Thursday, November 12, 2009


The heater? WE ARE NOT A FAN.

Chip is a very suspicious fellow. It may not be the first thing you'd think about when meeting him for the first time (boy that guy is SUSPICIOUS), but if you give him enough time, you'll hear some of his theories. To his credit, he has taught me a TON about never taking no for an answer, always asking questions, and never ever leaving a stone unturned especially when it comes to MONEY. The guy has some kind of crazy gift for ferreting out an overblown price and we have GREATLY benefited from his suspicious nature.

That being said, I will now share some of Chip's suspicions with THE WORLD.

The detergent companies design their bottles to KEEP some detergent in them. So even if they say they have 100 ounces in them, you only EVER get, like, 95 ounces out of the bottle. That way you think you're getting more soap, but you are still compelled to go out and buy a new bottle sooner.

baby wipes.

We are currently in the midst of a pack of Huggies diaper wipes we bought from Costco. Every four wipes (or so), you get an extra long wipe... a double wipe, if you will. My version: I guess the perforation machine wasn't working so well that day. Chip's version: CONSPIRACY. WE'RE USING DOUBLE THE WIPES! THEY JUST WANT US TO BUY MORE WIPES!

car dealership credit score.
Chip tells me that the car dealerships use a "different" credit score than other channels. By "different" he means "tricky and underhanded and intending to swindle the consumer out of thousands of
dollars". He's probably right, but I get scared when I think too much about all the underhanded swindlers trying to take my money.

furnaces, forced air, and anything related to heating your indoor space.
I know very little about heating systems and thermostats except how to set them to provide a decently comfortable environment. My husband, however, has taken the Conspiracy of Heating Systems to a new level of crazy. To wit: we'll be sitting at home and the heat goes on. Chip stands to put his hand to the vent and turns to me and says, THERE IS COLD AIR COMING OUT OF HERE. COLD AIR. THE FURNACE HATES US. I can't explain it, of course. I have a feeling (or I hope this is true) that the air just feeeeeeels cold even though it's running at exactly the temperature it should be, but it doesn't mat
ter. According to my husband, the furnace is part of an elaborate conspiracy to cheat us out of heating integrity. Or something. HOWEVER, to his credit, I have recently begun to RETHINK my lack of faith in the whole Heating Conspiracy to Take Our Very Will to Live, and that's because we are staying at a hotel whose entire heating and cooling system is POSSESSED. I spent the first night waking every hour, either turning the heater WAY UP because the thermostat had decided that "68 degrees" should equate to SUB-FREEZING; or waking to turn the heater OFF and also OPEN THE WINDOW because the thermostat had decided to take 72 degrees way on up there to HOT AS THE DESERT FLOOR; OR waking to close the window and turn the stupid heater back on (trying for 70 degrees) because very tiny icicles were forming on my eyelashes. It was not a restful night. The heater? HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATES US.

mortgage paperwork and all the extra charges.
When we were closing on our house, I will never forget sitting at the escrow company's conference table (nervously eating jelly beans) and signing page after page after page. At each page we'd get this little explanation from the escrow agent and inevitably there would be some kind of fee - like, "This is the Page Stapling Charge which will cost you $50" and "This is the Door Locking and Unlocking Charge which will cost you $200" and so on and so forth. We all know where this is going, right? CONSPIRACY. Chip is of the opinion that we need to start a business to just sort of leap in to the Mortgage Piggyback Charges Mafia. I'll let you know how it goes.

chip's newest conspiracy.
You know that Hershey's Kisses commercial where the Kisses are all happily being created in the snappy singy factory? And the chocolate is swirled out of a machine and then flown in happy dancing arcs over the twitchy twirly machines and then wrapped in blissful sparkling aluminum--- only to then be sent in an ecstatic cheerful toss down a CHUTE OF JOY and into the awaiting mouth of a shiny happy girl child? Yeah, so Chip says (every time, with every viewing of this commercial): "You know it doesn't really happen that way. It just doesn't."

I am very happy to report, out of all the terrible evil conspiracies designed to TEAR MONEY AND HOPE OUT OF OUR VERY TIGHTLY CLOSED FISTS--- one thing is NOT a conspiracy. And I have PROOF. PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF. It's this:

Publisher's Clearinghouse. It turns out they actually DO give away money. Really! Because I saw them in our hotel's parking lot on Tuesday (we're in picturesque south central Washington this week with Chip - Yakima, to be exact). I watched as these two Publisher's Clearinghouse people worked furiously to adhere a million PUBLISHER'S CLEARINGHOUSE decals to a maroon minivan, including a GINORMOUS one to the side. My PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE-SUPPORTED THEORY: they were getting ready to give away a huge cardboard check! To some unsuspecting person who bought a Publisher's Clearinghouse subscription! And Chip? His theory when I told him the story? Are you sure they were going to give away money? I bet they were going to go door to door selling subscriptions (subscriptions that, no doubt, had NO CHANCE OF WINNING A MILLION DOLLARS).

