The Toothless Cattle Company

Edgar's picture
The Toothless Cattle Company


I wasn’t always a tightwad. I didn’t always stoop to pick up pennies, straighten bent paper clips or shop in thrift stores. As a kid my grandparents gave me ten Carson City silver dollars every Christmas and birthday and if I had all those coins now I might be in the Forbes 400, but I had to go and waste them on baseballs and bubble gum.

I mowed lawns, delivered papers, dusted furniture in my Grandpa’s furniture store and did anything to make a buck. The funny thing was, the more money I made, the more tightfisted I became. The deeper my pockets got the shorter my arms grew. I’m sure economists have a name for this phenomena.

I’ve always lived in fear of being broke. This was because my father, who was one of those Okies who migrated to California during the depression, reminded us all the time what it felt like to not know where your next meal was coming from. To hear him tell it the Joads in the Grapes of Wrath were zillionaires compared to his family. I never got to the point where I didn’t know where my next meal was coming from but a lot of those meals consisted of a can of chili beans. My college years were especially gaseous.


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