We have unusually high electric rates in Connecticut — the result of an unfortunate combination of greed and stupidity among utilities, politicians, and the sort of environmentalists who secretly wish we could all live in huts and eat dirt.
Here are two easy ways to save on the Connecticut Light and Power (CLAP) bill:
1. Turn off the power strip that controls the cable box. Yes, it takes a few seconds for the thing to reorient itself when you switch it back on, but when I began doing this the bill went down 40 percent. That is not a typo.
2. I was using the dishwasher a lot, but at the N.Y. cabin, where there isn't one, I just put the evening's dishes in the sink, run hot water, add soap, and let the gentle motion of the waves do its thing overnight. A quick rinse in the morning, into the drainer, and no running the machine.
This method also allows me to use the dishwasher for its traditional bachelor function — storing really filthy dishes.
Here are some other tactics that make life easier.
1. Keep the bathroom clean. You do not, I repeat do not want to have a girl come over and need to use the can and have to wait while you dash in with cleaning supplies to give the toilet a quick swipe. A clean bathroom will give the entirely erroneous impression that you are, in fact, civilized.
2. Keep the weirdo DVDs in a box somewhere, out of sight. In the above scenario, you do not want to have to explain the presence of "Caged Heat" or "Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS" — especially if you just had to clean the toilet.
There is plenty of time for the lady to get to know you before revealing the Dark Side of the Force. With a little luck she will have a Dark Side too and they'll balance out.
3. Women hate cigars the way men hate modern dance. These are genetic, atavistic prejudices, hard-wired into the Western psyche. They cannot be changed, just dealt with.