+ADw-title+AD4-The Vent +ACM-539: Of eggs and baskets+ADw-/title+AD4-
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+ADw-span class+AD0-bigcap+AD4-A+ADw-/span+AD4-ccording to the old saying +ACYAIw-151+ADs- +ADw-i+AD4-new+ADw-/i+AD4- sayings haven't stood the test of time just yet, thank you very much +ACYAIw-151+ADs- you should not put all your eggs in one basket. How old a saying it is, I don't know+ADs- I do know that Shakespeare wrought a variation on it in +ADw-i+AD4-The Merchant of Venice+ADw-/i+AD4-. Says Antonio in the very first scene:
My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,+ADw-br+AD4-
Or to one place+ADs- nor is my whole estate+ADw-br+AD4-
Upon the fortune of this present year.+ADw-br+AD4-
+ACI-Bottom,+ACI- of course, refers to the bottom of a +ADw-i+AD4-ship+ADw-/i+AD4-: Antonio, at least this early in the drama, is not so foolish as to put his entire year's inventory into a single vessel, what with the possibility of shipwreck and/or piracy always looming.
This past week, the local cable company, from whom I buy television service and Internet connectivity, sent me the umpteenth offer of a package deal, which would presumably cut my overall expense by a few bucks if I moved my landline telephone service over to them. As always, I threw it away: I am disinclined to put all my eggs in a single basket. The phone company (it's that +ADw-i+AD4-big+ADw-/i+AD4- one you thought was +ADw-a href+AD0AIg-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell+AF8-System+AF8-divestiture+ACIAPg-put to death twentysomeodd years ago+ADw-/a+AD4-) has a package deal of its own: while their +ADw-a href+AD0AIg-http://news.com.com/AT38T+enters+TV+market/20-1033+AF8-3-6020423.html+ACIAPg-Net-based TV service+ADw-/a+AD4- isn't here yet, they'd love to see me move my +ADw-i+AD4-wireless+ADw-/i+AD4- service to them and run a DSL line instead of cable. Not going to happen.
Nor do I bundle my insurance services together: I buy my auto insurance and a so-called +ACI-umbrella+ACI- policy from one firm, and my homeowners' insurance from another. The agent for the latter sends me a note every few months to remind me that I could see substantial discounts were I to buy all my insurance from him+ADs- I politely discard it. I also carry a couple of life-insurance policies, different issuers, even different +ADw-i+AD4-types:+ADw-/i+AD4- one is a term policy, paid for through payroll deduction, and one is a whole-life policy, for which I send a check every six months. My +ADw-i+AD4-health+ADw-/i+AD4- insurance is provided by, you guessed it, someone else.
This is by no means a new phenomenon: I have always done things this way. (Before I bought this house, I was a tenant, and I had renter's insurance, from yet +ADw-i+AD4-another+ADw-/i+AD4- firm.) And while I'm not in the market for a second motor vehicle +ACYAIw-151+ADs- for one thing, I have a single-car garage, which is full +ACYAIw-151+ADs- it would probably not occur to me to buy another one of the same make, though this is admittedly partly because the sort of vehicle I would most likely acquire for the second position, a small (or at least +ACI-less than full-sized+ACI-) pickup truck, is not offered by that make.
(To expand on that premise: I own an Infiniti I30 sedan. Would I buy a Nissan Frontier truck to go with it? Maybe. Right now the possibility is too remote to give more than perfunctory consideration. But assuming I stay with Infiniti for my next primary vehicle, which is not unlikely given +ADw-a href+AD0AIg-vent535.html+ACIAPg-my fondness for the G35+ADw-/a+AD4-, my first instinct is to consider a Toyota truck for the utility slot. I suppose I could hedge my bets further and grab a sport-utility vehicle, but Infiniti's new EX has yet to appear at dealerships, and it will be a few years before I can find one sufficiently depreciated to fit into my limited budget.)
Having said all this, of course, I have to wonder if this unwillingness to commit to a single source in any way informs other aspects of my life. I have no desire, for instance, to see a single-payer health system in this country: even if it +ADw-i+AD4-did+ADw-/i+AD4- cost me less, which I tend to doubt +ACYAIw-151+ADs- as P. J. O'Rourke once said, +ACI-If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until you see what it costs when it's +ADw-i+AD4-free+ADw-/i+AD4AIg- +ACYAIw-151+ADs- I suspect they'll make up the difference in either maddening inconvenience or time-wasting bureaucracy.
And had I a girlfriend, would I want to keep another on the side, just in case? Here I suspect the answer is probably No, if only because I have demonstrated no consistent ability to attract +ADw-i+AD4-one+ADw-/i+AD4- woman, let alone two. As for +ADw-i+AD4-their+ADw-/i+AD4- eggs +ACYAIw-151+ADs- well, um, never mind.
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