Wednesday, March 10, 2010

If I Had a Nickel...

One of my favorite personal routines is to take the hypothetic saying “If I had a nickel for every time…” and compute it literally.

You hear it all the time: If I had a nickel for every time Tina was a bitch, I’d be a millionaire.

Now this person – let’s call him Walter - can’t possibly mean this literally. In order for Walter to actually become a millionaire exclusively through Tina’s bitchiness, Tina would have to be a bitch to Walter 20 million times. If Tina has known Walter for 50 years, she would have to be a bitch to him 1095 times every single day. I’ve known some mean ladies, but there is no way Tina could keep that up.

I’ve always found the cliché far more effective when you take the math seriously. Had Walter said “If I had a nickel for every time Tina was a bitch, I’d have 500 dollars” or if Tina said “If I had a nickel for every time Walt was impotent, I’d could take a trip to Hawaii,” well, those would be completely plausible, especially if they were married. Hell, an all-inclusive trip to Hawaii will put you out about 700 bucks, or in Tina’s terms, 14 thousand times Walter’s dick doesm’t work. That could happen over 50 years. Easily.

Lately I’ve been wondering how much I would actually have if I were to put a nickel in a jar for every time something has happened to me. So I did out all the math, and thought it only fair to share the results with you all – my bffs They are separated into categories based on what I could afford had I accumulated a nickel for every occurrence, so if you’re looking for all the juicy sex stuff (which is where I always head straight to) head to the bottom first, in the penny-candy section.

- An unlimited monthly MetroCard ($90, 1800 nickels)

If I had a Nickel for every time I…

• Couldn’t decide if I wanted to respond with “Cool” or “Nice” and ended up saying “Nool.”
• Answered “What’s up?” with “Good, you?”
• Been walking toward a stranger on the street and couldn’t decide which way to evade, resulting in a terribly awkward dance in which they get very angry.
• Pretended to no longer enjoy Professional Wrestling.
• Became winded rising from the sofa too briskly.
• Ate an entire package of Kraft Cheese Singles in one sitting.
• Wrote on someone’s wall with the sole intent of them writing on mine, thus making me seem more popular.
• Claimed to hate New York City and couldn’t live here a month longer.
• Claimed to love New York City and quoted “Empire State of Mind.”

- A beer for myself and my lady-friend at a typical Manhattan Bar ($12, 240 Nickels)

If I had a Nickel for every time I…

• Drank way too much and vowed to quit drinking in the morning.
• Got drunk again that very same night.
• Took an alternate subway train because I was convinced I could figure it out only to end up in the South Bronx.
• Bragged about loving some deviant activity I’ve never even considered doing.
• Quit a job or responsibility to “focus on comedy” only to watch DVDs at 10 in the morning.
• Exaggerated a story from College.
• Attempted to begin regular flossing routine, abandoned plan three days later.
• Claimed to just “not really be into porn.”

- A McChicken Sandwich ($1, 20 nickels)

If I had a Nickel for every time…

• Started to update this blog but spent 3 hours on IMDB instead.
• Really tried to love College Basketball.
• Compulsively moved because I didn’t want to “grow old in this two-bit town” only to be hopelessly homesick 4 weeks later.
• Ran three miles, felt entitled to eat pizza every meal for next 6 days.
• Rinsed and repeated.
• Semi-seriously considered responding to a Craigslist personal.
• Understood a poem.

- A game of pinball (.50, 10 nickels)

If I had a Nickel for every time I…

• Wore a Hawaiian shirt on a blind date.
• Talked to a woman without the assistance of alcohol.
• Danced without the assistance of alcohol.
• Convinced myself I am living “The Truman Show.”
• Hit a three-point shot.
• Have been paid to do Stand-up comedy.

-A gumball (.25, 5 nickels)

If I had a Nickel for every time I…

• Um… how do I put this… engaged a lady in coitus.

-Postage in 1978 (.15, 3 nickels)

If I had a Nickel for every time I…

• Engaged in aforementioned Coitus in which either party had an orgasm and/or was sober. (Estimated.)

-A Nickel (0.05, 1 nickel)

If I had a Nickel for every time I…

• Vomited all over the house from too much Tequila.
• Drank Tequila.
• Looked forward to visiting Nebraska.
• Have been paid to do Stand-up comedy in New York.
• Accidentally visited another country.
• Inadvertently told my family how many women I’ve slept with (see above.)
• Kissed a man. (It was in college, during an improv show, OK? No need to start texting your friends “I told you so!”)
• Maintained for any amount of time something I’m proud of (you’re reading it.)

I think that’s good for now. Forgive me for the few TMI (too much information) moments. But come on, those are PG-rated when compared to my stand-up act. If anyone would like to know anything else I could afford using this nickel scale, feel free to ask me in the comment section or on good old Facebook.

I’m a weirdo.


  1. I think I am going to start following you around New York, so I can hand out nickels to you for everything you mentioned. At the end of the year we will add it all up and see what you can actually buy.

    p.s. - I will leave the room during coitus, I'll go take a walk, but only then realize that it will be over before I reach the door. then proceed to give you a nickel... maybe a dime out of pity.

  2. i would like to know about:
    what you can afford given:

    a) how many eggs, hardboiled or otherwise, you have eaten in brooklyn
    b) how many eggs, hardboiled or otherwise, you have gone on a walk to find, buy, and eat
    c) how many eggs, hardboiled or otherwise, you have eaten, but needed to be reminded of the consumption the following day.

  3. Risa:

    A. Honest estimate: I've been in Brooklyn 110 days. I probably average out to 3 eggs a day (some less, some DEFINITELY more) so let's just call it 300 eggs, or 15 dollars. Enough to buy about 25 hard-boiled eggs at that creepy, egg cafe on Classon.

    B. Umm, I can think of 3, or 15 cents. At that creepy Egg Cafe, again.

    C. I assume you are reffering to the time I blacked out at the "white-people bar" and Colin made me an egg sandwich at 2am, which I have no memory of eating. 2 eggs, 10 cents.

    Thanks for playing.