What are your conspiracy theories?


Chip said...

I'm not cheap, but I aint no pansy either. I know that a business's objective is to maximize their profits, and many use popularity schemes to push their product. Its the naive schemes that make me the most upset, like all the car insurance companies,... because how is spending $1800 per year saving $400? (that is comprehensive insurance every year for 2 cars that we have never used on our behalf) This is why I educate and shop. A person could spend a lot of money very fast getting less than they deserve. Never pay full price for anything over $100. This is why we are starting a business in a month offering prepaid cellular phones with unlimited talk and text for $40 a month, so we can help out friends, family and the elderly

Chelle said...

When I read this post, I IMMEDIATELY thought of the new, slightly smaller ice cream containers. (Blood boiling.) OK, first, I must say that our family consumes ice cream in equal portions to our consumption of water, air and other of life's necessities. So maybe I'm the only one fixated and vexed by this little conspiracy nugget...

When we were kids, the cartons of ice cream were FAT, glorious boxes filled with creamy, sugary goodness. Then, at some point in the future, they transitioned to the fancy, rounded containers, which were 1.75L - & not quite a half gallon. (OK, I know I'm a huge nerd here, but 1.75L = .04623... gallons). So the traditional half gallon was no longer one 1/2 gallon. Smaller container. Same price. Dirty thieves.

Then, last summer, another switch came on quite sneakily. First, I noticed that Dreyers and Breyers started making slightly those super-duper, teeny-tiny containers (1.5L, which is .3962... gallons).

Smaller quantities are fine, but not at the same, exact, exhorbitant price as the larger size. Did those companies not think we would notice? For months, I boycotted the "brands" and just bought the larger, generic brand ice cream... which I found to actually be quite tasty and almost better than the sneaky, smaller, big-name ice creams.

And the thing is, the generic jumped on board. Yes, they think the stupid consumer doesn't notice so they might as well jump on the ice cream, money-making bandwagon.

As mentioned above, ice cream is the life blood in our family. So, it is difficult to boycott the entire industry (I worked at Baskin Robbins for years, so I am sadly addicted to the creamy goodness). But, I never ever have or will buy it at the full, $6-7 dollar/per container price. I'm sure it's not hurting them at all, but it's all I can do.

And maybe I'm the only one that notices the shrinking containers/growing prices... so the conspiracy will surely continue. :(

How's that for a long, rambling reply?

Shelly Overlook said...

I think he's right about the laundry detergent containers. I think the same can be said for liquid dishwasher soap, maybe shampoo and definitely the Olay body wash I use (I have to pry off the cap and if I cram my finger in and scootch it around, I have enough for at least 2 more days).

I think Chip and my step-dad would get along very, very well.

angelalois said...

duuuuuuuuude our husbands should talk. and amen to 'chelle on the ice cream. grr! Shane has lots of conspiracy theories, and I can't even think of any right now, which is crazy since there are like billions. All I know is that since I've married him I've become super cynical about Congressmen (earmarks and such) and salesmen. No one wants what's best for you, they only want what's best for them. He also vehemently hates the extended warranty ploys. Oh, and insurance on postage. It's all a conspiracy (ripoff!).

Swistle said...

I'm with Chip about detergent. What I do is, I fill the detergent bottle with hot water (as the washer is filling) when it's "empty," and I swish it around. I can get, like, two more loads out it that way, by dumping 1/3-1/2 of the bottle into the washing machine.

Also, hand soap bottles or ANYTHING WITH A PUMP: the pump is a quarter inch above the bottom of the bottle! You CAN'T pump it all out! This drives me mad. MAD! MAD!!!!!

Swistle said...

Oh, and we totally noticed the decreasing ice cream sizes. My dad has boycotted the brand that he says did it first, and STILL won't buy it even though all the other brand have followed suit. He has a grudge. There is no budging an ice cream grudge.

Alicia @ bethsix said...

I'm with Chip on almost all of these. Did you see Conan O'Brien when that guy from The Office was on talking about the Cadbury creme egg conspiracy? I had noticed this (I have a thing for Cadbury creme eggs) and was so happy there was PROOF!

If you have not seen it, watch. The one I found on youtube is terrible quality, but you get the gist:

As if I have time for this trickery! Unfortunately, I can't boycott Cadbury because, well, duh. I just play right into those Cadbury execs' pockets.

Chip said...

And when it comes to heating, its freakin Winter now. We set our temp for 69degrees. When the house exceeds its 2degree medium it starts blowing cold air to regulate the temp causing our energy bill to stay high. Trust me, with as cold as it is outside, our house will regulate without our fan helping. There has got to be a way to set the auto temp for heat only, granted as soon as we do that, the company will raise prices again.