Give me that fish

A few weeks ago, I stepped off the train at government center and was greeted with this astounding sight:


In case you can’t tell, that’s a giant inflatable census form, which the Census Bureau evidently felt was necessary to remind people to fill out their own (non-giant, non-inflatable) census forms. So that’s what the government decided to spend my tax dollars on, I thought.

Fast forward to later that evening: I walked into CVS to get contact solution, and walked out with this:

Frankie the Fish

Yes, that’s the singing fish from the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish commercial. It was $20. For the record, I have never purchased an actual Filet-O-Fish sandwich, nor do I intend to; but I now own a mechanical fish who will endlessly sing on the topic.

The point, I guess, is that we all buy stupid crap from time to time, whether it’s your humble blogger or a federal agency with an excessive marketing budget. Anyone who’s purchased a Snuggie, or pulled Black Knight out of the bargain DVD bin at Target when they were only there to get toothpaste, knows what I’m talking about. Also falling into this category: anything advertised on an infomercial, anything you purchased ‘ironically,’ and anything sold at Brookstone.

Anyway, you can probably see where this is going: email me at and tell me about some of the Stupid Crap you’ve purchased. I want to hear what you bought, how much you paid for it, and whether you regret it. As always, I can keep you anonymous if you don’t want everyone to know that you bought a Bumpit.

Finally, today’s Cheap Recipe comes from Stewart:

Fake Spaghetti Ragu

1 one-pound bag Market Basket Spaghetti
1 packet beef boullion cubes
1 tube highly concentrated tomato paste

(feeds one person for approximately 1 week. Cost: less than $5.)

Cook spaghetti to preferred tenderness. When cooked, drain very carefully almost all the water into the sink, making sure not to lose any precious spaghetti noodles down the sink (noodles are money, as the saying goes). Return spaghetti to the burner and add preferred amount of boullion cube to the remaining water, while stirring vigorously. Heat on medium for a few minutes until cube is totally mixed in, then stir in a squeeze of tomato paste. Cook for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

And there you have it: eat Italian every day for a week, for less than a dollar a meal.

Thanks, Stewart! If you’d like to see your own cheap recipe featured, just email it in to the Tips line, preferably along with a Stupid Crap submission.

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