When 10 Bucks Get Too Expensive

My son has a Spiderman figurine toy that his grandma bought for him by paying 10bucks to the vendor who sells fake merchandises. Unscrupulous vendors. They have the audacity to sell made in China counterfeits toys to cheat the feelings of innocent children.

10bucks is the name that I gave to the spidey that is so ugly-looking, anyone could tell it had an overdose of steroids and an unstoppable determination to the gym with no knowledge about the right way to have effective total body weights training.

Something happened today, and it dawned on me that 10bucks was kinda expensive. Uncle Lawson is here to share his epiphany today.

For the price that my mother-in-law paid to buy 10bucks for her grandson, we know that we shouldn’t expect to see an original Marvel quality merchandise. Perhaps some deformation in its looks, some muscles that are over trained, and a protruding crotch that shows how proud the Chinese people are with ding dongs between their legs. It could be manufactured in their image of a perfect Chinese man, who knows?

Even with its flaws, you’ll know that it’s Spidey just by looking at it. A deal that’s decent enough. The bonus is the LED light fixed on his chest that lights up by pressing the button on his butt. That puts the deal into the “it’s a steal!”category.

The arm of 10bucks was broken in a malicious way by my younger kid, and that made 10bucks officially a handicapped super-hero. Kids being kids, they would want their toys fixed even when they were the ones who broke it. Since I swore that I’d be a good father, I could not go against what I had promised to the almighty.

But.

For the price of it, there was another way out to fix my kid’s problem, and that’s easy – buy a new one. Since the price was pretty okay for my financial condition, I thought it did not make sense to fix it back. Yet, the “good father” part of me told me that I could fix it in no time, and making the trip to the unscrupulous vendor would take much more time and effort, and perhaps exhaustion from the self-control I would have to use in stopping myself from executing public justice. So, I took out my screw drivers and commenced the repair works.

I shall not go into the repairing details here, but bear in mind that it took me close to an hour to finally have the broken parts glued together, dried, fixed and screw (them!) 10bucks back into one piece. After an hour of eye straining work, 10bucks was finally pieced back and in playable condition. Only if it were eternal.

10bucks broke again, 15 minutes after I handed the repaired version back to my customer, and that convinced me that my brain wasn’t trolling me after all. I took a look at the once-again-broken fake Spidey, I could not help but felt the pinch in the cost of repair. Let me break it down for you.

First of all, it took me 1 hour to fix it back. Technically, before purchase, 10bucks should cost us (my mother-in-law actually), well, 10 bucks. But the rule of buying and selling dictates that depreciation starts the second transaction of the sales is done. Effectively, 10bucks should cost way lower than 10 bucks. Based on my estimation, the 1 month old fake Spidey could jolly well be appraised at 5 bucks or lower. For easier calculation, let us set the bar at 5 bucks.

To repair a broken toy that has only a book value of 5 bucks, the repair cost should not be higher than 3 (round-up) bucks, because it could easily be written off from the books if repairing was going to break even, if not higher than the BV. So my repair was evaluated at 3 bucks maximum, including the cost of the glue that I used.

It took me 1 hour to repair 10bucks’s arm, and 15 minutes to break it. Essentially, it’s 3 bucks for 15 minutes of not-so-fun playing. I’m not good in maths, but I know you’ll get my point.

Now, the repair cost was too high for a lifespan of 15 minutes. Also, I seriously do not think that I am that cheap to be paid 3 bucks for 1 hour of my time. It doesn’t matter how people think that writers live their lives in poverty; I do not agree that anyone’s time should worth only 3 bucks per hour. So, no. I should not be that cheap. Anyone should NOT be this CHEAP.

Still, I did it. I did the 3 bucks per hour repair job that would last only 15 minutes. The good thing for me was I did not have to answer to any angry customers for this CBJ (come-back-job), and that’s already a bonus for me. In short, I did an extremely underpaid job, for something that wasn’t even worth to start in the first place. Dumbass Lawson. From the perspectives of a repairer, I was underpaid. But as a father to a kid whose toy was broken, I had paid too high a sum to have it repaired (because I definitely cost more than 3 bucks an hour). Either way, I screwed myself up.

But I did that for my son, and it makes the whole sacrificial thing no longer painful. I love him, and I am willing to take time from writing to fix his stuffs. I love his smiles, so I was able to take that low-paying job to fix 10bucks, even if it meant he’d only get 15 minutes of play. Every minute is a blessing, and I do not think I should be complacent about his laughs. I love him, so I readily took the job when he came to me and said, “Papa, fix.”

I did what I did, because I love him.

Love is not on par money, and it will never be. It comes from the heart, and it packages itself with all the sacrifices that I have to make, just to see the one I love smile. Even if it means taking up a job that pays only 3 bucks per hour.

10bucks is officially dead – my son, the doctor, declared that. Time to get another one, and perhaps this time, original one might be a better option.

41c1d-originalAndy Lawson is the average man on the street that you’ll not even trouble yourself looking at him if he passes by you. He’s sensitive to bullshit, and he hates mediocrity in most people. He is the author of his self-published book: Facts and Fiction of Fengshui: Facts that Masters are NOT Telling You. He doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter, because he hates to be associated with people who tend to be passive-aggressive online, but he does have a very limited set of vocabularies, terrible grammar, a twisted mind that makes himself God in his own twisted world and an ability to communicate with people who wish to be his friend.

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