only real rule is it has to be cheap.
As for anything else, I'm open to suggestions. I have a few cigars around that I will be reviewing when it stops raining (props to Famous Smoke for collaborating with me on this). I will put together a list of cigars and spirits to try/find when I can. If you want me to investigate anything, feel free to drop me a line with any information you can and I'll send out emails.
So, join me in exploring all the world has to offer in terms of affordable, knock-around consumables of the bluest of collars. They may not be fancy, or pretty, or Michelin-star tasty...
...but they're something small to remind us all that it will be okay.