Now that crisis has hit, slobs get respect, too


POSTED: Monday, October 13, 2008

Most Digital Slobs find it very hard to get our rational brains around this economic crisis. The more the markets plunge, the more we grasp for straws searching for answers.

How dizzying is it? Last Thursday I found myself nodding in agreement with economist Joy Behar on “;The View.”;

So we conclude our predicament is beyond the human capacity to problem-solve, and revert to the ugly tribal instinct of blaming others. Like any self-respecting Slob, I've turned my hate toward our eternal enemies, a group I've railed against for more than five years: Respectable People.

Oh, how the haughty have fallen.

Not that Slobs can't relate. If my 401(k) was a ride at Disney World, you'd have to be at least 5 feet tall with no history of heart problems to ride.

But up to now, so-called Respectable People have devoted much of their lifetimes looking down upon Slobs for our conniving, legal-gray-area “;beat the system”; proclivities.

They scoff as we fill our pockets with free peppermints at the restaurant cash register.

They roll their eyes as a buddy lets us copy his copy of every song every recorded in the '80s onto our USB flash drive.

They even suggest it's practically criminal the way we sign up for free two-week Netflix trials several times a year (granted, sometimes in our mom's names) just to get that last “;Entourage: Season 5”; disc mailed out to us before canceling at the 13th-day, 23rd-hour, 52nd-minute mark.

Oh, they laugh and laugh at us. But who's laughing now?

  I guess when your stock portfolio's quarterly report triggers nosebleeds at first sight, you're too stressed to get your yuck-yucks snorting at the lifestyle habits of us bottom-feeders.

As a matter of fact, Respectable People now suddenly want to know how we do it.

We're like that nutball neighbor with 62 AK-47s in his basement who'll suddenly become your best friend once the zombies come a-knockin'.

Well, some skills sets are easier to adopt than others. It takes time to cultivate a deep friendship with the EZ Mart night manager so you can score free nachos at 3:30 a.m.

But for those looking for a faster track to Slob-like thrift, here are some great Web sites, and in some cases Web communities, devoted to saving money:

Fatwallet.com: This forum serves as a kind of hive mind for members who post great deals, free offers, special promotions and rebates. During hard economic times, this site proves there are savings in numbers.

Woot.com: While most consumer-oriented Web sites take weeks, if not months, to dig through, this one aims for simplicity, selling one item, and one item only, every day. Want yesterday's deal? Can't get it. Want to know what's coming up? You're out of luck. But what they have is cheap and for the most part available for a full 24 hours.

Heyitsfree.com: Having one of those lifetimes on the short end of the stick, and simply swiping a stack of office Post-Its just isn't going to even the score? Then get free stuff with no strings attached. Want a free Bob Barr '08 sticker? How about a free cereal bar? Why not get both and see which tastes better?


Reach Star-Bulletin columnist Curt Brandao and subscribe to the free “;digitalslobpod”; podcast at digitalslob.com.