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Ask The Schnorrer

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Does your neighbor watch TV in your house on hot days?  Is there that phantom coworker eating people’s lunches? Why has your friend from elementary school decided to vacation on your couch for 10 days? Why does that person who arranges the carpool never seem to drive?  If any of these apply to you, you may be the victim of a Schonorrer.

Nobody is attuned to the nuances of life’s little opportunities better than the Schnorrer.  If you aren’t sure that you are being schnorred, he can confirm the fact and teach you the techniques of Counterschnorring.  Like Spy vs Spy, the Machiavellian possibilities are endless.  We invite you to write to us about life’s humiliations or triumphs so that we may  pass along your pearls of wisdom or counsel you on revenge.

The following is a response to the Q and A “Don’t Get Comfortable” NY Times Social Q Sunday July 22, 2010 by The Schnorrer

My Husband and I live in a two bedroom apartment.  One of my friends, who is known as frugal, says that she doesn’t believe in air-conditioning.  When a heat wave hit, she asked if she could sleep in our apartment, which has air conditioning.  I want to help, but shouldn’t she find a more practical solution.  I don’t want a guest all summer. –Pamela

Your friend’s philosophy is intriguing.  If we stopped believing in aging, do you think our crows’ feet might disappear? Take pity on your pal precisely once.  In the morning, over complimentary continental breakfast, remind her that you are not running a hotel.  Say: “we’re always here for you in an emergency, but not so much for predictable weather patterns.  If air conditioning is out, maybe you should stock up on some fans or large block of ice?” Even mensches set limits.  –Social Q editor

The Schnorrer Comments:  First, the plural of mensch is menshen.

Second, Pamela is clearly naïve and in need of a major Schnorr intervention.  This is what we call the Counterschnorr:  After letting her pal sleep over, she should send her out for bagels and the paper and not even think of reimbursing her.  She should set up an appointment with the cable guy and ask if her pal wouldn’t mind waiting for him.  Most importantly, Pamela should make sure her bathroom is stocked with very low grade toilet paper.  The odds of her seeing a repeat performance by her pal any time soon are very low.

The Countercounterschnorr: When going to the store, specifically ask for the stalest bagels or just go for the pumpernickel.  Forget to purchase any of the accoutrements such as cream cheese.

Also, double up on the toilet paper, and dampen in the sink making it more pliable.

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