Well, the so-called “economic stimulus” checks have certainly stimulated some creative thinking. I can’t count the number of email and junk-mail offers that have tried to attract my attention lately, each mentioning the imminent tax rebate checks and, of course, suggesting that this particular service or product is the best way to do my patriotic duty. One in particular stood out yesterday; an offer from a carpet company offering a $300 voucher on their product and touting that that amount combined with the average “economic stimulus” check would give lucky me more than “$1500 in buying power!” That’s not a match for my brain power, however.
Given the slate of presidential candidates before us, one of whom actually has to win, I think the smart investment is in guns and gold. Interestingly enough, a one-ounce American Gold Eagle bullion coin and a Desert Eagle handgun are both running close to $1,000. Maybe a Sig and some silver are the solution for future home security.
Speaking of opportunists and home security, we also received two visits last night from “advertising directors” offering us a free home security system in return for posting one of their security signs in our “fabulous” front yard for advertising purposes. This is becoming an annual event, though we’ve never had two different duos (both from the same company) hit us in the same night as they worked our neighborhood. Well, of course, I’d buy a security system from somebody going door-to-door, just to avoid the hassle! Wouldn’t you?
Oh, wait – I don’t have to buy it, it’s free because I’m going to let them put their sign in my yard! But what if my security system somehow keeps Santa Claus from dropping in? You know, sometimes you just know you’re being scammed even though it’s hard to see exactly what the scam is. Trust your gut and then hit the internet, which is what I did some time back when these offers started to show up at my door. If you fall for it, what happens is that they install some cheap keypad/sensor/siren apparatus (usually hooked up to one window or door; if you want more “protection” it costs extra) and they con you into signing the service agreement for an over-priced monitoring service that adds up to thousands of dollars – and will cost you nearly that much if you try to break the contract once you find out what you actually agreed to (more details here and here).
Anyway, as it stands right now our economic stimulus is still safely in-hand and I’ve resisted the siren call of the free home security system. Until we decide what to invest the windfall return of our own money into we’ll be going with the tried-and-true security system of smearing jello on the floors, even though that means I’ll have to venture into the black market for Diazinon for the inevitable ants.