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Opening the Doors to Healthier and Stress-Free Living

A Column by Alice Abbott-Moore,
Content Access/Information Delivery Teams, Ekstrom Library

Tales From the Thrift: The Art of Mooching

It’s tax season and you know what that means: we’ve got to pay the Uncle. I have one question for you: Is money tight? If it is, I have some money saving tales and tips for you! In a brief few minutes you too can learn the cost-effective art of mooching! Empower your bank account and select what you want to spend your money on! Amaze and enrage your family, friends, co-workers, and strangers!

Mooching, also known as sponging, pilfering, and snagging, is an art. Those who engage and perfect this activity are known as moochers, bums, cheapskates, floaters, free-loaders, free-riders, leeches, low-riders, parasites, slugs, scroungers, scrubs, snaggers, sponges, users, vultures and other various unsavory titles.

While I have tapped into my vast experience with moochers and their lot, I also have called for assistance from others to share words of wisdom on this great art. Writing this article has been a cathartic experience! I have found that mooching is a universal practice and that most people have had some experience with it. ALL of the following stories are TRUE TALES and much can be learned from them! I thank each person who shared experiences with me. The names of the innocent and the not so innocent have been removed to protect all involved. The tips are just for future benefit.

Tale of Coins and Cola: One person reported a girl in her college dorm who always mooched money from the author and others. This girl always carried a twenty-dollar bill, yet always mooched change. “I don’t want to have to break this bill. Can I borrow a buck fifty?” This happened all year. Even worse, instead of buying her own Coke, she would ask for a “sip” from the cans of others in the group. The artful mooch would tilt her head back, gulp down at least half of the drink, and hand it back to the owner.

Tale of the Guzzled Kool-Aid: Another dormitory moocher was a boyfriend of one of the four residents who lived together. One of the girls would always make a pitcher of Kool-Aid only to have the boyfriend come in at least twice a week and guzzle the entire pitcher. The guy, when confronted, he would deny doing it. The other roommates would have been more hospitable if the person was not so obnoxious. His excuse for the obnoxious behavior was, “I’m too hyper from all the sugar in the Kool-Aid.” One can only shudder to imagine what would have happened if the guy had mooched a real Coke or a Mountain Dew.

Tale of Cash for M&Ms, but not for Food: Another skilled moocher received her resources in high school by bumming money from one particular friend/victim. The requested money was for candy that was being sold by fund-raisers. Apparently this mooch enjoyed her daily peanut M&M fix. One day the friend/victim didn’t have enough money for a plate lunch and asked the mooch if she could borrow some money. The Mooch replied, “No way!” The next time the moocher requested money from the friend/victim, her steady source had dried up.

Tale of Smashed Rolls: This same moocher also had a way of mooching food. At lunch, often the cafeteria would have fluffy dinner rolls. If the mooch was around, spied a roll, and determined she wanted it, she would stick her thumb smack dab in the middle. Since this girl’s personal hygiene wasn’t the best, she always got her roll.

Tale of the Coveted Watch: One person related that while she was sitting down in a public place where there was a crowd of people, a guy turned toward her and said, “Gimme your watch.” The woman was stunned by his request and again he stated that he wanted the watch. The woman then replied, “No.” The man then went on then started asking another person for his watch.

Tale of the Low Riders: Someone told me she used to date a fellow who had a lot of friends, none of which owned a car. Almost every time this woman was out with the boyfriend, he would ask if she would give “so and so” a ride. It got to the point that his friends would automatically start going for her car if they happened to be hanging out with the boyfriend. Finally, the woman had enough and shouted at the boyfriend and a couple of friends: “My car is not a TARC bus!”

Tale of the Traveling Tomes: One person related that a woman borrowed from her nine or ten books to take on vacation. The owner of the books never saw the woman or the tomes again.


One can save a lot of money and time doing the following: